Germain Dermatology Cares About Your Health

Given the health issues at stake our state, country, and world right now, the Germain Dermatology team is working to maximize the safety of our patients, team, and community. While that means a short-term lack of access to cosmetic treatments, such as botulinum toxin injectables, Charleston, SC, area women and men with skin concerns are still welcomed and encouraged to contact us for help.

Germain Dermatology is operating on a limited schedule for the next couple of weeks, maintaining office hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The office is also now offering TeleDerm virtual visits, so patients can virtually meet with our providers without leaving their home. These visits require a phone, tablet, laptop, or other computer that has a camera and microphone enabled. TeleDerm appointments can be scheduled over the phone or online. In the online booking tool, select “Established Patient — Virtual Visit” when prompted to choose a patient type. You should then be able to see time slots available for a virtual appointment.

While COVID-19 is taking the health focus these days, and is driving the difficult decisions we are making as a practice, it is also not the only health risk to be aware of. Skin cancer, and especially melanoma, is still a critical concern for patients who have diagnosed or suspected cases. Since time is of the essence when it comes to identifying and treating fast-moving skin cancer, do not hesitate to reach out to us for advice, guidance, and care.

Finally, if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or other symptoms that seem to be indicative of COVID-19, please let us know during your virtual consultation or phone call, so we can schedule accordingly in order to minimize risk while pursuing your skincare needs.

For more information about virtual visits, care during this time of social distancing, and addressing skin concerns, call us at (843) 881-4440 or send a message online.

There’s a New Online Booking Service Available at Germain Dermatology!

Charleston, SC’s Germain Dermatology specializes in providing a wide range of medical, surgical, and cosmetic services. This includes treatments for common dermatological conditions like acne, care for skin cancer, injectables, laser treatments, fat reduction, and more. Whatever your goals, we are ready to help you in your quest for healthy and beautiful skin. Our new digital reservation tool, which debuted at the end of January 2020, makes setting up appointments faster and easier than ever for patients visiting us from their computer, tablet, or phone!

Germain Dermatology now offers online appointment booking, allowing cosmetic patients to directly schedule their own sessions for BOTOX® Cosmetic injections or dermal fillers. There are also booking opportunities for acne appointments, biopsies, full body skin exams, hair loss, moles, rashes, and other concerns—all of which can take around a minute to accomplish. Established patients will also be able to send medication refill requests, without having to call in by phone.

Injectables like BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers provide temporary results, and many treatments require regular upkeep throughout the year for optimal results. With this new platform, you’ll be able to instantly select a practitioner and your preferred treatment at a time and date that is most convenient for you. You can choose either the Mount Pleasant or Summerville office for your visit.

Once you’ve found the treatment you want on the website and are ready to reserve a time, you can simply click “Book Your Appointment” and follow a few simple steps. The times when each dermatologist or physician assistant is available to see patients are listed. This system allows you to initiate a request or make changes to your appointments outside of office hours, as well as make last-minute appointments more easily.

Our new system is ideal for repeat, established patients who book procedures on a routine basis, as well as new patients planning to meet with a specialist for the first time. Patients also have the option of emailing the practice to learn more about their procedure of choice.

Want to learn more about Germain Dermatology’s cosmetic and medical services for patients in Charleston, SC, and the surrounding areas? Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marguerite Germain and other members of her professional team are happy to assist with your skin care needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out by phoning 843-881-4440 or submitting information online via a contact form.

Looking Back at 2019: Our Annual Sparkle Party Was a Glittering Success!

While Germain Dermatology is known for quality dermatology in Charleston, we’ve also developed a reputation for throwing pretty fancy shindigs! The later days of 2019 were no exception, when our annual Sparkle Party warmed up the day and lit up the South Carolina night in Mt. Pleasant on Nov. 7. The event was truly one of the highlights of our year!

Southern Charm’s Patricia Altschul attended along with her butler, Michael, interacting with fans of the Bravo show and newcomers alike. Attendees chatted, circled, and learned about nonsurgical body sculpting treatments available at the practice, including fat-reducing CoolSculpting® and muscle-enhancing Emsculpt®. Live demonstrations gave everyone an idea of what the sessions entail—though results are gradually revealed in the months after a series of treatments.

On top of the education and fun, the Sparkle Party also serves as an opportunity to help the community. This year’s event raised money for Pet Helpers Adoption Center, a local animal shelter.

Anyone who attended the Sparkle Party and who would like to learn more about what they saw is welcome to call the practice at 843) 881-4440 or fill out a contact form online to get more information. Anyone who wasn’t able to attend should watch for announcements of our next Sparkle Party in the fall of 2020—and plan to celebrate along with us.

Visit the main Germain Dermatology site to find out more about the treatments mentioned here, as well as others covered at the Sparkle Party, including BOTOX®, dermal fillers, HydraFacial®, and more.

Skin Cancer: Checking for Signs and Symptoms

Skin cancer is a disease that involves the uncontrollable, accelerated growth of mutated cells in the top layer of skin. This form of cancer is caused by damage to the DNA, especially by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. While effective treatments are available, minimizing risk of developing skin cancer in the first place is ideal. When it comes to preventing skin cancer, Charleston’s Germain Dermatology emphasizes the importance of regular self-checks and routine screenings with your dermatologist.

Skin cancer usually appears on sun-exposed skin, but can also sometimes be found on areas that are normally covered up or hidden from view.

However, in addition to prematurely aging the skin, too much UV radiation—from natural or artificial sources—can also make skin more susceptible to developing skin cancer, which can manifest as lesions and tumors.

Though there are many types of skin cancer, it can be divided into three primary groups of general concern: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. The more aggressive and deadly form, melanoma, can be fatal if left untreated, giving it the opportunity to spread to other organs.

Melanoma is closely linked to a history of intense sunburns experienced early in life and tends to show up as irregular-looking moles. Discovering and identifying such moles early is critical to maximizing cure rates.

Cancerous spots tend to have specific characteristics. In particular, watch for moles that are asymmetrical, have undefined borders, are strangely colored (red, brown, blue, or white), are larger than average, or are continually changing.

Fortunately, due to its typically highly visible nature, skin cancer can often be identified early. In that regard, monthly self-assessments are critical. Be sure to physically examine yourself from head to toe—and have someone look over parts that are difficult to see, such as the back. If you notice suspicious changes that concern you, a dermatologist can perform a total body skin cancer screening. This typically lasts between 10 to 15 minutes. If cancer is suspected, a further skin biopsy may be necessary for diagnosis.

Learn more about skin cancer screenings from Germain Dermatology. For general inquiries or to request a consultation, call the Charleston-area practice at (843) 881–4440 or fill out a contact form.

What is a Vampire Facial?

Halloween may be over, but it’s now that time of the year when cooler, drier weather sets in and the days become darker. Currently, the natural look is in and more women are opting to ditch heavy makeup in favor of showing off their actual skin. If your own skin is looking a little dull and lackluster, microneedling combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP)—sometimes referred to by patients as a “vampire facial”—may be just the thing to revitalize your complexion.

Microneedling with PRP is one of the many services offered in Summerville and Mt. Pleasant at Germain Dermatology. The treatment is effective when used on its own, but patients can enjoy even more benefits when it is combined with PRP or hyaluronic acid treatments. Patients with enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles, scars, uneven texture, and lax skin may see improvements after a single session.

The microneedling device, which is rolled across the skin, consists of needles that are just right for puncturing it at the perfect depth.

There are two primary benefits associated with microneedling. Since fine lines and scars can be more noticeable in dehydrated skin during the colder months, microneedling facials give your skin a much-needed pick-me-up by taking advantage of the body’s natural healing process to promote collagen production. The tiny injuries encourage generation of collagen and can be useful for the thinner, more delicate areas of skin, such as around the eyes, which some other cosmetic treatments aren’t designed for.

Additionally, the hundreds of micro-channels this facial creates in the epidermis help to better prepare it for topical products that may be applied afterward—like PRP. By some counts, up to 70 percent of the ingredients in a topically applied product can penetrate and be absorbed by the skin.

In a “vampire facial,” a small amount of the patient’s own blood, containing a high concentration of platelets, is reintroduced to the facial skin. This can result in a more youthful-looking, glowing complexion, as well as boost and enhance the outcome from a microneedling session.

Ready to kickstart your pre-winter beauty routine with microneedling with PRP, or other cosmetic treatments available from Germain Dermatology? Don’t hesitate to give the practice serving Mt. Pleasant and Summerville a call at 843-881-4440 for more details or schedule a consultation.

Post-Summer Skin Renewal: Microdermabrasion with SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion

Fall is finally here, and along with it comes cooler, windier weather, changing colors in the leaves, and everything pumpkin spice flavored. As you bundle up and prepare to spend a lot more time indoors, this is the perfect time to give your skin some much-needed extra TLC—especially after months of intense summertime sun and heat. For those hoping to revitalize the appearance of their skin, the Germain Dermatology team offers SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion as an option for microdermabrasion in Charleston.

Summer activities can be exciting, but there’s no doubt they can put your facial skin through the ringer. In addition to blistering sunburns that can leave your skin flaky and scaly, spending a lot of time in chlorinated water can result in dry, cracked, irritated skin. Over time, UV radiation from the sun’s burning rays penetrates and even warps the DNA of skin cells.

In other words, sun exposure can accelerate premature aging—in addition to increasing your risk for certain health problems.

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive cosmetic technique for enhancing skin tone and texture, good for treating everything from sun damage, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles, to fine lines, age spots, acne scarring, and melasma. SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion, a specific type of microdermabrasion, is particularly helpful for addressing typical symptoms of summer skin damage, like oily skin, dryness, wrinkles, and sunspots on the face, neck, and other sun-exposed areas.

During treatment, the pen-shaped, diamond-plated device performs three functions: exfoliating the outer skin layer, removing the dead skin cells and debris, and infusing the pores with customized treatments. This helps nourishing serums to penetrate the deeper layers of skin for increased efficiency. Just one treatment, lasting around half an hour, results in a more radiant complexion, visible virtually as soon as the session is over.

Make summer skin damage a thing of the past with SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion, so you can embrace fall with a bright and vibrant face. To find out more about microdermabrasion alternatives available at our Charleston, SC, practice, don’t hesitate to contact Germain Dermatology. Request a consultation online or call us directly at 843-881-4440.

EMSCULPT® for Firmer Thighs and More

Smoothing out bulges on “trouble areas” of the body is often about more than simply targeting excess fat. Muscle toning also plays a major role in determining body contours. One of the newest innovations in nonsurgical fat reduction, EMSCULPT®, has rapidly grown in popularity in the last year, among both physicians and patients throughout the country. At Germain Dermatology, our team based in Charleston, SC, offers EMSCULPT® to transform the shape of the abdomen, butt, and more with a series of 30-minute sessions.

EMSCULPT® is not designed to reduce large amounts of fat—and it’s not a substitute for regular exercise. Rather, patients who are close to their ideal weight but who haven’t been able to improve some bulging areas or excess fat deposits can benefit from EMSCULPT®. Patients who choose the body contouring treatment can return to their regular activities right away without downtime, and there are much fewer risks involved than with surgical procedures.

The EMSCULPT® applicator works by emitting high-intensity radiofrequency energy, which triggers thousands of rapid muscle contractions as it moves through the skin and tissue. For optimal results, patients often choose to schedule multiple treatments.

EMSCULPT® is most often used to tone the abdomen and as a non-invasive butt lift, but it also has off-label applications for the arms and posterior thighs. The lower body is often a problem area for women, as fat tends to accumulate in that area. When used on the thighs, EMSCULPT® can create a longer, leaner appearance, as well as more balanced contours.

However, unlike the fat freezing technique used for CoolSculpting®, which simply destroys adipose tissue, EMSCULPT® does more than eliminate fat. The electromagnetic energy promotes supramaximal contractions to develop muscle fibers, thereby increasing muscle mass. This creates a more toned appearance, instead of a simply leaner look.

EMSCULPT® can enhance the results of regular workouts by strengthening and stabilizing the muscle areas in a way that would be difficult to accomplish even with the most intense strength-training sessions. The muscles are activated at a much higher level than they are during traditional squats, lunges, sit-ups, or other strengthening exercises. The treatment increases muscle development by about 16 percent in isolated areas, according to some estimates.

Want to learn more about EMSCULPT® from the Charleston, SC-based Germain Dermatology? For more details, call 843-881-4440 or visit our main website and submit a consultation request.

Choosing the Right Treatment for Facial Wrinkles

While certain signs of aging are common to everyone, each person’s skin shows those signs in a unique combination of ways. One or two spots may form on the forehead, or many may develop across the face. Sagging may be minimal or significant. Wrinkles may appear as faint, superficial lines or deeper furrows.

Those wrinkles, in particular, are changes to the skin that many people want to address. When choosing an aesthetic solution, however, getting the most satisfying results requires awareness of which cosmetic techniques work best on the types of wrinkles being targeted. This is one of the reasons the Germain Dermatology team provides personalized consultations in the Charleston area. BOTOX®, for instance, has steadily become the world’s go-to solution for wrinkle reduction, but it only works on certain types of wrinkles in specific areas.

Dynamic Wrinkles/Expression Lines

There are around 43 different muscles in the face, all of them working together to help people convey emotions like anger, sadness, and surprise. BOTOX® and its similarly structured botulinum toxin-based counterparts DYSPORT® and XEOMIN® are good for addressing these dynamic wrinkles, which form due to repeated muscle movements.

Wrinkle-smoothing botulinum toxin temporarily relaxes the muscles that contract to form lines and creases. The effects typically last for a period of about three to four months. There are three types of dynamic wrinkles that are most commonly cited as the reason for a patient choosing this treatment: crow’s feet (crinkles around the outer corners of the eyes), horizontal forehead lines, and elevens (furrows between the eyebrows).

Static Wrinkles

Static wrinkles appear as a result of sun damage, smoking, age-related loss of collagen and other skin components, and long-term dynamic wrinkling. Dermal fillers and, to a lesser extent, resurfacing techniques like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, are highly effective on static wrinkles. JUVEDERM® is a dermal filler that contains a form of hyaluronic acid (a gel-like, transparent substance naturally produced in the body) that helps to regulate moisture levels in the skin. When injected, it adds volume to “fill in” wrinkles.

Treatments that exfoliate the face soften the appearance of these lines by taking away the dry, less flexible layers that make lines especially visible.

Gravitational Folds

Over time, gravity tugs on skin and fat, leading to sagging, which can disrupt the overall symmetry and contours of the face. Cheeks and temples may become sunken, and aging skin loses its strength and springiness. Ultherapy® can boost collagen production to lift skin, while dermal fillers add volume to plump and round out the areas where they are injected.

Which treatment is best? Again, it all depends on the patient—and how his or her skin has changed over time. The Germain Dermatology team is ready to help with any questions about wrinkle-reducing treatments like BOTOX® in the Charleston area. Call directly at 843-881-4440 or send a message online for more details.

Body Contouring to Get Your Best Summer Body

The official start of summer has come, which means for many of us that the countdown to get that perfect beach body is on. In addition to maintaining a successful workout program and healthy eating habits, having some subtle cosmetic “work” done can give anyone who is self-conscious about some physical aspect or another an extra boost of confidence. To that end, Germain Dermatology offers personalized options for women and men interested in CoolSculpting® in Charleston, SC.

The April to June period is an ideal time to get your body ready for bathing suits and parties, while perhaps shedding any extra pounds gained over the holidays. The weather is still cool enough to conceal any problem areas with heavier clothing.

Unfortunately, even with overall weight loss, it isn’t always easy to burn fat from more resistant areas (for example, a double chin). In our childhood and teenage years, we all develop a fairly set number of fat cells in certain body areas. The pattern of how fat tends to be distributed and stored is unique to each of us. That means, come summer, a bulge or two may remain despite months of effort put into slimming down.

Whether your goal is to create a sleeker silhouette or more balanced proportions, FDA-approved CoolSculpting® is one of the most effective, non-surgical ways of contouring your body into the shape you’ve wanted. The treatment can get rid of pesky, unwanted pockets of fat, whether below the chin, on the flanks, or in the form of a spare tire, muffin top, or love handles.

During the treatment session, adipose tissue is essentially frozen, irreparably damaged, and marked for removal from the body. The CoolSculpting® device zeroes in on fat in the targeted area, precisely cooling fat cells to a temperature they are unable to survive in while leaving surrounding skin and tissues unaffected. Up to 25 percent of fat cells in a specific area may be eliminated over time. Even better, there is little to no pain or down time required.

Summer has started, but it’s not too late to start shaping your body. After all, with proper care, the results will be around by the time next swimsuit season starts.

To learn more about CoolSculpting® in Charleston, SC—as well as other cosmetic fat reduction techniques—arrange a private consultation with Germain Dermatology online or call (843) 881-4440.

How Does Microdermabrasion Work?

Is it possible to buff and polish your skin to retain a youthful look? Microdermabrasion may be a buzzword in beauty circles, but aside from the most skin care-savvy among us, many people are unaware of how this treatment actually works on the complexion.

An excess of dead cells can accumulate on the surface of the skin, leading to a dry, flaky texture and a lackluster appearance. Microdermabrasion offers results that are more effective than a basic facial but less dramatic than laser resurfacing.

Patients of all skin types and tones who have acne scars, sun spots, age spots, dullness, uneven pigmentation, and clogged pores may benefit most from this cosmetic dermatological procedure. It can also have a positive impact on sensitive skin types, or patches of skin that have shown to be resistant to other forms of topical or cosmetic treatments.

Microdermabrasion sessions typically last about 40 minutes and offer a high level of precision when it comes to targeting skin cells. The treatment involves exfoliating dead skin to reduce the appearance of lesions and blemishes while generating an even, clear, and smooth complexion. People of all ages, from 20-somethings to those approaching their 50s or 60s, can benefit from its brightening and revitalizing effects.

There are several approaches used for microdermabrasion. Germain Dermatology offers SilkPeel®, which employs a diamond-tip handpiece. The tip gently scrubs the skin to abrade it, then suctions away loosened dead skin cells from the stratum corneum (the superficial layer of skin). The suction also serves to clear out pores. SilkPeel® simultaneously infuses the skin with hydrating serum, which penetrates into the deeper layers and gives the skin a fresher, plumper look.

While some patients may notice a difference after a single procedure, others may find they want to undergo multiple sessions to achieve their cosmetic goals or to maintain their results.

For more information about microdermabrasion and other available exfoliating treatments, contact Charleston, South Carolina’s Germain Dermatology directly by calling (843) 881-4440 or fill out an online contact form.