Charleston Dermatology Blog

Cosmetic Quarterly: What Is Cosmetic Dermatology?

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At Charleston Dermatology, we offer a range of different services so you can not only look your best, but feel your best, too. Cosmetic dermatology is one of our services that provides several skincare options and treatments in achieving the appearance you desire.


1. What is cosmetic dermatology?

Cosmetic dermatology is a general category of dermatology that includes topical medications, injections and procedures used to enhance a person’s appearance. The goal of cosmetic dermatology is to decrease the signs of aging, thus giving a more youthful look to the skin. There are several ways to achieve this goal so it is of the utmost importance to have a detailed discussion with your dermatologist about your particular concerns and expectations so that they can find the right treatment plan for you.


2. Are there different cosmetic options?

There are several different cosmetic options. Some of the more commonly used options are fillers such as Juvederm hyaluronic acid injections, botulinum toxin injections i.e. Botox. There are also a variety of lasers, chemical peels and topicals prescription medications. Fillers are used to provide volume augmentation to various areas of the face where over time aging has caused a decrease in fat deposition and an increase in bone resorption. Botulinum toxin injections are used to decrease the appearance of fine wrinkles mostly on the upper portion of the face, for example, the forehead and around the eyes. Lasers and light sources such as IPL can target unwanted small blood vessels as well as darker lesions. Likewise, there are superficial, medium, or deep depth chemical peels that are available for skin issues such as age spots, melasma, photoaging, as well as wrinkles.


3. If I want a cosmetic treatment, what should I expect? 

With any cosmetic procedure, it is important to plan ahead. For botox, filler, lasers and superficial chemical peels you should expect mild redness and irritation of the skin as well as some bruising which can take up to two weeks to resolve. Try to schedule your cosmetic appointments accordingly.


4. What about non-surgical options?

Topical prescription medications like retinoids are a great way to non-surgically enhance the appearance of your skin and are always a favorite of dermatologists. Retinoids work by increasing the skin thickness, giving the skin a more even color tone, decreasing fine wrinkles and removing the superficial dead skin cell layer that gives the skin a more dull appearance. These medications can take three to four months to reach maximum efficacy.

If you have more questions about cosmetic dermatology or want to make an appointment, give us a call at (843) 872-3015 or book an appointment online.

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