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Ask the doctor: Laser, leg veins, liposuction and a filler


Dr. Schlessinger answers your cosmetic questions about laser hair removal, leg veins, liposuction and perlane

Q: Is there any problem with having laser hair removal in the summertime?

a: Laser hair removal isn't usually recommended during the summer unless you are practicing sun avoidance in the area to be treated. While there are lasers that can be used on darker skin types, the procedure is more painful if you have been tanning, and the risk of burning goes up with more sun exposure. Always let the laser doctor know if you have been in the sun prior to laser hair removal - and try to avoid sun exposure before the procedure, if possible.

Q: Leg veins are troubling me. Is there a way to get rid of them?

While in most cases, injections and lasers can be used for the smaller veins, the treatment decision will depend on how efficient the circulation is to the area and if there are any deeper veins that may be affecting what is seen on the surface of the skin. The good news is that most of the time, these treatments are successful, but the bad news is that treatments will probably need to be repeated over time.

Q: I am thinking about having tumescent liposuction performed. Is it safe and effective?

a: Tumescent liposuction, when performed with just local anesthesia, is very safe - actually safer than the "traditional" method. Dermatologists have been using this procedure for more than 20 years.

It also offers the quickest recovery time currently available. This is because the procedure is performed with much smaller cannulas (the small instrument that withdraws the fat via suction) than the traditional method, and it is performed under local anesthesia, so you avoid the risks of general anesthesia.

My patients typically are out of work for one day after surgery and go back to work wearing thin garments that don't show through their clothes. This method has really made it easy for working men and women to have unwanted fat removed.

Q: I heard about Perlane being approved just recently. What is it and how is it different from other fillers?

a: Perlane is a new form of Restylane, a filler used for plumping lips, cheeks and other areas around the face. Perlane has a little more longevity than Restylane and can be used for deeper wrinkles. It lasts for more than six months in most people, and has little or no downtime associated with it, although some people may have bruising or swelling, as with other fillers.

Made from hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that is actually produced in your own body, Perlane is associated with very few reactions, and most people tolerate it very well. We performed the trials on Perlane and our patients seemed to like it, so I am enthusiastic about its potential.

Joel Schlessinger, M.D., F.A.A.D., F.A.A.C.S., answers your questions about facial rejuvenation and anti-aging therapies. A board-certified dermatologist and president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, Dr. Schlessinger is in private practice in Omaha, Neb., and is the founder and owner of http://LovelySkin.com/, one of the largest purveyors of skincare products on the Web. He is a member of the Dermatology Times Editorial Council. Please e-mail questions directly to Dr. Schlessinger at skindoc@LovelySkin.com

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