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Prevention Through Education

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Now that summer sun is in full swing and the kids are out of school it’s time to make sure we as parents and caregivers are doing everything we can to protect them from the sun’s damaging rays while allowing them to still enjoy the great outdoors. 

I know that my kid’s summers were always jam-packed with activities from swim club to day camps and softball games.  We could hardly catch a breath.  Daycare providers, coaches and camp counselors do their best to ensure the safety of our children and that includes applying sunscreen. But with all the commotion that goes on with a group of rambunctious kids, it’s easy to see how remembering to re-apply at the proper time could get over-looked.

 

That is why I like the recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation http://www.skincancer.org/Search?q=sun+protective+clothing which says you should use sun protective clothing as the first line of defense. This is a good suggestion as sunscreens break down every two hours and must to be re-applied. Even the best sunscreens like the ones we carry here at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery will eventually break down, even more quickly if your child is sweating, spending time in a pool or other water source this summer. Now this doesn’t mean it is safe to skip the use of sunscreens. You definitely need both forms of protection. Purchase UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing with a UPF + 50 rating. Garments with a UPF + 50 rating will block about 98% of both UVA & UVB rays. http://www.coolibar.com

Sunglasses and hats will give additional protection as well.  When shopping for sunglasses, there are two important factors.  First, choose a pair that not only wraps tightly around the face so that harmful UV rays do not burn your child’s eyes and peri-ocular skin. Second, sunglasses with a protective UV rating of 400 will block approximately 99% of the sun’s ever harmful rays.  Remember baseball caps only provide coverage for one side of the head / neck. This leaves your child’s ears, neck, chest, shoulders and the sides of his or her face exposed.  To provide good protection look for a wide-brim hat with a brim that is 3inches or more.

Trying to choose the sunscreen that will best protect your child is where it gets a little tricky. It can feel like you need a Ph.D. in “sunscreenology.” There are so many choices that most parents just simply look for the one with the highest SPF on the label.  Unfortunately that can be misleading.  We like to share with our patients that the most important qualifier is choosing a good sunscreen is to look for two ”physical sunscreen” ingredients; titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Once you have the right sunscreen, apply it liberally! And then re-apply it – liberally!

Don’t be afraid to talk with your coaches, camp staff and daycare providers about your sun exposure concerns, and ways they can help protect your child. It is important to recognize that sun damage is cumulative.  What does that mean for an unprotected child?  Well the amount of UV radiation they a child is exposed to from the day they are born until present impacts his or her risk of developing a skin cancer and pre-mature aging.  Both of which are preventable with education and the proper development of sun protection habits.

 

 

Yours Truly,

 

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

Wrinkled Or Not, Here I Come

Friday, April 19th, 2013

 

Wrinkled was never  what I dreamed of becoming when I grew up; a zoo keeper, a talk show host or entrepreneur,  sure, but I checked carefully and wrinkled has NEVER appeared on my list, not even once!

We had some new staff photos taken recently at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center.  When we got them back I was startled to see a slightly older version of me in the photos.  I was forced to acknowledge that I too am slowly creeping up on a time in life when minor changes in my facial structure are beginning to occur.  When I look closely in the mirror, I can now see a hint of my mom looking back at me.  I know there will come a time when decisions will have to be made.  Will I decide to age gracefully or choose to defy it with a facelift.  Let’s see.  I better check my list one more time just to be sure.  Nope, still the word “wrinkled” does not appear.  Defy it is then.

How does one do that you ask?  Well it is easier if you have stayed out of sun, but for most of us that is not the case.  So that leaves protect and repair.  Both my parents were diagnoses with skin cancer while I was in my mid to late twenties, so really just a few years ago. ; -)  Hey… there is no judgment here ok.  This is my blog. Besides, like I always say “if age is just a number than I would prefer to keep mine unlisted.”

Watching the anguish my mother endured when the tip of her nose had to be removed, leaving it disfigured and later when my dad who had a large cancerous lesion in the center of his forehead, I realized the true dangers of the sun. Protection is a must when abstinence isn’t possible.  (from the sun!)

At that point, I began a daily regimen of sunscreen and swore off tanning.  That alone has bought me some time.  I am faithful to my medical skincare regimen.  I don’t jump around trying the latest and greatest infomercial product.  That’s a tough one for most of us – advertising can be so convincing.  I stick with medical grade skincare products only, never anything over-the-counter.  That’s not to say that there aren’t good OTC products out there, it is just that I value my time and money more than that and refuse to spend time and money hunting for something that “might” do the trick when I can go straight to medical grade skincare and feel confident that my investment will pay off.

I was recently telling a girlfriend that I am considering having full face laser resurfacing in the fall.  She responded “For what?  You don’t have a wrinkle on your face.”  Which of course isn’t quite accurate and to which I responded “yes, and I’d like to keep it that way.”  I explained to her that I am a firm believer in preventative (early) maintenance for multiple reasons.  First, addressing aging earlier rather than later gives me the opportunity to enjoy my results for as long as possible.  Why wait until “I am bad enough or old enough, or wrinkly enough to justify making improvements.” The only thing that will accomplish is that my self-esteem will take a hit.  I have always believed in taking care of myself with exercise, healthy food choices, and a clean lifestyle.  I want to enjoy the rewards of my efforts.  What if you just found out your home had a few termites, would you wait until the foundation was ready to collapse before something about it? Of course not, so why should our bodies be any different?

I believe early maintenance is beneficial because I think it provides more privacy.  The more there is to repair, the more dramatic the change can be.  Friends and family are less likely to suspect cosmetic surgery and more likely to assume that I am more well rested or that my new hair cut just took 10 years off my appearance.   Well… unless you write a cosmetic surgery and skin rejuvenation blog and tell the whole world about your anti-aging game plan… that does tend to cause some suspicion.

 

So will I have a facelift?  Well if the little things I do along the way; medical grade skincare, exfoliation treatments, Botox Cosmetic, laser resurfacing aren’t enough to keep the peace within myself, then, yes, I would consider a facelift when the time is right.  I would choose a traditional facelift method.  I am not interested in entertaining the idea of something like the Lifestyle Lift.  I have witnessed too many patients who have come to our office because they had the Lifestyle Lift somewhere else and it didn’t turn out as they hoped.  Then they need additional surgery (a proper facelift)  to correct it, something we never see with traditional facelift surgeries by Dr. Castillo.

Yours Truly,

Roxanne Hammond

Anti-Aging With Grace

 

 

 

 

 

Roxanne Hammond, Skin care & Laser Specialist

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center

“ASK OUR EXPERT” – “Does Botox Really Help With Lines & Wrinkles?”

Monday, March 11th, 2013

QUESTION:  Roxanne, does Botox really help with lines and wrinkles? Is it safe?  Where can it be used?

ROXANNE:  Personally, I love it! It’s the number one non-surgical cosmetic procedure for a reason.  It works!  Dog may be man’s best friend but Botox Cosmetic® is definitely mine.  🙂    I find that the biggest downside with Botox is that once you experience life with it, you won’t want to go without it!

Botox Cosmetic® works by temporarily relaxing the muscles of the upper face that create expression lines.  This results in a temporary loss of facial lines and wrinkles for about 3 to 6 months.  It is a very cost effective anti-aging treatment and doesn’t require any down time. Botox can make remarkable improvements to the aging face.

Botox Cosmetic® has more than a 20 year track record for safety and effectiveness.  Botox is very safe WHEN injected by a specially trained clinician such as in the office of a plastic surgeon, cosmetic dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, or facial plastic surgeon.   Botox is a medical treatment and should only be performed in a medical facility.  Please, for your own safety, avoid all temptations to attend a “Botox Party” at your local salon or girlfriend’s home.  If you receive one of these invitations, burn it and never look back!

At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center, the most commonly treated area is the glabella.  This is where the vertical lines appear between the brows creating an angry appearance. We often treat forehead lines and lines around the eyes commonly referred to as crow’s feet as well.  Dr. Castillo uses a very specialized technique to actually raise the eye brows.  This technique opens up the eyes and gives that well rested, alert look many of his patients are looking for.  It’s almost like an instant eye lift!  For those who’s skin is  showing signs of years of sun worshiping, even more results can be achieved when you combine Botox Cosmetic® with other non-invasive treatments like CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing or Intense Pulsed Light.

 

Yours Truly,

Roxanne Hammond

 

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY CENTER

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

Could Zinc be a Botox® Booster?

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

 

The effects of Botox®  and other botulinum toxin injections such as Dysport, and Myobloc are estimated to last about 3 – 4 months for the average patient.  However, in some cases it is observed that the effects can last for a longer or shorter period of time.  It has been observed that the results can even differ from treatment to treatment in the same patient without any real explanation as to why.  Dr. Charles Soparkar, an Oculoplastic surgeon from Texas noticed this in his practice and began to investigate.  He realized there may be a link between Botox® and Zinc.

Dr. Soparkar’s study was recently released indicating the mineral Zinc as a “Botox® Booster.” The study by Dr. Charles Soparkar and his team indicates that when patients in the study took Zinc Citrate 50 mg in combination with the enzyme phytase 3000U for four days prior to the injection, they saw not only an increase in the effectiveness of neurotoxins (Botox® Cosmetic, Dysport, Myobloc) but also in the longevity.

Neurotoxins such as Botox® Cosmetic, Dysport and Myobloc are used to temporarily smooth facial lines and to decrease spastic muscle movement.  Botulinum toxin is thought to require a certain baseline zinc level in the body because each molecule of the botulinum toxin must bind to a molecule of zinc to be effective. Phytase is an enzyme which increases the body’s ability to absorb zinc and is therefore thought to increase the effectiveness and duration of Botox® and the like. In this study, 92% of the patients who took both zinc citrate and phytase had on average a 30% increase in the duration of the Botox® injection and 84% of patients reported an improved effect when compared to Botox® with Zinc only or a placebo only. One thing to consider in this study is that it appears that over half of the patients were over the age of seventy. Could that explain the increased effectiveness of Botox® in this study since Zinc levels are often lower in patients of this age group?

This study was carried out by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell University.   The patients in this study were being treated for blepharospasms, hemifacial spasms and facial wrinkles.

While this study may offer answers to why Botox® lasts longer in some patients, keep in mind that the author of this study has a patent pending for the use of zinc and phytase for enhancing the efficacy of botulinum toxins injections, which presents a conflict of interest for the author of the study. His pending patent is for a prescription supplement called Zytate, manufactured by OCUSOCT Inc.  Each prescription costs about $80.00 for a five day regimen.

If you find the effectiveness of your Botox® treatments to vary it could be worth testing your zinc levels. I hope the author of this study is on to something as I am sure both Dr. Castillo and our patients would be very excited if we would offer a option for more effective, longer lasting Botox®.  However, I would like to see the results of other large clinical trials on this topic done by other researchers before drawing a final conclusion.

 

Yours Truly,

Can we now offer a "Botox® Booster" to our patients for a longer lasting, more effective result?

Anti-Aging With Grace…

 

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

 

 

ILLICIT BOTOX™ SURFACES IN THE UNITED STATES

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

The FDA, through its regulators, reportedly warned 350 medical practices that they may have purchased unapproved (presumed counterfeit) versions of the drug Botox™ from a network of wholesalers controlled by Canada Drugs, an international supplier that has been previously linked to fake cancer medicines.  This was reported in the Wall Street Journal on December 24, 2012.  Although little known to people (patients), physicians can go across the border and buy drugs from Canada.  When a practice does that, they take the risk of buying medications that are not approved by the FDA, and that have a significant potential for being counterfeit.  When one talks about expensive medications like Botox™ in which one vial sells in the United States for close to $700.00, the temptation and potential for abuse is huge.  Not only can these medications be fake and have absolutely no effect, they can also be harmful from the standpoint of the content, and also sterility.

 

As a consumer, it would be advisable that you would find out from your medical provider if the Botox™ that you are receiving comes from an approved source; that is, a legal representative from the company Allergan, which markets and has registered Botox™.  While physicians and patients can save big money by going outside of the United States and buying drugs in Canada or elsewhere, the potential for counterfeit, useless or harmful medication is high.  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery with offices both in Champaign-Urbana (Savoy) and also in Bloomington-Normal, we stock and provide our patients with only 100% Botox™ that has been obtained through legal distributors in the United States from the company Allergan, where safety has been monitored through multiple steps, not only by the company, but by FDA representatives through their mandated and approved procedures.

Yours Truly,

G. D. Castillo, M.D., FACS
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

Wrinkley, Crinkley Cleavage

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Wrinkley, Crinkley Cleavage

Have you have had that shocking moment where you stumble out of bed, make your way toward the shower, pass the mirror, catch a peek on the way and see…what…rub your eyes to get a more clear view, fumble for your spectacles, say a quick prayer, and head back for another look in the mirror… “what?  How can that be??? Chest wrinkles?  Chest wrinkles!  Really!  Oh come on, you’ve got to be kidding me.  This is not the best way to start a day.”

Score: Mirror – 1, Self-Esteem – 0.

Even those of us who have the greatest capability for denial somewhere down deep recognize that someday, far, far away of course, but some day, we will develop a few lines or wrinkles on our face…but on our chests??  Is this some kind of cruel joke?  “Is this nature’s way of punishing me for that time I didn’t return the shopping cart to the cart coral at Target because it was raining and I didn’t want my hair to turn into a frizz ball?”   Rest assured (though I know this is no real comfort) at some point most of us have a moment, maybe not a chest moment, but a moment where some part of the aging process knocks us off our feet for a bit.

The good news is science is prepared to re-inflate the bubble that nature just popped.  Bless the brilliant men and women who have dedicated their lives to creating and improving laser technology. There should be a holiday, maybe even two, named after them don’t you think?

Bride-to-be gets Co2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing to remove chest lines, brown spots and skin laxity before her big day!

The other good news is you are not sentenced to a life of hiding your wrinkled cleavage.  There are a few ways to correct the damaged skin of your chest.

1. Most importantly, PROTECT your chest from UV radiation.  Use a medical-grade, broad-spectrum, physical sunscreen that contains Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide or both every day of the year. I recommend a sunscreen called Sun Defense by Castillo MD Skin Science.  It offers effective sun protection consisting of a 12% Zinc Oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate for both our cosmetic surgery and skin rejuvenation patients.

2.  Stay away from tanning beds, period.  They are the enemy!  UVA rays kill elastic fibers and will only create more damage to your skin.  Tan skin IS damaged skin.  Damaged skin will result in wrinkles eventually.

3. Use UV protective clothing and a wide brimmed hat to provide additional protection.

4. Talk with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who has extensive experience with CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing on the chest.  (Just a side note: Dr. Castillo was one of the first Cosmetic Surgeons in the Mid-West to offer this procedure.)  Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing will decrease the lines of your chest (décolletage) while building collagen and tightening the treated skin.  It will also make a significant improvement to the texture of your skin and decrease or remove your brown spots and discoloration. In some cases more than one treatment may be necessary due to the delicate state of the chest skin.

5. Medical Grade skincare products – There are effective medical grades skincare products created to specifically treat the chest area.  These products will not solve your problem alone but work well to support and prolong the effects of CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing on the chest.

Yours Truly,

 

Laser Specialist at Cosmetic Plastisc Surgery in Illinois was one of the first to use a successful protocal with CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing for necks in the midwest.

Anti-Aging With Grace…

Roxanne Grace Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

 

The Pregnancy Mask

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

ASK OUR EXPERTS:

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
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

Ask Our Expert –

Monday, September 24th, 2012

BALANCING BEAUTY

QUESTION:  When I read anti-aging articles, they often refer to facial balance.  Can you explain what that means?

ANSWER:  I belive what they are referring to is a “basic formula” used to describe a well-balanced face, proportionately speaking.  This balance is seen when the face’s prominent features, meaning the brows, eyes, cheeks and lips are proportionate to each other.   The eyebrows should be aligned with eachother with a slight arch toward the outer or lateral portion of the brow.  When looking at the eyes, there should be a 1/2″ between the upper lid and and the eyebrow.  The lateral or outer corner of the eye should angle up just a touch.  Prominent cheekbones are a sign of beauty.  They should be full and high set.  An oval shape that tapers itself back as you follow then back toward the ears is most desirable.  Last but not least are the lips.  The lower lip should be 2/3 larger than the upper lip.

Create balance with dermal fillers.
Lasts upto 18 months.

In the hands of an expert injector and Cosmetic Surgeon such as Dr. Castillo (not your neighborhood spa), Botox Cosmetic® and dermal fillers such as Juvederm®, Radisse® or Perlane® can be a quick, effective way to improve the lack of proportion in the face.  Botox Cosmetic® or Dysport® can be used to improve the arch of the lateral brow.  This technique can also add some distance between the brow and upper lid helping to restore or create that missing balance.  Dermal fillers or fat transplantation can be used to give fullness the cheeks, creating a more prominent and defined cheekbone. Dermal filler or fat transplantation can also be used to plump up the lips, and to give better definition.

Though all these facial features can be improved by the above mentioned techniques, it is important to remember the goal; proprotional balance. It is the the key to looking natural and maintaining a youthful appearance.  If too much focus is placed on one of these prominent facial features, you will once again be out of proportion often resulting in an “over-done” less youthful appearance.

Balance is the key to life…and apparently to physical beauty as well!

 

Yours Truly,

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington