An aesthetic journey is a serious commitment, one that can involve time, adjustments to your daily routine, and - let's face it - financial investment. In this post, we'll explore the things you can do to maximize your treatment success on the way to your aesthetic goals.
First and foremost, make sure you're seeking treatments from reputable and properly trained providers. Search for the provider's website and reviews of procedures they've performed. Don't be afraid to ask your provider where they were taught, and if they've been trained by the manufacturers for any devices they use. By the way, pricing matters: if a provider is offering a treatment for far less than other providers in the area, that could be cause for concern (unless it's a temporary promotion). Make sure you know who will be performing the actual procedure or treatment, and what level of supervision will be provided. Finally, you should always be offered a consultation prior to your treatment (which may be required by state law) to ensure the planned treatment will meet your goals, that you understand the risks and costs, and you can be given an opportunity to compare with other treatment options. Note that an appropriate examination is an absolutely critical portion of the consultation, and a provider should never offer a treatment without first making sure it's safe and appropriate to do so!
Once you've done your research on your chosen practice provider, it's helpful to define your aesthetic goals. Asking yourself the following questions can help your provider craft a treatment plan uniquely tailored to your needs:
What do you love about your current skin and body appearance and skincare regimen?
What do you wish you could improve about your current skin and body appearance?
Do you wish you could change your current skincare regimen? Perhaps you want a simpler regimen, or conversely, you want more advanced skincare options. Is cost a concern? Availability of replacement products as you use them up?
What are your long-term skin and body health and appearance concerns?
A thorough consultation should include these questions, so if your provider doesn't ask them, feel free to prompt them with your answers.
An important part of the consultation is to match a treatment appropriate to your goals. It's only natural to have in mind a specific treatment you'd like to pursue, but it might not turn out to be an appropriate treatment for your particular concern or at that moment in time. For instance, a client interested in a brighter skin appearance is going to be disappointed with neuromodulators (which work on muscles causing dynamic wrinkles, but not on the skin surface appearance), and conversely, dynamic wrinkles are not going to be effectively managed with laser resurfacing. As another example, it wouldn't be safe to treat actively inflamed cystic acne with microneedling, and your provider should recommend getting acne under control first. On the other hand, while it's natural for your provider to be interested in promoting their business and services, make sure you are not being talked into a treatment you don't want or need.
Okay, so you've done your homework, met with a provider, and you're ready to get started. Can you start your treatment at the same time as your consultation? It's possible! Assuming your provider has the availability to do so, there are additional things you can do to optimize the chance of being able to start your treatment right away:
Avoid sun exposure to the treatment area. Many treatments are not safe on skin that has recently had sun exposure (one to two weeks out of the sun is sufficient).
Avoid retinol to the treatment area. Retinol can be irritating to the skin, and the effects can be exacerbated by many aesthetic treatments. Staying off retinol (and other irritating products, such as microdermabrasion) for one week is a good idea.
Stay hydrated. Well-hydrated skin will typically respond much more effectively to many aesthetic treatments, and will also facilitate recovery after treatments.
Consider stopping aspirin with physician guidance. Aspirin, and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, increase your risk of bruising after many aesthetic treatments. Generally, you should stop these agents five to seven days in advance. However, do not stop aspirin for non-preventive purposes without your physician's guidance first!
If appropriate, shave (but do not wax or pluck) the treatment area. Laser hair removal in particular needs to be performed on freshly-shaven (within the past 24 hours), but will not work on waxed or plucked skin. Other light-based therapies should also be performed on freshly-shaven skin so that the light energy can be directed where it needs to go rather than used up on surface hair. Some providers are set up to perform a shave prep if you neglect this step, although there may be a separate fee for this service.
There you have it! In a nutshell, do your homework to find a knowledgeable provider, identify your aesthetic goals to be prepared for your consultation, and if you think you want to start your treatment right away, optimize your chances of doing so with the above steps.
At Dogwood Primary Care + Medical Aesthetics, we are proud to say we have been properly trained on all of our equipment, and that Dr. Crawford directly supervises his licensed estheticians for all procedures. We intentionally schedule our consultations to have time afterward to perform the first treatment in most cases!
Interested in our services? Browse our website and schedule a complimentary consultation!