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.

You Don’t Have to Settle for Just One Type of Laser Treatment

Life is full of either/or choices. You either get up when the alarm goes off or you hit snooze. You either turn left or you turn right. You either have that second cup of coffee, or you don’t. At Germain Dermatology, we believe that in some cases, you shouldn’t have to choose just one thing or the other. That’s why we offer Sciton® Halo™ for the Charleston, SC, area.

Most laser treatments fall into the same either/or mold. Either you get an ablative treatment that removes the outermost skin cells for a dramatic improvement with healing required, or you get a non-ablative treatment that goes below the surface to stimulate collagen production. Sciton® Halo™ is a laser treatment that does both.

The intensity of the treatment—and therefore the necessary recovery time and the scope of the results—is up to you. Sciton® Halo™ blends ablative and non-ablative technology for a customizable treatment that treats skin from the top down and the inside out.

Want more immediate results and have down time for recovery? Ask for a dialed-up treatment. Looking for more gradual improvements and not keen on recuperation? Back off the intensity for a milder session.

The rejuvenating effects can impact everything from spots and other signs of sun damage to tone irregularities. Sciton® Halo™ can reduce the appearance of certain scars and the size of overly large pores.

If you have a cosmetic concern, chances are good that there’s a mix of laser treatments that can help to address the problem. Find out more by calling Germain Dermatology at (843) 881-4440 or sending a message online.

Charleston Agrees: Dr. Marguerite Germain is the Best!

Looking for the best dermatologist in Charleston? Look no further than Germain Dermatology, where Dr. Marguerite Germain is still celebrating the April 24, 2019, announcement that she was named Best Dermatologist in City Paper’s annual readers’ poll.

And that’s not all! Germain Dermatology itself—serving Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, and all of South Carolina—was named Best Dermatology Practice.

The whole team decided to don fancy black dresses and delightfully vibrant pink wigs to socialize at City Paper’s celebratory shindig the day the issue hit the streets. In addition to marking this year’s win with the coordinated costumes, Dr. Germain and her staff were also celebrating the fact that the number of times the board-certified dermatologist has won this title now totals 14. That’s more than a dozen honors handed over with regularity.

That said, there is nothing regular about the accolades. Dr. Germain treats each year’s ballot as a fresh start, taking nothing for granted. Recognition is never her motivation. She maintains a professional and welcoming atmosphere no matter what. Each day, she focuses on helping patients with her extensive background in the field and on leading a team of like-minded professionals to provide advanced care with compassion, discretion, and skill.

Voters obviously recognize that commitment to care, which is why Dr. Germain and Germain Dermatology can be found in the Recreation, Health, and Beauty section of City Paper’s “Best” issue.

In honor of taking the title once again, Germain Dermatology is offering a 50 percent discount on any single full-price Germain Rx product. To find the coupon, which must be presented in order to get the deal, visit the Germain Dermatology Instagram feed. Note that it is limited to one per person, and must be used by June 30, 2019.

For more information about the “Best Dermatologist in Charleston” for 14 years in a row, and Germain Dermatology in general, call (843) 881-4440 or send a message online.

Why Does Laser Hair Removal Require Multiple Sessions?

Though the thought of long-term results from a single session of laser hair removal at Charleston, SC’s Germain Dermatology is a lovely one, it’s not a realistic one. Like most good things in life, ideal results come to those who wait—or at least those who complete multiple treatment sessions.

This process is not due to the strength of the laser or the skill of the operator, but to the nature of the hairs themselves.

First, an explanation: Laser hair removal works by sending light into the skin, which causes pigmented cells to heat up. They get so hot, in fact, that they become damaged. When this happens to the pigmented cells in a follicle, the damage inhibits the follicle’s hair-growing ability.

Unfortunately, this only works on follicles that are in the “actively growing” phase, known as anagen. Essentially, the heat damage disrupts the follicle’s normal cycle, which would typically continue from anagen to catagen (which gets the follicle ready to grow a new hair by shutting down the blood supply to the current hair) to telogen (which allows the follicle to rest before the new hair grows). By throwing a wrench into anagen, the current hair falls out—and the cycle does not resume for a significant amount of time.

Approximately 85 percent of a person’s hairs are in the anagen phase at any given time, so a laser hair removal session should catch the majority of hairs in an area. Subsequent sessions are necessary to get the remaining 15 percent. This can take a couple more sessions, since only about 85 percent of the hairs that are left will be in anagen next time.

Eventually, after an average of five sessions spaced weeks apart, the targeted region will be smooth—with no need for a razor or waxing or any other hair-removal method you used before.

Yes, the treatment requires some patience, but our patients agree the results are worth the effort—and the wait!

Learn more about laser hair removal in the Charleston, SC, area by calling (843) 881-4440 or sending a message to Germain Dermatology.

Dynamic Wrinkles and the Injectables That Smooth Them

Growing older means getting wrinkles. The natural elements that keep our skin looking youthful eventually come up short, resulting in less flexibility and elasticity and ultimately leading to the formation (and deepening) of lines and creases. Although these changes are basically inevitable, there are ways to smooth out wrinkles that have formed.

The ideal strategy depends on what caused the wrinkles in the first place. Facial lines and wrinkles that appear due to facial muscle movement respond best to injectable neuromodulators. These include DYSPORT®, XEOMIN®, and BOTOX® Cosmetic at Charleston’s Germain Dermatology. The team offers all three FDA-approved injectables to address crow’s feet, frown lines, and other wrinkles.

Each injection contains a small amount of purified botulinum toxin. The prescription cosmetic is injected into specific muscles that cause the formation of facial lines and wrinkles. The active ingredient causes the muscles to relax so the skin sits at rest instead of moving into folds. As a result, facial lines are less visible—and can even diminish over time.

It’s important to remember that not all wrinkles are the same. In addition to “dynamic” wrinkles that appear due to the repetitive pull of muscles when making certain facial expressions, there are also “static” wrinkles that form on the face due to age-related loosening and a decrease in skin moisture as collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin diminish.

The team at Germain Dermatology has extensive experience with neuromodulators and understands that each Charleston-area patient has a unique goal and expectations. A professional assessment is essential so your injector can recommend the ideal treatment, whether BOTOX®, DYSPORT®, or XEOMIN®—or another strategy entirely.


Results from neuromodulator injections are temporary, with effects lasting up to three to five months—though initial visible improvements are noticeable within three to seven days. An added benefit of repeated treatments is that results tend to last longer.

BOTOX®, DYSPORT®, and XEOMIN® injectables have proven over and over again to be an ideal cosmetic solution for restoring the look of more youthful skin.

Find out more about options for smoothing out wrinkles, including BOTOX®, in the Charleston, SC, area by calling Germain Dermatology at (843) 881-4440 or sending a message online.