How partnering the two most popular skincare treatments today can lead to faster, more effective, and enhanced results!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past year, you’d be hard-pressed to not have heard of HydraFacials or Microneedling. HydraFacial MD® is currently taking their radiance boosting technology on a nationwide tour to educate the public on the benefits of their 4-in-1 treatment. SkinPen® Microneedling just gained national recognition for being the only FDA-Approved Microneedling Device on the market. With this astounding recognition and popularity, you may feel as though it’s difficult to decide which treatment to schedule - luckily, you don’t have to! Many Licensed Aestheticians are seeing first -hand, the remarkable improvements in their patient’s skin when they combine BOTH revolutionary treatments. Here’s why!
“I tell my patients that the combination therapy of HydraFacial MD® and SkinPen® Microneedling is like treating their skin from the inside out AND the outside in,” shares Sarah, a certified paramedical aesthetician with Face Cosmetic Skincare. “We set up a skin strategy that includes me seeing them every 3 to 4 weeks for either a HydraFacial® or SkinPen® over a series of months,” she explains. “HydraFacials work from the outside in by providing a deep cleanse, extractions, light peel and a moisture infusion that can be customized to treat such conditions as acne, sun damage and premature aging. The SkinPen® works from the inside out by invoking the wound healing cycle deep in the skin and encouraging the growth of fresh, healthy collagen which smooths acne scarring, lessens the appearance of enlarged pores and softens fine lines,” Sara remarks. “It’s truly a match made in skincare heaven that not only delivers incredible results, but is also easy to schedule with downtime and budget consciousness!”
To truly understand why so many patients are enjoying faster and more effective results by combing these two technologies, it’s important to know how they both work!
Treating Skin from the "Outside In" with HydraFacial MD®
What makes HydraFacial MD® so unique? It’s a quadruple threat by including 4 treatments in one service! Your treatment starts with a deep cleansing using a special wand with a patent-pending triple action tip. This simultaneously exfoliates while penetrating a deep cleansing solution into your skin. In addition, light suction whisks away dirt and debris. Next up, your skin is gently exfoliated with an abrasive wand and then bathed in a light chemical peel. This is followed by comfortable suction assisted extractions of blackheads and skin congestion. To finish, your skin is treated to a cooling infusion of antioxidants, humectants and nutrients. You’ll leave feeling plump, hydrated, firm and GLOWING!
Because the products and serums used during your HydraFacial MD® can be customized, this treatment is appropriate for every skincare goal and concern. Salicylic serums and gentle extraction make it a wonderful option for oily/congested skin, while light resurfacing and moisture infusion make it the gold standard for dry, dehydrated and malnourished skin. Your Licensed Aesthetician will adjust your treatment each time you visit to ensure that your present condition is treated and you continue to see improvement. It’s no wonder, at 30 minutes per treatment, that HydraFacial MD® is a patient favorite to maintain their skin every 4 weeks.
- Acne / Oily Skin
- Blackheads / Congested Skin
- Dry or Dehydrated Skin
- Premature Aging
- Dark spots, sun damage, pigmentation
- Fine lines
- Special Event Preparation
- Clear skin
- Decongested Pores
- Smooth, soft skin
- Even tone and texture
- Hydration and nourishment
- Special Event Makeup sets better
- Big impact with minimal time investment
Treating Skin from the Inside Out with SkinPen® Microneedling
SkinPen® is a medical-grade, state-of-the-art tool, which is available only through licensed skincare professionals working under medical supervision. The “pen” has a disposable tip that is comprised of 14 surgical-grade stainless steel needles, hence the process being called “Microneedling.” Microneedling works by gently creating hundreds of microscopic channels into the dermis as the pen safely glides over your skin. When skin is injured, it heals itself by creating new collagen and elastin. These are the very components of our skin that breakdown with scarring and aging and can lead to uneven skin texture. As a result, SkinPen® controls the rate of injury to safely and predictably encourage new collagen and elastin production, leaving your skin smoother and healthier over time!
SkinPen Microneedling is extremely versatile due to its non-ablative, non-thermal and fractionated approach. It is also one of the few resurfacing treatments that is safe for darker skin types, as the risk of hyperpigmentation is very low. In addition, the micro channels that the treatment creates increases the rate of absorption and effectiveness of any subsequent products placed on the skin.
- Uneven skin texture and/or tone
- Acne scarring
- Chickenpox scarring
- Icepick scarring
- Rough skin texture
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Perioral fine lines (Smoker’s Lines)
- Crow’s feet
- Enlarged pores
- Post-surgical scarring
- Smooths skin scarring
- Tightens skin
- Improves skin texture and tone
- Reduces the appearance of pores
- Reduces the appearance of surgical scars
“These two treatments truly work synergistically to not only treat active skin conditions, but to also PREVENT premature aging,” says Sara excitedly. “We stop producing collagen and elastin in our skin in our late twenties-these, along with fat, are the components of our skin that give it fullness, firmness, spring and bounce,” she explains. “SkinPen® Microneedling encourages more growth, so it can be an integral treatment in your anti-aging skincare regimen to offset this collagen decline. In addition, our skin’s rate of cellular turnover and moisture retention lessens as we age, but this can also be offset with monthly HydraFacials to keep your skin healthy, hydrated and resurfaced! I absolutely love the results I get for my patients who are on this monthly regimen and feel fantastic about prescribing a strategy that truly fits their lifestyles and budgets!”
Are you ready to experience the amazing benefits of HydraFacial MD® + SkinPen® first hand? Schedule a consultation with a Face Cosmetic Licensed Aesthetician to lay out your strategy. Want to save on these treatments? Save hundreds each year by becoming an MRewards member! Call (651) 632-9700 to schedule!
“I had been dissatisfied with my recessed, weak, chin since my early teens,” confides Mark, a 34-year-old chin implant patient of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “I just didn’t feel like my facial features were very masculine, strong, or attractive,” he explains. “It was like my chin got lost on my face, and over the years it really started to impact my self-esteem and confidence in both my dating life and career,” he continues, “I finally decided to take action when I hit 30. It seemed like a milestone birthday and I wanted to commemorate it with finally being happy with the appearance of my chin. I began researching the best facial plastic surgeons in Minneapolis, which led me to discovering Dr. Tolan.”
Like Mark, most of us have some aspect of our appearance that we’re dissatisfied with, whether it’s a bump on our noses or a sagging jawline. But, while many of us are now aware of solutions, such as cosmetic injectables and lasers to enhance our appearance, facial implants are not an option on many people’s radar. Insufficiencies in our facial bone structure can create noticeable facial disproportions, such as a recessed chin. Augmentation of these deficient areas can be performed using solid cheek, jaw or chin implants, restoring facial harmony. These implants can balance the appearance of the face by augmenting specific features and enhancing the contours and angles of the face.
Generally Targeted Areas of Facial Implants
- Jaw (Mandibuloplasty)
- Cheek (Malarplasty)
- Chin (Mentoplasty)
“Facial Implants are a wonderful option to enhance the underlying structure of your facial features and restore an overall balance and proportion to your face,” explains Dr. Christopher Tolan, a double-board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “Like Mark, many men seek out this option because a strong chin and jawline are such crucial features that denote masculinity on the male face,” he continues.
The most common sites for facial implants are usually the cheeks, jawline and chin. In some procedures, your surgeon will use a bone graft or donated tissue from the ribs or hip bone instead of synthetic implant. However, the facial implants that are typically used are made of solid silicone or Gore-Tex, a synthetic solid material similar in texture to silicone. Unlike breast implants, the silicone used in this procedure is solid, so the concerns associated with the liquid silicone used in breast augmentation are not relevant.
In cheek augmentation, or malarplasty, the implant is inserted into a pocket made by the surgeon next to the cheek bone. Depending on your preference, the implant can be placed in such a way that it creates a more narrow and angular cheek, or a softer, rounder cheek. You and your surgeon will discuss what placement will look best to enhance your existing features and appear the most natural.
Chin augmentation, or mentoplasty, can be used to make a weak chin more prominent. A small chin can make the nose seem disproportionately large, creating an imbalanced appearance. For this reason, chin augmentation is often done in conjunction with rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping. Your surgeon will discuss whether or not he believes this is a good recommendation with you.
Jaw augmentation, or mandibuloplasty, can be used to adjust the contours of the jawline. This procedure is commonly requested by men seeking a stronger and firmer jaw. A jawline augmentation is typically performed to create a squarer and more masculine jawline.
One of the many benefits of facial implants that make them so popular is that they require a relatively short recovery period. The surgery generally takes between one to two hours and patients are often able to return to their normal daily routine within one week. In some cases, your surgeon may discuss the use of dermal fillers such as Voluma® and Juvederm® to further enhance your surgery.
“I am so happy with my results,” says Mark. “The recovery was simple and, although it may sound weird, I finally feel like I look how I’m supposed to look now,” he shares. “It instantly renewed my confidence in my appearance, I only wish I had done it sooner!”
Are you a man who would like to sharpen or strengthen your jawline? Are you a woman who would like to see the apple restored to your cheeks? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Christopher Tolan or Dr. Garrett Griffin of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery to discuss Facial Implants! Call (651) 632-9700.
Do you want a “Summer Glow” without the damage? Then, it’s time you get to know Glycolic Acid! You may remember that products with Glycolic Acid were all the rage 10 years ago, but they seemed to disappear over the past few years. Well, they’re BACK, and reformulated to be better than ever for your skin! Let’s take a look at why you may want to ask your Licensed Aesthetician about incorporating this multi-tasking, exfoliating acid into your annual skincare regimen to boost your skin’s radiance all year long!
When it comes to acids that are used for exfoliation of the skin (removing dead skin cells), Glycolic Acid is truly unique. It is one of the smallest of all the Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, or AHA’s. This allows it to be formulated to be extra gentle, yet effective. It is also naturally derived from sugar and very bio-compatible with human skin.
Unlike AHA’s, Beta-Hydroxy Acids, or BHA’s, can penetrate further into your skin. These acids LOVE oil, which makes them highly beneficial to acne patients who need exfoliation deep within their pores where oil and bacteria flourish. But, this can also make BHA’s a little irritating for those of us with sensitive skin. Glycolic Acid’s molecular structure allows it to stay on the surface of the skin and gently exfoliate and refresh the very superficial layers.
“I absolutely love recommending products with Glycolic Acid to my patients who simply want a fresher, more radiant look,” shares Kari Phippen, a Licensed Aesthetician at FACE Cosmetic Skincare. “They fall in love with the products because they SEE an immediate result,” she continues, “their skin just GLOWS and looks bright and dewy!”
How does Glycolic Acid achieve these rejuvenating results on your skin? First, the acid gently dissolves the bonds that hold dead skin cells together on the surface of your skin. Your dead cells like to bind together with sebum, or oil on the surface of your skin and can lead to a dull, ashy, or muddy appearance. Glycolic Acid separates this bond between oil and cellular build up and allows debris and dead cells to detach and rinse away. It does this without stripping the skin of crucial hydration, making it a wonderful option for BOTH dry and oily skin types!
“At FACE Cosmetic Skincare, we carry several different products with Glycolic Acid, but my all-time favorite is our Glycolic Acid Pads,” advises Kari. “They simply fit into people’s lifestyles really well and are super versatile,” she goes on, “I encourage patients to use them after cleansing their face, neck and chest. Not only does the Glycolic Acid exfoliate, continual use evens out the tone of the skin and allows your skin to maintain hydration. That’s what eventually gets you that incredible “Glycolic GLOW!”
Like Kari said, Glycolic Acid comes in several formulations from in-office peels, to creams, serums and pads. This makes it incredibly versatile and easy to fit into your skincare regimen. Regardless of which formulation you use, it’s important to apply sun protection after applying in the morning, as your freshly resurfaced skin may be more sensitive.
“Oftentimes, I’ll take the ladder approach when recommending Glycolic Acids to my patients,” explains Kari. “We’ll start at a lower percentage in the Summer and allow their skin to acclimate to that level of resurfacing. Then, in the Fall/Winter, we’ll bump it up to a higher concentration so we can keep the skin glowing, but also combat dry, Winter skin! It is simply the perfect ingredient to really keep your skin looking and feeling it’s best year-round!”
Wanna “Get Glow’in with Glycolic?” Ask your FACE Cosmetic Licensed Aesthetician about incorporating one of our Glycolic Acid products into your annual skincare regimen! Call (651) 632-9700 to schedule a complimentary consultation!
Men & Plastic Surgery
The landscape of plastic surgery is changing. As you may have guessed, the majority of both facial and body plastic surgery patients have traditionally been women in the past. But, the number of men seeking both surgical and non-invasive procedures to enhance their appearance is growing rapidly! So quickly, in fact, that it has tripled since 1997. 1.2 million cosmetic surgical procedures were performed on men in 2015, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASPS). That is 3 TIMES the number of men seeking surgery to enhance their appearance than just two decades earlier.
“We are seeing more and more men for surgical consults each month,” shares Dr. Garrett Griffin, a board certified facial plastic surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “I think that the taboo of plastic surgery for men is dissipating, as men see that they can attain results that look incredibly natural and that few people would ever guess they’ve had anything done,” he continues, “we also see this trend extending into our non-surgical treatments like Botox®, dermal fillers and laser skin treatments. Men, just like women, want to look as young as they feel. And, they deserve to! They are beginning to appreciate that they can lose the lines they hate, while still maintaining the character of their faces!”
In June of 2017, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) conducted a study which found that 31% of men said they were “extremely likely” to seek out a cosmetic procedure. Just shy of 50% said they would consider this treatment to increase their confidence. 25% shared that “to look younger” was a chief consideration for them to feel more competitive in their career field.
“I am seeing a substantial increase in male patients seeking cosmetic injectables like Botox®, Kybella® and dermal fillers,” says Maria Becker, Injection Specialist with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “Many of them initially see me with the encouragement of their wife or partner, but I make sure to listen to what each male patient truly wants.” Maria continues, “this may be as simple as relaxing the deep furrow line between his brow with Botox®, to adding some definition back to his jawline with Kybella® treatments. Men are consistently surprised with how natural the results are, how easily they are accomplished, and how much they still look like themselves!”
When seeking a healthcare professional to perform cosmetic treatments, whether surgical or non-surgical, it is important to inquire about the special training of your provider. Surgery is very different on a male face than on a female’s face, and oftentimes, the desired outcome, or aesthetic, is different as well. This also goes for facial injectables, such as Botox.
“Many of the procedures we perform have a somewhat general overlap between the sexes,” explains Dr. Christopher Tolan, also a board certified facial plastic surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “But, the intricate details of these procedures can have dramatic differences between a man and women,” he continues. “Take a rhinoplasty for example, the goal is to improve the form, function and aesthetic of the nose, but a man will want to ensure that he is maintaining a balanced and masculine appearance, while a woman wants to achieve a beautiful and feminine aesthetic,” Dr. Tolan continues, “it’s important to know that your surgeon is trained and experienced in performing procedures that are specific to a man’s anatomy and desired outcome.”
This consideration extends to cosmetic injectables as well. Because of the size and strength of their facial muscles, men generally require more units of Botox® than women to get the same outcome. Men also tend to have thicker skin, so more syringes of dermal filler may be required to fill facial wrinkles or encourage lift to their facial structure. It is, therefore, also important to seek out injection specialists with advanced training and experience with a man’s unique needs.
“Many of my male patients are in career fields in which they feel a youthful appearance gives them an advantage,” explains Maria. “Like women, they want to feel like they are putting their most fresh and youthful face forward. But, when you have a deep scowl line between your eyebrows that make you look angry or tired, you may be sending the wrong signals to clients or co-workers!” Maria goes on, “to see the confidence restored in a male patient is so rewarding to me. So many of them have felt that this field of cosmetic injectables was off-limits to them, or unapproachable. I want men to understand that they are completely justified in wanting to look as young as they feel and more attractive! So often it requires such minimal effort, for a truly impactful result!”
Are you a man who has been considering facial surgery to improve the appearance of droopy eyelids, a crooked nose, or sagging skin? Are you simply curious about what a treatment like Botox® would be like, to soften the line between your eyebrows? Call (651) 632-9700 to schedule a consultation today with Dr. Griffin, Dr. Tolan, or Maria Becker-Injection Specialist!
Shine a light on what you need to know to stay protected!
At this point in our lives, many of us know that we need to wear a sunscreen while outdoors to protect our skin from sunburn and premature aging of our skin…WRINKLES! It’s now common knowledge that the sun alone causes up to 90% of visible aging on our skin, not to mention putting us at risk for skin cancer. But, if you have walked down the aisles of any drugstore recently, you may have noticed that the sun care industry has literally exploded with options. From gels, to creams, to tints and sprays – there is no lack of options. And now, with recent bans of some sunscreens in states like Hawaii (because of damage to coral beds), a whole new controversy has come to light in the sun protection world – Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreens. Feeling confused and overwhelmed about which options are right for you and your skin? Let’s shine some light on what you need to know to make an informed choice!
While some of us dutifully apply our sunscreen everyday come rain or shine, others of us are more in the habit of slapping some on only while we are on vacation. The American Cancer Society wants you occasional users to listen up! Their research estimates that in 2018 there will be about 91,270 new cases of melanoma diagnosed and over 9,000 deaths from the disease. What does that mean for you? You need to find a sun protection option that works for you, your lifestyle, and your skin type!
So, what makes sunscreens different from one another? Besides their vehicle of delivery (gel, cream, lotion, spray, etc.), sunscreen is generally broken down into two distinct categories; Chemical or Physical. In layman’s terms – absorbent versus reflective. Let’s dig deeper!
Like the name suggests, chemical sunscreens protect our skin via chemicals and their reactions with sun. When we’re wearing a chemical sunscreen and we come into contact with sunlight, the chemicals absorb the UV rays and transfer them to heat (and infrared) that dissipates off our skin’s surface. Common ingredients you’ll find on the label of a chemical sunscreens are anything that ends in “benzone,” like Avobenzone and other chemicals like Octinoxate and Octylcrylen.
Because of the heat these sunscreens can trap against the surface of the skin, chemical sunscreens are NOT the ideal options for sensitive skin types or those of us who suffer from conditions like rosacea. The chemicals in these sunscreens can also be incredibly destructive to coral beds in the ocean. Think about it… you’re on vacation and apply your sunscreen right before you go snorkeling, right? Turns out, all of these chemicals in the water are having a large enough impact on ocean health that many states and countries are bringing forth legislation to ban them!
One of the biggest complaints that some people have about wearing sunscreen is that they get a ghostly white hue to the skin once they apply. If this is the case, they are most likely applying a physical sunscreen. Unlike their chemical sisters who absorb the sun’s rays, physical sunscreens reflect light. They most always contain a more natural array of ingredients and always contain zinc and titanium oxide, the main culprit that will give you that white hue in certain formulations.
Physical sunscreens tend to be a much better option for children and those with sensitive skin, as they reflect heat and have more natural ingredients that are skin friendly. Many formulations now come in tints that omit the concern of the dreaded white hue!
Alright…so which one is better for me?
The short answer is that it depends on you and your lifestyle! Visit any store and you’ll see that chemical sunscreens are much easier to find because the chemical ingredients are cheaper to manufacture and formulate. These sunscreens may offer more versatility in that different chemical combinations are used to filter out more UVA/UVB rays, but there is a tradeoff. More chemicals mean more of a chance for skin irritation.
Physical sunscreens, outside of straight zinc, are most often found in your physician’s office, as they are the gold standard for anyone recovering from a cosmetic procedure like laser resurfacing, after which you do NOT want heat on the skin. The formulations of these sunscreens have come a long, long way from the days of the blue zinc on surfer’s noses. Most have very sophisticated mineral makeup tints to them that have millions of consumers ditching their makeup foundation for a well formulated tinted physical sunscreen. These are great options for those with busy lifestyles who want to still be protected and look “put together” as they race out the door!
What matters most when it comes to sun care is that you’re using it, and using it regularly! Look for products that ensure broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays, are at least an SPF 30, and are approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Meeting with a Licensed Aesthetician who carries many options of chemical and physician sunscreens will ensure that you get a perfect match for you and your skin!
Ready to step up your protection this Summer? Schedule a sunscreen consultation with a Face Cosmetic Licensed Aesthetician to sample several options and find the perfect fit for You! Call (651) 632-9700 to schedule!
What you need to know about Otoplasty Ear Reconstruction
If you’re like most people, you take your ears for granted! In this case, we’re not talking about the function of the ear – hearing, but the actual appearance of your ears. About 5% of the American population is dissatisfied with how their ears look. This may be due to size, shape, or even how far from the head they protrude. As a result, many of these people experience a negative impact on their self-esteem and confidence, especially in their youth. Otoplasty, a surgical ear reconstruction procedure, is an incredible option for this population that is more accessible than many people think! Let’s take a closer look at what it is and how it can improve the quality of life of those who are unhappy with the appearance of their ears!
“As a child, my mother made me wear my hair long and parted down the middle to cover my ears,” shares Karissa, an Otoplasty patient of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “I remember having to style my hair in a ponytail for gym class and being teased mercilessly by the other kids with names like Dumbo and Mickey Mouse,” she continues, “when I graduated from college, I wanted to address my dissatisfaction with my ears before I started my career and this new chapter in my life. So, after a lot of research, I sought out the Otoplasty procedure with Dr. Tolan!”
“Although many of my Otoplasty patients are children, I also see a large number of adults during the year, like Karissa,” says Dr. Christopher Tolan, Facial Plastic Surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastics. “In many cases, they have disliked the appearance of their ears their entire lives,” he explains. “Most are surprised to discover how safe, economical and low risk the surgery is, and wish they had pursued it as an option sooner!”
Otoplasty, sometimes referred to as “ear pinning,” is a surgical procedure designed to adjust or correct the appearance of the external part of the ear. Your ear is primarily composed of cartilage; a firm but flexible type of tissue that allows the ear to maintain its shape, but still bend. This external structure, called the pinna, is meant to help amplify what we hear by focusing sound to our eardrum. Although it has no appreciable effect on hearing, the Otoplasty procedure can adjust a variety of problems that affect its appearance, such as asymmetry between the ears, oversized ears, outwardly protruding ears, and even atypical lobe shape.
“The most common reason a patient comes to me for Otoplasty is because of protruding ears,” shares Dr. Tolan. “But, other common reasons include ear reconstruction to correct atypical shapes such as “lop ear,” when the tip seems to fold downward and forward, or “shell ear,” when the curve in the outer rim is missing.” Dr. Tolan continues, “Regardless of the procedure, an Otoplasty is never meant to improve your ability to hear.”
EAR PLASTIC SURGERY FOR PEDIATRIC PATIENTS (CHILDREN)
Otoplasty is typically performed on children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old. The young cartilage is more flexible and easier to mold in children. However, the surgery is generally not performed until the ears have fully grown, which typically occurs at 5-6 years of age. Children are often teased for abnormal appearing ears, which can create a strong, adverse psychological impact on their self-esteem. Otoplasty can correct for differences in the appearance of their ears, providing an effective option for children who are distressed by how they look.
For pediatric patients, general anesthesia is recommended since the procedure can last up to three hours. The surgery is generally done on an outpatient care basis, so patients are able to go home soon after the procedure. Children can return to most activities after seven days of rest and use of a headband, contact sports must be avoided for several weeks.
EAR PINNING OR RECONSTRUCTION FOR ADULT PATIENTS
While cartilage is more pliable in younger patients, Otoplasty is also performed regularly and effectively on adults, such as in Karissa’s case. Ear pinning, or reshaping, will be easier to perform the younger the patient is. In adults, general or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is the typical form of anesthetic used. After the procedure, you can generally return to your daily routine after seven days.
“Otoplasty has a surprisingly short surgical time and downtime,” advises Dr. Tolan. “I find it such a satisfying procedure to perform because it immediately has such a positive impact on the self-confidence of my patients,” he continues, “in fact, it’s not uncommon to see them sporting a brand-new hairstyle when they return for their follow up appointments!”
Do you have questions about improving the appearance of your ears with Otoplasty? Are you interested in this procedure for your child? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tolan or Dr. Griffin at Midwest Facial Plastics by calling (651) 632-9700.
Earlier last year, Oscar award winning actress, Angelina Jolie came forward with a surprising diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy, a form of temporary facial nerve paralysis. At the time, this was a condition few Americans had heard of, but soon other A-List celebrities, like George Clooney, followed suit and came forward to discuss their battles with Bell’s Palsy. What exactly is this condition? Why does it happen? As it turns out, this condition, and other forms a facial nerve paralysis are more common than you may think.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines Bell’s Palsy as damage or trauma to the facial nerve (the seventh facial nerve in the case of Bell’s Palsy), which, in turn, causes a disruption of the nerve signal at its origin at the brain stem to the muscles of the sides of the face. The result? The patients’ ability to move or express their face may be dramatically impacted.
“A patient experiencing Bell’s Palsy may have difficulty with expressions such as raising their eyebrows, blinking, and smiling,” shares Dr. Garrett Griffin, a Facial Plastic Surgeon and facial paralysis expert at Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “In some cases, their sense of taste may even be affected,” he adds. He continues, “Although both sides of the face may be affected, it is most common to see it only affect one side.”
The cause of Bell’s Palsy is not completely known, though it is most likely caused by reactivation of the Herpes Simplex Virus within the facial nerve. The nerve swells and gets trapped within its bony canal at the base of the skull, resulting in loss of blood supply to the nerve and reduced or absent facial movement. Most patients (85%) with Bell’s Palsy recover with no sequelae but 15% will be left with facial spasm or uncontrolled facial movement called synkinesis. Bell’s Palsy never causes permanent facial weakness…if the weakness extends beyond 6 months a different cause must be sought out.
Bell’s Palsy is the most common cause of facial weakness but there are many possible causes of facial paralysis.
- Infection or inflammation of the facial nerve
- Head trauma
- Head or neck tumor
- Stroke or blood pressure disorders
- An error in fetal development or trauma during birth
- Accidental trauma to the nerve during a car accident or fall. Sometimes this is because there is a fracture of the bone at the skull base where the nerve enters the face
- Autoimmune diseases including Wegener’s disease
- Neurologic diseases including multiple sclerosis
- Other infections including Lyme disease or shingles of the face
- Chronic ear problems like cholesteatoma
Facial paralysis can come on suddenly (in the case of Bell’s Palsy), or happen gradually over a period of months (in the case of a head or neck tumor). Depending on the cause, the paralysis might last for a short or extended period of time. In either circumstance, the condition can be devastating for patients and affect various aspects of their lives. Fortunately, there are treatments available to improve these conditions.
Are there treatments for poor recovery after Bell’s Palsy, ie. for synkinesis?
Yes! Botulinum toxin (Botox) can be injected into the spastic and overactive muscles which can help people better control their facial movements and make them more comfortable. Patients can also work with a skilled occupational or physical therapist to learn stretches and biofeedback to improve facial control
Are there treatments for complete facial paralysis?
Unlike Bell’s Palsy, some injuries to the facial nerve cannot recover. For example, if the nerve needs to be cut out for cancer, the nerve cannot spontaneously recover. In other instances, the nerve may be stretched and it can take up to 12 months to know if the nerve will be able to recover on its own or not. Fortunately, there are many reliable surgical treatments for chronic facial paralysis. The choice of treatment depends on how much time has passed since the injury and whether or not there is still a chance for spontaneous recovery.
“The surgical treatments that our clinic offers for facial nerve paralysis can basically be broken down into 5 categories,” advises Dr. Griffin.
1. Static procedures: Static procedures mean that they do not create facial movement. Likely the most common procedure performed for chronic facial paralysis is an upper lid gold or platinum weight. This is a static procedure where a small, sterile piece of gold or platinum is placed in the upper eyelid to help gravity close the eye during blink. Another common static procedure is aptly named a “static sling.” In this surgery, the paralyzed cheek is suspended in a more symmetric, elevated position.
2. Nerve grafts: When a portion of the nerve is removed by trauma or surgery, it can be replaced with a piece from a different nerve if both cut ends of the nerve can be identified.
3. Nerve substitutions (hypoglossal-facial nerve transfer or masseteric-facial nerve transfer): If the facial nerve is damaged or removed very close to the brain, a nerve graft is often not possible. However, it is possible to sew the nerve to the tongue (hypoglossal nerve) or a chewing nerve (masseteric nerve) to the stump of the facial nerve. Then, one can move the tongue or bite down in order to move the face.
4. Muscle substitutions (temporalis tendon transfer): When the muscles that move the face are paralyzed for 2 years or longer, they tend to shrink or atrophy and no longer function, even if you give them back nerve input. In these instances, you have to bring a new muscle into the face instead of a nerve. The most common and modern example of this technique is called temporalis tendon transfer. In this surgery, one of the chewing muscles (the temporalis muscle) is detached from the lower jaw and sewn to the corner of the mouth. Then, when the person bites down, it will create a smile on the paralyzed side of the face.
5. Cross-facial nerve graft and free muscle transfer: The only way to restore a completely emotional and spontaneous smile is to perform a 2-stage surgery called cross-facial nerve grafting with free muscle transfer. In the first stage, a nerve graft from the leg (sural nerve) is harvested and attached to a nerve branch that creates a smile on the normal side of the face. The nerve graft is tunneled across the upper lip and left near the corner of the mouth on the paralyzed side. After about 6 months, nerve fibers (axons) will grow across the nerve graft. At that point, the second stage is performed. A muscle from the leg (the gracilis muscle) is moved with its nerve and blood vessels to the paralyzed side of the face, and attached to blood vessels there so that the muscle will live. The nerve to the muscle is attached to the nerve graft from the first stage. Now, the brain can tell the good facial nerve, can tell the nerve graft, and can tell the muscle graft, to move when laughing or smiling. The entire gracilis flap process takes about 2-3 years and has a 20% failure rate in most large studies.
“I cannot stress enough the impact facial nerve paralysis may have on a patient,” says Dr. Griffin sadly. “Sufferers are usually incredibly self-conscious about their appearance and feel they can’t effectively communicate,” he continues, “it is so important for them to know that there are treatment options available to them and that they will be treated with the utmost respect, kindness and understanding at our clinic.”
Are you, or someone you know suffering from Facial Nerve Paralysis? If so, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Garrett Griffin. Call (651) 632-9700
Must have treatments and products to get you ready for the Big Day
You’ve secured the perfect venue for your Wedding Day. You scored your absolute dream dress. Your updo appointment date is booked with your favorite stylist. Almost all of your “To Do’s” are checked off your list except the final “I DO!” But, what about your skin? Wedding planning is stressful stuff! Unfortunately, this stress can wreak havoc on your skin. No worries though! The Licensed Aestheticians at Face Cosmetic Skincare have the perfect products and treatments to ensure your skin is flawless on your big day!
“Ideally, I like to start with my brides AT LEAST six months before their wedding,” advises Amie, a Licensed Aesthetician with Face Cosmetic Skincare. “A year is optimal if we are doing any laser treatments like IPL for pigmentation,” she continues, “the more time we have the better, as it allows us to see how a bride’s skin responds to each treatment and gives ample time for final results to be seen.”
“I have my ‘Wedding Trifecta’ of treatments I absolutely love for brides which includes HydraFacial MD®, SkinPen® Microneedling and Dermablading,” shares Amie. “I start the SkinPen® Microneedling every 4-6 weeks about 6-12 months out from the wedding to ensure that skin is smooth, plump and firm and pores appear less noticeable. We either swap this for intervals of HydraFacial MD® to treat acne, pigmentation and hydration, or start a HydraFacial MD® series 4 months before the wedding every 3-4 weeks. The Dermablading treatment, 2-3 days before the wedding, is the icing on the cake, as removing the soft vellus hair from the face allows makeup to set flawlessly on the big day!” Amie continues, “So basically, we start SkinPen® 6-12 months out from your wedding, HydraFacial MD® 4-6 months out and perform a HydraFacial MD® with Dermablading 2-4 days before your wedding – sometimes closer!”
The trio of treatments that Amie recommends is quickly becoming the gold standard for many brides to get their skin in shape before their weddings. The HydraFacial MD® treatment is unique in that it can address MULTIPLE concerns at once. These include conditions such as blackheads/congestion, acne, pigmentation/sun damage and dehydration. Results are progressive, so it’s important to start months before your wedding to ensure that perfectly hydrated Wedding Day GLOW! Many brides find that their skin tolerates the treatment so well that they get their last HydraFacial the day before their wedding!
Brides that battle acne scarring, enlarged pores, and/or fine lines may find a wonderful solution in SkinPen® Microneedling. This treatment involves the use of several small, surgical grade needles, which travel over the skin forming micro-injuries. In turn, your skin responds by invoking its wound healing cycle which builds up collagen and elastin, making your skin plumper, smoother and firmer! When performed in a series of treatments, spaced 4-6 weeks apart, SkinPen® can have a dramatic smoothing and tightening effect on the skin. Because results take time to fully unfold, it is best to start SkinPen® 6 to 12 months out from your wedding.
Dermablading is a favorite for many patients wanting to simply look their best for a special occasion! This treatment implements the use of a rounded surgical scalpel blade that is skillfully stroked over the skin to remove dead skin cell build up and peach fuzz, or vellus hair. The result? Skin that is as smooth as a baby’s bottom! Why do brides and makeup artists love Dermablading? It creates a smooth, even canvas for makeup to adhere too and set upon. This makes your bridal makeup last longer and prevents peach fuzz from refracting light, or giving a halo effect in your wedding pictures! Once a Licensed Aesthetician sees how your skin responds to Dermablading, she may recommend it as close as 2 days before your wedding and even choose to combine the treatment with a HydraFacial or facial!
“The products you use on your skin 6-12 months out from your wedding are just as important as the treatments you receive, in fact, they can make your treatments MORE successful,” instructs Cyndi, also a Licensed Aesthetician at Face Cosmetic Skincare. “It takes time for conditions such as acne and sun damage to respond to topical ingredients, so it is best to meet with a Licensed Aesthetician well before your wedding to set up a customized plan,” she continues, “most of the brides I work with are predominately concerned with being free from acne on their face, chest and back on the big day, as well as having an even skin tone and being hydrated and glowing. As a result, I find myself recommending cleansers and serums with ingredients such as salicylic acid to combat acne, brightening ingredients like kojic acid, or hydroquinone for sun damage, and lots of hyaluronic acid serums to keep skin looking dewy and hydrated!”
When all is said and done, your skin should be the LAST thing you’re concerned about on your wedding day. With just a little bit of planning and the partnership of a Licensed Aesthetician, you can ensure radiant and glowing skin on one of the happiest days of your life!
Ready to partner with a Face Cosmetic Skincare Licensed Aesthetician for your Big Day? They specialize in setting up customized treatment and skincare strategies that are unique to you! Call 651-632-9700 to set up a complimentary consultation!
According to Goldman Sachs, the makeup industry alone grossed over $20 billion in 2017. Many of those products were liquid, cream and powered foundations engineered to cover uneven complexions. In fact, certain cosmetics, such as IT Cosmetics, center their entire lines on covering both dark spots and facial redness. With millions of women seeking these products to cover up their concerns, why aren’t more seeking treatment options to actually correct them? It’s time to stop covering up the problem and get even with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)!
“Many of the patients I do consultations with for brown spots and redness don’t even realize that treatments exist to help correct them like IPL,” shares Amie, a Licensed Aesthetician and Certified Laser Technician at Face Cosmetic Skincare. “They’ve been using makeup to cover the dark spots for years and don’t understand that sun exposure can even make them worse,” she advises. “I love that a simple series of IPL treatments can make such a dramatic improvement to their skin’s their appearance!”
While many of us think that wrinkles are the #1 visible sign of aging, studies point to uneven skin tone and discoloration as being the true culprit in making us look older than we are. Years of unprotected sun exposure can manifest itself later in life as unattractive dark spots on face, chest, hands and blotchy redness and broken blood vessels. These can make our complexions look muddy, uneven and dull. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are the gold standard in the aesthetic industry to restore even, youthful coloration to your skin!
How does IPL work? Unlike traditional lasers which utilize a single beam of light to target a specific skin concern, IPL administers several wavelengths of light to the skin at once. Different wavelengths of light are attracted to different components of your skin. This diversity allows IPL to safely target brown discolorations (hyperpigmentation) and eliminate redness. Both visible dark spots and pigment below the skin absorb the energy from this pulsed light, while clear and healthy tissue remains unaffected. Spots initially become darker over the days following treatment, eventually flaking off. Once cleared, a more even and radiant complexion is revealed.
IPL treatments are generally performed by a Licensed Aesthetician who has extensive experience as a Certified Laser Technician. Before your treatment, she will discuss how to properly prep your skin for enhanced results and care for it following your IPL. It is important to have no active tan before your treatment, as this may cause complications. Your Laser Technician will also need to know if you are currently using any prescriptions that could increase your sensitivity to light, like some antibiotics. It is also recommended that you avoid the use of any strong skincare ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid and hydroquinone before your IPL. If you suffer from frequent cold sores, a medication may be prescribed to you to take before your treatment to prevent a possible outbreak.
Before your IPL, your skin will be thoroughly cleansed and a cooling gel will be applied to the treatment area. During the treatment, you will feel a series of small, fast snaps against your skin accompanied by a bright flash of light. Your eyes will be protected during treatment. Many patients describe the sensation of IPL as a light snap of a rubber band, with the midface and nose being most sensitive.
Immediately following your treatment, your skin may feel like you have a mild sunburn. You may also notice that dark spots look darker and that they have multiplied. Don’t worry! This is a good sign, as the IPL has pulled deeper damage to the surface of the skin. It is important not to pick or scratch these areas, as you may damage the emerging healthy skin beneath. A daily SPF of at least 30 is recommended to protect your skin and prevent future damage.
“I tell my IPL patients that the dark spots will get DARKER before they flake off,” emphasizes Amie. “It almost looks like your skin is covered in little coffee grinds for a few days after treatment,” she continues, “it’s really important not to pick at or scratch these areas, as you may damage your skin.” She goes on, “IPL can also be used on other areas of the body like the hands, chest, shoulders and even legs; basically, anywhere you have sun damage!”
If the focus of your IPL treatment was to treat redness/vessels, you may notice some slight greying of these vessels, slight welts and tenderness. Cool compresses can be applied to these areas and symptoms will subside in a few days. Eventually, you will notice that overall redness decreases and individual vessels disappear. It is important to discuss our social calendar with your Licensed Aesthetician, as you may want to schedule your IPL around important events.
Most patients note dramatic improvement with one IPL, but as some of our damage may not be at the surface of the skin yet, a series of 3, spaced 4 weeks apart is recommended. IPL is also a fantastic treatment to schedule on an annual basis to compensate for any damage acquired throughout the year. If you lead a very active outdoor lifestyle in the summer, it is recommended to schedule your IPL treatments in the fall and winter for the safest results!
Tired of covering up dark spots? Schedule a consultation with a Licensed Aesthetician / Certified Laser Technician at Face Cosmetic Skincare to discuss IPL. Call (651) 632-9700 to schedule!
No pressure, but choosing the right surgeon for a facial plastic procedure may very well be a decision you live with for years, if not the rest of your life! So, it’s not an understatement to say that choosing a qualified provider is crucial to being happy with your outcome. A successful procedure can dramatically impact your life by making you feel more confident in your appearance. On the other hand, a procedure performed by an unqualified surgeon can have a poor outcome that leads to additional surgical costs, more investment of your time and your unhappiness. Employ these tips to find a facial plastic surgeon who is qualified, experienced and sure to get you the results you desire and deserve!
Check to make sure your surgeon is board certified
One would hope that the medical board of the state you live in would ensure that the physicians you are seeking a procedure from are actually qualified to perform the procedures they advertise. Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking. In fact, the United States government does NOT require that a surgeon be specifically trained in the procedures they offer. This stipulation is especially prominent in the world of cosmetic medicine, or “cash based” medicine that is not billed under insurance.
*Did you know? Both Drs. Tolan and Griffin of Midwest Facial Plastic are BOTH Double Board Certified in Otolaryngology (ENT – Ears, Nose, Throat) and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery?
Research, Ask and Confirm that your surgeon is experienced in the specific procedure(s) you are interested in
The skills required from surgery to surgery vary greatly. Inserting a saline implant for a breast augmentation is very different that artfully sculpting and repositioning the cartilage during a rhinoplasty, or “nose job.” Check your physician’s website for their list of services and before & after photo gallery. Ask for patient referrals during your consultation. Directly ask your physician how many of these surgical procedures they have performed and for how long. Ask them to outline their training to perform them. Surgeons who are legitimate will have no issues with you asking these questions. Be cautious of providers that grow impatient with you and your questions.
Look at the “Style” of your Surgeon’s Work
Just as you have a personal preference of what is balanced, beautiful and attractive, so will your surgeon. It is common for providers to gain recognition for having a certain “style,” or way of performing your procedure. Look at your surgeon’s before & after gallery on their website and ask to see pictures during your consultation to ensure that you and your surgeon are on the same “aesthetic wavelength.” Be sure to look for patients in photos who are close to your age and have a comparable facial structure to you. In addition, look for consistency in your surgeon’s results from picture to picture.
Ask yourself how your Surgeon and His/Her staff make you feel?
It is incredibly important that you feel 100% comfortable with not only your surgeon, but his/her support staff. A surgical procedure is a big deal! Between prep, surgery and recovery time, you will be spending a fair amount of time with this team and it’s important to trust and resonate with them. Your surgeon should invoke trust, care and competence. You will be sharing your entire medical history with this person, so feeling at ease is crucial to the success of your procedure. Their staff should be warm, friendly and informative. If you have to question whether or not you like your surgeon and his/her team, it is most likely, not a good fit.
Take a look at what your surgeon’s operating facility is like
Ask your surgeon where they perform their surgeries. If possible, take a tour of the surgical suite and ask for the facility’s level of accreditation. Who will be your anesthesiology team? What are their credentials and background? The more you know and see, the more comfortable and empowered you will feel about your decision.
Trust your first impression – Customer Service Counts!
What is your first impression when walking through your surgeon’s clinic doors? Is the appearance of the facility clean, warm and inviting? Is the staff engaging, friendly and helpful? Does the environment put you at ease? Does the staff provide you with print materials and resources about your procedure? Is pricing clearly laid out and transparent? When you contact the facility by phone or email, does the staff reply promptly? All of these elements lay the foundation for a reliable and sound practice. If these integral pieces are not in place, buyer beware. Trust your intuition.
Facial plastic surgery can be one of the biggest decisions you can make in your life to improve your appearance and enhance your self-confidence. A great surgeon will not only deliver successful results, but make you feel safe, understood and cared for throughout your entire journey.
Are you interested in learning more about a facial plastic procedure such as rhinoplasty, facelift or blepharoplasty? Call 651-632-9700 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Christopher Tolan or Dr. Garrett Griffin.