Skin Care, Botox, Acne & Filler FAQs | Columbus Ohio Dermatologist + Dermatology + Skin Care | Columbus, OH | Dublin, OH

FAQs

Get answers to your frequently asked questions about everything from acne to dark circles to large pores.

Acne

1. Why do I have acne now that I'm an adult? I had clear skin as a teenager and it's frustrating!

As you know, acne is not just a problem for teens. It can affect skin at any age. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, life changes and medications can trigger an acne occurrence. The good news is that Dr. Clinton and her staff have lots of different ways to treat acne. Request a consultation to learn more about a customized treatment plan.

2. When I finish my acne treatments at Timeless Skin Solutions, will my acne be cured?

Sorry, no. There isn't a permanent cure for acne. Just like hypertension or any other medical condition, managing acne is a continual thing. The good news is that maintenance treatments like regular SilkPeels, chemical peels and topical pharmaceuticals can help keep your skin clear and healthy looking.

3. Will my acne improve if I give up chocolate and oily foods?

Let us be clear to debunk the myth: Chocolate and oily foods (like pizza and french fries) do not cause acne. That being said, however, skin is the largest organ of the body so your health definitely impacts the way skin looks and feels. For your own well-being, be sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and drink plenty of water.

4. Can stress worsen my acne?

Maybe. Stress doesn’t cause acne, but it may make existing acne worse. That's because stress causes an increase in the hormone cortisol, which can throw off the body's hormonal balance, triggering breakouts.

5. Is my son (or daughter) old enough for medically based acne treatment?

Most likely. There is no age requirement or age limit to start medically based acne treatment. At Timeless Skin Solutions, we assess individual patient needs. Our patients range in age from elementary school-aged children needing help developing good skin care habits to those in their "golden years" struggling with hormonally charged skin changes. Schedule a consultation to talk about your specific concerns.

Dark Circles

1. My undereye circles are dark and ugly. What causes them and how can I get rid of them?

We know how you feel. Because coverups can look cakey and fake, it's best to treat dark circles rather than hide them. Dark circles and undereye bags result from the shifting of the fat located underneath the lower lids. Gravity and changes in muscle tone are the cause of what we call "tear trough deformity." Other contributing factors include genetics, certain medical conditions, allergies, excessive alcohol consumption, sun exposure, lack of sleep and a high intake of salt.

2. Is there an at-home treatment I can do to help my undereye circles?

Yes. There are many eye creams that use ingredients to help resolve the darkness under the eyes. These creams typically do one of two things: (1) Contract the blood vessels under the eye or (2) camouflage the darkness. Dr. Clinton’s favorite product is the Opal by Clarisonic. It uses ultrasonic technology to infuse hydrating agents, glycosaminoglycans and peptides deeper into the skin tissue. Use the Opal twice a day, every day. If puffiness is persistent, Dr. Clinton recommends the use of Preparation-H at bedtime. Her hint: Infuse it with the ultrasonic Opal device.

3. How often do I need a treatment to keep my dark undereye circles away?

Since the treatment of undereye circles can include a combination of lasers, skin care regimens and injectables such as Botox/Dysport and hyaluronic acid, your question is a little more difficult to answer. Fillers in this area usually last up to one year, while Botox/Dysport require treatment every three to four months. To further treat undereye circles, you may wish to have a more assertive laser procedure such as Pearl every year as a maintenance treatment. Less aggressive procedures such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or chemical peels can also be helpful every few months. And last, but not least, keep up with a daily skin care routine using medically based products recommended by Dr. Clinton or our staff. Treating dark circles is an ongoing battle. That's why Dr. Clinton recommends an annual maintenance plan to prolong the results of this and all skin rejuvenation treatments at Timeless Skin Solutions.

4. I've heard dark circles are tough to treat. What kind of results can I realistically expect?

Dr. Clinton believes following a multidimensional approach to treatment can significantly diminish (but not completely relieve) undereye darkness. In general, you can expect a 75 percent improvement, meaning you should be able to go without undereye makeup and feel comfortable. Surgery, which decreases excess tissue, and removes and rearranges fat, can results in up to a 99.9 percent improvement. Even if you opt for surgery, however, you may still wish to improve the tone and texture of your skin with a physician-directed skin care program and laser treatments.

Eyes

1. Will laser procedures around my eyes affect my vision?

No. Laser treatments are safe for the area around the eyes and will not impair, change or alter your vision. To ensure your protection, we use occlusive eyewear when performing laser procedures around the eye area.

2. How safe is it to get injections around the eye area?

Injections around the eyes are perfectly safe. Wherever we use needles, as with injections in other areas, there's a small risk of temporary bruising and swelling.

3. How quickly will my crow's feet disappear after corrective injections?

Crow's feet are effectively treated with injections of Botox or Dysport. These treatments usually take two to 10 days to completely take effect. Both Botox and Dysport treat the active flexion of the muscle, resulting in a softening of dynamic wrinkling in the area. The static lines, or the lines that are present when the muscle is in a resting state, are initially still there. Over time, however, as the collagen has a chance to regenerate on top of a muscle that is not continually contracting, those lines fill in completely! Results from Botox and Dysport last approximately three months.

4. I wear contacts. Can I get treatments around my eyes?

Absolutely! Contact lenses do not prevent you from receiving injectables, chemical peels or laser treatments around the eyes. For some laser treatments, such as the Pearl laser, Dr. Clinton may use intraocular shields because this helps her achieve a closer treatment to the eye. In this instance, she may request that you remove your contact lenses prior to treatment.

5. Is it okay for me to wear eye makeup after a treatment?

It's perfectly safe to wear makeup around the eyes following treatment with Botox, Dysport or filler. With some laser and chemical peel treatments, Dr. Clinton may ask you to refrain from wearing eye makeup for a short period of time.

Lines/Wrinkles

1. I only have a few wrinkles. How bad do they have to get before they can be treated?

If you're unhappy with even a few wrinkles, now's the time to do something about them. At Timeless Skin Solutions, we treat everything from fine lines to deep furrows and wrinkles. We use lasers, lights and injectables to treat lines and wrinkles, and prevent them.

2. Can you help my husband (boyfriend, brother, guy friend) with his lines and wrinkles?

Absolutely! We have many male patients of all ages who come to Timeless Skin Solutions to soften and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. (We say there's no reason for a man not to look good, too.)

3. Can you be "too old" to have lines and wrinkles treated?

Of course not! At Timeless Skin Solutions, we're dedicated to helping our patients achieve healthy, beautiful skin at any and every age. We can help you achieve your cosmetic goals while feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin.

4. What happens if I decide to stop getting injections for the lines and wrinkles on my face?

It's no problem if you decide to stop treating your facial lines and wrinkles either temporarily or permanently. Over time, of course, your lines and wrinkles will return based on muscle contraction or the natural loss of collagen that occurs with aging. Some patients ask if their lines or wrinkles will be worse. But the answer is no. If anything, you will be “ahead of the game” for having prevented your lines and wrinkles in the first place.

5. What’s the difference between treating lines and wrinkles with Botox versus facial filler?

Botox or Dysport are used to treat lines and wrinkles resulting from muscular contraction. Facial fillers, such as Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Restylane and Perlane restore volume to areas where there's been a loss of collagen.

Lips

1. My lips look smaller and my lipstick "bleeds." Help!

Lips do thin as we age so Dr. Clinton’s solution to the problem of thinning lips is to take a multidimensional approach with both products and procedures. First, Dr. Clinton uses a small amount of facial filler and Botox—not necessarily to enlarge the lips, but to restore volume to the area. Trying to completely correct the area with filler gives that dreaded "Daffy Duck" look we all want to avoid. That's why Dr. Clinton uses Botox to help soften lines. Laser treatments, such as Pearl or Laser Genesis, help improve fine lines. Dr. Clinton also recommends at-home use of the Opal Sonic Infusion System for the skin around the mouth.

2. I really want more lip volume—but I'm afraid to look like Daffy Duck or (insert name of celebrity). What can I do to get a natural but plumper look?

You absolutely do not have to have that "duck lip" look. And here's why ... The lip has 15 distinct zones for injection. Each lip requires a different amount of filler in each of those 15 zones. No one has to—nor should they—have a lip that looks obviously filled. We know that each of our patients needs a different amount of volume in their lips and we inject from one to three syringes depending on lip length and pre-existing volume.

3. I'm thinking of filler for my lips. Can you tell me what to expect?

Many of our patients say our lip treatments are their personal favorite. That's because most get the results they want with minimal discomfort. Be sure to follow the pre-procedure patient instructions to minimize the chance of bruising, which can occur in a vascular area such as the lips. When you arrive for your treatment, you'll receive an application of numbing medicine and an ice pack. (For your comfort, the filler injection will have additional numbing medication.) Before beginning, Dr. Clinton will explain the procedure. For most people, the procedure is not painful, though can be felt. Since some swelling will occur, we provide ice packs for you to use post-procedure. (Apply every 20 minutes for five hours and then again the next morning.) We can use a full dental block, however, most patients do not require complete numbness. After two weeks, you'll return to our office for a follow-up visit. While you will feel the gel in your lips at first, it becomes the same texture of your lips in one to two weeks.

4. The lines around my lips are very deep. Can you give me a softer, more natural, younger-looking appearance?

Absolutely! Filler can help. For a softer look, schedule treatments at least every six months. At around 18 months, you'll have a significantly softer look. Add in Botox, medical-grade skin care and lasers and we think you'll love your new look. Be patient, though. Lines don't start overnight so a slow approach will give you the most natural look.

5. Do lip plumpers really work?

Only temporarily. Some lip plumpers intentionally irritate the lips, causing immediate flushing and swelling. Other lip plumpers work by decreasing the destruction of collagen while increasing cell-boosting hyaluronic acid.

6. I'm considering permanent makeup in the lip area. Is this a good idea?

It's not uncommon for people to have ill-defined lip margins, meaning that the lip color slowly changes from lip to skin around the lip area. In this case, permanent makeup is an excellent solution to the problem.

Pores

1. I love how small my pores look after my laser treatment at Timeless Skin Solutions. How do I keep the look?

We're glad you asked! Proper care after a Timeless treatment will extend your results. Dr. Clinton recommends regular, gentle exfoliation to remove dead, dry skin cells. This helps unclog pores, encourages cellular turnover, and prevents acne formation. Schedule regular chemical peels and SilkPeels in our office (they're the perfect skin exfoliators) and at home, use the Clarisonic brush daily.

2. Can you reduce the size of my pores? Better yet, can you make them go away?

Truthfully, there is no way to totally make pores go away. Certain procedures, such as Pearl, Laser Genesis, IPL/photofacial, chemical peels and SilkPeels can help tighten and shrink pore size. Proper skin care, too, can help control sebum production, encourage exfoliation and balance hydration—all of which can help keep pore size at a minimum.

3. Why do my pores seem to get larger as I get older?

The natural process of aging can cause pore size to enlarge. With age, our skin loses elasticity, which can affect pores and cause them to dilate. Certain procedures such as Pearl, Laser Genesis, IPL/photofacial, chemical peels and SilkPeels can help tighten and shrink pore size. And proper skin care can minimize pore appearance because it helps control sebum production, encourages exfoliation and balances hydration.

4. I have oily skin. Am I more prone to large pores?

Every kind of skin has the potential to develop large pores. However, oily skin types have a better chance of it. That's because oily skin secretes excess sebum, filling up the pore and stretching the skin tissue around it.

5. Can being in the sun help shrink my pores?

The idea that sun exposure improves pore appearance is a myth. While a tan can temporarily make pores look less noticeable, it is not a permanent remedy. In fact, the drying effects of the sun can cause rebound oil production, resulting in worsening pore size and, of course, sun damage.

Redness/Rosacea

1. What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a progressive vascular disorder that can affect the facial skin and eyes. It usually starts out quite innocently as a mild flush across the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. During the early stages, the flush comes and goes, seeming to have a mind of its own. As the disorder progresses, facial redness becomes more intense, taking on the appearance of mild sunburn or windburn. In areas of facial redness, there may be visible but tiny broken blood vessels and red bumps. In the moderate to severe stages, facial inflammation intensifies, resulting in permanent redness, swelling and burning sensations. In the most advanced cases, rosacea can cause facial disfigurement and disabling burning sensations. Learn more about medical treatments for rosacea.

2. I think I may have rosacea. What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of rosacea may include some or all of the following:

Facial Redness: Facial redness is the most common symptom of rosacea. This is caused by hundreds of tiny dilated blood vessels near the surface of the facial skin.

Facial Telangiectasia (tel-an-jek-tasia): These are tiny broken blood vessels that are permanently fixed in the dilated state. These blood vessels take on the appearance of fine red lines coursing through the surface of the facial skin.

Facial Skin Hyper-Reactivity: This is caused by sensitive, inflamed blood vessels near the surface of the skin. These blood vessels dilate very easily to topical triggers and physical insults. It is important to note that the term "sensitive skin" is misleading to rosacea sufferers because the problem is based on sensitive blood vessels—not sensitive skin cells.

Lumpy-Bumpy Facial Skin: This is caused by dilated blood vessels, localized swelling, and leakage of inflammatory cells into the superficial layers of the skin.

Facial Papules: These are small red bumps about the size of a pinhead caused by vascular flushing. Over time, flushing results in leakage of inflammatory cells out of the blood vessels and into the dermal skin. These inflammatory cells then migrate towards the surface of the skin, resulting in the inflammatory papules. Facial papules are not caused by bacteria or demodex mites.

Facial Pustules: These are small red bumps with pus. These bumps are caused by vascular flushing in areas around sebaceous glands. Over time, flushing results in leakage of inflammatory cells out of the blood vessels and into the dermal skin. These inflammatory cells then migrate towards the sebaceous gland or pore, resulting in inflammatory pustules.

Facial Burning Sensations:These are caused by activation of sensory pain nerves in the facial skin. These pain fibers are primarily triggered by the heat associated with increased blood flow. These nerve endings can also be activated by inflammatory substances that leak through blood vessels. After chronic activation, pain nerve fibers may become sensitized to other triggers, such as skincare products and environmental insults like sun, wind, heat, and cold. Facial burning sensations can become severe in some sufferers to the point of being debilitating.

Facial Swelling: This occurs when fluid and proteins leak out of facial blood vessels at abnormal rates. Frequent facial flushing leads to increased movement of water and proteins across abnormal blood vessel walls. Over time, this "spillage" overwhelms the lymphatic system (drainage vessels), and leads to fluid build up in the facial skin.

Rhinophyma: This is a form of rosacea characterized by chronic redness, inflammation and increased tissue growth of the nose. Rhinophyma can take on many different forms. In most forms, the nose is chronically red and inflamed. There is also evidence of swelling, and the skin often shows thickened skin with large pores, resembling the peel of an orange (peau d'orange). In some forms, sebaceous gland hypertrophy and hyperplasia (increased growth and number of sebaceous glands) can cause the nose to grow considerably, resulting in a bulbous appearance.

Ocular Rosacea: More than half of rosacea sufferers that present with facial symptoms also have ocular rosacea. Ocular rosacea is primarily vascular in origin, but secondary changes may exacerbate the condition. Symptoms include inflammation of the eye surface, inflammation of the eyelids, scales or crusting on lids and lashes, blockage of the meibomian glands (blepharitis), dry eye syndrome, excessive tearing and blood shot eyes.

3. Are there any new treatment options for people with rosacea, like me?

Traditional medical treatments for rosacea include oral and topical antibiotics. Tetracycline derivatives such as Minocycline and Doxycycline are commonly used, but do not treat the underlying vascular disorder. These antibiotics frequently cause side effects, such as gastrointestinal upset, allergies, skin rashes and sensitivity to sunlight. Topical antibiotics such as Metronidazole-based products are often used to treat papules and pustules, but can cause redness, skin irritation and rashes. These antibiotics do not actually treat any infections, but are used to reduce inflammation and, therefore, do not heal the “ broken capillaries” or red bumps. They simply help prevent the inflammation associated with vascular damage and dermal inflammation. Many rosacea sufferers try to avoid the internal and external triggers that cause a “flare up” but these are usually so numerous that it is almost impossible to avoid them all. Some triggers include temperature changes, alcohol, hot or spicy foods, exercise and certain topical skin products. Other triggers are internal and impossible to avoid, such as hormonal changes and emotional mood swings.

New Treatments that Address the Underlying Disorder: Treatments with the Intense Pulsed Light devices are designed to eliminate broken blood vessels, hyper-reactive blood vessels, the small red bumps and the smaller capillaries that cause flushing. Dr. Clinton uses the “second pass” 1064 YAG laser, which has dramatically increased the efficacy of the treatments by penetrating deeper into the dermis to eliminate the larger feeder blood vessels that cause flushing. Once the unsightly telangiectasia (spider veins) and small red bumps are removed, flare ups are dramatically reduced. In addition, the inflammatory process that causes scarring of the nose and cheeks is stopped. Flushing is harder to completely eliminate but can be significantly reduced. The treatment itself helps to smooth the skin and repair some of the damage caused by rosacea. Significant clearing usually takes six or more treatments, however, improvement is seen with each treatment. In more severe cases it can take 10-15 treatments.

Concentrated Treatment Protocol: For patients who desire an intense concentrated treatment regimen, Dr. Clinton has developed a concentrated treatment protocol. This consists of a rosacea treatment every two to three days for one to three weeks. By employing this protocol, patients can get a significant amount of clearing in a very short time. While it was developed for patients with flushing problems, it can be used to treat all symptoms of rosacea. The laser and intense pulsed light settings impart the maximum amount of energy to the target tissue without causing significant post-treatment redness or swelling. Blistering and bruising are extremely rare with these techniques. Many patients can resume normal daily activities immediately after treatment. Additional precautions to reduce the chances of redness and swelling may include the use of ice, a low-salt diet, upright positioning of the head, and occasionally an antibiotic that reduces angiogenesis (Clarithromycin XL).

Triple-Pass Treatment Protocol: By using the 1064 Yag laser and several wavelengths on the Intense Pulsed Light device, different depths can be treated in a single treatment session. This enhances the efficiency and efficacy dramatically, allowing greater clearing in fewer sessions. The pathologic vessels causing rosacea occur in at least three different levels in the skin. Each level must be treated. It must be stressed that if the deeper feeder vessels are not treated, then the true cause of flushing will never be improved.

Total perfection is not always attainable. Once clearing has occurred, rosacea medications, such as Metrogel and tetracycline can often be discontinued. Touch-up treatments may need to be performed annually to keep the rosacea under control. Appointments are usually scheduled two to four weeks apart, until the desired results are achieved. However, for patients who travel from outside the area, two to three treatments may be administered weekly during an extended stay.

Traumatically Induced ( Iatrogenic ) Rosacea: This occurs when a rosacea patient has been made medically worse by certain procedures and treatment regimens. In general, these procedures remove the outer layer of skin, leaving the underlying layers exposed and vulnerable. These procedures include CO2 and Erbium laser resurfacing; deep chemical or acid peels; deep dermabrasion; or any procedure that deeply removes the outer layers of skin. Other regimens that may cause pathologic thinning of the skin include frequent applications of high-dose topical steroids (cortisone) used over a period of many years. While the steroids may improve symptoms in the short-term, they may permanently thin the outer layer of skin. Severe rosacea sufferers have extremely thin skin anyway and these regimens can induce a chronic state that is severe and disabling (almost like a burn victim). These unfortunate individuals do not respond to the routine laser, IPL or medical treatments that help other rosacea sufferers. There is hope now for these patients, however. Noninvasive collagen stimulating lasers can thicken the dermis and epidermis; however, several treatments (at least 10 to 15) usually are required.

4. I'm considering treatment of my rosacea. What kind of results can I expect?

Here is detailed information about rosacea treatments and outcomes:

Facial Telangiectasia (tel-an-jek-tasias): Facial spider veins are very easy to treat with the latest devices. In fact, they are fun to treat because they disappear so easily. You may have to be treated more than once but, in general, they are the easiest aspect of rosacea to eliminate.

Redness: Redness can be reduced and even eliminated given enough treatments with the Triple Pass Therapy. It is important to treat all the vascular levels with several different wavelengths. If facial redness only occurs during flushing episodes it is imperative to induce flushing prior to and during treatment.

Flushing: The key to treating flushing is to induce it during the treatment and maintain it while treating each vascular level with different wavelengths. The laser/IPL devices cannot treat what they cannot see. Redness and flushing respond especially well to the concentrated treatment protocols with two to three treatments performed over a one-week period. While it is hard to completely eliminate flushing it can almost always be significantly reduced for extended periods.

Burning and Pain: Burning and pain generally occur in association with flushing. Reducing flushing usually reduces pain and burning. In rare cases, pain and burning are not associated with flushing and improvement is less predictable. Also, if a pain pattern has been established for some time then it may not disappear as flushing resolves. In general, it is worthwhile to aggressively treat this symptom early on in order to alleviate it.

Papules and Pustules: Given enough treatments, these can be virtually eliminated. While more treatments are usually required for the successful treatment of pustular rosacea, long-term remissions can be achieved and sustained with occasional touch-up treatment. This smoothing process occurs gradually over time and continues beyond the course of treatments.

Facial Swelling: Facial swelling will gradually resolve with the resolution of other symptoms as the source of inflammation is removed. However, in patients with facial lymphatic problems, facial swelling is extremely hard to treat.

Rhinophyma: Markedly enlarged, deformed noses cannot be improved by these techniques but can be prevented if caught in the early stages of deformity. More severe forms require the use of Accutane and surgery.

5. What do I need to do (or not do) before being treated for rosacea?

Before your treatment, it is crucial that you avoid tanning and tanning solutions because they reduce the ability of light to penetrate the skin. Tanning and tanning solutions also increase the risk of side effects, such as redness, swelling and blistering. If you are going to be in the sun, wear a hat and 30+ SPF sunscreen. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, anti-inflammatories, many naturopathic and vitamin supplements, and steroids can increase the risks of bruising and swelling, so avoid them for one week before and after each treatment. Discontinue topical and oral treatments one to two weeks prior to your scheduled appointment, too. (It's fine to use Tylenol, however.) Also, it's very helpful to induce flushing before treatment so that the device can “see” and eliminate more of the broken capillaries. To induce flushing, take 100 mg of Niacin, exercise or drink a hot beverage one hour prior to treatment.

6. Does insurance cover rosacea treatments?

Because insurance plans vary, it's best to check directly with your particular insurance plan. We do not file or accept insurance payments, so if your plan does pay for treatments, you'll need to make a payment directly to Timeless and have your insurance company reimburse you.

Sagging

1. My face looks like it's falling! Can you help?

First, breathe. Losing volume can be a normal part of aging ... fortunately, we have non-invasive cosmetic treatments that can help. Here's what causes it: As we age, fat pads in the face descend so that areas formerly plump lose volume. While this happens under the skin, it shows up on the outside as sagging. What can help is a series of treatments, including facial fillers. Dermal fillers may help pull some of the areas back into position. Pearl, Titan and Ultherapy also can help. Sagging around the eye is usually best treated with surgery, although these other treatments also may help. While you'll see immediate improvement with filler, laser improvement takes a little longer; about two months, with continued improvement to six months. Ultherapy shows improvement in about three months, with continued improvement through six months. Keep in mind that there are many lasers out there and it can become confusing. Dr. Clinton and her staff are happy to help you understand which laser procedure is right for the results you desire.

2. Even though I exercise regularly, the skin on my knees (or abdomen) sags. What can I do?

Plenty! Knees and abdomen are perfect areas for the Titan treatment. Titan improves both collagen and elastin, giving noticeable improvement to the area. Expect to re-treat the above-the-knee area every three to four years.

3. Will you tell me when I will need surgery or a facelift?

Dr. Clinton can discuss how surgical procedures, such as a facelift, fit into your non-surgical cosmetic treatment plan, taking into consideration your personal preferences and desired outcomes. Many Timeless patients prefer our non-surgical approach, however, for those who wish to consider surgical alternatives, Dr. Clinton can speak with you about expected outcomes and complementary non-surgical procedures and treatments.

Scars/Stretch Marks

1. I have a new surgical scar. Can you help it look better?

Yes. Dr. Clinton often treats scars as early as two weeks post-surgery. With treatment, you may notice that redness disappears more quickly and that the scar is minimized. Most often, we use Laser Genesis for treating scars caused by surgery or trauma, and usually recommend a minimum of five treatments.

2. I have a very old scar. Can you treat it and make it less noticeable?

Yes. Dr. Clinton uses lasers and possibly steroids to treat old scars with the expectation that the color of the scar will more closely resemble your skin color, become smaller in size and lie flush (not raised or depressed) with your skin—regardless of your natural skin color.

3. I have a lot of scars—more than 10 distinct scars—on my arms (or legs). Can you treat multiple scars?

While Dr. Clinton is able to treat such scars, please keep in mind that the results of improving multiple scars and the cost of the procedure may become prohibitive. Noticeable multiple scars on arms or legs will improve with treatment, but may cost more than $5,000 to fully treat.

Spots

1. Can you improve the spots on my skin?

Anyone (man or woman) showing signs of aging or sun-damage is a candidate for treatments to improve spots on the skin. Some laser and light treatments are not indicated for dark or ethnic skin tones or for patients who are pregnant. Schedule a consultation to learn more about your particular situation.

2. Is it really necessary to have multiple treatments of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)/photofacial to treat spots?

It is. Multiple IPL treatments are necessary to reach the deeper layers of the skin, providing gradual improvement with very low risk to you and no downtime for your lifestyle.

3. What's the difference between hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of skin caused by an increase in melanin. Hypopigmentation is the loss of color in the skin due to the reduction in melanin.

4. What are sun spots, liver spots and age spots?

Sun spots, liver spots and age spots are different names for the same thing: Harmless, flat brown spots found on sun-exposed skin. They can occur on all skin types and usually don’t appear until middle-age when cellular turnover slows down. Sun spots are collections of pigment that have accumulated in the epidermis, staining the skin with discoloration.

5. What causes age and sun spots?

It may sound simplistic but age and sun spots form as a result of natural aging and increased sun exposure. Those with fair skin tones or those who freckle and burn easily are also at increased risk of developing age and sun spots.

Sun Damage

1. I don't understand SPF. Can you clear up the confusion?

SPF, which is an acronym for "Sun Protection Factor," is a rating system for sun protectants. The SPF number is a measure of how long you can expect to stay in the sun burn-free as compared to how long you can expect to stay in the sun burn-free while wearing no protection. An SPF of 25 means you can stay in the sun 25 times longer than no protection at all. For example, if you normally turn pink or red after being in the sun just 10 minutes without sun protection, then you should be able to stay in the sun 250 minutes (25 x 10) before turning pink or red while wearing SPF 25.

2. Can you explain how sun protection works?

Sun protection products work in two ways: (1) They physically block and reflect the sun’s rays with ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and (2) they chemically absorb UV rays before the rays have a chance to penetrate and damage skin.

3. I hate to sound silly, but what exactly are UV rays?

Your question is a good one. With so much talk about sun damage and UV rays, it's really important to understand that there are actually three kinds of UV (ultraviolet) rays: UVC, UVB and UVA. UVC rays are the shortest and usually don’t make it through the Earth’s ozone layer to reach your skin. That's why UVC rays are not a concern when it comes to sun protection. UVB rays are a longer and because they have the ability to reach the surface of your skin, they can cause skin to tan or burn. UVA rays are the longest of all the UV rays. Not only do UVA rays reach skin, they penetrate it, causing damage at the cellular level and increasing the risk of developing skin cancer. That's why it's important to always wear sunscreen that contains UVA sun protection.

4. Do I really need daily sun protection with sunscreen?

Absolutely! Sun protection isn’t just for beach days. Your face and hands are especially vulnerable to ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever you’re outside—even when it's cloudy. The window glass of your car blocks the UVB ray that burn skin but glass does not block UVA rays, which do the deepest tissue damage. Make sunscreen a part of your daily regimen. Avoid sun exposure when UV rays are at their strongest (generally between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.). Wear hats and protective clothing, too, to filter out UV rays. And remember, apply sun protection products 15 to 30 minutes BEFORE sun exposure. Reapply frequently, especially after swimming or perspiring.

5. Which treatment is best for eliminating sun damage from my skin?

Both laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapies can work wonders on sun-damaged skin. These treatments are safe and effective, and usually require little recovery time. Depending on your individual condition, lifestyle and desired outcome, one type of treatment may produce better results than another; or Dr. Clinton may recommend a combination of treatments. Schedule a consultation to discuss your particular concerns.

Unwanted Hair

1. Will laser hair removal work for me?

Laser hair removal is FDA approved for laser hair reduction—not removal. It works by targeting the pigment in the follicle. That's why laser hair removal is most effective on dark, coarse hair. Light brown or thin hair also is effectively treated by laser, but may require more treatments to achieve optimal reduction. Blonde or gray hair is not effectively treated because there's no pigment in the follicle for the laser to target.

2. I'm fair (or dark) skinned. Can laser hair removal be used on my skin type?

Yes. Laser hair removal is safe for all skin types. At Timeless Skin Solutions, we use several different types lasers to accommodate different skin tones. Each is safe for patients of all ethnicities.

3. Do I shave before laser hair removal or not? If so, does shaving cause hair to grow back darker?

Yes, you do need to shave before treatment. That's because we're treating the hair follicle, not the hair itself. And no, shaving does not cause hair to grow back darker or denser. It only seems darker because when the hair grows back there's a temporary blunt edge caused by cutting the hair with the razor. As hair lengthens and grows, it feels softer and looks normal in appearance.

4. Is laser hair removal painful?

It is relatively easy to tolerate. Some patients feel a small pinch each time the laser pulses against the skin, describing the feeling like that of a rubber band snap or pin prink. The sensation is momentary and there is no lingering pain or discomfort.

5. I've read that laser hair removal only treats dark hair. What can I do about all the fine hair and peach fuzz on my face?

You are correct. Laser hair removal is most effective at treating dark hair. Timeless Skin Solutions offers another treatment called Dermaplaning for fine hair and peach fuzz. Dermaplaning quickly and painlessly removes the fine, vellus hair on the face. This procedure is a favorite of many of our patients because it not only gets rid of peach fuzz, it also removes the dead skin cells sitting on the surface of the skin. The result is a smoother skin and a brighter, more luminous complexion.

Veins

1. Can you treat the many veins on my face?

Yes. Facial veins are frequently treated with a laser, although it can take more than one treatment to improve significant facial vascularity (veins). Your body naturally will want to regenerate blood vessels, so you may need annual treatments to maintain results.

2. Do you treat varicose veins?

Because treating varicose veins is an invasive procedure best performed by a surgeon, Dr. Clinton is happy to provide a referral to a physician who specializes in treating them.

3. I have several small broken blood vessels on my legs, many of which are purple and cause people to ask if I have a bruise. Can you make them go away?

Yes. Dr. Clinton treats these type of veins with a laser. You'll need to plan for three days or so of rest from exercising, although you can still swim after treatment. Understand that it can take up to eight weeks to see full improvement. Dr. Clinton recommends beginning treatment during the winter if you're active outdoors in the summer. Several treatments are usually required. Dr. Clinton does treat veins during the summer, but you'll need to avoid sun exposure to prevent discoloration of the area.

4. Does vein removal treatment hurt?

To minimize discomfort, Dr. Clinton recommends taking Tylenol one hour before the procedure on your legs. Do not schedule a treatment during your menstrual cycle since pain is perceived at a lower threshold at that time.