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Your Options For Feeling Younger and Fresher

Kate McCarn, MD

If you look in the mirror every morning and are disheartened by scars, crow’s feet, age spots, or other issues, it might be time to consider a cosmetic procedure.

Doctors today can fix a range of concerns quickly—right in the office. Recovery times are usually short, so you can get back to your normal activities right away. It’s also less costly than many people think. Removing small moles or reducing the look of scars can start at just a few hundred dollars.

Say no to fish lips

All too often, patients don’t explore their options because they’ve seen celebrities who have gone too far and ended up sporting puffy lips and frozen smile muscles. While those in Hollywood might like the publicity, my goal is the opposite.

I want you to help you look like the best version of yourself. That means making you feeling fresher while looking just as natural. Done correctly, your friends and family shouldn’t be able to pick out what’s changed. They might guess that your glow is the result of a restful vacation or a new haircut, rather than a boost of Botox.

Find what will work for you

If you’re interested in finding out what your options are, start by making an appointment for a free consult. I can assess your situation and what will work best for your unique needs. Some of the things I can help with are:

  • Reducing wrinkles. Medications such as Botox slow down the muscle that creates the wrinkle, and may even prevent wrinkles in the future. Dermabrasion can reduce lines around the mouth.
  • Plumping cheekbones and lips. As we age, we lose fat in the places we want it, resulting in hollow cheeks and thin lips. Fillers add volume back in, and can be used to smooth winkle lines that have already formed.
  • Melting fat. A new injectable option can help treat double chins.
  • Removing moles and reducing scars. Lasers can correct visible blood vessels and dark scars, including those caused by acne, while moles can be surgically removed.
  • Lifting eyelids. Droopy eyelids can be an annoyance, and can even impair your vision. Many upper-lid problems can be addressed in an office visit, using just numbing medicine.
  • Improving skin. Chemical peels can enhance the appearance and texture of facial skin.

Early summer is an ideal time to start considering the types of procedures you might want. Small surgeries are best planned for the fall, so you don’t have to worry about protecting fresh scars from the sun.

Change for the right reasons

If you’re considering making a change to your face, I encourage you to do it for the right reasons and at the right time. Keep in mind that:

  • Cosmetic procedures don’t change who you are. But they can help you feel better in your own skin if there is something that is making you feel self-conscious. Patients who are bothered by a particular cosmetic issue, have thought about it for a while, and have decided to change it, are usually happiest with their results. Those who secretly hope it will fix their marriage or job prospects, or will dramatically change how beautiful they look and feel, are likely to be disappointed.
  • Results are designed to last. Some changes last several months or years, others a lifetime. You don’t want to rush into altering your face, even if it’s subtle. If you’re getting married or attending an important reunion, it’s usually best to wait until after the event.
  • You’re paying out of pocket. Most of the things you might have done aren’t covered by insurance, so it’s important to look at your finances. If you are worried about where the money will come from, or need to go into debt or make payments, it isn’t worth the stress. Wait until it’s the right time and you can afford it.

Finally, remember that the thing that will keep you looking the most youthful of all isn’t a peel or laser. It’s sunscreen. Wearing SPF 30 sunscreen every day, rain or shine, will protect your skin from UV damage over the long term, keeping wrinkles, pigment changes and—most critically—cancer at bay.

Dr. Kate McCarn is an Otolaryngologist at The Vancouver Clinic’s Columbia Tech Center and Salmon Creek locations. She specializes in the ear, nose and throat with an interest in functional and cosmetic surgery for removal of cancers of the face, head and neck.