I have been fascinated with injectables since 2001 when I began researching Botox for personal use. After a lot of research, I was ready to try Botox. It was approved in 2002 by the FDA with an indication to smooth glabellar lines (furrows between the eyebrows). Since that time, the use of Botox and other injectables has come a long way.
Wrinkles can be deep or superficial fine lines that are worn into the skin by making the same expression thousands of time. Deeper folds, creases or wrinkles are usually more apparent as we age because of volume loss in addition to the creasing by muscles of expression. Botox, in combination with dermal fillers, can soften the deep lines we see as we age. These nonsurgical injectables have proven safe for easing and slowing the signs of aging.
At Carolina Aesthetics, we use Botox Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) which is a trademarked name. It is a purified protein which is made in a lab and manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Allergan. It is a purified form of the toxin produced by the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria.
Is Botox safe? I tell my patients, “I won’t inject anything into you that I haven’t had injected into myself”. Although that may provide a little comfort, I go on to explain that Botox has been used in much higher doses in children with cerebral palsey and other medical conditions since 1989. Over 11 million cosmetic procedures have been performed safely since 2002. There are a few rare neuromuscular conditions that are contraindicated with the use of Botox Cosmetic and these are discussed at the initial consult.
There are other products derived from the botulinum toxin and manufactured by other pharmaceutical companies that are similar to Botox Cosmetic and are referred to as “Botox”. There are several types of “Botox” on the market that are FDA approved and some on the internet from other countries, not yet approved here in the U.S. Therefore, it is important to make sure you know the type and manufacturer of “Botox” that your provider uses. Another important safety precaution is to make sure your injector is licensed, well trained and experienced.
The dermal fillers used at Carolina Aesthetics, Juvederm and Restylane, are considered very safe. There are only a few rare conditions that are contraindicated and these are screened for during medical history review (consult). It is also important to notify your doctor if you have a known allergy to lidocaine, which is a numbing agent used in some dermal fillers.
Do injections hurt? Patients have the options of having a cream applied to the area prior to injection, which will temporarily numb the area superficially. Ice is also applied briefly just prior to injection. One may feel an initial minor sting for a few seconds. Once the initial injection is complete, there is usually no discomfort.
Age also factors into the expected results from the treatments. The recommended age range is 18 – 65. If you have never had Botox or dermal filler prior to age 65, there is less chance for improvement. However, if you have been using Botox prior to age 65, there is no reason to discontinue use as long as you remain healthy. Botox should be deferred during pregnancy, while nursing, or for those trying to become pregnant.
What result can I expect and how much will it cost? Expectations are discussed during the initial free consultation. Generally, Botox takes 3 days to start working, the effects peak at 3 weeks and it lasts from 3 to 6 months depending on the area injected and how long you have been using Botox. Dermal fillers can last 3 to 13 months depending on the area injected and the amount of correction expected.
Injectable costs vary depending on the person and their desired results. Botox is sold by the unit and dermal fillers by the number of syringes. At the complimentary consult, the patient’s desired results and budget are reviewed.
At Carolina Aesthetics, we want our patients to feel comfortable and look refreshed, not overdone or too different. These non-surgical procedures should provide a gradual process of rejuvenation whereby the patient should be able to smile normally, frown a little, and show expressions naturally. We therefore start slowly, adding additional injectable product/services only when the patient becomes comfortable with us and our procedures.
At Carolina Aesthetics, we use Intensive tints that are natural, gentle and safe for the eyes. They can even be used on women who are pregnant or lactating and sensitive skin types. The process takes approximately 20 minutes for lashes and even less for brows and the results last for about a month. At the beginning of the treatment, a shade is chosen that compliments your complexion, hair color and preferences. Then, your aesthetician applies a protective covering to protect your eyes and skin from the stain. Occasionally, the color stains a small area of the skin, but it is usually very minimal and washes away in a day or two.
Lash and brow tinting is great for:
Active women who don’t have time to apply or reapply makeup
Swimmers and athletes
Complimenting permanent eye makeup
Making brows and lashes match colored hair
Those whose vision makes applying eye makeup difficult
To make thin and light colored brows and lashes more apparent
Anyone who is looking to save time in the morning
If you have been thinking about trying something new for your lashes or brows, tinting can be a great place to start as it is temporary and surprisingly affordable. At Carolina Aesthetics, all of our aestheticians are trained to perform this service and would be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss this and other available services. Call (864) 233-8088 for more information.
Poison ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, is a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. The oil of the plant contains urushiol which triggers an allergic reaction after contact with skin. The resulting rash occurs in people who have an inherited susceptibility to it. The rash starts with small red bumps that are very itchy and often progress to small yellow blisters after a few days. It can occur in streaks corresponding to contact with leaves or stems of the plant. The rash typically begins within 2 days after contact with the plant; however, it can occur in hours or take up to 3 weeks to start. It can erupt on different areas of the body at different times even though contact with the plant happened all at the same time. This fact has led to the common misconception that poison ivy spreads by scratching. After showering off the oil, it cannot be spread by scratching or by rupturing the blisters.
Poison ivy grows as a vine-like weed along roads, trails, and rivers; but it can also lurk around trees and landscaping in your backyard. It typically has 3 green leaves with pointed tips. The leaves can be smooth or jagged, and are widest just below their midpoint. The urushiol turns black on contact with air, so leaves often have black spots especially in the fall. Crushing the plant also causes it to turn black within minutes. Beware of incidental exposures to the oil such as transmission by pets, contaminated clothing, and landscaping tools. Burning poison ivy releases urushiol into the air and can cause severe inflammation of the respiratory tract. Since the oil exists in the stem of the plant, poison ivy can even be contracted in the winter when the leaves are gone.
Treatment involves washing off the oil as soon as possible. The longer the oil is in contact with the skin, the more likely the reaction will occur. Specialized soaps such as Zanfel are good options to remove the oil. Once the rash occurs, it is best to treat it with topical corticosteroid creams such as hydrocortisone or stronger prescription creams. Steroid creams are much more effective than topical antihistamines, anesthetics, and calamine. Severe cases may require oral steroid pills for treatment. Oral antihistamines can also help the itching. Of course, prevention by identifying and avoiding contact with the plant is most important.
Carolina Aesthetics offers a variety of skin care products so that each of our clients individual skin care needs can be met. There are a number of products that are appropriate for all skin types while others contain ingredients that are particularly beneficial for skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, sensitive skin, melasma, etc. All of our products are medical grade which means they have a higher percentage of the active ingredients and can only be sold in physician offices.
We thought it would be fun to ask our staff what their “favorite” products are and why. This is what we found out………
Dr. Beth Browne –Quick Tan – Keeps my summer glow year round! Easy to apply without drying my skin. Smells great too!
Cory, Mandy & Bri – Skin Calming Primer – Once applied, it gives your complexion a clean canvas to work on while also camouflaging the redness.
Ayesha – Crystal Clarity Microdermabrasion Crème – This is the ideal scrub, especially if you have oily skin, like I do. The texture is perfect and gives the results you dream of!
Libby – Intellishade – A great product because it is quick and easy to use. It is a multi-purpose sunblock that not only boost collagen synthesis but also provides coverage like a foundation!
Nikki – Lumiere – This product wakes my eyes up because of the caffeine in it. When I don’t use it I can feel a difference.
Melissa – Vitamin C 30% – A powerful antioxidant for all skin types. It brightens, increases collagen and protects against damage from the sun and environment. This gentle, time-released formula is the most superior I have seen!
Caron – Retinol Pads – These quick and easy-to-use pads are perfect for anti-aging, break-outs, and fine lines and wrinkles.
April – Bio-Gel – I have oily skin, this gel is a great hydrator and helps me with my break-outs. It also is very light with great anti-aging properties.
Anne – Nectifirm – A unique product designed specifically for skin on the neck. I was pleasantly surprised at the difference that it made in the first 4 months.
Dr. Beth Browne – Sunforgettable Brush – I have been using this product years before we began selling them. It works wonders on my children’s skin as well! I highly recommend it for year round use.
Ashley – Intensive Bio Serum Treatment – This is my favorite anti-aging serum. It is 100% growth factors with collagen and hyaluronic acid. I call it anti-aging on STEROIDS!
At Carolina Aesthetics we want to make sure that the products you choose are right for you. We encourage you to take a sample of any product before you buy it just to make sure that you like it and have no unwanted reaction. If any of our “Staff Picks” has piqued your interest, speak with your dermatologist or aesthetician to see if this product is right for you.
Researchers who study aging of the skin tell us that those skin changes we recognize as associated with older chronological age (loss of skin elasticity, dullness, irregular brown spots, tiny red blood vessels, etc.) are caused by two separate mechanisms: intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging concerns what our skin and other organs are genetically programmed to do with passing time. These are changes we have no control over. Extrinsic aging is what is done to our skin by external, outside forces. Experts in this field tell us that at least 80% of skin aging is extrinsic, and that environmental and artificial sunlight is responsible for 80% of extrinsic aging.
When excessive ultraviolet radiation (sunlight or from tanning beds) contacts skin, highly charged molecules called free radicals are generated. These free radicals can damage cell membranes and DNA, which ultimately lead to aging and precancerous changes in cells. One approach to protect skin against UV damage is the use of “antioxidants” which bind to and block free radicals. Although skin has its own internal antioxidant system, supporting this system with a generous supply of antioxidants helps protect cells from oxidative damage. Most dermatologists agree that consistent use of topical antioxidants may mitigate some of the effects of sun damage in skin aging. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is a water soluble antioxidant that is necessary for collagen synthesis in skin. It also has photo protective and antiinflammatory effects. Although it has been used in numerous cosmetic formulations, only small amounts actually penetrate into the dermis of skin due to Vitamin C’s weak stability and poor solubility in oily materials, such as the outer layer of the skin. At Carolina Aesthetics we recommend a unique formulation of topical Vitamin C, which was developed with technology that stabilizes ascorbic acid and makes it more lipid soluble and permeable into deeper layers of the skin. With summer approaching, now is an excellent time to begin using a daily topical antioxidant, especially to the skin on the face and neck. This should be part of a healthy skin care regimen year round.
My education in aesthetics has been extremely eye opening. There are a multitude of products and procedures that most men may not be aware of that would help them take care of their skin. Now I know what you are thinking; men who usecreams, lotions and undergo different procedures are not “Real Men.” Let me be the first to say, not only are they real men, but are probably more of a “Real Man” than most, because they are willing to take care of themselves. Look at the men on TV and in magazines, I bet they take care of their skin. Consider me, I spent 20 years in the military as a Combat Corpsman with the Marines, using camouflage grease paint, as well as abusing my skin by spending countless hours in differing climates and countries. I also grew up in a harsh, southwest desert climate never worrying about sunburns or skin cancer . It wasn’t until I came to Carolina Aesthetics for my free evaluation that I learned the damage that I had done to my skin (the largest organ we have) and that starting a skin care regimen could decrease any further damage. Now I admit it was a bit overwhelming at first, but that was because of my lack of knowledge. I learned that taking care of your skin is being proactive instead of reactive to ensure that the damage that has already been done is addressed and any further damage is significantly diminished. Let me explain; most men don’t go to the doctor or get a physical or take care of themselves, until they are “persuaded” by a loved one. The more I learned, the more I realized that taking care of my skin not only feels good but also helps me personally and professionally by making me look and feel better. Think of skin care as preventive maintenance, like upkeep around your home or changing the oil in your car. The better you take care of your skin, the healthier it will be in the long run. From a financial perspective, by spending a little money now on skin care, you may prevent costly visits to a dermatologist to address unhealthy skin issues, suspicious moles or even skin cancer. Knowing that most men are competitive in nature, and rarely back down from a challenge, I challenge you to visit our website at www.carolinaaesthetics.com to learn about your skin care options and to schedule a free skin care evaluation at Carolina Aesthetics. Take it from me; you will be pleasantly surprised when people start to notice a change in your appearance!
Carey Robison is the Manager of Carolina Dermatology of Greenville
Even milder, Carolina winters may cause xerotic (dry) or chapped lips when cold, dry weather accelerates the evaporation of moisture from lips. The natural layer of oil and moisturizers produced by oil glands and skin cells frequently is not enough to prevent symptoms of dryness, such as burning and stinging, and sometimes the formation of small fissures (cracks). Though Christmas and New Years have come and gone, ‘tis still the season for dry, chapped lips.
The vermillion lips (the pink/red external lips) are unlike the skin of the rest of the body and technically are considered a transitional mucous membrane. Sometimes a pure petrolatum/100% petroleum jelly product, alone may be enough to control symptoms of dry lips. Petrolatum is a natural hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic occlusive moisturizer. Petrolatum is the most effective occlusive moisturizer and can block up to 99% of moisture loss through the skin.1
Another technique for rehydrating the skin is by attracting moisture from the air or from the deeper skin tissues with humectants, substances which attract moisture.2 An excellent choice for chapped lips, which do not respond to petroleum jelly alone, is a product with contains both occlusive and humectant moisturizers. Aquaphor®/Hydrophor® are effective products available at most commercial drug stores which contain both humectant and occlusive moisturizing ingredients. Dermal Resolutions’ brand Barrier Repair available at Carolina Aesthetics contains both as well. In addition to containing petrolatum, Barrier Repair contains other occlusive moisturizing ingredients (ceramides, mineral oil, squalane, dimethicone (PEG-10), lanolin, phospholipids) and humectant, sorbitan isostearate (a sorbitol compound), which attracts moisture to lips.
Practical tips for dry lips:
1. Liberally apply the lip moisturizer immediately before bedtime to maximize moisturizer contact time with the lips and increase efficacy.
2. Repeat application of the lip moisturizer as needed throughout the day (preferably after mealtime) if lips are really dry.
3. Throughout the day, avoid licking your lips, a bad habit which removes the natural and applied moisturizers that protect the lips.
Cosmetic tips: balms, gloss, and sticks3
Lip balms and lipsticks vary in the amount of oils and waxes they contain and both can be helpful to moisturize lips. Lip glosses only contain oils and dimethicone (not wax) and, in general, are more effective at creating a cosmetic appeal than moisturizing lips.
If you have a history of a precancerous condition or cancer of the lips, wear daily lip balm with sunscreen. The highest sun protective factor (SPF) in a commercial lip balm is usually 15-35 because the sunscreens used in lip balms taste too bitter to wear at higher SPFs. Lip Shine SPF35 by Colorescience is an example of good cosmetic product, which also contains sunscreen.
2.Opaque lipsticks, which contain pulverized physical sunscreen, titanium dioxide, are an excellent option for women seeking superior SPF protection to lip balms. Titanium-containing lipsticks are preferred for protecting sun-damaged lips or lips after surgery.
3. Lip balms are not addictive. Expert opinion is that people become accustomed to the waxy feel of lip balm on the lips and more frequently apply lip balm for the waxy sensation.
4. Some of the oils in lip gloss may cause acne and acne patients should avoid lip gloss, especially if they have acne around their mouth.
5. Avoid “long-wearing” lipsticks, which dry lips.
When to seek a medical opinion: more than just dry lips?
Ask your board-certified dermatologist if you have dry lips, which do not respond to moisturization. This may be a sign of sun-damaged lips, which may be a cancerous or pre-cancerous condition.
 Friberg SE, Ma Z. Stratum corneum lipids, petrolatum and white oils. Cosmet Toilet 1993; 107:55-59.
 Lodén M. Role of topical emollients and moisturizers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders. Am J Clin Dermatol 2003; 4:771-788.
 Draelos, Z. Luscious lips. Cosmetic Dermatology. 2010; 23(11): 491-494.
Electrolysis is a method of hair removal that is approved by the FDA which involves exposing unwanted hair to a very mild electrical current. A very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle at the surface of the skin. The probe then transmits a minute amount of electricity to the base of the hair follicle and effectively kills the hair growth tissue so that the hair cannot regenerate. The hair is then removed with tweezers.
Electrolysis can be effective on all types of hair unlike laser or IPL hair removal methods which are ineffective on light colored (white, grey, red) hair. Depending on various factors such as hormonal conditions, the number of unwanted hairs in a particular area, the amount of previous tweezing or waxing that have occurred and the growth cycle of the hair being treated, Electrolysis may take several sessions to permanently eliminate the hair. Electrolysis treatments are most successful on facial areas such as the eyebrow, upper lip or chin.
Electrolysis sessions normally take between 15 minutes to one hour depending on the area to be treated. The treatment is not painful, however slight discomfort or a slight sting may occur. The cost of the service depends on the time required to remove the unwanted hair at each session.
As a Medical Aesthetician, I have worked with various other methods of hair removal in the past seven years including laser and IPL hair removal, depilatory methods and waxing. Since no one method is successful on every individual or skin type, I am excited to have completed my training in Electrolysis so that I can offer a wider range of hair removal services to my clients. Prior to any hair removal treatments our clients receive a free consultation with me or one of our other aestheticians or laser technicians. As part of the consultation, we will determine what method of hair removal will be the most appropriate and effective for you.
Beginning in January 2013, Carolina Aesthetics will be offering Electrolysis services. Call our office at (864) 233-8088 to schedule your consultation or service.
Skin of Color is a broad description for people with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, including ethnic groups such as African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American and Pacific Islander, as well as individuals of mixed racial backgrounds. Although we all have the same number of melanocytes (cells in the skin that make melanin), variations in skin color is due to the type and amount of melanin made by the melanocytes. In dermatology, skin is most commonly classified according to its propensity to tan or burn (the Fitzpatrick classification system):
|Skin Type||Skin Color||Characteristics|
|I||White; very fair; red or blond hair; blue eyes; freckles||Always burns, never tans|
|II||White; fair; red or blond hair; blue, hazel, or green eyes||Usually burns, tans with difficulty|
|III||Cream white; fair with any eye or hair color; very common||Sometimes mild burn, gradually tans|
|IV||Brown; i.e. Mediterranean Caucasian skin||Rarely burns, tans with ease|
|V||Dark Brown; i.e. Mid-Eastern skin types||very rarely burns, tans very easily|
|VI||Black||Never burns, tans very easily|
Another misconception is that darker-skinned patients cannot receive laser treatments, facials, or cosmetic treatments. While it is true that medical treatments and cosmetic procedures need to be carefully selected, there are few patients who cannot find a method to address their concerns. Since skin of color is more prone to hyperpigmentation and scarring, it is important to tailor therapy to decrease the risk of these unwanted side effects. There have been recent developments investigating laser therapy options for patients of color. These include the use of special “color blind” lasers with longer wavelengths for procedures such as hair removal in dark skin to decrease damage to the skin, different facial resurfacing techniques to treat acne scars and help remodel the skin, or modifying treatment options for acne to decrease development of dark spots.For example, it is commonly thought that people with darker skin do not need to be concerned about the development of skin cancers. This is not true. While skin cancer is more prevalent among lighter skinned patients, skin cancer (which may be from UV-damage as well as other causes) does occur in all ethnic and racial groups.The dermatologists at Carolina Dermatology, as well as the well trained aesthetic staff at Carolina Aesthetics, are educated and experienced in treating ALL skin types. Certain dermatological conditions such as psoriasis, eczema can be more difficult to diagnose in darker skin types. Some of the common concerns in skin of color include brown spots from acne blemishes, keloids, excess hair, pigmentation problems such as melasma and vitiligo, razor bumps, hair loss and dry skin. The reality is that no two people’s skin are exactly the same; whether you are talking about a dark-skinned or light-skinned person. Why is this important? Because there is a lot of misinformation about the diseases and concerns specific to pigmented skin.However, there are more comprehensive classification schema being developed, since this scale is limited in its application to ethnic subtypes and interracial skin. For example, there are people with very dark skin who can burn easily. In addition, this scale does not adequately address the specific needs and propensities of certain skin types. For example, new scales are being evaluated to predict how a person’s skin will respond when subjected to different types of injury or damage including burns, cuts, surgeries and laser treatments. Specifically, the desire is to help prevent poor outcomes such as inappropriate scarring and brown spots (hyperpigmentation).
Since more and more people with skin of color are continuing to desire cosmetic treatments and procedures, the number and types of treatments available to safely treat pigmented skin types are improving all the time. It is important that your physician, aesthetician or other caregiver understands your unique concerns and challenges, regardless of your skin type.
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920 Woodruff Rd,
Greenville, SC 29607
(864) 233-8088Mon & Wed 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.