Pacific Dermatology | Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center

Recent posts

Is Ultherapy Your Ideal Nonsurgical Facelift?

We know that the signs of aging will develop at some point. Many of us have a loose plan in place to manage them when they do. For some, the final solution to more significant signs of aging is a surgical facelift. For others, the preference to avoid surgery influences the decisions they make. Even when there is a desire to address aging without surgery, there often comes a time of frustration. Maybe skincare and injectables aren’t correcting every problem, like sagging skin, anymore. This is just one of several instances in which Ultherapy may be the ideal nonsurgical facelift.

Isn’t Ultherapy a Skin-Tightening Treatment?

Ultherapy is often perceived as a skin-tightening treatment. While it does tighten the skin, this system does much more. Years ago, doctors realized that surgical facelifts were falling short because they were focusing on superficial tissue only. To achieve meaningful and lasting results, as well as results that looked natural, it was necessary to also lift the muscle or the SMAS. This understanding was implemented into the development of Ultherapy.

During Ultherapy treatment, ultrasound is used first to locate the precise depths at which energy should be deposited. High-frequency ultrasound waves are then delivered to three different layers of tissue. This stimulates more extensive remodeling that centers around collagen constriction, first, then the stimulation of new collagen fibers over several months. The innovative delivery of high-frequency energy affects the same layers of tissue that a surgeon would tighten during a facelift. The results occur naturally over time and they last for years.

Regardless of whether the signs of aging are corrected with a facelift or a nonsurgical treatment, collagen loss is something that will continue. This is because the cells that produce collagen slow down during early adulthood and the body utilizes the collagen it has to heal wounds and partake in other physiological processes. To offset the breakdown of this vital protein, many people schedule Ultherapy treatments every so often as a part of their ongoing beauty regimen. A few years ago, model Christie Brinkley named herself as one of those people who rely on this system for continued youthfulness.

Many people are looking for nonsurgical methods to sustain their youthful appearance. For many reasons, Ultherapy makes sense. If you would like to learn more about this cosmetic procedure, schedule a visit to our Renton or Seattle office at 206-859-5777.

Easy Ways to Boost Your Skin’s Resilience and Beauty

Beautiful skin is resilient skin. It is skin that can repair itself well and make the best use of nourishing substances like collagen, elastin, and growth factors. As you may have guessed, very few people can claim to have resilient, beautiful skin for their entire lifetime. This is because, to achieve this, there must be various forms of assistance. If you want to sustain your skin for your many years ahead, consider a few of the current ways you can assist tissue regeneration.

  1. Microneedling

Microneedling is an outstanding method of collagen-induction. It is suitable for adults of all ages and for all skin types and tones. This treatment affects the layers of the epidermis and uppermost layers of the dermis by creating micro-injuries with tiny needles. The needles penetrate the skin in a uniform manner that does not tear or scrape. Therefore, the recovery from treatment is very short and side effects are minimal. Each microneedling treatment stimulates collagen production to heal scars, acne, and to smooth lines and wrinkles.

  1. The Power of Antioxidants

We are what we eat. We’ve all heard that we need to eat for health, but how does this apply to the skin? Antioxidants are molecules that are found in foods like blueberries, spinach, and kale. They can also be taken in supplement form. When consumed, antioxidants balance an overabundance of free radicals, erratic molecules that steal energy from various biological processes, including tissue regeneration. The regular consumption of antioxidants reduces the oxidative stress that leads to premature aging.

  1. Botox

The initial injectable product to gain FDA approval, Botox has been widely used to correct signs of aging that result from facial movements. Many people know that Botox can erase frown lines and smooth crow’s feet at the edges of the eyes. What hasn’t completely caught on yet is the use of Botox for prevention. As younger patients are discovering the power of small doses of Botox, more are receiving treatment to decrease muscle contractions that could lead to permanent lines.

  1. Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Laser devices have become a mainstay in aesthetic medicine. Our offices are equipped with several different laser devices to meet the varying needs of our patients. Not all lasers are resurfacing therapies. Some use gentle wavelengths to stimulate changes in cellular behavior in the dermis. In the area of resurfacing, lasers are now gentler, affecting only a fraction of the skin’s surface to promote meaningful healing without much downtime.

All skin needs help as it ages. To get assistance managing your skin, call 206-859-5777 and schedule a visit to our Renton or Seattle office.

Can Beauty be a One and Done Event?

Many of the people who visit our Seattle and Renton offices ask the same question. “Will I see results after one treatment?” This can be a tricky question to answer. In some cases, yes, results are immediately visible (oh, how we love you, dermal fillers!). However, even in this case, it is necessary to repeat treatment at some point.  Here, we discuss why beauty is not a one and done event.

It is easy to say that we need to keep up with our skin because it is constantly aging. This is true. Studies suggest that our fibroblast cells become nearly dormant after age 30. We don’t see or feel this at first because the body has built up the skin-firming proteins these cells have provided since childhood. About age 40, however, we begin to see the effects of the 1 to 2% annual breakdown of collagen and elastin. Knowing this, we can see just why the skin requires ongoing support. The question is not whether or not treatments should be repeated, it is how many treatments are needed at what intervals.

Several nonsurgical treatments have been developed in recent years to target fibroblast cells; to wake them up, so to speak, so they continue producing collagen and elastin. Each time a treatment is performed, fibroblasts may activate for up to 6 months. Then they will go dormant once again. To rebuild a tissue foundation that has degraded over a few decades may take several collagen-building treatments. Generally, patients can expect to need one treatment for every decade they have lived. The average 50-year-old may need a series of 5 skin-tightening treatments to reset their baseline. After this point, one or two treatments a year may be sufficient.  Of course, this can also depend on the type of treatment that a patient chooses.

Now is a Great Time to Manage Beauty

Whether you are a 30-year-old who wants to begin addressing collagen-loss before the signs of aging develop or you are a 70-year-old who wants to correct mild to moderate tissue laxity and discoloration, we have treatment options that can help you. Come talk with us about your beauty goals and we will develop a treatment plan to achieve them. Call 206-859-5777 to schedule a visit to our Seattle or Renton office.

Is a Nonsurgical Nose Job Right for You?

Pacific DermatologyNose shape and size are irrelevant on their own. It is cohesiveness that is needed for the nose to complement the face as a whole and vise versa. Because the nose is the central feature on the face, even small changes can have a profound impact on facial harmony. This is where a nonsurgical nose job can be beneficial. This brief treatment can achieve various subtle changes that help the nose fit well with other facial features.

What is non-surgical rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is the surgical "nose job" that shapes the nose by modifying bone, cartilage, and skin. The results of this plastic surgery procedure are permanent and, in the ideal situation, achieves better facial harmony. While there are notable advantages of surgical rhinoplasty, not every person who would like to improve something about their nose is ready for surgery. Nonsurgical rhinoplasty provides a nice alternative.

Nonsurgical rhinoplasty is a treatment that improves nasal shape using dermal fillers. With detailed analysis, a trained physician can use fillers to subtly enhance the appearance of the nose for approximately one year.

How Fillers Can Reshape the Nose

Refining the Bridge

A denser filler may be ideal to correct the length of the nose, including the bony vault, radix, and dorsum. Patients with an asymmetrical bridge or minor bump on the bridge may achieve a straighter, smoother appearance instantly when dermal filler is introduced to particular areas of the bridge.

Improving the Lower Nose

The lower part of the nose, including the nostrils and tip, may affect overall appearance when misshapen in some way. For irregularities such as tip bifidity, a noticeable groove on the tip of the nose between the nostrils, a denser filler such as Juvederm may be ideal. Filler can also be inserted where the nostrils meet the upper lip or cheek to subtly enhance shape.

It Doesn't End with the Nose

Sometimes, it is not the nose that needs adjustment but another part of the face. For example, the nose may appear too large when the chin is weak or recessed. In this instance, the treating physician may recommend that fillers are used to enhance the jawline and chin rather than reshape the nose. Sometimes, the nose and a complimentary area such as the chin can be treated simultaneously to achieve more dramatic results.

Are You a Good Candidate?

If your nose is functionally healthy (you do not have breathing or snoring problems) and you would like to address a cosmetic concern, you may be an excellent candidate for nonsurgical rhinoplasty. The best way to fully address your nose is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Reichel in our Renton or Seattle office. To schedule your visit, call 206-859-5777.

Shedding Light on Acne

You'd think that, as common of a problem as acne is, we would know by now how to prevent it. While acne continues to affect millions of people, we do have multiple proven treatment options available at this time. If you are tired of struggling with persistent or recurrent acne, schedule a consultation with your dermatologist. In our Seattle and Renton offices, we customize acne treatments to meet each patient's unique needs. One of several treatment options our patients may choose from is light therapy. Here, we discuss what that is and how it works.

How Light Treats Acne

Acne originates from bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). This type of bacteria lives in the skin and gets trapped in pores along with dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. The debris in the pores clogs them. When pores are clogged, the bacteria cause the swelling that we know as pimples.

The objective of most acne treatments is to control or destroy the bacteria that are causing breakouts. Light is one of several ways we can do this. Studies have found that P. acnes bacteria are sensitive to certain kinds of light. Therefore, shining that type of light on the skin can destroy these microorganisms. In addition to destroying acne-causing bacteria, light can also shrink the oil glands that lead to clogged pores, decreasing the likelihood of frequent breakouts.

Not Just Any Light

If acne bacteria are light-sensitive, why not just sit in the sunshine? Interestingly, doctors used to use standard UV light to reduce acne. While some degree of improvement was noticed, there was also a risk of skin cancer that coincided with treatment. It does little good to reduce acne if the patient is then likely to develop precancerous lesions. Instead of relying on UV light, doctors now use wavelengths of red or blue light to kill acne-causing bacteria. These wavelengths target bacteria without damaging the skin.

How Phototherapy Works

Patients with mild to moderate acne may be excellent candidates for light therapy, called phototherapy. To be a good candidate, a patient must be willing to avoid tanning beds and sun exposure for at least one week before treatment begins and for the duration of the treatment plan. Phototherapy sessions may be scheduled weekly for a time to achieve the best results.

During a phototherapy treatment, the doctor may apply a topical medicine to the skin to make it more sensitive to light. Aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and methyl aminolevulinate (MAL) are examples of common photosensitizers. After the medicine has absorbed, LED light is directed at the skin for 15 to 30 minutes. The purpose of photosensitizing medication is to enhance the effects of light therapy. Depending on the patient's skin type and severity of acne, light may be used on its own.

According to studies, phototherapy can reduce acne and swelling up to 70% in 8 to 10 sessions.

Acne is a great thing to leave behind as the new year approaches. Are you ready? Call 206-859-5777 to schedule your consultation in our Seattle or Renton office.

Drop that Holiday Planning List and Look in the Mirror!

The holiday season is upon us and it will catch many people off-guard. If you move swiftly, your time of revelry can be marked by your best sense of confidence. Have you been endlessly checking items off your holiday-preparation list, only to neglect even looking in the mirror? Could your skin use a refresher to keep you as radiant through the holidays as Old St. Nick himself? Let's talk.

At Pacific Dermatology, we are all about beauty. And skin health is the foundation for appearance, at least when it comes to the face. To assist our patients in looking and feeling their best, we have equipped two office locations with state-of-the-art modalities that have been proven to diminish the signs of aging, acne, and other problems. Here are a few ways we can help you get ready for the holiday season without taking a huge chunk of your time or holiday budget.

Refreshment At Its Finest

If you can't remember the last time you exfoliated your skin, chances are your radiance is hidden beneath layers of dead and damaged cells. If your skin is in relatively healthy condition and the signs of aging have either not occurred yet or not yet become bothersome, your pre-holiday beauty treatment may be a professional chemical peel. This quick treatment will remove all of the cells that are blocking your best skin (and also blocking your skincare products from absorbing) and will give you a glow to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

What better way to refresh the skin's foundation than by calling in the troops? By troops, we mean collagen and elastin. In recent years, devices have been developed to take the old dermal rolling concept to a whole new level. Microneedling is an efficient form of collagen induction therapy that is routinely performed to treat acne and acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, mild sagging of the skin, enlarged pores, even melasma. Patients see results after one treatment and may arrange more to dramatically rejuvenate the skin.

Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center has the full spectrum of medical and cosmetic dermatology services that can make your skin the shining star of the holidays. Contact us to schedule treatments like:

  • Botox
  • Dermal fillers
  • Liquid facelift
  • Blepharoplasty
  • Nonsurgical nose job
  • Liposonix body contouring
  • And more

Call 206-859-5777 to schedule a visit with us in Renton or Seattle.

Shedding Light on Sunspots

Even in our relatively rainy state, it is possible to develop cosmetic problems associated with sun exposure. The small discolored patches that age the skin may occur on the arms, chest, neck, and face. They may be few or many but, in any form, they need to be addressed. One way to do this is with IPL.

What is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It may sound interesting that sunspots can be broken apart by light when it is light that causes them in the first place. IPL is not the same as laser treatments, which also affect the skin with certain wavelengths of light. It is a nonablative process through which short pulses of strong, visible light is directed at a target area on which sunspots have developed. The broad-spectrum of light rays permeate the hemoglobin and melanin that are present in dark spots and vascular lesions. The absorption of these rays heats these substances, dismantling their particles so they surface more quickly. When the pigmentation reaches the surface, it can be released naturally, leaving lighter, evener skin behind.

Can Hyperpigmentation Return after IPL?

Hyperpigmentation can occur as a result of UV exposure, hormones, and other factors. A series of IPL treatments address the pigment issues that are present in superficial tissue, whereas the damage that leads to sunspots may reside deeper in the dermis. The good news is that it can take years for new spots to become visible. The better the skin is protected with broad-spectrum sunscreen, the less likely it is that significant hyperpigmentation will occur in the future.

As we make our way into a drearier time of year, the time to address sunspots couldn’t be better. IPL treatments are convenient and comfortable. No downtime is necessary after each session, but it is beneficial to undergo treatment when you can stay out of the sun.

The skin often needs some help to stay radiant and youthful-looking. The team at Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center has the training, experience, and selection of treatments that are needed to support skin of all ages. To learn more about IPL and other modalities for sunspots, call 206-859-5777 and schedule a consultation in our Seattle or Renton office.

Let’s Tame Those Trouble Spots

One of the wonderful things about living in this day and age is that cosmetic beauty can mean so many things. Even with the influence of social media influencers and celebrities around every corner, more people are grasping onto the idea that they can be their own kind of beautiful. However that looks for you, there are treatments that can help you achieve that. Sometimes, that means taming certain trouble spots.

As you know, trouble spots can develop anywhere. For some people, it is facial aging that causes concern. For some, it is skin and body issues like unwanted hair, unwanted fat, or unattractive veins. Here, we want to focus on the various trouble spots that may occur and how each can be dealt with quickly and effectively.

Signs of Aging

The development of permanent lines and wrinkles can feel distressing. Once creases remain even when the face is at rest, there’s no going back. There are, however, multiple ways forward. Some of the ways that we help patients tame trouble spots on their face include:

  • Chemical peels for gentle, routine exfoliation can be performed as often as monthly.
  • Microneedling is a brief treatment that induces collagen production for all-over improvement.
  • Laser and light treatments can resurface and remodel the skin to look brighter, clearer, and softer.
  • Injectables smooth lines and creases around the eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as the hands and neck.
  • CoolSculpting and Kybella are each excellent choices to reduce a double-chin.


The body ages similarly to the face but is, for the most part, easy to disguise, at least for a time. Trouble spots that may eventually take center stage can often be addressed with:

  • CoolSculpting for small areas of stubborn fat. Common treatment areas include the stomach, thighs, arms, bra area, and chin.
  • Cellfina is a proven method of eliminating frustrating cellulite. The in-office treatment is comfortable and literally untethers the skin to restore a smooth, beautiful surface.
  • Liposonix, like CoolSculpting, is intended for the spot reduction of unwanted fat in the midsection.
  • Tumescent liposuction is the treatment of choice for those who want faster, more dramatic results in fat reduction.
  • Liposculpting is a precision liposuction technique that is used to sculpt smaller areas of the body or face.

We are proud to offer a comprehensive menu of services to patients in the Seattle and Renton areas. To schedule a consultation where we can discuss your trouble spots, call 206-859-5777.

Managing Melasma

Medical Dermatologists Renton, WASome skin conditions feel like an uphill battle that will require ongoing management. Melasma is one of them. Many people feel as if every step toward progress is met by an equal or greater setback. The slightest trigger may recreate the problem all over again. We understand how frustrating it can be to manage a chronic condition like melasma. Our staff works hard to develop individual treatment plans for each patient to reach the most effective follow-up program for clearer, healthier skin.

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a skin condition in which dark brown or gray spots appear on the face. Studies indicate that women are more susceptible to melasma and that the problem may be triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy. Sun exposure is a contributing factor to melasma flare-ups. Often, pigment changes are seen on the cheeks, jawline, or above the lips.

Treating and Preventing Melasma Flare-ups

It is not impossible to live confidently when you have melasma. Healthy, clear skin can be supported with:

  • Vitamin C. This free-radical-fighting antioxidant provides meaningful support to the skin in a number of ways. In addition to encouraging collagen proliferation when taken orally (time-released is best), vitamin C stimulates optimal cellular turnover.
  • Laser treatments. There are several laser treatments available in our Renton and Seattle offices. Specific techniques, such as Fraxel and Clear + Brilliant lasers, are indicated for people with melasma. These treatments are gentle in their delivery of light, which keeps side effects and risks to a minimum. By targeting pigment in the skin as well as cellular turnover, laser treatments achieve improvements that include uniformity in pigment and texture.
  • Lightening agents. Medical-grade skin care products containing kojic acid or hydroquinone are ideal for melasma management, as each gently lifts discoloration from the skin.
  • Sun protection. SPF is a must for any person with melasma, seeing that sun exposure is a prominent trigger for flare-ups of unwanted spots. In addition to decreasing the chances of future melasma, the daily use of sunscreen also provides protection from premature aging and skin cancer.
  • Camouflage with Protection. Understandably, there is a desire to disguise melasma when discoloration is noticeable. The use of a mineral, powder foundation with SPF fills a dual-purpose of covering discoloration and also protecting the skin from unnecessary UV exposure.

Do you need help managing melasma? Contact us at 206-859-5777, where we can schedule a consultation for you in one of our friendly offices.

Together, You and Your Dermatologist can Clear the Signs of Acne

Breakouts of pimples and blackheads can be difficult to manage. The issue of acne is one to take seriously. Not only does a person with active acne experience physical and emotional discomfort in the moment, but they also often worry about how their skin may look years after acne has disappeared. The team at Pacific Dermatology helps patients navigate both concerns. With a board-certified dermatologist in your corner, you can find your way through the frustration of active breakouts and also repair the damage that has been done to your skin. Here, we point out a few ways to nurture acne-prone skin.

Nurturing at Home

Healthy skin is a culmination of several factors. Daily facial care is one of them. When acne is an issue, it is important to look for specific ingredients to add to a home care routine. Some that are known to support healthy tissue regeneration include:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids. There are a few different AHAs that are frequently used in formulations for medical grade skin care products. The benefit of alpha-hydroxy acids is that these chemicals break down the uppermost layer of damaged skin cells so they can slough off more efficiently.
  • Salicylic acid. A gentle acidic chemical, salicylic acid is an effective cleanser that removes dead cells and other debris from the epidermis. Using a salicylic acid cleanser inhibits the accumulation of oil, dirt, and other particles in pores.
  • Various forms of retinol are advantageous for healthy, glowing skin because these chemicals have both a soothing and exfoliating effect.

Nurturing from Your Dermatologist

Professional or medical care is often needed to get a handle on active acne, and this may require a multi-pronged approach. Our physicians develop acne treatment based on several factors, one of which may be the presence of or potential for acne scarring. Some of the treatments that are beneficial to reduce scarring include:

  • Chemical peels. Like the mild acidic ingredients in skin care products, chemical peels are intended for exfoliation and cellular turnover. A chemical peel for acne or acne scarring may cause superficial flaking that keeps the pores of the skin clear of debris. Depending on the depth of the peel, increased collagen production may also occur.
  • Infini microneedling. In recent years, several devices have been developed for deep, nurturing effects. Infini microneedling is a sophisticated collagen-induction treatment that provokes change at a cellular level to renew the surface of the skin. This is a preferred treatment for acne scarring.
  • Clear + Brilliant. A gentle laser treatment, Clear + Brilliant creates micro-injuries in the upper layer of the skin while also delivering gentle laser energy to the dermis. This stimulates an increase in collagen to heal acne-scarred skin.

Don’t live with acne or the scars it has left. Contact us at 206-859-5777 to schedule a visit at our Seattle or Renton office.

Request an appointment

Thank you for choosing Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, we look forward to providing you with the very best skin care.

Please be aware that this is a non-secure communication.