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from the Fall 2008 issue

We have instituted a new program at SBA called the Personal Treatment Plan (PTP). Because the field of cosmetic dermatology is burgeoning with new lasers, fillers, peels and products coming out every day, it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming for the lay person. Even we dermatologists have to be constantly reading our journals and going to meetings to keep up with all the innovations. The other factor is that everyone’s skin-care needs and priorities are different. A 40-year old blonde with rosacea (subtle redness on the cheeks, chin, nose or forehead) will have different recommendations for treatment than a 60-year old with deep lines and sagging jowls. And if you have limited resources to spend on skin rejuvenation, you want to use those dollars wisely so you get more “bang for your buck.”

That’s exactly why we created the PTP. When you come in to meet with our dermatologists or our physician assistant, we will have a candid discussion with you about your skin concerns. We will literally hand you a mirror and ask you to point out what bothers you and rank the problems in order of priority. We can then tailor a written treatment plan that addresses your concerns and does it in the most cost-effective way. At the end of your consultation, we will give you a copy of your PTP to reference at home, and we will keep a copy in your file.

We will also address timing of the procedures, such as having BOTOX® Cosmetic prior to a Fraxel laser resurfacing or Thermage skin-tightening procedure. We do this because relaxing the muscles of facial expression first will make the skin-tightening and collagen-remodeling deliver a better result if the skin isn’t being constantly creased by muscle contractions in the weeks after the procedure. We like to do fillers, such as Juvéderm or Radiesse®, after the Fraxel or Thermage procedure because you may require less filler if the lines and skin laxity have been reduced by one of these procedures.

The other key component of the PTP is recommending and designing a good skin-care regimen. If you use cosmeceuticals at home and apply your sunscreen on a daily basis, you will enhance and preserve the results of whatever laser, BOTOX® Cosmetic or filler treatment you have in our office.

The name of the game is rebuilding the collagen in the skin. That collagen deteriorates as we age. The great thing about skin is that it has an innate ability to regenerate and repair itself. Your skin can show dramatic results if we help nudge it along with retinoids, growth factors, antioxidants and peptides. We carry the top cosmeceutical lines in the business such as Obagi®, SkinMedica®, Revaléskin™, and VIVITÉ™. When we create a skin-care regimen for you, we can select the right products from those lines as well as incorporate prescription drugs such as Retin-A, Renova®, Tazorac® and Tri-Luma® to create an effective program designed to meet your goals.

As part of our PTP, when you come in for a consultation, we will take baseline digital photographs to provide a visual starting point. Then, when you complete whatever home and office treatments we recommend, we will take “after” pictures to show you how far you have come. It will really motivate you to stick with a good skin-care regimen when you see the difference. We have a wonderful medical photographer, Laine Maier, who does our excellent photography.