Yearly Archives - 2010

What To Do About Adult Acne

Dear Dr. Brooks,

I had acne as a teen, and always assumed it would go away once I was in my 20’s. Unfortunately, that has not been the case for me. I just hate it. I’ve tried a lot of different oral and topical medicine, and am dying to find a solution. What do you suggest  for adult acne?

Won’t This Ever Go Away

Dear Won’t This Ever Go Away,

There are two broad categories of acne:  inflammatory and non-inflammatory.  There are several different treatment options available, depending on what type of lesions are present.  Treatments range from topical antibiotics and retinoids, to oral medications.  There are also cosmetic procedures such as lasers and chemical peels that may help. Please schedule an appointment for a consultation so I can give you a recommendation personalized for your skin.

– Dr. Brooks

The Difference Between Botox and Juvederm

Dear Dr. Brooks,

I’m interested in a “Liquid Lift”. I’m confused. Can you please explain the difference between Botox and Juvederm? I know they are both injected.

Thanks,

Looking for a Liquid Lift

Dear Looking for a Liquid Lift,

Thanks for writing me. I am happy to explain the difference, as a lot of people ask me this question. Botox immobilizes the muscles of the face, and is effective for fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, forehead and between eyebrows.  Patients typically see results in 4-5 days and results usually last 3-4 months. Juvederm doesn’t effect the muscles. It is a cosmetic filler, which adds volume that the face loses as we age. I use this product to fill in deep lines (laugh lines), build up cheeks, refine the nose, and plump lips.

Please schedule a time to come in for a consultation and I can take a look and advise you as to what would be best for you.

– Dr. Brooks

Laser Hair Removal For African Americans

Dear Dr. Brooks,

I’m an African American. I was told that I couldn’t get laser hair removal because of my darker skin tone. I wanted to ask you if this was true, and what you would recommend for women of color.

Thanks,

Trying to Get Smooth

Dear Trying to Get Smooth,

This is not true. Laser hair removal can be done safely in people of color. There are certainly more risks, such as pigment changes, scarring and keloid formation. But if the correct laser is used and the right setting are applied, laser hair removal is safe and effective for any skin type. I have a laser at SKIN Cosmetic Dermatology of Georgetown that works very well on darker skin tones. Please schedule an appointment to come in for a consultation.

– Dr. Brooks

Laser Skin Tightening vs. Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Dear Dr. Brooks,
Can you explain the difference between laser skin tightening and laser skin rejuvenation? I’m trying to figure out what I want.

Thanks,
Confused

Dear Confused,
Thank you so much for your question. Laser skin tightening helps improve skin sagging. As we age, the collagen in our skin starts to weaken, resulting in sagging skin: jowl formation, upper eyelid sagging and laugh lines. I use the Titan laser, which heats the collagen, resulting in its contraction and thickening; thereby, decreasing the sagging appearance.

With laser rejuvenation, there is some overlap with the tightening. Both will help stimulate collagen by heating up the skin; the Titan produces a greater amount of energy and can correct sagging. Where the rejuvenation helps with pore size, fine lines and wrinkles, redness and ruddy appearance. I often use a combination of both the Titan laser, IPL and laser genesis to obtain optimal cosmetic results.

Please schedule an appointment to come in to see me, and I can take a look at your skin and give you my recommendation on which would be best for you.

– Dr. Brooks

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What Can I Do About Parentheses Lines?

Dear Dr. Brooks,
I’m in my early forties, and over the past year, I’ve noticed that I have developed lines around my mouth. I think they are called parentheses lines. What is the best treatment for this?

Thanks,
Dreading the Aging Process

Dear Dreading the Aging Process,
There are several different fillers available on the market, that can help “fill” your naso-labial folds (laugh lines).  The most common are hyaluronic acid based fillers (Juvederm, Radiesse, Restylane, Prevelle Silk, to name a few).  These products can last anywhere from 3 months-1 year.  I have used them to fill laugh lines, plump lips and to build up cheeks.  Radiesse is another filler that can fill laugh lines.  This filler is made from calcium and tends to last longer than the previously mentioned.

– Dr. Brooks

Can Fraxel Improve the Appearance of My Acne Scars?

Dear Dr. Brooks,
A co-worker mentioned Fraxel the other day. Can you please explain what Fraxel is? I’m interested in laser resurfacing to get rid of acne scars. Can it help improve the look of my skin? How many treatments would I need?

Thanks,

Still Having Acne in My 30’s!

Dear Still Having Acne in My 30’s,
Thank you so much for your question. Fraxel is a very diverse laser that can treat a variety of conditions and skin types, but it is very good for treating acne scars. In fact, I primarily use it for resurfacing both acne and surgical scars, but it’s great for reducing  fine lines and wrinkles, too. It is also used for melasma, discoloration and age spots. It would absolutely make your skin look better. The advantage to Fraxel over other Erbium lasers, is that we can treat any skin type with minimal down time. The number of treatments depends on several factors: 1. Skin type (the darker the skin, generally the more treatments needed). An estimate would be 5-6 treatments for a person
with a darker complexion versus 3 treatments for someone with a lighter complexion. 2. What are we treating? If a patient has deep surgical or acne scars, they may need 1-2 more treatments than stated previously. 3. How aggressive can I be with treatments. This is very similar to point number 1; For a patient with very light skin, I can be every aggressive with my treatments. For example, if a patient with fair skin, blue eyes, blonde hair came for treatment of severe acne scarring I would be VERY aggressive in my settings (how much energy I use and how much surface area I am treating). Often, people feel because this is a non ablative laser, it will be pain free. There is discomfort with the Fraxel. I ask my patients to come in an hour before treatment to apply topical numbing cream on the area to be treated. Most of my patients tolerate the procedure very well.

– Dr. Brooks