Everybody has skin, so just about everybody has questions about how to take care of that skin and what to do to keep it looking healthy, young, and radiant. As a skin expert, Dr. Christine Cheng hears a lot of these frequently asked questions, so she has answers ready, both at her Houston practice and here on the Nuveau Medical Aesthetics website.
Take some time to see if your question is answered here. If not, you can bring it up with a member of the Nuveau Medical Aesthetics staff over the phone or in person.
A: BOTOX® Cosmetic is an injectable treatment from a family known as neurotoxins, which can impact the transmission of chemical messages sent from the brain to muscles throughout the body. Despite the formidably named group to which this cosmetic belongs, numerous studies and trials coupled with years of established use for millions of patients show that it's a safe, minimally invasive option for people looking to smooth out forehead lines, wrinkles, and crow's feet. It's manufactured according to strict pharmaceutical regulations, and since applications involve only a few quick injections, there are no surgery-related risks.
A: Patients who ask this question generally want to know one of two things: How long will I be in the office? And how long until I see my results? It takes about 15 minutes to receive the treatment, not including the initial consultation. As for results, many patients report seeing their wrinkles begin to smooth out within four to seven days, though some may find the effect takes up to two weeks to become noticeable.
A: This is an injection, so a needle is involved. That said, Dr. Christine Cheng uses the smallest-gauge needles and syringes available for injection. Most patients describe the sensation as a "tiny pin prick."
A: Millions of people use BOTOX® to prevent lines from forming or from becoming more noticeable on the forehead and around the eyes. As we "exercise" these muscles by smiling and frowning, we are essentially strengthening the muscles of facial expression. These muscles then pull down on the overlying skin, causing lines to form. Routine administration prevents lines overlying these facial muscles from forming, which diminishes the signs of aging.
A: This filler is composed of hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in the human body. It has been used worldwide since 1996. There is virtually no risk of allergic reaction to it, and therefore no advance allergy screening is necessary.
A: Both products are cosmetic dermal fillers made from hyaluronic acid, which replace volume and soften lines on the face. The difference is in the consistency of the material. Lyft has a consistency that's thicker than Restylane®, making it more suitable for correction of deeper lines and restoration of volume in the mid-face.
A: To understand your goals and expectations and to fully answer your questions, Dr. Christine Cheng provides a personal, one-on-one consultation with each patient before conducting any procedure. By evaluating the information obtained during your consultation, she will recommend the product that is right for you.
A: Restylane® has been used by physicians to treat and soften a variety of lines and wrinkles on the face. Popular treatment areas include nasolabial folds, marionette lines, forehead frown lines, and vertical lines around the mouth. Other applications include defining and adding volume to the lips and softening the tear trough lines (diagonal lines from the inner corners of the eyes to the cheeks).
A: Results from Restylane® or Lyft usually last from six months to a year, depending on the amount of filler used and areas treated. Doctors have observed that follow-up or maintenance treatments received before the filler has fully dissipated require less of the product than used in the initial injections. The aesthetic effects can also last longer.
A: Avoid using aspirin, NSAIDS (ibuprofen and similar products), alcohol, St. John's Wort, high doses of vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acid supplements for two to three days prior to treatment, as these may increase bruising or bleeding at the injection sites. Arnica (an herbal supplement) taken on the day of the procedure can help minimize localized bruising and swelling. Also, please inform Dr. Christine Cheng of any history of cold sores so that a prescription for antiviral medication can be provided to prevent an outbreak, an occasional side effect of injections.
Dr. Christine S. Cheng is a board certified physician who is devoting her full-time practice to aesthetics and wellness medicine.
A: This is a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, including lines around the nose and mouth, as well as frown lines on the forehead. It can also be used to plump up lips and reduce the severity of tear trough lines.
A: Corrections with this filler generally last up to a year, depending on the amount used and specific areas treated. Doctors report that maintenance treatments appear to ultimately lead to longer-lasting results, as well as smaller amounts of product used to achieve the same results.
A: After an initial consultation, the procedure takes only 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the sites targeted. To ensure your comfort, ice packs are used to numb the areas treated. Because most of the dermal fillers come with lidocaine added, the procedures are much more comfortable then ever before. If necessary, Dr. Cheng can apply topical numbing cream or even perform a dental block to minimize discomfort during your procedure.
A: Most patients feel comfortable resuming their normal activities immediately after treatment with Juvéderm®.
A: Radiesse® is an injectable dermal filler consisting of calcium hydroxylapatite, a substance that has been used safely to repair vocal cord tissue deficiencies and in dental and orthopedic surgical applications. Calcium hydroxylapatite is biocompatible, biodegradable, and identical in composition to the mineral portion of your teeth and bone.
A: Radiesse® has a wide range of applications. Cosmetic physicians have been using it to treat moderate to severe lines and wrinkles on the face, including nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and forehead frown lines (the "11s" between your brows). In addition, many physicians, including Dr. Christine Cheng, use it to augment cheekbones, replace mid-face volume loss, and contour the chin and jaw line. This product is an integral part of Dr. Cheng's popular "Liquid Face Lift."
A: Although results will differ for each person, Radiesse® has been shown to last up to 12 to 18 months in clinical studies.
A: Patients may notice redness, bruising, or swelling in the hours or days after receiving injections. Taking an herbal supplement known as Arnica on the day of the treatment can help minimize the risk of some of these side effects, and an ice pack can help with any discomfort and swelling.
A: Laser hair removal uses light or laser energy to heat up the pigmented portion of a hair follicle, which damages it and causes the hair to fall out. Nuveau's Sciton laser is also safe to treat all skin types and body parts, including the face.
A: Yes! Pseudofolliculitis is a type of chronic skin issue caused by ingrown coarse or curly hairs. This disorder can be significantly improved with a series of laser hair removal sessions.
A: There are three phases of hair growth. Only hairs in the active growth phase can be successfully treated. Most patients require on average of five to six treatments to see the desired result.
A: On average, each laser treatment will be associated with some permanent hair loss. However, due to the nature of the hair growth cycle, you will need a series of laser treatments to achieve the desired results. Although most of the hair will be gone after a series of treatments, there is no guarantee that laser hair removal treatments will be permanent. Many of our patients will return once a year to get "touch-ups" after completing the initial series of laser hair removal sessions.
A: Many patients say the laser hair removal process creates a prickling sensation, or they compare it to a rubber band snapping. In the days after a treatment session, the skin may look red and minimally irritated. In those areas with coarse hair, you may see some swelling of the hair follicles, resembling goosebumps, for a few days.
A: Ultherapy® is an FDA-approved ultrasound-based treatment used for tightening and firming skin, which can smooth away wrinkles and other lines that form on the décolletage, and can also lift the brows, upper eyelids, entire face, and neck.
A: This tightening treatment is ideal for patients who want to reduce the appearance of sagging skin, jowls, and wrinkles, but who don't want to undergo a surgical facelift. Though the ultrasound energy won't duplicate the effects of a surgery, it will provide a natural, rejuvenated look, and can also extend the benefits of cosmetic surgery.
A: Since this treatment doesn't involve any incisions or injections, no down time is required. Patients can get back to their daily life without any need for healing or special care immediately after the treatment. Few patients may see some temporary bruising in the treated areas.
A: Patients typically find that their skin gradually tightens and lifts over the course of two to three months, after which the results will last as long as their natural aging allows. Skin will continue to show new effects of time and wear, but will look overall younger than if no treatment had been done at all.
A: If you have some laxity, creating noticeably loose skin or wrinkles on the neck, under the chin, or on the chest, or if your eyebrow line is lower than you'd like, you may be a good candidate for Ultherapy®, though Dr. Christine Cheng recommends a consultation to be sure this is the best treatment to address your concerns.
A: This is an FDA-approved treatment that reduces stubborn fat in places where it accumulates and causes unwanted bulges on the abdomen (muffin top), thighs, flanks (love handles), and neck/chin area. Since fat freezes at a higher temperature than other tissues in the body, the CoolSculpting® technology selectively targets the stubborn fat areas while leaving everything else safe and intact.
A: While CoolSculpting® reduces the number of fat cells in your body, it is intended for aesthetic contouring, not weight loss. This is a cosmetic procedure, not a health-related one. The treatment is ideal for helping people who have lost weight in other areas to achieve a slim silhouette from their chin to their legs. Many patients also use it to jumpstart or supplement their exercise regimen.
A: Every patient is different, so the total number of treatments required to achieve someone's unique aesthetic goals will vary from person to person. Keep in mind that once the targeted fat cells die, it will take some time for the body to safely process and eliminate the fat.
A: Fat cells can shrink as people lose weight, or swell as weight is gained. When a fat cell is destroyed, it can obviously no longer grow, making its destruction a permanent fat reduction treatment. A slim look will remain as long as the patient maintains it. Patients may still gain weight depending on diet and their level of physical activity, but they will likely find that fat is distributed differently, likely more evenly, after CoolSculpting®.
A: Patients report an intense cold accompanied by pressure during this treatment, though the sensation soon fades and they find that they are able to concentrate on other activities, or even sleep.
A: Some patients have seen a reduction in unwanted fat as soon as three weeks after their first session, though most see the results they're hoping for after two to three months. The fat-flushing process will continue up to six months after your initial session. At Nuveau, we do follow-ups at three months to assess the results and determine if more is needed to further accomplish each patient's aesthetic goals.