Question: I am a 30-year-old woman with very thin lips. What would be the best option for me if I want fuller lips but want them to look as natural as possible?
Answer: I personally prefer the hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane as these have a wonderfully soft feel. They are a clear gel. They are made of a substance that is naturally found in your own body and when injected appropriately can provide excellent volumetric enhancement to the lips without creating the overly done or abnormally shaped Hollywood lip that nobody really wants. The main key to an esthetically pleasing lip augmentation is to place the far majority of the volume in the mid portion of the lip and then taper it and place virtually no volume down along the corners on each side. This will prevent that overly-done, sausage-like lip from occurring and we can enhance the lips significantly without creating the look of an artificial or overly done lip augmentation.
Question: I have been told that one of the greatest advantages of using a Fraxel laser is that it promotes new collagen and skin cell growth. Is this true and how would it change the look of my face?
Answer: Well the whole idea behind skin rejuvenation is to try to create new collage deposition in the deeper portion of the skin. This has a rejuvenating affect and one of the only ways to really create new collage is to create injury to the collagen that is deep in the skin and one of the most affective ways is to use a laser to do this, but classically this involves lasering the entire surface of the skin down into the dermal layer and causing new collage deposition and new resurfacing of epithelium. This is a wonderfully rejuvenating procedure but it takes 6 to 7 days for healing to occur so there is significant downtime associated with it. The nice thing about fractionated lasers is that they only injure a small percentage of the skin but they can still injure the dermal layer causing new collagen deposition. Healing is therefore faster but you can also still get significant results as if you had had a full laser resurfacing. In most patients; however, several treatments are necessary for adequate improvement.
Question: I do not like the freckles on my face. Would a laser peel get rid of them?
Answer: Yes, a laser peel can definitely get rid of freckles, it is just a matter of lasering the skin deep enough that we get rid of the pigmentation of the freckle and then it is the patient’s responsibility to perform good sun protection so that the freckles do not recur. Most of the time this can be performed in the spa setting using topical anesthetic. I would recommend you obtain a consultation at Quintessa Medical Spa and we can discuss the details with you.
Question: Can laser hair removal cause unwanted bumps and irritation?
Answer: Right after laser hair removal you will get some swelling of the actual hair follicle which can leave you with small bumps and irritation. These bumps and irritations should resolve rather quickly and not be an issue long-term.
Question: I am an older white female who would like laser hair removal for the peach fuzz above my lip. Post-procedure, will the area be red and irritated? I would like to return to work as inconspicuous as possible.
Answer: If your peach fuzz is whitish colored hair then laser hair removal will be rather ineffective. You may want to try a topical cream called Vaniqa that is FDA approved to reduce the growth of unwanted facial hair in women. Another option is to have dermaplaning performed which would essentially get rid of the peach fuzz hair temporarily. This would then grow back and you would need to have this performed no a regular basis. This would be rather similar to shaving but is actually performed with a scalpel.
Question: I am a 24-year-old male with a crooked smile. Can injectable fillers such as Juvederm be used locally to straighten my smile?
Answer: If your crooked smile is due to the fact the one side of the mouth elevates more than the other then no, Juvederm really cannot be used to straighten your smile, but theoretically Botox could be used on the overactive side to try to make it more even with your less active side. If your crooked smile is due to the fact that you have significant facial asymmetry or lip asymmetry then Juvederm could be used to help straighten the smile by filling in the side with less volume to make it more symmetric.
Question: Does Juvederm work for people of all skin tones?
Answer: Yes, Juvederm will work for people of all skin tones mainly because this is injected into deeper portions of the skin or even subcutaneously and therefore really has nothing to do with the patient’s skin color.
Question: I have severe acne on my face and especially my cheeks. I really want to have cheek implants but I am worried that this procedure will be a hindrance to improving my skin condition. Is this something I should be worried about?
Answer: No, you really should not worry about cheek implants creating any issues with your skin since the implants are literally placed down directly against the facial bones and really will in no way affect your overlying skin. You certainly can still undergo treatment for your acne scarring and I personally like the ProFractional laser by Sciton as my gold standard for treatment of acne scarring of the face.
Question: In my research I have learned the chemical peels are all acidic formulations. How can I be sure that my chemical peel does not become a chemical burn?
Answer: Well that is really the trick of performing chemical peels is to make sure that the application is appropriate so that we end up with the result we desire without complications. For deeper chemical peels we use pharmaceutical grade chemicals and when I used to perform Baker-Gordon phenol peels I would mix the solution in the operating room right before its use to assure that the proportions are correct. The application is also important in that a heavier solution is applied to the thicker skinned areas and then a less saturated swab is used for thinner skinned areas like the eye so that we do not over treat areas. All in all it does take significant experience to be able to perform chemical and laser peels and I would therefore seek out a board-certified facial plastic surgeon if possible.
Question: What is a phenol peel?
Answer: A phenol peel is a type of a chemical peel that is used to rejuvenate the skin. If it is a straight phenol peel it is usually 88% phenol and this is applied to the skin causing a medium to deep level peel. If we add ingredients to the phenol and create what is called a Baker-Gordon phenol peel or a variance of this type of peel we can develop a peel that is extremely deep. The deeper the peel the more significant rejuvenation occurs but the higher the risk of having complications such as scarring or loss of pigmentation. For many years I used to perform Baker-Gordon modified phenol peels but now prefer the use of the erbium laser due to the extreme precision, very significant wrinkle reduction, and overall excellent cosmetic results without the prolonged redness that occurs with the chemical peels and without the significant risk of loss of pigmentation that is associate with phenol peels.