By Andrea Rodgers, WASHINGTON, DC— Who doesn’t want to look amazing for the holidays? So many family gatherings, parties, and photos! Now is the time to make an appointment with your board-certified dermatologist. While it might seem too early to start thinking about your Thanksgiving dinner or New Year’s celebration, keep in mind that while some procedures can provide immediate results, many take several weeks for their full clinical benefits to become apparent. Your efforts will be rewarded by a more rested and rejuvenated appearance at the most hectic time of year.
“Everyone wants to look good for the holiday party season,” says Dr. Tina Alster. “Most of my patients eat healthily and follow a good exercise routine. They are doing their part, but often need a little help. In general, Washingtonians tend to be a bit more subdued with their appearances than people living in LA or Miami. They want to look natural while also presenting a more youthful version of themselves. There are a number of relatively easy dermatologic procedures that can help them achieve their goals without prolonged recovery.”
These top five cosmetic procedures will ensure that you look your best for the season’s festivities:
If frown lines, forehead creases and crow’s feet are making you look older (or more stern) than you’d like in holiday photos, simple injections that prevent excessive facial muscle movement can help.Neuromodulators such as Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin have become a popularized non-invasive cosmetic procedure due to their easy delivery and superior effectiveness in reducing wrinkles of the brow (frown lines), eyes (crow’s feet), and neck. With a few quick injections, you can see dramatic improvement of facial and neck lines that lasts for several months.
The treatment can be expertly delivered so that you maintain natural facial movement without appearing “frozen” or startled.
The Washington Institute of Dermatologic Surgery was one of 6 centers in the U.S. that participated in the initial clinical trials that helped secure FDA approval for Botox and has been making Washingtonians appear more relaxed for decades!
Duration of Effect: 3-6 months
When to Schedule: While there is no recovery, it is best to schedule treatment at least 1-2 weeks prior to your holiday event so that the neuromodulator has time to take effect.
Another quick and easy way to refresh your appearance is with injections of dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, and Radiesse. Most fillers contain hyaluronic acid which is found naturally in the body and effectively “cushions” or plumps the skin such that the following issues can be addressed:
- Facial folds and wrinkles: Dermal fillers literally fill in fine lines and serve as an excellent complement to the Botox and Dysport injections described above. While the neuromodulators reduce the muscle action that is responsible for movement-associated (or dynamic) wrinkles, filler injections soften the creasing that remains evident at rest (static wrinkles).
- Restoring facial volume:As we age, our faces naturally lose volume and gravity takes hold. This gives the face a drawn, tired appearance. Dermal fillers can be used to provide foundational support to facial features, restoring a youthful fullness to your face.
- Lip augmentation:The lips also tend to lose volume with advancing age. Thin lips can create an older, sterner appearance. Filler injections can restore a natural and more youthful lip contour.
- Facial reshaping:Some people do not have the facial shape they desire. Fillers can be used to give the appearance of higher cheekbones or a stronger chin and jawline.
- Very Fine Lines:Fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, brow, eyes, cheeks, and neck can be smoothed using tiny filler injections.
- Acne Scars:Fillers can similarly correct skin indentations caused by acne or other trauma by lifting the depressed scars from below the skin’s surface.
You want to look like a more rested, better version of yourself – not change your appearance completely — so choosing an experienced and aesthetically-minded practitioner to perform your injections is most important. Safe treatment and natural results require a good aesthetic eye which comes from experience, a thorough understanding of facial anatomy, and skillful precision.
The Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery was recently named the “go-to” practice in Washington for dermal fillers by Allure magazine.
Duration of Effect: 4 months – 2 years depending on the type and amount filler.
When to Schedule: While results are immediate, schedule treatment at least 2 weeks in advance of your holiday event in case you experience any bruising or swelling.
Who doesn’t want clear, smooth, glowing skin for the holiday season? There is no better way to achieve this than with laser skin rejuvenation. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and Clear + Brilliant laser are very popular procedures that “reset the clock”. IPL treatment corrects uneven or blotchy (red or brown) skin discoloration on all parts of the body, including the face, arms, legs, hands and chest. Clear + Brilliant reduces the appearance of large pores, fine lines and improves skin texture. These treatments, either alone or in tandem, are recommended for those who are beginning to see the first signs of aging or would like more even and radiant skin before a special occasion.
Did you know that the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery’s founder, Dr. Tina Alster, wrote the first textbook on laser skin surgery? She is a world-recognized leader in dermatologic laser surgery and has published hundreds of articles and several books on the subject.
Duration of Effect: While a single treatment is beneficial, a series of monthly treatments is recommended to achieve optimal results. Many patients choose to have maintenance treatments on a semi-annual basis thereafter.
When to Schedule: Schedule your skin consultation in the Fall, as you may need a few treatments to achieve your desired results in time for the holidays.
In addition to facial rejuvenation, patients also seek body contouring procedures to prepare for the holidays and to get a jump on New Year’s resolutions. From holiday parties to family dinners, food is everywhere this time of year. Take a preemptive hit on your fat cells by scheduling a CoolSculpting treatment. This nonsurgical, no downtime procedure freezes fat in stubborn areas like the stomach, thighs, and love handles. The treatment can also be applied to the upper arms, bra rolls, and double chin! Knowing that you are investing in your body may also be just the motivation you need to stay on a healthy diet and exercise plan during the holiday season.
While there are many practices that offer CoolSculpting, the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery was the first to offer it in Washington, DC and was involved with identifying novel indications and refining treatment protocols that are now being used worldwide. Similar to other cosmetic procedures, proper technique is paramount in order to achieve the best clinical outcomes.
Duration of Effect: Results are permanent.
When to Schedule: Improvement of body contour occurs gradually over 1 to 3 months, so schedule treatment immediately to get into that holiday dress!
PRP (or platelet-rich plasma) is an increasingly popular treatment for men and women who are experiencing thinning hair or a receding hairline. PRP involves processing a small amount of blood that is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge which separates the red cells from the clear platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The PRP solution is then injected into the desired areas of the scalp in order to enhance hair growth. It’s like “Miracle Gro” for hair! Numerous scientific studies have shown its efficacy in improving the amount and quality (thickness) of hair.
Duration of Effect: A series of 4 monthly treatments is recommended followed by single treatments at quarterly, semi-annual, or annual intervals (depending on an individual’s needs) in order to further enhance and maintain results.
When to Schedule: Schedule an appointment for PRP immediately. Although you will start to see improvement of your hair texture and thickness after each treatment, appreciable hair growth typically takes 3-6 months.
Call 202-628-8855 or visit www.skinlaser.com to find out more about body contouring and cosmetic dermatology at Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery.
– Andrea Rodgers is a Washington D.C. writer.