SSM Health Dermatology offers a variety of a range of cosmetic dermatology services to improve the color, texture, and volume of your skin. A board-certified dermatologist who specializes in cosmetics performs our cosmetic services, so you can feel confident you’re in good hands. Schedule an appointment today and we will help you design a customized treatment plan to meet your skin care need.
The face is composed of over forty different muscles that are used daily to express our emotions, including smiling, frowning, and squinting. Over time, these muscles can create deeper lines in the face that are present at rest (static wrinkles). With the use of FDA approved neuromodulators, the dynamic muscle movements can be lessened through a series of tiny injections, resulting in a smoother complexion with fewer unwanted facial lines. Treatment sessions are brief, downtime is minimal, and patients resume regular activities quickly. Side effects are rare, and include pinpoint bruising at the site of injection, but can be covered with makeup if needed. These injections typically last four to six months. Common treatment sites include:
- Glabella: three major muscles contribute to the frown lines (also known as “the elevens”) between the eyebrows
- Crow’s feet: the lines on the lateral sides of the eyes, formed by smiling and squinting repeatedly
- Forehead: the horizontal lines across the forehead, formed by raising the eyebrows or when surprised
- Underarms, hands, and feet to target hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
Beginning at the age of 30, we begin to lose a teaspoon of facial volume every year. Over time, the loss of fat, muscle, and collagen contributes to a sunken in or aged look, as well as sagging, redundant skin and wrinkles. Through the use of a variety of FDA approved fillers, volume can be gradually restored, contributing to a more youthful appearance. In addition, fillers can be used to fill in wrinkle lines as well as augment the lips. Fillers are usually injected into the second layer of skin (also known as the dermis). Pain is minimized through use of topical anesthesia. Side effects are injection related, and typically include localized bruising and swelling. Fillers typically last six to twelve months (depending on what product was used and where it was injected), but the results are immediate. Common injection sites include:
- Nasolabial folds: also known as the “parenthesis,” these lines are formed over time by smiling
- Marionette lines: these are the downturned lines at the corners of the mouth that often make people look unhappy
- Cheeks: injections at this site replace volume lost on the more lateral part of the face and reemphasize cheek structure
- Lips: used both for fine lines around the mouth and to plump the lips
- Hands: injected into the top of the hands, fillers injected restore volume and make hands appear more youthful (especially when combined with IPL laser to remove sun spots)
Used to exfoliate and promote the turnover of skin cells, chemical peels improve both skin tone and texture. Typically performed in a series over a few months, varying strengths of peels are used in the management of the following conditions:
- Acne and acne scarring
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sun damage and age spots
Chemical peels are performed in the office, and skin peeling commences 48 hours after treatment. Downtime is minimal, and typically revolves around a gentle skin care regimen and sun protection to ensure a revived complexion.
The only FDA-approved device for lifting skin, Ultherapy utilizes ultrasound imaging to focus energy deep within the face to promote lifting, toning, and tightening. It a safe, non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that targets the structural support layers of skin – including those addressed in a surgical facelift – without disrupting the surface of the skin. The procedure is performed in the office in two passes: the first pass targets the connective tissue, which results in firming and tightening and the second pass stimulates collagen production and lessens the appearance of wrinkles. Treatment zones consist of the following areas:
- Upper face: FDA-approved for non-surgical brow lift, this also targets the lines and skin around the eyes
- Lower face: FDA-approved to non-invasively lift lax tissue on the upper neck and the submental region under the chin; this can also soften the nasolabial folds and improve skin texture to the cheeks
- Neck: Lift and tighten the skin of the entire neck while reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the skin
Patient comfort during the procedure is improved through the use of prescription medication, as well as topical numbing. Downtime is typically limited to slight flushing or swelling, which resolves quickly. Good candidates for Ulthera are those patients with mild to moderate skin laxity, typically between the ages of 30-65. Maximum results are seen 3-6 months after a single treatment, with benefits lasting approximately two years. In addition, Ulthera can successfully be combined with other techniques to address brown spots and other skin surface irregularities.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Through a combination of many factors including aging, sun exposure, pollution, smoking, medication, inflammation from acne, and illness, skin loses elasticity and collagen over time resulting in wrinkled, sagging, dull skin. Laser resurfacing is accomplished through precise ablation of thousands of microscopic zones in the skin, while leaving several surrounding “islands” of healthy tissue, which aid in healing. Collagen production is therefore accelerated, resulting in skin tightening, diminished appearance of acne scars and wrinkles, and improvement in the skin’s overall texture and tone. Patient comfort during the procedure is improved through the use of prescription medication, as well as topical numbing creams. Downtime can range from three to seven days, depending on the type of laser used, and consists of red, peeling skin. Avid sun protection and gentle skin care are of the utmost importance while skin is healing. The results are impressive and long-lasting, especially if the patient continuously engages in an appropriate skin care regimen and a healthy lifestyle.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
Through continued sun exposure, the skin may develop brow spots on the surface, also known as “solar lentigines.” In addition, patients with rosacea may suffer from both broken blood vessels (“telangiectasia”) and background redness. Both conditions can be successfully treated with a laser known as Intense Pulsed Light. Focused energy in varying wavelengths targets unwanted blood vessels and brown spots, leading to their gradual resolution over time. A short, in-office procedure, IPL is typically performed in a series of 3-6 treatments. Downtime is minimal, and includes slight swelling for less than 24 hours and transient darkening of brown spots before they slough about 7-10 days later. Gentle skin care and avid sun protection post procedure is strongly recommended.
PDL (Pulsed Dye Laser)
PDL is an effective procedure to treat cherry angiomas, broken capillaries, port wine stains, and other vascular anomalies. The main target of a pulsed dye laser is the hemoglobin within the blood vessels. Selective heating of these blood vessels under the skin causes immediate vessel wall damage followed by gradual vessel reabsorption. Laser treatments times are brief and are performed in the office with minimal discomfort. The treatment site may bruise, which resolves in about 7 days, and can be covered by makeup. Gentle skin care and avid sun protection post procedure is strongly recommended.
Laser Hair Removal
Traditional hair removal techniques, including waxing, shaving, plucking, and depilatory creams, are time consuming and temporary. Laser hair removal offers a permanent alternative. During laser hair removal, a beam of light passes through the skin to the hair follicle where it is transformed into heat, causing selective destruction of the pigmented hair follicle, while leaving the surrounding skin unaffected. Because the target of this laser is pigment, the laser energy may need to be adjusted for darker skin types to avoid skin dyspigmentation. Permanent hair removal is typically achieved in 6-10 treatments, as it is only effective when hair is actively in its growth phase. Patient discomfort during removal is usually minimal and transient. Post treatment, patients may experience slight redness to the area, which typically fades between 30 minutes to a few hours.
Medical lasers can selectively destroy tattoo pigment, breaking the ink particles into smaller fragments. The pigment fragments are then removed from the skin by scavenging white blood cells, called tissue macrophages. Tattoo fading occurs gradually after each laser treatment, and typically requires 8-10 sessions. The success of tattoo removal is dependent upon many factors, namely the size, color, type of ink used, and age of the tattoo. Patient discomfort can be lessened through the use of topical numbing cream if desired. Localized redness and swelling can be expected with treatment, but resolves in 24 hours.
While we offer many treatments to improve skin, we also offer an array of carefully selected products to maintain healthy skin. With sunscreens to protect skin to antioxidants and retinoids to repair skin, we have a diverse mix of professional grade compounds suitable for a wide range of skin types.
Contact SSM Health Dermatology today to schedule a personalized consultation to learn how our proven, effective treatments can help revitalize your skin, enhance your appearance and meet your skin care needs.