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Spring Revival

Give your Skin a Fresh New Look

Spring is a season of revival, literally. Fresh air, new growth, crisp color. We take our morning coffee out on the patio and we tilt our faces to the sun, enjoying the feel of the warm air on our skin after a long Colorado winter.

We feel rejuvenated on the inside, and we like it. Now if only we could do something about the outside—freshen up our skin, say, from head to toe. We exercise, we eat healthfully, we focus on reducing stress. But our skin, well, it is what it is.

Not necessarily. Fortunately for us, Colorado Springs offers a virtual cornucopia of opportunities in terms of top-shelf skin care delivered by highly skilled and dedicated professionals. Whether we want to simply rejuvenate our skin for a fresher look, address a specific issue we’ve been complaining about for months or years, or seriously ramp up our youth-enhancing efforts, we have plenty of options from which to choose.

Let’s meet a few of the city’s preeminent specialists in the field of skin care, and learn about some exciting treatments and game-changing advances. And let’s not forget that our skin is the body’s largest organ and a reflection of our health. It only makes sense that we give it the care and attention it deserves.

Elizabeth Piantanida, MD, board certified dermatologist and founder/director of Skin MD Skin Enhancement and Laser Center, says, “I specialize in all things having to do with the skin, including skin diseases, rashes and skin cancers. My cosmetic expertise focuses on non-ablative (non-invasive) laser treatments and injectable treatments such as Botox and fillers that improve the appearance of the aging face.”

Dr. Piantanida says non-ablative treatments are in high demand, especially among professional men and women who cannot afford time off from work to recover from a larger, more invasive type of procedure. “We can improve the skin’s appearance without surgery or significant risk. Results can be more subtle than bigger surgeries, often with a more natural appearance, too.”

“I think that people always want to look their best,” says Piantanida, “especially the Baby Boomer and Gen X generations. I have noticed a big trend the past 2 years. With the current economy, I have had many patients express that they wanted to look younger in order to compete with younger people in the job market.” 

Specific treatments that offer significant improvement vary, of course, from patient to patient, says Piantanida. “Botulinum toxin, for example, can make a significant impact on someone who has frown lines on the forehead. Most of the time, however, the most optimal approach is to combine different treatments. For example, a patient might have sun damage and poor texture requiring resurfacing, but also some skin tightening or some volume (i.e. filler) added back into the cheeks or deeper folds of the face.”

Rebecca Johnston, esthetician and owner of Avarya Skin Care, says, “Our passion has always been to focus on inside/outside/around. It’s pointless to focus on what we do to the outside of our body if we don’t simultaneously take great care of what we put into our body. Around means the uncontrolled stresses that squeeze the life energy from our body and skin. Pain, stress, conflict – all these things that can overtake our life are written directly onto our face!”

Johnston says Avarya focuses on the total person. “For the face we use European regenerative equipment that reverses the clock by giving the facial muscles a ‘yoga/pilates’ workout and stimulates protein synthesis. Aging is not only slowing down, but in a sense, breaking down. We work to give the cells the tools they need to speed up in a healthy way and remain youthful.

“Our body treatments focus on detoxification, weight/inch loss, building better skin and hydration. We also use a dry flotation bed from Austria that allows you to float in a warm, weightless environment.”

Johnston says Avarya employs a treatment developed in England, called iEllios, which uses non-thermal signaling energies to reverse the clock. “Working with the body rather than on the body or against it, we can achieve significantly increased systemic energy which translates to more collagen, more elastin, more of all the good things our skin needs with none of the trauma.

Nathan Trookman, MD, board certified dermatologist with Colorado Springs Dermatology Clinic and Medical Director of the Rocky Mountain Laser Center, specializes in cosmetic skin care procedures.

“We perform Botox, fillers and laser procedures,” says Dr. Trookman. “With 12 lasers on sight, we can offer patients the best treatment plan for their skin, from topical skin care to surgical procedures.”

Dr. Trookman says the most popular appearance-improving procedures are Botox, to eliminate wrinkles on the upper face, and fillers, such as Juvederm and Radiesse, to eliminate wrinkles on the lower face and to fill in volume loss of the upper face. Laser treatments such as Photofacial to eliminate vascular and pigmented lesions on the face are quite popular as well, he says.

“Non-surgical treatments are the rage for the 21st century,” says Trookman. “Patients don’t need to take on the risks and expense of surgical procedures to look better. Women would rather do subtle procedures, once or twice a year, and have little to no down time. It’s easier for women to look younger by doing maintenance treatments slowly over time rather than undergo a dramatic change via a facelift.

“The major advances in skin care have been in faster healing devices and procedures. Traditional resurfacing took six months to completely heal, and now patients are back to work in one week with procedures like Fraxel, a form of fractional laser resurfacing. In an economic downturn, patients are doing less facelifts and large surgical procedures and requesting less expensive and faster healing alternatives.”

Lisa Jenks, MD, Medical Director of Genesis MedSpa, says Genesis specializes in treatments using Botox and Juvederm. “We pride ourselves,” she says, “on knowing that most clients want to look very natural and not ‘over-done.’ We always begin slowly and conservatively when doing injections, knowing that we can add more product later if desired by the client.”

Genesis also specializes in acne therapy, both for teens and adults. Dr. Jenks says acne is best treated using a comprehensive program that includes appropriate mild peels, Blue-U light therapy, and anti-inflammatory laser treatments.

“In highest demand,” says Jenks, “are treatments that soften the lines and wrinkles on the face. Unfortunately the aging process makes many of us look angry, stressed and harsh. My clients are generally not wanting to look decades younger, but instead to look like the nice, happy people they are on the inside. By using injectables to soften facial lines, people age looking like the person they feel they are.”

Dr. Jenks says when it comes to treating areas other than the face, Genesis offers mild chemical peels, laser procedures and fillers, all of which improve the appearance of the hands, chest and neck. “Clients today realize that skin care includes all areas of their body that are exposed to the elements.”

Genesis uses a CORE laser, which is an advanced fractional CO2 resurfacing laser, says Jenks, that offers drastically-reduced down time with better-than-ever results. As for no down time treatments, Genesis employs VaserShape, a non-invasive procedure for melting away localized fat deposits on any part of the body below the neck.

Decisions, decisions. So what’s on the horizon in terms of groundbreaking skin care advances, and what types of treatments can we look forward to?
“I think one of the most exciting new technologies that we have seen in the aesthetic world,” says Dr. Piantanida “is the use of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to destroy fat cells. This device is known as Liposonix. We now have the ability to destroy fat without having to surgically suck it out! This is a huge and exciting breakthrough, especially for exercise-resistant areas of fat like belly pooches and love handles.”

Dr. Trookman says, “New advances in skin tightening will rock the future. New studies indicate that women who perform maintenance laser and IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment on a yearly basis tighten collagen in their skin and look much younger than those who don’t. New skin care products with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Phloretin will reverse the signs of aging and fight photo damage from our misspent youth.”

“I think we are approaching one of the most thrilling decades in history in terms of skin and health science,” says Rebecca Johnston. “My crystal ball reveals unimaginable advances with human stem cells. I also believe we will continue to discover that less damage is more effective in the realm of anti-aging skin treatments. I doubt that in ten years we will see much in the way of surgical ‘face lifts.’ Everything will be more subtle, more individual.”

Dr. Jenks says, “We are living longer, more productive lives than at any time in history. We are more active than former generations used to be and are still traveling, working out and volunteering well into our 80s and 90s. All of this means that people want to look like they feel. The exciting thing about aesthetic medicine is that it is always evolving. Our ability to stimulate collagen production, reduce sun damage and produce healthy, beautiful skin improves each year.”