Our Services | Cosmetic Dermatology
The team at Dermatology & Laser Center of Chapel Hill (DLC) is well equipped to treat the range of dermatology conditions and concerns that you might have. This page describes a selection of common cosmetic dermatology treatments offered by the DLC Team. This page is intended as introduction to the many services we offer. For a complete consultation, please come see a member of the DLC Team in our office.
Acne Laser & Light Treatment
Acne is a prevalent disorder that is most common during adolescence, but it can affect individuals at all stages of life. Acne includes blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, and red papules. In more severe cases, acne can present as large, painful cysts and nodules. Acne may affect the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. Although the exact cause of acne is not totally understood, multiple factors contribute to acne, such as genetics and hormones. In addition, for certain people, acne can be worsened by diet, stress, and hormonal factors.
Adolescent acne tends to occur on the face, most often on the T-zone of the forehead, nose, and chin. In more severe cases, the entire face and back may also be affected. Adult-onset acne is typically caused by hormones, and it tends to occur on the lower face, jaw-line, and neck.
Cystic acne is a severe form of acne where the lesions are inflamed pockets of pus deep under the skin. These lesions can leave scars, especially if you try to squeeze or pop them in any way. The swelling can be reduced and healing expedited with injections of anti-inflammatory medications in the office.
All forms of acne can affect an individuals’ self-esteem. Studies have shown that acne is associated with depression and decreased self-image. For this reason, swift and effective management of acne is crucial.
Treatments for acne include carefully selected prescription topical and oral medications. These medications vary depending on the type of acne, severity of acne, and patient skin type. Combining these treatments with chemical peels and laser- and light-based therapies will often lead to optimal results. Sciton Broad Based Light (BBLTM) is proven to improve acne and to decrease the need for long-term oral therapy. The shorter wavelengths emitted by BBL directly kill bacteria on the surface of the skin and in the oil glands.
The DLC Team will put together a carefully designed and personalized plan to control your acne quickly and permanently. Once your acne is under control, then treatments that address scarring can begin. The DLC Team has laser technology that can reduce acne scarring and improve the skin’s appearance. For example, we use our Halo laser to do fractionated skin resurfacing, a highly controlled, quick-healing method. This treatment not only improves surface irregularities and enlarged pores, but also stimulates new collagen to improve the overall skin quality and diminish acne scars.
Acne Scar Treatment
Acne scars can occur even if you do not pick at bumps or pimples. These scars can appear red in people with lighter skin types and brown in people with darker skin types. Other types of acne scars leave depressions or divots in the skin. If left untreated, acne scarring can last a lifetime. Ideal treatment depends on the size, shape, and type of acne scar. Life-changing treatments include chemical peels, laser resurfacing with HALO, light-based technology with BBLTM, and/or precise surgical excisions.
The DLC Team has laser technology that can reduce acne scarring. For example, we use our Halo laser to do fractionated skin resurfacing, a highly controlled, quick-healing method. This treatment not only improves surface irregularities and enlarged pores, but also stimulates new collagen to improve the overall skin quality and diminish acne scars. BBLTM will further improve the overall health and appearance and address any persistent redness from the scars.
Actinic Keratosis Treatment with Halo
Actinic keratoses (“AKs”) are precancerous lesions in the skin. They appear as scaly spots that occur in areas that have had a lot of sun over many years. AKs are a direct result of UV damage, caused by either the sun or tanning beds. They may be red, pink, brown, or flesh-colored, and characteristically have a scaly texture and may be sensitive to the touch. If untreated, AKs have an increased risk of evolving into a squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. In addition, the more AKs a person develops, the higher that person’s risk is of developing skin cancer.
The Halo laser is an excellent choice for treating areas with a number of AKs. The Halo laser is the most current fractionated resurfacing laser available. It can target problems on both the top of the skin—the location of AKs—as well as in deeper areas of the skin. Halo therefore effectively treats the AKs on the surface of the skin, while at the same time Halo repairs other types of sun damage such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sun spots. Thus, an added benefit of using the Halo laser is that, not only are the AKs effectively treated, patients’ skin is dramatically rejuvenated.
The DLC Team will perform a thorough evaluation of your skin and assess your concerns about how your skin has changed with age. Then, we will carefully design a personalized approach to address your concerns, using a combination of technology, peels, injections, and topical treatments to achieve your goals to address the aging of your skin while preserving your natural beauty. The DLC Team offers the most current technology to both counter the effects of aging as well as delay the aging process in the skin.
Botulinum Toxin Injections (e.g., Botox, Dysport, Xeomin)
Botulinum toxin injections are a very popular treatment for the safe and effective improvement of wrinkles of the face and neck. The medicine is injected in small amounts using a tiny syringe to soften the muscle contractions that form wrinkles. The treatment also stops undesirable sweating in any area where it is injected, whether that is the face, forehead, scalp, palms, underarms, groin, or any other area that is affected by excessive or unwanted sweating. The DLC Team philosophy is to leave patients looking refreshed and not “frozen,” and we believe very strongly in the less-is-more approach.
BBL Forever YoungTM Treatment
Broadband Light, known as BBL, is proven to dramatically improve the appearance of aging skin. The BBL Forever Young Treatment is a treatment protocol that has the ability to reduce or eliminate dark spots, unwanted pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, textural changes, and other visible signs of aging. BBL also has the unique ability to not only reverse changes caused by aging, but also delay these changes. Thus, skin changes caused by aging, which often begin with subtle changes in texture and tone in younger skin, can be treated and delayed using the BBL Forever Young treatment.
Several recent scientific studies have shown that receiving BBL treatments two to four times per year delayed visible signs of skin aging, including age spots, skin laxity, and wrinkling. The use of BBL Forever Young to delaying skin aging is a unique and added benefit of this cutting edge technology offered by the DLC Team.
The DLC Team is aware that keeping skin healthy and delaying signs of aging are goals desired by patients of all ages. While DLC offers a multitude of treatments that correct the signs of sun damage and aging, BBL plays a central role in treating these issues.
The BBL PhotoFacial procedure treats the entire face, neck, chest, hands, forearms, or other skin areas showing signs of sun damage and aging. Signs of sun damage and aging that BBL PhotoFacial can treat include brown spots, redness, visible red vessels, increased wrinkling, poor tone and texture. Typically, three-to-five treatments at three-to-four week intervals are recommended. This procedure is one of the top aesthetic treatments performed because it is incredibly effective, has minimal downtime, and has phenomenal results.
Regular BBL PhotoFacial treatments have the added benefit of keeping skin healthy and delaying the signs of skin aging, including fine wrinkling, laxity, age spots, textural changes, and uneven pigmentation. The DLC Team is aware that keeping skin healthy and delaying signs of aging are goals desired by patients of all ages. While DLC offers a multitude of treatments that correct the signs of sun damage and aging, BBL plays a central role in treating these issues.
Brown Spot, Sun Spot, And Freckle Removal
Sun spots, known medically as lentigines, or more commonly as age spots or liver spots, occur in areas of the skin that have had UV exposure either from the sun or tanning beds. Sun spots are flat, brown spots that tend to increase in frequency and number as we age, and they can present as a valid cosmetic concern.
Daily use of sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection and/or using sun protective clothing is essential to prevent darkening of existing sun spots and to minimize the formation of new ones.
The DLC Team can help with the removal and fading of sun spots using laser and light-based therapies. For individuals with larger areas of diffuse freckling and sun spots, treating the entire area with laser and/or light-based therapies such as Halo or BBL will give the best outcome, by decreasing the appearance of the brown spots and improving your overall complexion.
The DLC Team is highly skilled in the use of a variety of chemical peels. Chemical peels are a low-impact treatment for acne, unwanted pigmentation, photodamage, and fine lines and wrinkles. Superficial peels work by causing a controlled peel to just the most outer layer of the skin, revealing a refreshed appearance. Superficial peels have a predictable and minimal downtime. Superficial peels are either beta-hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) or alphy-hydroxy acids (glycolic acid).
Fillers are an extremely popular procedure because they are a safe, immediate, and effective method of rejuvenating the face and hands. There are a number of different fillers available, each unique in their application to improve the appearance of volume loss. Careful selection and injection of fillers treats hollowing, volume loss, both fine and deep wrinkles, and even scars. Fillers are also very beneficial for enhancing or restoring fullness or contour of the lips and jaw.
While hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma, and Belotero Balance are the most popular, Radiesse is an option for patients that need a more long-term option. Additionally, depending on the individual needs of the patient, Sculptra has the added property of stimulating collagen production in the patient and leads to more global volume restoration.
Most of the fillers offered by the DLC Team can be provided on the same day as your consultation. To minimize bruising, please call the DLC Team the day before your appointment to discuss a pre-injection plan.
Fractionated Laser Resurfacing with Halo
Halo by Sciton is the most cutting-edge fractionated laser technology available. It is the world’s first and only customizable hybrid fractional laser, combining non-ablative and ablative wavelengths in a single pass to maximize results and control downtime. By combining two wavelengths, Halo is able to target problems both on the top of the skin and in deeper areas of the skin so that it addresses multiple skin issues at the same time—improving both pigmentation as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Halo provides the incredible results of an ablative laser with the downtime of a non-ablative fractional laser.
Halo is a unique technology in the dermatology laser market. It is completely customizable for an individual’s wants and needs. Halo’s dual technology yields dramatic results yet patients are able to return to work and social activities the very next day. And, if a patient desires just a quick refresher with little to zero downtime, the non-ablative fractionated laser can be used on its own and a patient can leave the office and return to work after the appointment.
Hands serve an integral role in our social, occupational, and interpersonal interactions. They are very visible. As we age, hands begin to lose their volume, and the skin overlying the veins and tendons becomes thin, making the hands appear bony and fragile. In addition, chronic sun damage and normal aging cause the skin texture to appear crepe-y, often with unwanted brown and red spots.
Total hand rejuvenation can be achieved with a combination of volume restoration using fillers that instantly return the back of the hands to a supple and youthful appearance. Depending on the degree of sun damage and aging changes, laser and light-based therapies using either BBL or Halo or a combination of the two will reveal rejuvenated skin texture and tone, and will eliminate unwanted brown spots and red spots on the hands.
Laser Hair Removal
Excess hair or hair in undesirable places is a common cosmetic issue for many people. Excess hair occurs most often as a result of genetics, but the DLC Team will first rule out any possible medical cause of excess hair growth.
DLC is fortunate to have the latest technology available to permanently treat unwanted hair, with the Lumenis Lightsheer INFINITY. Laser hair removal is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed nationwide, and it can be both safe and effective. It should be performed by a provider with an excellent understanding of the anatomy of the hair follicle and one who knows how to select the correct laser and energy settings for every skin type. The goal in laser hair removal is to induce permanent damage to the hair follicle using laser energy. Hairs that best absorb laser energy are those that are coarse and darkly pigmented.
Laser hair removal requires multiple treatments. At any given time, only a portion of the hairs in any area are in the growing phase and thus vulnerable to the laser. At your initial treatment visit, the hairs that are not in the growing phase are not affected by the laser. Treatments are spaced apart so that, when these hairs ultimately enter the growing phase, they will be treated during a future treatment. For most body areas, a minimum of five treatments are necessary to achieve optimal results.
Leg Vein Treatment
Spider veins are visible, thin blood vessels, red or blue in color, just beneath the skin surface. They are most common on the legs. Spider veins tend to cause no symptoms and are primarily a cosmetic concern. Pregnancy, genetics, and aging are the main causes, but weight gain and sitting or standing for long periods contribute to their development.
Treatments include sclerotherapy (specialized injections) and laser and light-based therapies. Sclerotherapy is best for thin purple vessels, where laser or light-based therapies work better for smaller flat vessels. Bulging vessels, sometimes called varicose veins, may be a sign of underlying venous reflux disease, and an evaluation by a vein specialist may be necessary.
Mole and Birthmark Removal
Moles, known medically as nevi, are skin growths that tend to be round or oval in shape, and pink, flesh-colored, or various shades of brown in color. Moles are formed by clusters of pigmented cells called melanocytes. Birthmarks may be present at birth or develop during the first year of life. Birthmarks may be pigmented or hypopigmented (pale spots). Generally, there is no medical reason to remove a birthmark. However, they can be a cosmetic concern.
The DLC Team can evaluate your mole or birthmark and advise you on the best method for removal to give you the best cosmetic outcome. For example, laser therapy can be effective in removing some types of birthmarks, especially those that are red in color.
Neck and Chest Rejuvenation
Sun exposure and aging can contribute to decreased skin quality of the neck and chest. The DLC Team can address common concerns about this area that include the waddle of fat under the chin, sagging skin around the neck, and vertical lines on the central chest. A careful plan can tighten lax skin, improve overall skin quality, and even out skin pigmentation. Using a combination of topical treatments and cutting-edge devices, such as Ultherapy, Halo, and BBL, the DLC Team can repair these changes in the skin of the neck and chest due to aging and sun damage.
Redness and Visible Blood Vessels
Persistent redness of the face, neck, and chest occurs most often as a result of longstanding sun damage. It can also be caused by rosacea. Redness is a cosmetic nuisance to many, as it is very difficult to camouflage and often prompts unwanted conversations about “being so red.” The DLC Team offers laser and light-based therapies that can effectively treat persistent redness, visible blood vessels, and flushing. A series of BBL treatments can dramatically improve the persistent redness and minimize flushing episodes.
Over time, aging leads to loss of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, causing wrinkles, lines, and sagging. Ultherapy is the only non-invasive procedure specifically FDA-approved to lift the skin on the neck, under the chin, and on the brow, and to improve lines and wrinkles on the décolletage. Ultherapy non-invasively delivers ultrasound energy, which triggers the skin to naturally produce new collagen. In this fashion, Ultherapy gradually lifts and tightens skin from the inside out, without surgery or downtime. Results gradually appear over three-to-four months, and improvement continues for six months after treatment. Best of all, Ultherapy reveals natural, noticeable results with zero downtime—you can literally go right back to work.
Although these improvements can all be achieved in just one treatment, periodic touch-up treatments may help to offset the skin’s natural aging process and further changes from continued sun exposure.