FAQ

What is a Dermatologist?

Dermatologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair and nails. There are many professionals who claim to be Dermatologists, but true Dermatologists have received eight years of medical training including four years of medical school, an internship, and three years of advanced training in Dermatology. After training, a properly trained Dermatologist who passes the certification exam is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and becomes a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology. This individual is then eligible to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology if certain qualifications are met.

What are cosmetic fillers used to treat?

Fillers are used to correct facial wrinkles and folds, augment lips, shape facial contours, and improve depressed scars.

What types of fillers are there?

The newest generation of fillers is made from a substance, hyaluronic acid (HA), which occurs naturally throughout the body and is found predominantly in the skin. This substance is what keeps our skin plump and young looking and is what we lose over time as we age.

How safe are cosmetic fillers?

When used correctly and injected by a Dermatologist, cosmetic fillers are very safe. Because HA is a natural substance already found in skin, there is very low risk that a patient will have an allergic reaction to a treatment. No skin allergy testing is required.

What are the risks and potential side effects of cosmetic fillers?

With the HA types of fillers, most patients have very few, if any, adverse side effects and little downtime after treatments. The most common side effects are redness and/or swelling at the injection site which typically lasts for about two to three days. As with any injection, bruising is also a possibility. Please call our office to obtain the prefiller instructions to minimize your risk of bruising. In addition, a very small percentage of patients (1 in 5000) may develop a hypersensitivity reaction to HA fillers, resulting in prolonged red, tender, or swollen areas.

How do cosmetic fillers work?

A Dermatologist will inject the filler under the wrinkle or fold. The line is then filled in and the results are instant. The cosmetic filler helps to restore volume to the skin, thereby softening wrinkles and reducing the visual effects of damaged skin. They also can be used to fill in scars, provide fullness to the lips, and smooth sunken temples. In addition, many patients achieve quick, dramatic results by combining cosmetic filler treatments with Botox injections.

What is Botox Cosmetic?

It is a natural, purified protein that is used for the treatment of wrinkles.

How does Botox Cosmetic work?

Botox Cosmetic is injected in small amounts into frown lines between the brow, the forehead, crows’ feet, and around the mouth. It relaxes facial muscles, which causes overlying wrinkles to soften and often disappear. The earlier in your life you start treatments, the better your results will be.

How safe is Botox Cometic?

Used correctly and administered by a Dermatologist, Botox Cosmetic treatments have very few risks. The most common side effect is a small amount of bruising at the injection site.

How long has Botox Cosmetic been used to treat patients?

Botox Cosmetic has been used for more than 20 years. It was initially used by ophthalmologists to control chronic eye spasms and twitching. Only later did it become apparent it was also successful for treating wrinkles in small quantities. More than a million patients have been treated since it was approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of frown lines.

What can I expect during and after my Botox Cosmetic treatment?

It is a minimally invasive procedure, allowing patients to return to normal daily activities immediately following the procedure. A very small gauge needle is used and most patients describe tolerable temporary discomfort during the procedure. A topical anesthesia can be applied 30 minutes prior to injection, if requested by the patient. The only limitation is that we recommend that you do massage the area treated for 4 hours.

How soon can I see Botox Cosmetic results and how long will it last?

FDA approved, Botox® is a safe and effective procedure that provides patients with results that can last anywhere from 3-5 months on average. You will see results in 3 -7 days after getting Botox injections. Dr. Cauthen’s knowledge of facial anatomy ensures a beautiful result that relaxes your wrinkles without losing your natural facial expression.

Are there any alternatives to Botox Cosmetic?

Yes! We also offer Dysport which is a similar product that is FDA approved since 2009 for softening frown lines. Ask your Dermatologist which product is right for you.

How do you choose the right clinician for Botox Cosmetic treatments?

Studies suggest the practitioner’s experience is a key criteria, affecting both your comfort during treatment and your results. It is not wise or recommended to find the least expensive practitioner because the results will likely be comparable.

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a procedure performed in a dermatologist’s office to improve the appearance of your skin. You may have heard of Chemical Peels referred to as “lunch time peels” because they require minimal down time.

How does a Chemical Peel work?

Chemical peels remove the dull, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin which stimulates young, healthy new skin cells to come to the surface. Multiple peels can stimulate collagen to remodel, giving a more even skin texture and tone.

What are Chemical Peels used for?

Chemical peels can make your skin appear healthier and more youthful. They improve the texture of the skin as well as helping fade dark blotches. They can minimize the appearance of brown discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles and superficial scars. Acne, oily skin and enlarged pores can improve as well.

What can I expect from a Chemical Peel treatment?

In the dermatologist’s office, your face will be wiped with pre-cleanse pads and then the chemical will be applied. In about one minute, you will feel a stinging sensation. Within two to three minutes, the discomfort will peak and then quickly resolve. We will then rinse your face with water and apply a moisturizer and chemical-free sunscreen to your skin. Immediately after the peel your face may appear a bit rosy in color. Anywhere from one to five days later your face may start to peel. The amount of peeling can vary from invisible microscopic peeling to more noticeable dry skin flaking. Do not pick the scales because this will lead to possible infection and scarring. We will recommend the peels to be repeated every 2-4 weeks for best results. Our aesthetician may recommend a certain number of treatments based on your skin condition. Most patients begin to see results after three peels.

What are the risks and complications of Chemical Peels?

The procedure is very safe; however, in rare instances there can be extensive peeling, especially if your face is inflamed. Occasionally, dark spots and pigment scarring can occur which will fade over time. If you avoid sun exposure and follow our aftercare instructions, this should not occur. Please tell your doctor if you have a history of cold sores.

What sunscreen should I use?

Any sunscreen is better than going without, but some types of sunscreen may protect you better or be more suited to your needs than others. Finding the right sunscreen is partly finding one with the right consistency for your skin type. Those will oily or acne-prone skin may want to go with a less greasy sunscreen, for example. Also, anyone planning to go into water or to sweat may want a water-resistant formula. But more importantly, it is crucial to understand that SPF is not the only thing to look at when choosing a sunscreen. SPF is based only on UVB protection. UVB are the burning rays, but UVA penetrate deeper (through glass even) and are the aging rays. It is more important to check the ingredients and look for products that will protect you from both UVA and UVB (i.e. broad spectrum sunscreens). Dr. Cauthen prefers sunscreens containing physical (not chemical) blockers so look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in your products. You can purchase Dr. Cauthen’s favorite sunscreen products, Elta MD, in her office.

My face is always red. Does that mean I have rosacea?

No. A red face and rosacea are overlapping, but not necessarily the same problem. It is true that many people who have pink-appearing cheeks, chin, and mid-forehead are prone to rosacea. Almost all patients who have rosacea acknowledge that they flush easily with exercise, embarrassment, spicy food, or exposure to extremes of temperature. But people can have red faces from skin allergies, eczema, irritation from products, seborrhea (a dandruff-like condition), or diseases like Lupus.

Redness with a tendency to develop pimples, particularly in the central part of the face, is more likely to be rosacea, and those symptoms are likely to improve with treatment that may involve a change of skin products, topical medications, and sometimes oral antibiotics. A red face and the dilated blood vessels that people often refer to as “broken capillaries” are likely to benefit substantially from laser treatments.

My skin is so dry. Do I need to drink more water?

Yes and no. Water is vital to health and, except in rare circumstances, it’s healthy to drink as much as possible. It’s true that a person suffering significant dehydration, will have dry, loose skin in addition to other symptoms, but simply adding fluid does not correct the appearance of dry-looking skin in other circumstances. Skin appears dry because of irritation and scaling, or defects in the membrane surrounding skin cells that function to prevent water loss. Those types of problems may need to be addressed by a variety of interventions: less irritating cleansing regimens, diets richer in essential lipids which improve cell membranes, and correct use of moisturizers to improve the barrier function of outer skin cells and prevent ongoing water loss.

Why am I getting all these pre-cancers on my face? I never go out in the sun anymore.

Yes, but you once did. Sunshine is composed of ultraviolet energy, a form of radiation, and, as with all radiation, the real damage typically takes years to develop. What you encounter now may well be the result of childhood sun exposure.

Is skin cancer inherited?

Although there are rare forms of inherited skin cancers, more often we are looking at family members who have simply inherited factors that increase baseline risk, like fair skin and a tendency to sunburn. Family members are likely to share environmental risk factors as well: outdoor activities, vacations to the beach, and a shared value for “wearing” a tan. If we develop skin cancers like out parents, it is likely that it is because we inherited their skin type, and have taken on their habits as well.

That being said, there appears to be a strong inherited family link with a form of melanoma called the “Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome” or “Familial Melanoma Syndrome” in which affected family members develop an increased number of abnormal moles that are large and asymmetric and contain a variety of shades and color. These individuals have a high lifetime risk of developing melanoma skin cancer, and benefit from increased surveillance and screening.