Facial rejuvenation is health care. Choose wisely.
Most of us wouldn’t trade a life well-lived for anything. But family trips to the beach, charity walks, health complications we’ve overcome, and other events that make us who we are can etch themselves on our faces. And the results may lead us to see someone in the mirror we hardly recognize.
If you’re in that situation, perhaps you’ve considered seeing a cosmetic dermatologist. These are the specialists who can rejuvenate your skin, addressing things like wrinkles, sagging, discoloration, and lost tone. And, importantly to many, cosmetic dermatologists administer these treatments while stopping short of invasive surgery.
But do these treatments really work?
“Oh, they absolutely can,” says Michele Green, a board-certified dermatologist trained at the Mt. Sinai Medical School in NYC who has published on facial reconstruction and the treatment of skin cancer.
“But the wrinkle--so to speak--is there is no reliable quick fix. There are many ‘deals’ out there with certain clinics and spas, but with a lot of those types of providers you won’t be working with a trained dermatologist. You need to make sure these types of procedures are administered properly.”
But why is a dermatologist necessary for these types of procedures?
A bad injection can lead to infection, lumps, and bruising. And misplacing the injection requires a procedure to dissolve and remediate.
“I see a fair number of patients in my practice with issues from previous skin care treatments that were quick fixes or poorly prescribed. About 30% of my patients are with me because of a bad injection or unsatisfactory laser work. These cases break my heart sometimes. A bad injection can lead to infection, lumps, and bruising. And misplacing the injection requires a procedure to dissolve and remediate.”
Because of this, patients considering these sorts of procedures might be afraid to choose a provider. Or wary of going in for a consultation for fear of being railroaded into a course of care. There are so many products and procedures available, it can get overwhelming.
“Oh, I understand that completely,” laughs Dr. Green. “And that is why working with a dermatologist is always your best call. A clinic or spa might have practitioners who are only trained on certain products. Unsurprisingly, those tend to be the products and procedures they recommend.
“But the fact is, a cosmetic dermatologist who has taken the time to listen can select from a range of products and procedures to suit each individual patient. My patients deserve that time and individual treatment. These are serious procedures. Thin skin, thicker skin, excess skin…different situations demand different products and procedures. You need to know how to use all of them.”
And what happens when a practitioner is more limited, less confident, and less experienced?
“Well, I do see patients who had previous procedures which made them look like ducks. It’s sad, but it happens. Same thing with cheek injections. Sometimes patients think more is better, but more is usually just more. A confident and experienced physician would never let something like that happen.”