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When Should You See a Dermatologist vs. A Plastic Surgeon for Fillers Like Botox?

"I do believe it is important to see a doctor specifically trained in cosmetic procedures (cosmetic dermatologist, plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon). But, of these, who you should see is based on "what does the MD spend her time doing?" rather than on which specialty is better. You want a doctor that is trained AND EXPERIENCED in doing fillers and botox. For the most part, expert cosmetic dermatologists are going to have more hands on experience with fillers - because the plastic guys are in doing big plastic procedures. You want someone with knowledge of the anatomy of the face, surgical experience, and practice." - Dr. Jennifer Reichel, M.D.

Summer May Be Over, But Your Skin Still Needs your Attention

Skin Cancer Seattle WAOnce the long, warm days of summer come to an end, our collective attention on skin cancer prevention tends to fade away. The fact of the matter is, skin cancer can occur at any time, and on any person. Skin cancer remains one of the leading types of cancer to affect people of all ages. Fortunately, the different types of skin cancer we typically see are usually straightforward and relatively easy to treat. That is, when a cancerous growth is found in an early stage of development.

In the Seattle and Renton offices of Pacific Dermatology, we gladly perform routine skin cancer screenings for patients who want to stay abreast of their dermatologic health.

The Need for Skin Cancer Screening

The official recommendation for skin cancer screenings is that this dermatologic exam is necessary for any individual who has had skin cancer before or who has particular risk factors, such as a family history of melanoma or numerous moles and growths on the skin. The thing is, everyone is at risk for skin cancer. Whether you fit into a specific group of characteristics or not, you can benefit from a professional exam that observes the entirety of your body. According to research, skin cancer-related deaths could decrease up to 63% thanks to professional and routine self-exams.

What happens during a skin cancer full body exam?

The idea of a full-body exam may feel slightly uncomfortable. It helps to know what to expect.

  • A typical skin cancer screening takes no more than a few minutes.
  • Before the exam, the patient is given a gown and asked to disrobe.
  • A skin cancer exam can include the genital area, where melanoma can develop, but doesn’t have to. This can be discussed between doctor and patient.
  • The majority of the skin cancer screening involves visual observation with the naked eye. A handheld microscopic device is used to obtain a magnified view of moles and growths that appear even slightly suspicious.
  • If a mole or growth has any of the characteristics of a cancerous growth, such as irregular borders or multiple colors, a biopsy may be taken or ordered. Tissue tests are discussed prior to any action and agreed upon by doctor and patient.

We are here to serve our patients’ medical and cosmetic dermatologic needs. To schedule your skin cancer screening, call 206-859-5777.

Non-Surgical Skin Tightening: Comparing Your Options

Ultherapy Seattle WAThe development of various energetic platforms has been an incredible step forward for aesthetic medicine. We commonly use lasers to remove unwanted hair, unwanted wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. More recently, devices that improve the appearance of the skin have been developed around technologies like ultrasound and radiofrequency. As exciting as this can be, it’s also confusing for most people who want to address cosmetic concerns. Here, we outline three of the skin rejuvenating treatments that are utilized in our Seattle and Renton offices.


Ultherapy is the ultrasound skin-tightening platform that Christie Brinkley has admitted to using to address the signs of aging on her face and neck. The objective of Ultherapy treatment is to use ultrasound to observe the depth of collagen-producing cells and also to send ultrasound waves to the proper depth to stimulate the dynamic production of the protein that firms and lifts the skin. The primary benefit of this cosmetic treatment is that ultrasound is delivered to the precise depth of tissue just above the deep muscle. Only one treatment every few years can do wonders for the aging face.


Laser devices are commonly used to resurface the uppermost layers of tissue. When short, concentrated beams of light are pulsed into the skin, finite layers of cells are removed in a controlled manner. The resulting abrasion stimulates the release of new, vibrant skin cells that display a healthy glow. Laser skin resurfacing has evolved to be gentler and safer. Because treatment is customizable, it is possible to rely on laser technologies to correct a wide range of concerns, including sunspots and poor texture. Usually, lasers are used to brighten and smooth the skin, not to tighten it.


Like ultrasound, radiofrequency works on deeper layers of tissue to strengthen collagen for smoother, firmer skin. Radiofrequency waves can penetrate through the epidermis without unpleasant side effects like peeling and prolonged redness. Energy can also penetrate more deeply with the use of tiny, powered needles that send radiofrequency waves to deep-seated tissues for more powerful effects.

Which Treatment is Right for You?

The best way to know which type of skin rejuvenation would best suit your needs is to discuss your objectives with an experienced physician. At Pacific Dermatology, we utilize a variety of devices and may combine therapeutic treatments with injectables and other procedures to achieve the best results. During your consultation, we will observe your skin and discuss your preferences for downtime, number of treatments, and more.

Learn more about skin rejuvenation and how it can benefit you. Call 206-859-5777.

Why Fat Transfer is the New “It” Filler

Dermal Fillers Seattle WAWe all know that our face will change over time. From adolescence to adulthood, many of us lose “baby fat” and notice more angular contours along the jawline and cheeks. As we grow older, the slimming just keeps on coming, but not in a good way. One of the significant changes that occurs with age is fat loss. While we might like this if it happened on the body, fat loss on the face isn’t quite as grand. When the fat pads that lie beneath superficial tissue deplete over time, our cheekbones flatten, and skin falls from the mid-face to the jawline. Here, it becomes jowls.

At Pacific Dermatology, men and women who are noticing the effects of aging such as sunken cheeks and a sagging jawline may benefit from learning more about the use of their own fat cells to restore volume where it belongs. For the past ten-plus years, the standard of care has been to temporarily fill in lines, wrinkles, and flattened areas with dermal fillers. Today, fat is the star of the show. Here, we point out a few reasons why.

  1. It takes fat to make fat. The fat transfer technique involves using your own fat cells. This means we have to take them from somewhere. The fat cells that are introduced into the cheek area or other part of the face may come from your stomach, thighs, back, or other area in which you’ve got a little extra to spare. The results of this harvesting may not be as dramatic as liposuction, but you may notice a nice bit of refinement in the donor site.
  2. Long lasting results. Dermal fillers are an excellent treatment for several months of facial rejuvenation. Fat, on the other hand, becomes permanently situated in the area into which it is placed. Now, some fat does get absorbed. For this reason, we harvest enough fat cells to retreat the area one to two more times. The fat cells that do integrate into their new home on the face will remain indefinitely, affected only by further aging.
  3. All-natural results. One of the aspects of fat transfer that is appealing to many people is the fact that no foreign substances are used. Because we are replacing lost volume with your own fat cells, your skin will go on looking and feeling completely natural – because it is.
  4. Cost-effectiveness. Because the results of fat transfer treatment last much longer than dermal fillers, this technique is considerably more efficient in terms of cost than the alternative.

Get Refreshed in our Renton or Seattle Office

Fat transfer is an excellent technique for refreshing the appearance of the face and hands. To learn more about the benefits of this treatment, call 206-859-5777.

The Maintenance of Beauty

Cosmetic Procedures Seattle WAThere’s no denying that humans have always had a thing for beauty. We’ve seen everything from milk and honey baths to some pretty interesting substances used on the skin over the years. Now that we’ve come into the age of sophisticated technologies, beauty is just one more thing in life for which we expect instant gratification. Got a line or wrinkle? Fill it in an instant! Want fuller lips or a shapelier nose? Precision injections can immediately achieve these goals too. The question is: then what?

When we look at women today, we see a full range of aging. Some women maintain their skin by using sunscreen 24/7/365 (we should all be doing this, by the way). Some women turn to cosmetic surgery when signs of aging like sagging tissue become troublesome. Many of the men and women we meet fall somewhere in between the two. Injectables account for millions of skin rejuvenating treatments each year. We are all for some instant gratification whenever we can get it. At the same time, we also want to point out that beauty is a matter of maintenance as well.

What does your maintenance routine include?

We can think of beauty maintenance like brushing and flossing our teeth in between dental checkups. Although the dentist will clean our teeth really well, we’ve got work to do on the daily. If we don’t hold up our end of this deal with our teeth, chances are very good that painful cavities or other problems will develop. Our skin is no different. If we don’t take care of our skin in between those wonderfully fulfilling spa visits that take years off our face in minutes, chances are we are aging prematurely and entirely by accident.

Get Intentional with Your Skin

There are several ways to be intentional with your skin. By developing a good maintenance program, you are giving yourself a leg up on the early formation of lines and wrinkles, the development of sunspots, and unnecessary sagging. In addition to using quality skincare products daily, including broad-spectrum sunscreen, all adults can benefit from professional treatments that promote healthy cell turnover. In our Seattle and Renton offices, this may be achieved with periodic chemical peels, laser treatments, or innovative procedures like Clear + Brilliant.

Learn more about maintaining your skin at every stage of the aging process. Call 206-859-5777 to schedule your visit with us.

Overnight Skin Care Treatments - Ask Jennifer Reichel, M.D.

Overnight Skin Care Treatment | Dermatologist | Seattle What are overnight treatments and how do they work?

Overnight treatments are creams, serums, masks etc. that help to nourish the skin and replace moisture that is lost during the day. They can also be aimed at specific concerns, such as pigmentation, or texture or even pore size. Really, many of the cosmeceuticals that we recommend could be considered "overnight treatments". the best example, is RETIN-A (tretinoin) - which is used only at night, and is significantly targeting lines, pigment, acne, and pore size.

What would be the benefit of picking an overnight treatment over your regular night cream or serum?

An overnight treatment will have ingredients that may last longer. The best example would be in a mask. They will often times be heavier on the moisture balance than a regular night cream. So if you need an extra moisture boost - give them a try.

What are some common skin care concerns that an overnight treatment can address (i.e. acne)?

  • Acne
  • Pigment
  • Dryness
  • Pore Size

How do you pick the right overnight treatment for you?

  • Your age
  • Skin type
  • Concerns

What You Need to Know about Lip Enhancement

Lip Enhancement Seattle and Renton WABeauty trends are fascinating to observe. In the seventies, the ideal body type was one that had very few curves. Today, it’s all about the booty. A feature that seems to have always been in style is full, voluptuous lips. Just a few years ago, our admiration for the lips remained well within the box of authenticity. More recently, however, celebs like Kylie Jenner and numerous famous Housewives have created a craze for fullness that is nearly over-the-top. Here, we want to discuss this new trend and how you can make the most of your treatment.

Lip injections don’t have to transform the lips into an unnatural state of fullness. Many patients treated with dermal fillers are more interested in achieving goals like creating a more prominent appearance for a barely-there upper lip. Lip enhancement is also beneficial for individuals whose lips have deflated somewhat with age. Whatever your goal, our team can help you achieve it.

Here’s what we’d like you to know:

  • Lip augmentation with dermal fillers is unique to the injector. There are several soft-tissue fillers on the market today, which means you have choices – and so does your injector. Every doctor or nurse who performs lip enhancement has their preference based on their knowledge of what a product can do. Before your treatment, we’re happy to speak with you about our preferences and why we like them.
  • Your treatment is based on you. There is a common idea that lip enhancement can begin with a picture of a celebrity with “the look.” This can be a starting point but should not be the endpoint. When performing lip augmentation, we look at your face and use our years of experience to predict how fuller lips will complement the whole.
  • Long-term commitment isn’t necessary with hyaluronic acid fillers. Most of the fillers used today contain hyaluronic acid. One of the benefits of this chemical is that it can be broken down faster with a particular enzyme. If for whatever reason your lip enhancement doesn’t look the way you had imagined, your hyaluronic acid filler, such as Juvederm, can be dissolved.

Do you have more questions about lip augmentation with dermal fillers? Contact our Renton or Seattle office for personal assistance or to schedule your consultation and treatment.

Vaser Liposuction Can get You Ready for Summer

Liposuction Seattle WAIt is easy to assume that liposuction is liposuction is liposuction, but that isn’t the case. Liposuction is the general term that we use to describe surgical fat reduction on various parts of the body. Initial liposuction procedures involved small incisions and the insertion of a narrow cannula, or tube. At the opposite end of the cannula was a machine with a reservoir and gentle vacuum, which would disrupt fat cells from their cozy little home and extract them from the body for good. Since those early days, some innovative techniques have been developed to improve the process. Vaser liposuction is one of them.

We are pleased to offer Vaser liposuction in our Seattle and Renton offices as a way for men and women from these areas to obtain the physical shape that suits them. If you don’t want to face another summer trying to hide a muffin top, saddlebags, or other stubborn fat, we can help you. Vaser liposuction is an expansion of the fat-reducing method that has helped millions of people feel better about their body.

The Vaser Difference

The Vaser technique also referred to as liposelection, is a procedure that emulsifies fat cells before their extraction. This may seem similar to laser liposuction, but the Vaser technique employs safe, effective ultrasound rather than laser light to melt lipids within fat cells for easier extraction and better sculpting ability. Compared to laser liposuction, the use of ultrasound is less disruptive to surrounding tissue and nerve endings because this energy is fat-specific. Vaser is also thought to be more predictable than tumescent liposuction, which injects fluid into fat accumulations to break them apart before they are removed.

Because Vaser liposuction does not affect surrounding tissue such as blood vessels, there is a lower risk of complications or lingering side effects. The gentleness with which ultrasound disbands fatty deposits also makes this technique suitable for areas in which tissue is more fibrous, such as the back. Because blood vessels remain intact, circulation through the treatment area can increase as needed during recovery, aiding in faster tissue healing.

You deserve to feel great this summer, and the next, and the next. Schedule a visit to our Renton or Seattle office to see how Vaser liposuction can make that happen.

Do Your Eyes Need Some Life Put Back in Them?

Under Eye Treatments  Seattle WAOur eyes sparkle and shine; at least they should. What can happen with age and genetic predisposition is that the skin around the eyes becomes increasingly drab, loose, and thin. We cannot avoid these changes, but we can treat them. The sooner that the skin around the eyes gets routine TLC in the form of high-quality skin care, the longer it can sustain its form. When a little help is needed, we have solutions.

What happens to the eyes?

There are a few common concerns that arise as the condition of the skin around the eyes declines.

  • Upper eyelids get heavy. The skin here doesn’t get heavier, but it sure looks like it. The reason that skin may overtake the upper crease of the eye is that it simply gets lax due to the sharp decrease in collagen, the skin-firming protein. Another possible reason that the upper eyelid may change is the brow. When the brow is pulled downward, natural force is placed on the skin of the upper eyelid, making it appear loose and saggy. What to do: the upper eyelids can be improved quickly with BOTOX to lift the brow. When skin is excessively loose, though, blepharoplasty may be a wiser approach.
  • The lower lids get puffy. Lower eyelid puffiness, or bags, develop when firmness in superficial tissue diminishes to the point where underlying fat pads are no longer supported. The puffiness that you see is fat protruding forward. What to do: many people with mild to moderate undereye bags turn to dermal fillers or fat injections for cosmetic improvement. Moderate to severe puffiness needs to be treated with blepharoplasty, which carefully excises extra tissue, so support for fatty deposits is restored.
  • Skin looks like crepe-paper. Thinning skin is never a good thing. It is more prone to small injuries, and it also looks fragile. What to do: this is a common concern that can be managed with laser treatments that heat collagen strands for immediate tightening as well as long-term strength.

Several treatments are available in our Renton and Seattle offices to achieve beautiful eyelid rejuvenation. For more information, call 206-859-5777.

NewSurg-KTP Laser Treatment Addresses Multiple Problems

KTP laser treatment Seattle WAAt Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, we are interested in the latest technologies that have demonstrated outstanding safety and efficacy in the treatment of medical and cosmetic dermatologic concerns. We are pleased to offer NewSurg-KTP laser treatments to patients of our Seattle office, and want to discuss here what this modality is used for and what you might expect from treatment.

What is KTP laser treatment?

NewSurg-KTP laser employs a single wavelength of green-light for specific dermatologic improvement. A potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) crystal actually generates the specific wavelength of light by translating Nd: YAG energy into light on the green visible spectrum.  The green light in this laser treatment targets blood vessels, making NewSurg-KTP well-suited to problems such as broken capillaries. Additional concerns that are commonly treated with this modality include rosacea, spider veins, and melasma.

How it Works

When the green light energy of KTP is focused on pigmented lesions, selective absorption occurs. The heating of superficial blood vessels cause closure and redirection of blood flow, which ultimately causes their disappearance. The treatment process itself takes less than an hour. Immediate improvement is likely to be noticed, but the process of elimination may occur over several weeks. In some instances, multiple treatments may be indicated for optimal skin clearing.

Treatment involves skin cleansing and the application of clear, cool gel onto the area of skin being treated. This gel is a coupling aging for laser energy. As the laser application tip is moved across the skin, the heating of shallow blood vessels may be felt as slight tingling or energy pulses. Some areas of treatment feel greater sensations than others, but most patients do not describe their treatment as uncomfortable but tolerable. After this gentle heating, it is natural for the skin to feel slightly sunburned for a few hours up to a few days. Redness may also be noticed.

With the advent of so many light and laser treatments in recent years, it is normal to feel confused about the best way to manage various cosmetic and dermatologic concerns. We are here to help you. Learn more about the services available in our professional, friendly offices. Call 206-859-5777.

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

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