Archive for October, 2012

The Pregnancy Mask

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012


Q:  I developed Melasma on my upper lip while I was pregnant.  It’s been months and it is still there.  What can I do?

Over-production of melanin is also stimulated by UV radiation which makes it a complex issue that is difficult to treat, because your body has already kicked melanin production into over-drive and that is compounded further by recurring stimulation from UV rays. Sometimes Melasma will go away after pregnancy or lighten enough to cover the discoloration with cosmetics but unfortunately it often returns with additional pregnancies, hormonal changes and sun exposure.  The good news is there are treatment options that offer hope.

It is important for you to understand that sun is your ENEMY and it will remain your greatest nemeses. Melasma is a chronic condition.  There is no magic cream that will guarantee to banish it forever. I find that Melasma is one of the most difficult skin issues that we treat at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Skin Rejuvenation and Laser Institute.  It is frustrating for both myself and my patients.  Therefore, I want to express the importance having realistic expectation before you decide if or which treatment option is right for you.

There are a few things you can try to improve your Melasma.  The first and most important one is simply applying medical-grade physical sunscreen with either micronized Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide every day, 365 days a year, without fail. You can get this from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon like Dr. Castillo. Avoid trying to sneak by with just the SPF of 15 that is in your make-up or moisturizer, it won’t cut it.  Because even the best sunscreen cannot block all UV radiation, other protection should also be used such as a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella. There is no such thing as “water-proof” sunscreen, only “water-resistant” sunscreen so if you are sweating or swimming you will need to re-apply every 80 minutes.

Prescription Bleaching creams, which I prefer to call “lightening” creams can also be helpful. They are used initially on only a short term basis but can be repeated in the future as a form of maintenance. You must be very faithful to your sunscreen regimen with using lightening agents.

If changing your oral contraception or hormonal therapy is not an option, and you haven’t gotten the type of improvement you desire then it may be time to consider more aggressive treatment options.  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery we find the most success using CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing in combination with a lightening agent, medical grade sunscreen and sun avoidance. Other treatment options may include series of medical grade peels or IPL treatments.  Again, sun is your ENEMY.  It can very rapidly undo any successful treatment with sun exposure.


Yours Truly,







Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D. FACS

800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)


The Beauty of Revolving Medical Credit

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

We have all done it at some point in our lives – purchased that 5 in 1 miracle cream advertised utilizing  20-something television models and glossy, airbrushed magazine beauties, only to find that we don’t look 20-something again and apparently the airbrush is the missing component to our make-up kit.

We’ve spent hundreds of dollars on over the counter products that aren’t doing what we want in an effort to invest in ourselves, whether affordable or not.  So our collection of partially used creams continues to grow while we remain frustrated by what greets us in the mirror every morning.  Yet, we continue to throw away our money because we’re hesitant to invest in a larger outlay of cash.

What if there was an interest-free option to spread the expense of of quality, scientifically proven, medical-grade products that both treat to correct existing problems and protect from future problems? What if our investment in ourselves didn’t have to collect dust on the shelf or adorn our trash cans?

The good news is that there is just such an option offered to you by G.D. Castillo, M.D. at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, Skin and Laser Institute!  It is a six month  INTEREST-FREE  payment program available through Care Credit.  This program allows you to spread the expense of Botox or Dysport, dermal fillers like Perlance or Radiesse, or medical-grade skincare into monthly payments that are very affordable and interest-free!

Example #1:  A VIP medium Dysport treatment is $270.00, and with the $50.00 manufacturer’s rebate like the ones frequently available in our office, this fee is reduced to $220.00.  That’s $36.66 per month – about the cost of a family pizza dinner out!  Even better yet – Dysport actually does what it’s suppose to do, so you will receive the return on your investment that you have been missing.

Example #2: A typical anti-aging medical-grade skincare program may entail an initial outlay of $300.00.  That’s $50.00 per month for a scientifically proven skincare regimen that is designed specifically for your needs and skin concerns. Additionally, you have access to our Skincare and Laser Specialist, Roxanne – who will help you assess your skincare goals and tweak your program according to your personal lifestyle.  Imagine the luxury of your own skincare specialist to pamper and restore your skin to the glowing softness you deserve!

The Care Credit medical credit line is revolving, so as you pay over time the credit limit is available to you to be used again.  Medical credit is a resource, why not put your great credit history to work for you?

So next time you’re tempted by advertising gimmicks, why not give us a call at 800-252-7123 and let us help you help yourself!


G. D. Castillo, M.D.


800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)