Smoothing Scars & Spots
"Several new treatments are helping patients with long-standing skin ailments regain confidence and self-esteem, says dermatologist Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, of Crutchfield Dermatology.
For deep acne scars, he recommends the Pixel laser, a gentle beam that tightens skin and smoothes wrinkles.
The latest regimen for acne patients also combines the laser with minute, skin-plumping injections of Selphyl.
Technicians in the office create this cell-enhancing formula with platelets from the patient's own plasma (on TV shows such as Rachel Ray and The Doctors, it's been touted as the "Vampire Filler"). The combination treatment, administered in two sessions spaced one to two months apart has produced great results. "We've seen 50 to 90 percent reduction of acne scars," Crutchfield says.
At his Eagan office, Crutchfield also takes aim at melasma, the uneven brown patches known as "the mask of pregnancy" that can appear on the cheeks, forehead, and upper lip during pregnancy or when women start taking birth control pills. Melasma darkens cells deep below the skin's surface. It's notoriously hard to treat, and sun exposure can aggravate the condition.
A brand-new treatment called Melanage, released in 2010, uses deep-penetrating cream with an active ingredient similar to aspirin. After a single session ($995), patients leave the cream on for six to eight hours, and then wash it off.
The skin peels like a mild sunburn for about a week. Twenty days after the treatment, 75 to 80 percent of patients find that their patches are gone and skin tone is brighter, Crutchfield says.