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Discover your best self: A conversation with Dr. Kate McCarn

Do you wonder what it would take to hide your crow’s feet or get rid of acne scarring? Dr. Kate McCarn is board certified in ear, nose, and throat surgery, as well as facial plastic surgery. We sat down with her to talk about quick treatments she can perform right in the office.

Q: What type of cosmetic fixes can you do at the clinic?

Dr. McCarn: We can do everything from chemical peels, to dermabrasion, to various laser treatments, to Botox and fillers. These procedures can reduce wrinkles, plump cheeks, correct scarring, and more. I can even lift some upper eyelids in the office, which is nice because you aren’t paying for anesthesia or getting an IV, just numbing medicine.

Q: Why should I consider these treatments?

Dr. McCarn: Cosmetic surgery won’t get you a better job or fix your relationship with your spouse. But if there’s something that’s been bothering you for a long time, and you want to change it for yourself, it can help you feel better about how you look.

Q: Will I still look natural?

Dr. McCarn: There’s some misconceptions about treatments because some celebrities have gone too far. I don’t know who did that for them or why. All of these treatments can be used to create a natural effect, without making you look thick or operated on. No one should ask, “Who did your filler?” It should be subtle. You should look like a better version of you, not someone else.

Q: How long do these cosmetic treatments last?

Dr. McCarn: It varies. Botox injections, which reduce winkles, usually work for 4 to 5 months. Fillers for plumping lips last 6 to 12 months. Thicker fillers, which can fill out cheeks and make them look less hollow, work for 2 to 3 years. Treatments that address scarring or that fix droopy eyelids are designed to last indefinitely.

Q: Does insurance cover any cosmetic work?

Dr. McCarn: If there’s a functional problem, for example if you have such droopy eyelids they are blocking your vision, they should cover that. They almost never cover injectable fillers or Botox. However, those in-office procedures are still extremely popular because the time, cost, and recovery are lower than surgical options. Little moles and scar revisions can start at just a few hundred dollars.

Q: What time of year should I get a procedure done?

Dr. McCarn: If you’re thinking of having a scar revision or a small surgical procedure, early fall is a good time to do it. You don’t want to do it in the dead of summer when you have fresh scars that you need to protect from the sun. But really, the most important thing is to not rush into anything. You need to take a look at your life, schedule, and finances, and do it when it’s right.

Q: What if I want to look younger but can’t afford a treatment?

Dr. McCarn: Wear sunscreen every day. It’s what will make the biggest difference 10 and 20 years from now. Use SPF 30 or higher. It doesn’t matter whether it’s cloudy or not. I tell people that I don’t leave the house without brushing my teeth, putting on deodorant, and wearing sunscreen—and you shouldn’t either.