Cosmetic Dermatology is the practice of dermatologic medicine to improve a patient’s appearance.
Cosmetic dermatology entails the the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin conditions that adversely affect our appearance. The most common skin conditions are acne and acne scars, sun damage or photoaging, rosacea or redness, melasma or hyperpigmentation, cellulite and excess fat and excess or unwanted hair. Most of these skin changes are easily diagnosed by visible inspection of the skin. There are many treatments available to remove or minimize the effects of these problems.
The tools available in cosmetic dermatology include lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL), radiofrequency, liposuction, chemical peels, Botox and Dysport, fillers like Juvederm and Radiesse, medications and cosmeceuticals. These treatments need to be carefully tailored to each patient’s needs. Acne has many topical and oral medications available for treatment. Once scarring has occurred, treatment involves lasers and chemical peels. Sun damage has many negative effects on the skin and is responsible for the majority of the visible signs of aging we are used to. Depending on the age of the patient and amount of aging, some interventions could include Botox and fillers, IPL photofacials, chemical peels, CO2 and erbium laser resurfacing, and topical treatments like retinoids. Of course, prevention is critical with liberal use of sunscreens and sun avoidance. Rosacea usually responds to IPL photofacials and topical treatments. Melasma is very difficult to treat and show some improvement with topical medications and laser and IPL treatments. Both rosacea and melasma are chronic conditions that cannot be cured, just controlled. Cellulite is another very bothersome condition that there is no cure for. It can be improved with laser and radiofrequency treatments as well as liposuction procedures for excess fat. Excess fat has many new exciting treatments including smartlipo laser liposuction, vaser ultrasonic liposuction, coolsculpting and zerona laser. Unwanted hair responds well to IPL and laser treatments and hair loss to hair transplantation procedures.
Cosmetic dermatology is an exciting field that is constantly offering new procedures. Procedures can also be combined for even better effects. A good cosmetic dermatology practice is led by a physician who strives to keep up with the latest treatments and continues his education. He constantly trains his staff and strives to introduce the best procedures for his patients. He will not introduce a new technology or product until he is sure of its safety and effectiveness. He is also available to treat any potential side effects or complications.