Ethnic skin is a term used to indicate a person with olive or darker skin who tans easily. Patients with dark skin often display fewer signs of aging than similarly sun-exposed whites and, therefore, may require a different approach. Medical advances in dermatology have made it possible for people with darker skin types to benefit from many cosmetic procedures that were formerly only available to lighter-skinned patients.Some of available procedures that can be done for ethnic skin are as follows:Botulinum toxin injection (Botox®) Microdermabrasion Chemical peels Injectable fillers Many laser treatments (eg, laser hair removal)
Aging gracefully is not desirable to some people when there are many effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can temporarily reduce a very prominent sign of aging: wrinkles. One such procedure involves the use of botulinum toxin injections. Botulinum toxin is produced by the fermentation of a type of bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. The most widely used form of botulinum toxin is Type A (Botox® Cosmetic, Allergan, Inc). Botulinum toxin, what we will now refer to simply as Botox, used cosmetically, works by temporarily preventing the nerve from activating the muscle responsible for wrinkling the skin.
Q: Where should I go to have laser procedures performed? A: Patients who want to look younger have a confusing array of options, including where to go for cosmetic procedures. I talk about this topic at greater length here, but, essentially, this is what I recommend evaluating prior to undergoing a cosmetic laser procedure.
Considering cosmetic dermatology? Take your time in learning about and evaluating procedures, especially those that make permanent changes. For example, I see many people who get permanent eyeliner-type tattoos and want to know how to get them removed 3 or 4 years later. Although some are delighted with permanent cosmetic procedures, ideally you should consider something that lasts at most 2 years. Most treatments that we offer last 6–12 months.
Q: I’ve been thinking about trying Botox, but I’m afraid. A: When we evaluate elective cosmetic procedures like Botox treatments, we should carefully consider the pros and cons. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a physician-provided treatment derived from a bacterial toxin, Clostridium botulinum, which paralyzes muscles. It has been used for decades to treat spastic muscle conditions (such as cerebral palsy), following trauma and injury, and even the symptoms associated with cluster headaches.
It happens on a regular basis. I walk into the room and I see a miserable-looking patient who went somewhere they shouldn’t have for a laser treatment and paid the price. The person who wanted to look better now has burns, scars, and deep embarrassment. The lesson here is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
That’s right, I said it! This year – this decade – I want you to focus on beauty. Being beautiful means being healthy, and I want you to do everything in your power to make yourself more beautiful. Sound vain, trivial, and superfluous? Well, not really. While I’m not suggesting you get plastic surgery or injectable fillers, Botox®, or laser, I am suggesting that you look at your skin as a reflection of your overall health and that you make smart choices to protect your beautiful skin and take action to make your skin and body healthy.