When it comes to bringing skin-related issues to a dermatologist, Albuquerque-area residents don’t hold back. From acne to large pores, excessive sweating to unsightly veins, locals take their medical and cosmetic needs to trusted, qualified, and certified skin experts. But for certain treatments, including injectables and laser procedures, many people seem willing to trust their skin not to a dermatologist, but to anyone who offers the service.
As demand for certain cosmetics, including the wrinkle-smoothing BOTOX®, has increased dramatically in recent years, an abundance of spas, salons, and other establishments have begun administering whatever’s popular, regardless of whether a qualified dermatologist is on staff. Laser hair removal, too, is a treatment found in a variety of places, overseen by a variety of practitioners.
This has much to do with the fact that BOTOX® (and the similar Dysport®) represent the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the country, with members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting more than 6.6 million procedures in 2014 alone, up six percent from the year before. The same survey revealed 1.1 million laser hair removal treatments, up three percent from the year before.
Dermatologists have particularly noted that these treatments are the top two most popular for men, with BOTOX® and related injections increasing 337 percent for that demographic since the year 2000 and laser hair removal increasing 43 percent in that same time frame.)
So why does picking a qualified dermatologist for such common and popular procedures matter?
While the training sessions and certifications required to administer BOTOX® and other treatments work to ensure that the cosmetics and procedures are handled with maximum safety in mind, no one but the team at a dermatologist’s practice is as knowledgeable and focused on skin. These professionals are trained not just to safely carry out whatever treatment is called for, but also to work with each patient to determine what the best course of action would be to achieve his or her desired results, sometimes suggesting complementary or even alternate methods based on personal medical histories, skin tone, age, and a number of other factors. A BOTOX® injection involves more than a dermatologist merely adequately practicing good hygiene and possessing the basic necessary anatomical knowledge.
As for laser hair removal, dermatologists at Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants note that New Mexico requires that a supervising physician be on site when the procedure is being performed. This is because laser hair removal involves the application of intense light to be absorbed by the pigmented portion of active hair follicles, damaging them and causing the associated hair to fall out and grow back only after an extended period of absence—if at all.
While the procedure is a safe one when handled properly, the advanced technology is routinely sought out for the upper lip and the bikini line and could cause burns in these sensitive areas, especially in the hands of a minimally trained non-medical professional.
The board-certified dermatologists at Western Dermatology Consultants recommend that any patient seeking BOTOX®, laser hair removal, or other treatments routinely performed in medical settings and elsewhere ask potential providers about their overall medical background, their specific experience with the chosen treatment, the status of their certifications and qualifications, their safety and satisfaction record, their compliance with local and state regulations, and any other questions that can shed light on their ability to safely and expertly deliver results.
Also, keep in mind that BOTOX® is temporary but can be injected every few months, and laser hair removal works best with periodic maintenance sessions, so you may want to build a relationship with a trusted dermatologist, as opposed to coming to someone new and unfamiliar with your body each time.
Contact the dermatologists in Albuquerque at Western Dermatology Consultants online at westerndermatology.com, or call (505) 855-5503, (505) 897-1313, or the SPA @ WDC at (505) 855-9267 to learn more.