Support weight loss with a food and exercise diary

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Support weight loss with a food and exercise diary

Weight-loss: See how keeping a food and exercise diary helps maintain a healthier lifestyle.

One of the best ways to change old eating and exercise habits — and support healthy weight loss — is to keep track of them with a diary.

Your weight-loss program should make keeping a food and exercise diary easy. You can use your weekly menus and activity schedules to keep track of your habits. Or, if you prefer, you can use a separate notebook to log your habits. Regardless of where you make your notes, consider the following tips when recording information.

Who is laser resurfacing for?

Laser resurfacing is for people who want to treat:

  • Fine to moderate wrinkles
  • Liver spots or age spots (solar lentigines)
  • Uneven skin tones
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Acne or chickenpox scars

How is laser resurfacing done?

During this procedure, an intense beam of light energy (laser) is directed at the area you want treated. The laser beam destroys the outer layer of skin (epidermis). At the same time the laser heats the underlying skin (dermis), which stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers. As the wound heals, new skin forms that's smoother and tighter.

Compared with other resurfacing methods that destroy the outer layer of skin (ablative techniques), such as chemical peels or dermabrasion, laser resurfacing gives doctors more control over how deep the treatment penetrates your skin. And lasers allow doctors to more precisely treat delicate facial areas, such as those around your eyes and lips.

How laser resurfacing is done

Illustration showing how laser resurfacing is done

During laser resurfacing, a laser destroys the outer layer of skin (epidermis). As the wound heals, new skin forms that's smoother and tighter.

What are the results of laser resurfacing?

Immediately after the resurfacing procedure, an ointment and dressing is applied to your skin. Your face may be covered with a mask bandage and possibly a head wrap for a few days. If only a small part of your face is treated, the bandage may cover only the treated area. The mask bandage is removed a day or two after the procedure.

During recovery, you need to keep your skin moist by using protective creams and ointments. Remain at home and limit your activity level. Once new skin has completely covered the treated area — usually after one or two weeks — you may use cosmetics to conceal any lingering redness.

Your skin may stay red or pink for up to nine months following laser resurfacing. In addition, your skin may be sensitive to sunlight for up to a year after the procedure, so it's important to minimize sun exposure and to use sunscreen liberally.

You may notice an immediate difference in your skin quality and appearance. And gradually during the next six to 12 months, you'll likely see continued improvement. Although the effects of laser resurfacing can last for years, wrinkles and expression lines eventually recur as skin ages. Repeat procedures may be necessary.

Before-and-after results of laser resurfacing

Photo showing the before-and-after results of laser resurfacing

At left, a look at a woman's wrinkles before laser treatment. At right, the same woman pictured three months after laser surgery.

Have realistic expectations

Laser resurfacing is an effective treatment for minor facial flaws. For example, it can lessen the appearance of fine lines around your eyes, mouth and cheeks. It can also improve your complexion if you have yellowish or grayish skin tones.

But laser resurfacing has its limitations. It can't remove deep wrinkles or eliminate excessive or sagging skin (jowls). In addition, the effects aren't permanent because as you age, you continue to acquire expression lines — lines that result from the natural movement of your face, such as when you squint or smile. Talk with your doctor about your goals and find out whether this procedure can meet your needs.

Last Updated: 10/06/2006
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