In aesthetic medicine, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding a new device or product. The “latest-and-greatest” bursts onto the scene in a blitz of well-funded, flashy, eye-catching marketing. As the buzz grows, patients catch onto the craze and start asking about a certain laser, procedure or product almost on cue.
Many businesses often wonder if they don’t have a particular device or offer a specific service will it hurt them or drive potential patients away to other practices? We want to share Celibre Medical’s philosophy on this with you. We strive for one, single goal: we want happy, satisfied patients who trust us and the integrity of our practice. That’s it! We don’t care about a “flash in the pan” or a “one-hit wonder”. We simply won’t sacrifice your satisfaction, results or trust all for the sake of cashing in on the latest craze or trend.
Celibre Medical focuses on building long-term relationships with the patients we serve, and we go to great lengths to protect our integrity and reputation. This means that we carefully research and subjectively review each device we purchase and service we offer. In the case of non-invasive skin tightening devices/procedures such as Ulthera, Titan and Thermage, we just haven’t found the results to be consistent or significant enough across the board for us to feel confident in offering these services to our patients.
“But, the before and after photos are amazing”, you reply. Well, look at them carefully again and consider a couple of things. First, these photos rarely show continued, long-term improvement. They are usually done within the first six months after treatment. This is just one way that we believe the longevity of these procedures is misrepresented. Secondly, note the head positioning of the treated patients in the photos. Many of the “before” photos have the patients’ heads tilting down and the “afters” tilting up. This obviously changes the appearance of the neck, jowls and jawline and leaves us questioning the true results of treatment with these devices. In short, the photos don’t impress us much when you consider them beyond the first glance.
These devices all use the marketing terms “tighten” and “lift”. We understand this really appeals to those wanting these results from a non-surgical procedure. But for many people, the degree of “tightening” and “lifting” that’s desired can only be achieved from a surgical facelift or similar procedure. We promise to never “sell” you a result that we don’t truly believe we can deliver. Often, we can help you understand how other procedures, like Sculptra and/or Radiesse injections, may be beneficial for you in achieving your goals even if you’ve never considered them before. We use our experience, expertise and proven history of results to offer you the most beneficial, cost-effective solutions for your aesthetic needs and goals.
One last point we think is important when considering a non-invasive skin tightening procedure is to look at the long-term performance of a particular device before jumping on the bandwagon. Thermage was introduced almost 20 years ago, and while it’s still around today, it certainly is not widely used or recommended. Compare this to the Lumenis LightSheer for laser hair removal. This device was introduced 15 years ago, and it remains the most popular, most frequently used device for permanent laser hair removal. When a device delivers solid, consistent and permanent results, it becomes and remains the “gold standard” of treatment. When a technology is good, it stands the test of time. Unfortunately, we’re just not there yet with non-invasive skin tightening!
So, if you’ve got money to burn and you’re willing to accept less than stellar results as a return on your investment, then buy into the hype of the latest non-invasive skin tightening treatment. We just don’t see the value in offering these types of treatments to our patients and we’re not going to be pressured or swayed by the sensational marketing and full-court press of the TV or print marketing that these companies bank on people falling for.
Are you an adult suffering with acne? In addition to having small pimples, is your skin red, flaky, and irritated? If so, then you may have a condition known as acne rosacea.
Acne rosacea is a combination of two conditions: Rosacea, which causes facial irritation and redness due to excessive blood flow, and acne which causes the formation of red and yellow pimples. It’s common for the combination to occur in the nose, central forehead and cheeks.
Acne rosacea typically affects lighter-skinned men and women who usually complain of having a long history of “sensitive” skin. We’d bet that many of the treatments that you’ve been prescribed have aggravated and irritated your skin. This story is common in those like you who are fighting acne rosacea.
To answer the title question of this page, there is no single theory that explains your condition. Several different ones exist and many researchers suspect that it is a combination of genetic, environmental and even emotional factors that contribute to acne rosacea.
Remember that acne and Rosacea are two, distinct and separate conditions. In the case of acne rosacea, they coexist! When you have acne rosacea, the two tend to “feed off” of one another as the increased vascularity that causes your red skin also drives the formation of more of the pimple-like acne blemishes. As you might guess, both conditions need to be addressed separately. You may see little to no improvement unless both are treated simultaneously.
At Celibre Medical, we’ve used a combination of both the Aramis and pulsed dye lasers to help our acne rosacea patients. We’ve also seen patients improve after treatment with photodynamic therapy. Of course, we can help you pick out the proper skin care products to help control your acne rosacea and keep your skin looking smooth and clear. These products are geared to be extra gentle and calming for your skin.
We understand that no one likes acne, especially a busy adult. Call today to find out how we can help you get the clear skin you want with proven treatments!
When you choose Celibre Medical for your laser dermatology needs, you are choosing one of the most experienced laser practices in the Los Angeles and Torrance areas. Our laser experience dates back to the mid 1990’s when CO2 resurfacing was one of the few lasers on the market. While we are proud of our history, we’re even more proud of our results. Take a look by viewing our extensive gallery of before and after photos.
Our patients often wonder why we are so diligent about our photography. It’s because we believe that there is no better way to document, evaluate and share (with your permission) the results of our laser treatment programs than with good before and after photographs. Our protocols include multiple photos throughout the treatment process including before your first treatment, during and after we’ve completed the program.
Photography provides objective evidence of what the laser treatments or injections are doing for your skin. Sometimes, your results may be incremental, and you may need photographs to show that you are making progress with each treatment. Photos can also help your practitioner assess your progress. If you aren’t making the expected progress, photographs can help us adjust your program to get you back on track and where you want to be. Lastly, should you and your laser practitioner ever have a concern about the results your treatments; photographs provide an objective method to evaluate the concerns.
If you’ve visited a laser dermatology practice that doesn’t have any before and after photos of their own patients, then you should question this fact. Often, practices simply use photos supplied by the laser manufacturer. These often look good, but aren’t always representative of the kind of results most patients achieve. We want you to see OUR OWN patients and the fantastic results we have achieved with them. We believe that setting realistic expectations for your treatment at the beginning is key to your success and satisfaction with your treatment program.
We believe our before and after photos speak for themselves and offer you a very accurate, real-world representation of our work. We are just as proud of our results as our patients are, and believe that there’s no better way to share these results with you than with before and after photos. Feel free to come by and see them for yourself.
You’ve probably heard of Restylane or read about it in beauty magazines, but you may not know exactly what it is or what it does. We’ll give you the scoop on this amazing product and all the potential benefits of its use here.
Restylane is an FDA-approved injectable gel that is made up of hyaluronic acid (HA). It’s used to plump and fill areas of the face): lips, folds on the sides of the mouth, under eye dark circles, and cheeks are just a few examples of areas that can be treated with it.
If you think it sounds scary to inject something into your body, consider that HA is a natural part of our bodies to begin with. It a sugar-like molecule that can bind to and hold approximately 1,000 times its weight in water. This gives it amazing plumping and filling power! If you’re still skeptical, think of it another way. A baby’s skin has a ton of HA compared to an adult’s. Over time, we lose the ability to make HA easily and we also lose what we have due to environmental exposure and aging. Look at your own baby picture. Wouldn’t it be nice to regain those plump, rounded cheeks and smooth-looking skin? HA fillers like Restylane can help you do just that!
The HA that’s in Restylane is non-animal based. There is no potential for an allergic reaction and no testing required before your treatment – pretty much anyone can enjoy the benefits of this HA-based filler.
Another bonus of Restylane treatment is that while it adds back volume and replenishes your skin’s HA stores that have been lost over time, it also helps stimulate your body to make more of its own collagen and elastin. The benefits of your treatment can last for an extended period of time and often get better with repeated treatments. This not only keeps you looking younger, it can even make you look better than you did years ago! Call us today to learn more about the Restylane family of products.
We totally get it. You want to look and feel your best and you can’t break the bank at the same time. At Celibre Medical, we know and understand the importance of cost. We understand that your hard-earned dollars are important and that’s why we offer the highest level of care, expertise and technology at a fair price.
Often, we get calls from prospective patients that ask only one question – How much do you charge for Botox (Dysport)? While we definitely agree that cost is an important factor, we also want to educate you on why the cheapest Botox might not be where you want to start your treatments.
We’ve included photos of a patient who came to us after years of getting very cheap Botox somewhere else. As you can see from her photos, she had a bit of a peculiar arch to her brows that gave her a bit of a “spock brow” appearance. She was not happy even though her pocketbook was! Despite knowing that it would cost more, she came to us for help.
Together, we discussed what she disliked and what the corrective steps would be to fix her problem. By changing how she was injected, we created a whole different look for her that was much more natural and appealing. Her forehead is smooth and her brows have a much more subtle arch. She is happy and we’re happy that she’s happy!
Remember, cheap Botox is not always good Botox. When you consider only price, you can easily overlook many factors that go into that number. The time, training and experience of your provider are figured into that price too! And these have value. In fact, they can be the difference between walking away a happy and satisfied patient or walking away wishing you’d gone somewhere else!
If you’re always searching for a Groupon for your next Botox treatment, ask yourself why these practices have to run specials on their Botox? Is it because patients don’t come back for repeat care? Or is it because they really can’t get anyone through their doors any other way? Whichever the reason, these practices simply might be missing the most important piece of the puzzle: a great injector!
It’s hard to imagine anything that involves a needle not hurting, but surprisingly, most patients tell us that having cosmetic injections really isn’t all that bad! However, we feel it’s important to discuss the fact that pain is very subjective and so some patients will be more sensitive to cosmetic injections than others. Everyone feels pain differently; what one-person thinks is minor pain may be quite uncomfortable for someone else.
At Celibre Medical, we never assume that injections aren’t painful. We talk to you about your pain tolerance before your injections and will make every effort to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible in our office before we begin. We have many options for those of you who fear injections or are stressed out by the thought of having them.
Botox and Dysport Injections
The size of the needle that is used for these injections is the smallest available! While that doesn’t mean it’s painless, it does mean that the pain from the needle is minimized. If that still doesn’t make you feel more confident about tolerating Botox or Dysport injections, then we usually offer an ice pack to gently numb the area prior to injection as this usually does the trick. We will warn you though that many people feel that the ice pack is more uncomfortable than the needle itself!
Dermal Filler Injections
These are a bit different than Botox or Dysport injections. The needles that are used are still very small, but the product itself is what people tend to describe as painful. Compared to Botox, dermal fillers are stiff, thick gels, so as they’re injected, they disrupt and move the skin tissue which means that you’ll feel it more as compared to Botox.
With that said, we do have several ways that we decrease the discomfort of dermal filler injections. The first is topical numbing cream. There are many different formulations, but Celibre Medical uses one that is particularly effective at numbing the skin. This helps you not feel the “prick” of the needle so much. We can also use ice packs before your injections. This also helps to numb the skin’s surface and a bit more of the deeper layers of skin as well. Lastly, we use dermal filler products that contain a small amount of lidocaine, an anesthetic. Much like what you get at the dentist office, lidocaine can give a deep, regional anesthesia which helps you not really feel much at all other than pressure once the filler injections get going.
One last note: remember that where you get your dermal filler injections will play into how much they hurt. Having filler placed deeply in your cheeks hurts a whole lot less than having your lips injected. Different areas have different sensitivities. And sometimes no matter what we do to numb beforehand, you may have some discomfort with dermal filler in a highly sensitive area like the lips and around the mouth.
We strive to make your treatments as comfortable as possible and we take the time to make sure that we are fulfilling that responsibility with each and every treatment.
Fractional laser resurfacing is sort of the “it” procedure right now. Everything from scars to dark spots to lines and wrinkles can just be resurfaced away with a laser. Well—this isn’t exactly true. In fact, it’s not really true at all! While laser resurfacing is certainly a popular procedure right now, not all laser resurfacing treatments are the same. And not all practices providing laser resurfacing treatments can get the same results—even if they are using the same laser!
We regularly get phone calls from unhappy patients who feel that they didn’t get the results they were looking for from a Fraxel or other fractional laser resurfacing procedure. While it is understandable that they are upset, we want to help you avoid the same situation. Few consumers realize that it’s not the laser used that determines the outcome. Many of the fractional lasers available are very similar, and it’s how the laser is used and how the patient is prepared that determines the outcome.
Here is the reason why not all fractional laser resurfacing procedures are the same. It comes down to the depth of treatment, whether or not coagulation is used (deep heating of the skin), and % of the skin resurfaced. Each of these parameters is 100% customizable by the practitioner. This means that if your practitioner doesn’t understand how to manipulate them in a way that is most beneficial for your condition (scars, wrinkles, etc.), then you won’t see the results that you’d hoped for.
Out the unhappy patients who contact us, about 90% of them simply didn’t get a treatment that was deep enough. Here’s how we know:
At Celibre Medical, we will perform ablative fractional resurfacing down to 1000 microns (or 1 millimeter). Most other practices limit this number to 200-300 microns. While we are more aggressive and our patients have more bleeding, we find that when they’re educated and prepared for it, they handle it very well. And we also ensure that they understand our rationale for choosing a deeper treatment approach. We want them to see their skin problems improve greatly after just a single treatment!
We have also included some photos of what a typical 7-day recovery process looks like at our practice. You can see that immediately after the procedure there is some bleeding. While it may not look good, we know that this sign means that we’ve provided a deep resurfacing treatment that will look good once it’s healed!
We don’t believe in providing just a standard laser resurfacing. We know this means we must spend more time talking with you, carefully examining your skin, educating you and preparing you for all aspects of your treatment and recovery! Yes, this takes time and is more complicated, but it ensures that we will provide the best outcome for you that we possibly can. And happy patients are the reason we do what we do.
No, you’re not allergic to laser tattoo removal. While that is often the first thought of someone who gets hives after tattoo removal, we promise that’s not the case. We know that some patients develop red, itchy, raised and swollen looking skin immediately after laser treatment of their tattoo. Why? No one is quite sure, but it is a frequently reported adverse reaction to treatment.
Here’s what we think may be going on. If you’ve read about laser tattoo removal, you understand the laser works to break up the tattoo ink particles into much smaller pieces that can be removed and cleared by your body’s immune system. It’s been proposed that your immune system has a bit of a panic attack over the sudden, large amount of these ink particles that are created all at once during the treatment.
This immediate influx of foreign material in the skin triggers the redness, swelling and firmness that you see and feel. It also creates a sensation of mild pain and itching in the treated area. And while all of this is temporary and lasts only minutes to hours after treatment, we know that it can be uncomfortable.
There are ways to help limit this reaction and at best, avoid it all together. First, take some Benadryl about an hour before your laser treatment. This helps stabilize some of the immune cells in the skin that release the chemical signals responsible for the “hive-like” reaction. If you don’t have Benadryl, any antihistamine medication will help. If this works, remember to use this medication before every treatment.
Second, apply a hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. This steroid medicine also helps to calm down the immune cells in the skin. Again, this method only works when you apply it directly after treatment.
Lastly, ask your laser practitioner if you can use cold air or an ice pack immediately following treatment. The cold constricts your skin’s blood vessels which slows down your body’s blood flow and hence, the number of immune cells that can migrate to the treated area. And a cooling sensation can be a welcome thing after laser tattoo removal—with or without a hive-like reaction! It just feels good!
If you’ve tried these things and continue to have problems, sometimes it’s necessary to divide your laser tattoo treatment into separate sessions (usually two) to help lessen your skin’s reaction to the laser. While this takes more time and is inconvenient, it is an option that works for some as a last resort.
Hive-like reactions can happen after laser tattoo removal. Make sure your laser practitioner is aware if you’re having problems so he or she can take steps to help you correct it!
If you’re “over” your tattoo and want it gone yesterday, lasers can help. With that said, laser tattoo removal takes some time. There are several factors that can influence the time it takes for your tattoo removal and we review them below.
However, this is not always be the case. Amateur tattoos can have ink particles placed in varying layers of skin (professional ones tend to be close together). Deeper ink can be harder for the laser to get to. This may mean more overall treatments. Also, some amateur tattoo artists use ink that’s more difficult to remove with a laser than the ink used by professionals.
Professional tattoos usually take more treatment sessions because of the quality and density of ink as well as the depth of the skin where it’s placed. Generally speaking, good professional tattoos can often take twice as many treatments as a poorly placed amateur tattoo.
We understand that no one likes to wait! Unfortunately, patience is a requirement for laser tattoo removal! Here at Celibre, we can assure you that we can get the job done and get it done right for you. Our patients frequently comment on and ask why their personal experience is different from that of a friend or family member when it comes to laser tattoo removal. We review the information above with them, and explain that just like their tattoo, no two treatment plans are exactly the same. There are unique factors with each person that will dictate an individualized approach. And while we can estimate how many treatments you will need overall to see optimal results, we make sure that you understand this is just an estimate—nothing is written in stone.
Like picking out your tattoo and finding a tattoo artist that you trust to do good work, you need to go through the same process when finding a laser practitioner to remove your tattoo. Ask questions, make sure the practice has the right technology for your tattoo’s ink color(s) and your skin type (color). Also make sure that you have a clear and honest discussion up front about a realistic timeline for your treatment and what you can reasonably expect in terms of results. It may take a bit more work on the front end, but it’s what’s necessary to see the very best results in the end!
If you’re thinking about having laser resurfacing and have been doing some homework, you’ve probably come across CO2 laser resurfacing. If you’re still confused about it, it’s okay! We’re here to help you understand and make sense out of all the information out there today. Let’s start with some basic information.
What is Laser Resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing is a cosmetic treatment that can help improve the texture, elasticity and/or color of your skin. There are two forms of resurfacing: ablative and non-ablative. CO2 laser resurfacing is an ablative procedure that causes tissue injury to the surface of the skin. Essentially, we make a tiny wound that your body must heal, and this is how we stimulate your skin to make new collagen. The injury and subsequent collagen development makes new skin looks tighter, firmer and younger!
What is CO2 for?
CO2 is for Carbon Dioxide. This is the material used in the development of the laser beam used in the resurfacing procedure. CO2 lasers use light at a wavelength of 10,600 nanometers. This wavelength penetrates the skin and targets water in all of our cells. Once the light energy is absorbed into skin, it’s quickly converted into thermal energy. This heat is so intense, that the skin literally vaporizes where the laser hits it. This is why CO2 laser resurfacing is so good at producing a “controlled” wound in your skin.
What is Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
This is where it can get a bit confusing for some. Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing works in the exact same way as described above except that the beam of light energy passes through a filter (like a strainer) that splits it up into lots of smaller laser beams. Hence, fractional resurfacing removes only a portion of the treated area, usually 20% – 70%.
Older, “full field” ablative CO2 resurfacing couldn’t be done on darker skin types. Many patients suffered with infections, scarring and permanent, unwanted textural changes in their skin afterwards. Not to mention the fact that most people took at least 2 to 4 weeks to heal enough to return to work and social events. In short, the older, non-fractionated or full field resurfacing treatments were a bit of a tough sell and could only be provided to Caucasian skin types.
Fractional CO2 changed all that. The results are still impressive, but there’s much less risk of problems afterwards, and you can be fully healed usually within about a week. Newer technologies that use different energy sources such as erbium can be used on even the darkest, African American skin type (color).
Benefits of CO2 Laser Resurfacing
The benefits of CO2 laser resurfacing come about during the healing process. For example, patients with acne scars are able to improve the texture of the skin because the resurfacing procedure removes scar tissue and during the healing process, the body generates new, soft collagen that heals the skin smoother than it was prior to treatment.
What’s the Downtime for CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
This is depends on whether you have a full field or fractional treatment. Full field will require you to have a general anesthetic and typically requires several weeks of recovery. Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing can be done with a combination of local and topical anesthetic and recovery times are usually within about 5 to 7 days.
Whichever you decide is best for you, make sure that your laser practitioner has plenty of experience and walks you through step-by-step of either procedure. Being prepared and fully informed on your treatment is the best way to ensure that you are happy with your experience and results after!