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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

Ark-La-Tex Dermatology Goes Below the Surface


Looking for an effective skincare regimen?

New year, new you! It’s time to make your skin a priority. With so many cosmetic options out there, skin care can get overwhelming. It is important to set realistic goals and expectations with your routine and rejuvenation plan. Think of the path to great skin as a marathon and not a sprint. Your priority should be to establish a daily at-home skincare routine that you can stick to. This takes knowing yourself and the time and effort you are willing to commit as well as understanding your skin type and problem areas you would like to work on. It is beneficial to consult with your dermatologist about appropriate regimens for you.

For my busy patients who request a minimalist but effective skincare regimen, I typically start with a twice daily cleanser, an antioxidant such as vitamin C for morning time, a daily moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher, a nighttime (or two to three night per week) retinoid and a hydrating bedtime moisturizer. You can add on other things such as eye creams, growth factor and peptide serums or creams, and exfoliators as tolerated and as you become more comfortable with your routine. When you aren’t used to a multi-step regimen, starting slow and adding on can help you be more consistent and help you tolerate your products much better. It also allows you to weed out those products that may be too irritating for you. Being consistent with a daily skin care routine will help to augment and maintain the results achieved by other in-office procedures.

People often ask when they should start concentrating on in-office procedures for their skin. I explain to them that it is much easier to correct problems such as fine lines, facial redness and subtle pigmentary issues when they are small. When you do preventative procedures such as regular botulinum toxin injections, dermal fillers, chemical peels, micro needling and lasers, you can address these problems early and effectively. As my very wise partner, Dr. Josephine Futrell, likes to say, doing small things and doing them often is one secret to skincare success.

Botulinum toxin is a great addition to your beauty routine. It helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and prevent deeper wrinkles from forming by temporarily relaxing the muscles of facial expression. Done correctly, it provides a more youthful, refreshed look for patients while still allowing them to express emotion. While it can be used in several areas on the face and neck, it is most often used to treat the lines between the eyebrows, or “11” lines, the horizontal lines in the forehead and the “crow’s feet” lines at the corners of the eyes. It typically lasts three to four months.

Dermal fillers are helpful for deeper lines and to fill defects where additional volume is needed. They can be injected in the cheeks and jawline area to fill and lift. They can also be injected in the hollow areas under the eyes to help with dark circles, making a person appear less tired. They do not make undereye puffiness go away or tighten loose skin under the eyes. Fillers can also be placed conservatively in the nasolabial folds, marionette lines, lips and lipstick lines for natural looking results.

When skin texture, severe sun damage and superficial “etched in” lines are the problem, we often need to discuss laser procedures and tightening devices with our patients. Fraxel laser, fractionated CO2 laser, and Morpheus 8 are devices that we use to address these concerns for our patients.

Although not a substitute for weight loss and exercise, Coolsculpting can be used for noninvasive fat removal in the chin and body areas. Kybella can be injected in the chin area to help dissolve fat is well. Neither of these methods are particularly helpful for skin tightening but can be used in conjunction with Morpheus 8 to improve skin laxity after the fat is removed.

Whatever your concerns, it is important that you consult with your dermatologist to tailor a plan for your needs and budget. They can help you set reasonable goals and expectations about what these topical regimens and procedures can do for you. Sometimes noninvasive procedures are not what patients need to achieve their desired results. Fortunately, we have excellent plastic surgeons and oculoplastic surgeons in our area to help those patients achieve their goals. As someone who doesn’t do well with New Year’s resolutions, I like to remind myself that no one is perfect. We all fall out of our routines occasionally. Start small and set reasonable goals and expectations with your skincare routine. Invest in your skin early on, and you won’t regret it!


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