Question: I have got very fair skin and light eyelashes. I have been thinking about getting Latisse but I am concerned about how light my eyelashes are. I guess I am kind of thinking of it like mascara. Does Latisse come in different shades or is it colorless?
Answer: The medication of Latisse is actually colorless and does not attempt to color your eyelashes. It does, however, cause the lashes to grow thicker, longer, and tends to make the eyelash itself darker. If you have truly blond eyelashes, then more than likely you will just grow longer, fuller blond eyelashes though you could get increased pigmentation of the lash due to the Latisse product. Obviously, you can apply mascara to your thicker, longer blond eyelashes to darken them, and only time will tell if the Latisse product will actually darken them naturally.
Question: I am a 22-year-old blue-eyed female. I have always wished I had longer and fuller lashes, so I have recently been considering Latisse. I have heard some scary things about the product staining eye pigment though. Are blue-eyed people at more risk of developing pigment staining by Latisse?
Answer: Actually, blue-eyed people have no risk whatsoever of iris staining from Latisse due to the fact that they have no pigment in their iris, and that is why their eye color is blue. Latisse cannot create pigment in blue-eyed patients, so there is nothing for you to worry about. The product in Latisse has historically been used as an eyedrop, and there were a very small percentage of patients with green or hazel-colored eyes who would get pigmentation of their iris.
Brown-eyed patients already have pigmentation in their iris, and blue-eyed patients cannot pigment their iris, so these patients really did not have an issue. Furthermore, Latisse is placed in very small quantities on the lash, and an equivalent of 1/10 of 1% of the medication actually gets on the eyeball compared to the use of the aforementioned eyedrop. Thus far, there has never been a case where Latisse has caused pigmentation of the iris but, due to the fact that the same product in eyedrop form has, the FDA required that they place this on their insert as a potential risk. However, you as a blue-eyed patient really have no risk regarding this and I would, therefore, highly recommend Latisse if you desire longer and fuller lashes.
Question: I am 24, female, and I have suffered from many years of acne and acne scarring. I have been considering getting a chemical peel to sort of “start over” with my skin. I have been using the medication Retin-A for a while though. Does Retin-A have any effect on a chemical peel treatment?
Answer: Yes, Retin-A can definitely have an effect on a chemical peel treatment since Retin-A in and of itself is considered a superficial peeling agent. This will allow other chemical peels to essentially penetrate deeper into the skin and, in many cases, this is a good thing as it allows for a more significant improvement in the skin from that chemical peel. In other cases, if the Retin-A is rather irritating to the skin, then this may cause some risks of complications from the chemical peel, such as pigmentation or prolonged redness of the skin.
If you are having any sort of irritation from the Retin-A, then I would highly recommend discontinuing it about a week before your chemical peel so that your skin can recover before you then undergo the chemical peel treatment. Ultimately, if your provider is experienced like the ones at Quintessa Medical Spa, then they will educate you on this fact and recommend the appropriate time to discontinue your Retin-A if it is necessary prior to the planned chemical peel.
Question: I got my facial tattoo when I was 20. It seemed like a great idea at the time but not so much now as a 29-year-old young professional trying to be taken seriously. I have been looking into various types of tattoo removal methods, and I definitely want the one with the least downtime. Can chemical peels remove facial tattoos safely?
Answer: No, chemical peels will not remove facial tattoos safely due to the fact that the tattoo is down into the dermis of the skin, and this is where the pigmentation has been placed and remains. Theoretically, a deep chemical peel could improve the appearance of a tattoo if the chemical peel treatment went that deep but you would have a significant amount of downtime, and the area treated would not match the surrounding skin of the face. I would personally recommend that you seek out a facility that has appropriate lasers to remove the pigment from tattoos as this would give you the least amount of downtime and yet be relatively effective. Ultimately, we want to target the pigment of the tattoo and heat this area up so that the body will come in and slowly metabolize that particle of pigments and, over multiple treatments, you should be able to have your tattoo significantly lightened, if not nearly completely removed.
Question: I am a 48-year-old woman with very bad skin. I am thinking about getting a chemical peel, and I am pretty sure I am going to need the most invasive type of peel (I believe called the phenol peel). In addition to the basic risks of a chemical peel, are there any risks unique only to the phenol peel?
Answer: There are several risks unique to the phenol peel, one of which is that it can be injurious to the kidneys, liver, and even heart and, due to this fact, we need to apply the peel over an extended period of time so that the phenol that is actually absorbed into the bloodstream can be excreted through the kidneys before more phenol is applied to other regions of the face.
This is well known to providers who perform phenol peels, and I personally have never heard of anyone having any sort of phenol toxicity due to a phenol facial peel. Another inherent risk of the phenol-type peels is that it also can be toxic to melanocytes, which are the skin cells that provide pigment. This is one of the reasons that most patients end up having bleaching or a lightening of their natural skin tone after a phenol peel, and this is one of the reasons that I personally prefer the Erbium laser resurfacing over the phenol peels.
I personally have performed many Baker-Gordon-style phenol peels in the past and have definitely seen lightening of the patient’s skin due to these peels. Once we switched over to the Erbium laser, these complications really have essentially disappeared.
Question: I have been looking into chemical peels, and it seems to me that all it does is exfoliate the skin. I have been exfoliating my skin for years with sugar scrubs and other methods. What makes the chemical method of exfoliation so much superior to at-home treatments?
Answer: Well, there are several reasons why chemical peels can be far superior to at-home treatments, one of which is the fact that chemical peels are going to be able to penetrate into the skin deeper than sugar scrubs can and, furthermore, chemical peels can frequently be combined with other treatments to allow these other treatments to penetrate the skin more significantly than if they were performed without the associated chemical peel. There are even certain chemical peels that can treat the skin extremely deeply and create a huge amount of new collagen deposition, which in turn then causes a significant amount of wrinkle reduction and skin tightening. These types of results cannot be expected from any sort of at-home treatment option.
At Quintessa Medical Spa, we not only provide patients with a multitude of different chemical peel treatments but we also have various lasers that can be used in an extremely precise fashion to provide patients with their expected improvements while minimizing their risks of complications. I always think it is very important that patients seek out a facility where multiple different treatment options are available so that they can get the exact treatment that will maximize their personal anatomic concerns while, again, not being overly aggressive so that any sort of risks are minimized.
Question: I have been trying all sorts of masks, wrinkle creams, and other over-the-counter methods to reduce my wrinkling which, as a 62-year-old woman, I have a great deal of. I know that facelifts typically do not do very much for wrinkling, so I have been looking into other options. Could a chemical peel essentially erase the small age lines all over my face?
Answer: Yes, certain types of chemical peels could erase the small age lines all over your face but it would have to be a relatively aggressive chemical peel such as a Baker-Gordon phenol peel to accomplish this task. These types of deeper chemical peels need to be performed in an accredited facility either under general anesthesia or rather deep sedation. I personally prefer the Erbium laser over the Baker-Gordon phenol chemical peels due to the fact that the chemical peels tend to overly lighten the coloration of the skin, and I feel that the chemicals also have a higher risk of creating some scarring than the Erbium laser does. Ultimately, a consultation with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon would be appropriate so that all of your treatment options could be discussed, and a customized treatment plan can be developed that works into your finances and lifestyle.
Question: I have always had problems with hair on my nipples. They are very embarrassing, but my doctor told me they were nothing to worry about health-wise. I would like to get them removed and plucking sounds painful and ongoing. Is it possible to get hair on the nipples removed with laser hair treatments?
Answer: If the hair on your nipples is pigmented, then absolutely we should be able to rid you of these hairs using laser hair treatments. Obviously this is a rather sensitive area, but we are quite familiar and comfortable treating various very sensitive areas of the body and patients end up doing quite well and have very high satisfaction. I would recommend you schedule a consultation so that we can go over the details of the laser hair removal treatments as well as the costs.
Question: I am 35 and after all of these years I am finally ready to do something about my ridiculous hair growth. I am thinking about getting my legs, bikini area, and upper lip treated with laser hair removal treatments. I know that I want a lot of areas treated, but can I get all of those areas treated in one laser session?
Answer: You can definitely get all of those areas treated in one laser session especially with the new Lumenis Duet System that we have at Quintessa Medical Spa. This system has a much larger treatment head and with the combination of suction, can be used to treat large surface areas like your legs in a fraction of the time of the older technology. It also is extraordinarily effective at reducing hair and has an extremely high patient satisfaction rate. We also typically discount patients when they have multiple treatment areas and we further discount when they purchase treatment packages. I would highly recommend you schedule a consultation so that we can go over the details and costs of laser hair removal.
Question: I am a 25-year-old woman and I go tanning on a regular basis. I am thinking about getting laser hair treatments for my legs, underarms, and bikini area. Will it make any difference in my treatment if I am a regular tanner?
Answer: Yes, it will definitely make a difference in your treatment if you are a regular tanner due to the fact that the laser that targets the pigmented hair will also end up heating up the darker skin and we therefore need to make adjustments in the treatment settings for patients that have a tan. We essentially feel that patients with a tan are not going to be treated nearly as effectively as when they are not tan and we therefore recommend that patients, that tan regularly, discontinue this. With that said however, we do have a YAG laser that can quite successfully treat hair and really has less to do with the actual pigmentation and therefore can be used on patients with a tan. Frequently if a patient is in the middle of their hair removal package and they come in with a tan, we will just go ahead and treat them that day with the YAG laser as opposed to the diode or BBL laser. It is quite efficacious and occasionally we will find that it actually can do a better job for certain stubborn hairs than the more standard modality. Ultimately though I would recommend that you discontinue your regular tanning not just for laser hair removal reasons, but simply because it is very unhealthy for your skin and will give you a significantly increased risk of skin cancers in the future as well as accelerating the aging process of the skin due to the ultraviolet radiation. There are some good self-tanning creams that can give you a very natural appearance without the damaging effects of actual tanning beds, so I would strongly encourage you to discontinue the tanning habit.