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Hair Restoration: FUT vs. FUE

What is Hair Restoration?

A hair restoration is a surgical procedure in which hair is moved from the back of the scalp, where it is permanent (donor area), to areas that are thinning or bald on the front, top, or crown of the scalp (recipient area). Once transplanted, the hair will continue to grow for a person’s lifetime.


What is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?

FUT, sometimes know as “strip harvesting” has been the standard in hair restoration for the past two decades. In FUT, after the patient’s scalp is numbed, the doctor removes a thin strip of tissue from the back of the scalp. The donor strip is then separated into thousands of individual follicular units using precise stereo-microscopic dissection techniques. The donor site is closed with sutures, leaving a horizontal scar on the back of the scalp that will be easily covered as hair grows over it. As the follicular unit grafts are being prepared, the doctor makes tiny slits in the scalp (recipient sites), into which the grafts are placed. If well executed, FUT offers reliable results, giving the patient new hairs that look completely natural.

What is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?

FUE is a new method of extracting, or “harvesting,” follicular units one-by-one directly from the scalp. In FUE, an instrument is used to make small, circular incisions in the skin around follicular units, separating them from the surrounding tissue. The follicular unit is then extracted directly from the scalp, leaving a small open hole that heals with a barely visible white mark, instead of the long horizontal scar seen in FUT. This method of donor harvesting is what differentiates the FUE procedure from FUT, where the donor hair is removed in a long strip that is dissected into individual follicular units using a microscope. The creation of recipient sites and the placing of follicular unit grafts are essentially the same in both FUE and FUT procedures.

Should I Choose FUT or FUE?

In general, FUT yields the most donor hair. Therefore, the procedure is best suited for more extensive hair loss and in patients where the main concern is the maximum use of one’s donor supply. The hair is maximized because of the precise nature of stereo-microscopic dissection and the fact that all the hair is harvested from “sweet spot” of the permanent zone where the hair is most dense and stable. A limitation of FUT is that it leaves a line scar in the donor area. With normal styling this is easily covered with hair, but it precludes someone from wearing his or her hair very short.

FUE is more appropriate for patients who would like to keep their hair very short or who cannot forego strenuous activities in the post-op period. In general, younger patients who need to keep their styling options flexible choose FUE, whereas those who desire the most coverage opt for FUT.

Am I a Candidate for a Hair Restoration Procedure?

The best way to find out is to be evaluated by a hair restoration physician. The answer will depend on the cause of your hair loss, your age, the stability of your donor supply, how extensive you hair loss is, your expectations and a number of other important factors. If you are a good candidate, whether you choose FUT or FUE, you will look younger with your new permanent, completely natural hair, with the entire procedure finished in one day.


Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt talks about recovering from skin cancer, Click here to read the full article


Tinea Pedis – Athlete’s Foot

By: Laura Collins, DCNP

Having trouble with your feet? You may be one of the many people who are experiencing a common skin issue called Tinea Pedis, or Athlete’s Foot. This problem refers to a fungal infection of the skin that can occur in between the toes, or on the bottom of the foot. Unfortunately this infection is extremely common, seen mainly in young to middle-aged men, however women can also be affected. Trichophyton rubrum, a fungus, is the most common culprit and causes an inflammatory response in the skin after infection. The symptoms of infection can include scaling, fissures, itching, redness, and most notably, maceration (a white mushy like appearance of the skin) in between the toes. Sometimes an odor may be present.

There are many potential sources of infection, however having moist feet tends to be a great risk factor. Prevention of the infection consists mainly of keeping the skin of the feet and toes as dry as possible. This can be achieved by applying powders such as Zeasorb-AF, which is over-the-counter, to maintain a dry environment. Other preventive measures include gentle washing and drying of the feet daily as well as wearing flip flops in moist public environments (such as in locker rooms or near swimming pools and showers) to minimize exposure.

If you think you have Tinea Pedis, or another rash of the feet, and the over-the-counter remedies aren’t working, it is best to come into the clinic where your provider can evaluate and treat you with something more effective. Certain conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, among other things, can also look very much like Athlete’s foot. Sometimes, if the skin barrier is compromised, a secondary bacterial infection can occur. Your provider will assess your feet and may consider performing a test in the office to look for fungal elements and/or bacteria. Treatment of Tinea Pedis is typically topical however, in advanced cases, oral anti-fungal agents or antibiotics may be employed as needed. If left untreated, severe cases may spread to infect the toenails, which are significantly more difficult to treat.

Healthy Scalp, Healthy Skin

By: Brandice Brazell, MMS, PA-C

Maintaining healthy skin year-round is essential to one’s overall health. With cooler temperatures quickly approaching, we must not forget a healthy scalp is part of this equation. Have you recently noticed white flakes on your shoulders or shirt collar? Have you dealt with “dandruff” for most of your adult life? Is your over-the-counter shampoo no longer keeping the flakes at bay?

This condition is clinically known as seborrheic dermatitis and occurs within 2-5% of the population. Adults tend to experience seasonal remissions and exacerbations and are precipitated by stress, fatigue, and climate changes. It is a chronic, superficial, inflammatory disease and may be related to the presence of the oil-loving yeast Pityrosporum ovale. It is commonly found on the scalp, ears, eyebrows, lips, chest, and folds of the cheeks. The scaling often has a greasy appearance and may be very itchy. Scratching, of course, only aggravates the condition as it compromises the skin barrier and leaves the skin open to potential bacterial infections.

Topical corticosteroids may be initially used to reduce the inflammation and redness associated with this condition but may permit yeast overgrowth when used for long periods of time. Thus, antifungal medications are the mainstay of treatments. They are now offered in a variety of forms such as creams, gels and shampoos to best suit the needs of the patient. Anti-dandruff shampoos and soaps containing zinc pyrithione (ZNP) or selenium sulfide (Selsun) can be equally effective, especially for maintenance after flares. Resolution is not immediate, but with consistent treatment you can once again feel confident about your skin, scalp, and hair.

From the Skin Cancer Foundation on skin cancer and golfers comes the following statistics:

  • men over the age of 40 have the highest amount of annual exposure to UV radiation
  • the majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over the age of 50
  • melanoma is only one of three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men.

PGA Tour Pro Biran Davis has already had several skin cancers... read his story

Cosmetic Procedures for Men

More than 1 million men chose to have some type of cosmetic procedure last year and the numbers continue to increase. Men are choosing to make improvements in their appearances not only to feel better but also to maintain a competitive edge in the work place and the job market. Minimally invasive procedures have seen some of the biggest increases including:

Botox – up 9%
Laser Hair Removal – up 4%
Soft tissue fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, and Radiesse - up 7%
Dermabrasion – up 4%

Botox is one of the easiest pick me ups with no downtime and with the best “bang for the buck”. A few units of Botox can help you look younger and more relaxed and no one will know that you have had anything done. Our practice has seen an increase not only in the above procedures but also in hair restoration, laser procedures for blood vessels, CoolSculpting for stubborn fat areas, and treatment of brown spots. A consult with one of our board certified dermatologists can determine what options are best for you.

Simple Skin Care for Men

Let’s be honest, men rarely think about skin care let alone products for their skin. Men like to keep it as simple as possible, so that’s what we’ll do. All men should use three basic products 1) a cleanser, 2) a moisturizer, and 3) a sunscreen. A good cleanser is one of the most important products a man can purchase. Since men have larger sebaceous glands and oilier skin they need a cleanser that will take care of those issues but not strip the skin of its natural oils. If a cleanser is too harsh, it can actually lead to break outs and irritation. A foaming cleanser like SkinCeuticals foaming cleanser is an excellent option. A light weight moisturizer works best for men. It helps replenish the moisture in the skin and calms razor burn. Men love our Belleza Ultra-Lite Moisturizer, SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5, or Neocutis Hyalis. Finally, a sunscreen. It is best to look for a broad spectrum, physical sun block that contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. This helps protect against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. Colorescience Sunforgettables brush on sunscreen is perfect for men. It’s a mineral based powder sunscreen that brushes on and absorbs oil and becomes translucent so it can’t be seen. Portable and easy, it can be thrown in a golf bag or gym bag. Apply generously to the face, hairline, ears and neck. Taking care of your skin doesn’t need to be overwhelming, it’s this easy!

Schedule a complimentary consult with one of our aestheticians to learn more about caring for your skin.

Sun Protection for Active Guys

With the advent of longer days and warmer weather, Spring seems to be right around the corner. Our skin hasn’t seen much in the way of sunlight for past few months so sun protection has not been on most of our minds. But Spring, for many men, means hauling out the golf clubs, dusting off the road bike, pick-up basketball games in the park, and sunny afternoon barbecues. Now is the time to do your skin a favor by keeping it shielded from the sun’s rays.

Most men believe that small amounts of sun throughout the day do little harm to their skin. Unfortunately, this is a myth. Even 15 minute of collective sunlight per day can cause Actinic changes (sun damaged skin). Actinic damage can lead to accelerated aging, skin discoloration, and even skin cancer down the line.

The best way to prevent this type of Actinic damage, is to:

  • Apply sun-block every morning before leaving the house. If you plan on being inside most of the day, one application of SPF 30 or greater should give you adequate sun protection. CeraVe AM daily moisturizer with SPF 30 does a great job as a daily facial moisturizer and has added sun-block for a one-stop shop.
  • Re-apply sun-block every hour if you are outdoors. Most guys believe that one application for a full day is enough. Unfortunately, one application only gives you up to 90 minutes of protection. If you happen to be outside basking in the sunlight, one full shot-glass size of sunscreen is needed for the entire face and body every 60 minutes for the most complete sun protection.
  • Always wear a hat. Guys who like to be outdoors may remember to apply sunscreen to their face and arms, but will neglect their noggins. Wearing a hat also protects your ears and face which is some of the most vulnerable skin. Wide-brimmed hats that cover the ears are best, but even a simple baseball cap provides adequate scalp and face protection.
  • If you are more on the athletic side and tend to sweat a lot while outside, a physical blocker type of sunscreen such as ColorScience Sunforgettable SPF 50 powder sunscreen gives you excellent sun protection without the sting of sunscreen in your eyes.

So go out and enjoy the warmer weather! Remember these sun protection tips when heading out the door for the day, your skin will thank you.

Silk Peel for Men

Say goodbye to enlarged pores, ingrown hairs, and that ruddy complexion. Silk Peel is a great treatment that is gaining popularity among men. A Silk Peel is a great way for men to clean up their skin, help with breakouts, and make shaving a little easier. A Silk Peel is a form of exfoliation that removes dead skin, vacuums and cleans the pores, and infuses the skin with a solution that can target and treat any condition from acne, to hyperpigmentation and age spots. There is absolutely no downtime with the Silk Peel and patients can resume regular activity after the procedure. The Silk Peel only takes 30 minutes and can easily be done on your lunch hour. Men like their skincare to be nice and simple; and the Silk Peel delivers just that.

Contact Belleza Skincare Institute to learn more about Silk Peel or to book your first treatment. 630-847-8040

Hair Restoration

There are many causes for hair loss. In the overwhelming majority of males, the cause is hereditary . It is important to remember that most adults lose 75-125 hairs per day. New hairs usually grow from the follicles to replace the lost hairs. As long as this process remains balanced, the number of hairs on the scalp remain constant. When hairs are not replaced due to the shrinkage of the hair follicles, it results in male pattern baldness. The tendency for male and female pattern hair loss can be genetically inherited from either side of the family and begins to develop after puberty. Hair restoration surgery is a permanent solution to lost hair. It is a minor out patient surgery that requires little down time, and uses your own hair to fill in where hair has been lost. Click here to learn more about Hair Restoration and FAQ's

Solutions to Common Men’s Skin Care Problems

Shaving can often present a challenging problem for men. When done improperly it can lead to razor bumps, cuts and irritation.

It first begins with your products. Many men find that shaving becomes easier when using aloe-based products; it helps the razor to glide across the face. Avoid alcohol-based after shaves; they tend to only irritate the skin. Before applying the shaving gel, be sure to soften the hairs and open the pores by massaging warm water into the beard area. Be sure to shave with the grain first to obtain optimal results. Be sure to always apply a soothing product for post care, such as Colorescience Soothing Post Shave Gel. This lightweight soothing gel is loaded with skin calming ingredients such as aloe and tea tree oil to minimize irritation from razor burn and calm ingrown hairs or blemishes.

If you find that you are suffering from severe cases of inflammation or razor bumps, you might be an excellent candidate for laser hair removal. GentleLase hair removal by Candela is our latest option for hair removal. The GentleLase system requires no creams, gels, waxing or needles. The treatments are quick, comfortable, safe, and long lasting. This laser emits a gentle beam of light which passes through your skin and is absorbed by the hair follicle. Once absorbed, the laser energy transforms to heat and destroys the hair follicles without affecting the surrounding skin. Hair removal can be done on various areas of the body. We recommend 4-6 treatments approximately every 4-6 weeks.

Learn more about these products and services by calling The Dermatology Institute – Naperville, Aesthetic Services at 630-547-8040.