FAQ’s – Acne Skin Treatments


Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the sebaceous hair follicles. Each follicle contains a tiny hair and multiple sebaceous glands. Under normal circumstances, sebum, the oily substance made by the sebaceous glands, travels up the hair follicle and out to the skin’s surface. However, with acne, sebum is trapped within the follicle and skin bacteria (P. acnes) multiplies within the clogged pores. These bacteria make chemicals that stimulate inflammation and cause the wall of the follicle to break. The sebum, bacteria, and shed skin cells spill into the skin causing redness, swelling, and pus – a pimple. This process commonly begins during puberty when male hormones found in both males and females rise, stimulating and enlarging the sebaceous glands of the skin. Acne develops on those areas of the skin where sebaceous glands are most numerous: the face, scalp, neck, chest, back, and upper arms and shoulders.


Acne is not a result of uncleanness or infrequent washing. In other words, acne does not result from too much “dirt” on the skin or in the pores. The black in a blackhead is dried oil and shed skin cells in the openings of the hair follicles, not dirt. For the normal care of your skin, wash your face with soap and warm water twice a day. Too much scrubbing may actually make acne worse. Face washing should be limited to two to three times a day. Regular shampooing is also recommended. If your hair is oily, you may want to wash it more often. Men with acne who shave should try both an electric and a safety razor to see which is more comfortable. If you use a safety razor, soften your beard thoroughly with soap and warm water before applying shaving cream. To avoid nicking pimples, shave as lightly as possible. Shave only when necessary and always use a sharp blade.


Acne does not come from eating a lot of so-called bad foods such as chocolate or fried foods. Doctors have differing opinions on the importance of your diet in the management of acne. One thing is certain; a strict diet by itself will not clear your skin. On the other hand, if certain foods seem to make your acne worse, then try to avoid them. But be careful about jumping to conclusions, acne may get better or worse on its own. It is always important to eat a well balanced diet.


If you wear a liquid foundation or use a moisturizer, look for ones that are oil-free and not just water-based. Choose products that are “non-comedogenic” (should not cause whiteheads or blackheads) or “non-acnegenic” (should not cause acne). Remove your cosmetics every night with soap and water. A flesh-tinted acne lotion containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or sulfur can safely hide blemishes. Loose powder mixed with oil-free product is also good for cover-up. You should also shield your face when applying hair sprays and gels


The treatment of acne starts with optimizing the care of your skin by following the above advice and having regular facial treatments from a licensed aesthetician. Don’t pick, scratch, pop or squeeze your pimples yourself. When the pimples are squeezed, more redness, swelling, inflammation and scarring may result. Women who are taking birth control pills may notice a significant improvement in their acne, and these pills are sometimes used specifically for the treatment of acne. It is also important to know that oral antibiotics may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. This is uncommon but possible, especially if you notice break-through bleeding. As with most medicines, check with your doctor about taking antibiotics if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are trying to get pregnant.


Benzoyl peroxide 2.5% gel is a good first treatment choice for mild acne. It is a mild bactericidal (anti-bacterial) compound. It simultaneously decreases the organism concentration and the amount of free fatty acids available on the surface of the skin. For mild to moderate acne, all trans-retinoic acid (tretinoin or retin-A) is usually the next step in treatment. Retin-A is a topical preparation with established efficacy. It works by decreasing the stickiness of skin cells. Existing pimples clear up as the plugs obstructing the follicles resolve because retin-A increases the turnover of skin cells and new acne formation decreases. If retin-A alone does not improve the skin sufficiently, it can be combined with topical or oral antibiotics such as Clindamycin or Tetracycline.


If this course of treatment is unsuccessful, light based acne therapy should be the next step. We recommend Blue Light and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments. Each of these light treatments have been tailored to be maximally effective against acne bacteria and sebaceous glands.

Blue Light systems bathe the area treated in light that is tuned to a range of wavelengths specific for killing acne bacteria and reducing the activity of sebaceous glands. Blue Light treatments are completely painless and cause no swelling, redness or other side effects. When combined with a good regimen of extraction facials, microdermabrasion and chemical peels, this is a gentle and effective way of clearing moderate acne.

When used for acne treatment, IPL systems like our Palomar StarLux emit light with two main wavelengths – one specific for destroying acne bacteria (P. acnes) and one specific for decreasing the secretions of overactive sebaceous glands. The treatment takes about thirty minutes to perform and leaves the patient with no swelling or bruising. Occasionally, a mild amount of redness occurs after treatment, but this is easily covered up by makeup and resolves within several hours to one day. We take great care to minimize any discomfort by using ice compresses and full strength numbing creams.


For more severe cases, Isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid or Accutane) has been the standard for many years. This compound is taken orally for a 20 week course. It limits the function and size of sebaceous glands and thins the epidermis. Accutane is very effective for severe, cystic acne, but is associated with side effects that range from annoying (dry lips, mouth and skin) to very dangerous (liver damage, birth defects and severe psychiatric symptoms). Fortunately, a new treatment has emerged recently. Photodynamic Therapy has been shown to be very effective for the treatment of severe acne and does not carry the side effects that have made Accutane such a dangerous medication.


In photodynamic therapy, a photosensitizer (aminolevulinic acid) is applied to the skin. This is absorbed preferentially by certain structures in the skin, such as hair follicles, oil glands, bacteria, or rapidly growing cells. Illumination with Red/Blue Light or IPL causes a reaction in the skin, resulting in destruction of the targeted tissue. The surrounding tissue, which did not absorb the chemical, is spared.


Photodynamic therapy has been effective in the treatment of actinic keratoses (pre-cancerous spots), sun damaged skin, acne, warts, and many other diseases.


Photodynamic therapy improves acne by decreasing the bacteria on the skin and by shrinking the oil-producing sebaceous glands. If the oil glands produce less oil, the pores are less likely to become obstructed and pimples are much less likely to form. Without the bacteria that grows in the obstructed pores, there is less inflammation and, again, pimples are less likely to form.


During PDT the skin is washed several times and the activated substance is applied. Either of these may cause a mild stinging. Following treatment there may be some transient itching and a mild sunburn sensation. These should quickly resolve, but occasionally do persist for several days.


After PDT, a small amount of activated substance remains in the skin for 24 to 48 hours. Sunlight and even indoor light may affect this and cause redness and itching. Use of sunscreen and a hat will diminish these undesired effects. This is why we recommend doing PDT treatments in the late afternoon to evening and spending the day after your PDT treatment indoors. We suggest that, even on the following day, you wear a strong sun block and a hat when you go outside.


Most people experience mild burning or itching for about one hour after the procedure, although this can, in some cases, last a few days. Mild to moderate redness will usually be experienced for 24 to 48 hours, although redness can, rarely, persist for several days. Only gentle emollients should be applied to the skin.


Areas most likely to swell are around the eyes. This will subside within several hours. Application of ice or cold packs will help. Otherwise, swelling is rare.


Peeling of treated skin may occur several days after the procedure and can be alleviated by gentle washing and application of a slightly thicker moisturizer. This is also uncommon and goes away quickly.


This depends on the severity of your acne and on how you respond to the treatments. Some people are clear after 3 monthly treatments. Some people need a few more. The most important thing, however, is that we have seen even the most severe cases respond reliably to PDT. Even patients who have failed Accutane will respond to PDT.


PDT does not cause the dryness and discomfort of Accutane, it is not associated with the severe medical and psychiatric possible side effects of Accutane and it is just as effective, if not more effective than Accutane.


What is BOTOX®?

BOTOX® is the brand name for Botulinum Toxin Type A. This is a protein made in the laboratory from the toxin of a bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum. The toxin is a potent poison. The protein is not.

During the manufacturing process, the toxin is diluted, processed and purified. The resulting protein is absorbed completely by the muscles into which it is injected. The body does not absorb the protein and this is why BOTOX® is so safe. Because it is not absorbed, BOTOX® does not affect the body, only the muscles into which it is injected. After 3 to 6 months, BOTOX® disappears from the body without leaving a trace.

What can BOTOX® do?

BOTOX® is injected into muscles of the face to partially relax specific muscles and temporarily lessen the appearance of certain wrinkles that are caused by these muscles. BOTOX® has been used for this purpose for the past 15 years all over the world. The wrinkles that are due to muscle contraction (such as frowning or raising the eyebrows in surprise) are called dynamic or expressive wrinkles. These are the wrinkles that soften with BOTOX® treatment.

Which wrinkles can BOTOX® soften?

BOTOX® can soften the following wrinkles:

  • the vertical “11” lines between the eyebrows that appear when we frown.

  • the horizontal lines on the forehead that appear when we raise our eyebrows in surprise

  • the horizontal “crow’s feet” lines next to our eyes that appear when we smile

Is that all that it can do?

  • contour the position of the eyebrows via strategically placed injections. In this way he can create a pleasing arch, even out asymmetric eyebrows or give a “chemical eyelift” – raising the eyebrows and opening up the eyes.

  • soften the “bunny lines” that appear on the sides of the nose when, during a
    smile, one crinkles the nose.

  • decrease the flare of the nostrils

  • decrease the droop of the tip of the nose in some people when they speak.

  • decrease the severity of a “gummy smile”

  • straighten the corners of a mouth that are turning down with age

  • decrease the appearance of vertical lip lines – “smoker’s lines”

  • smooth out the wrinkly “orange peel” chin that some people get when they speak

  • stop teeth grinding and relieve TMJ

  • eliminate neck bands

  • stop excessive sweating on the face, palms, underarms or soles of the feet

How do I choose a good place to get BOTOX® injection?

BOTOX® injection is a medical procedure that requires the injector to have aesthetic training, skill and experience. As such, it should be performed in a physician’s office, under conditions of cleanliness by an experienced doctor or nurse injector. Prior to getting injections, you should inquire into the specialty and experience of the physician responsible for the facility. You should know how often the doctor is in and you should know how experienced the nurse is if your injections are to be performed by a nurse. cheap BOTOX® is like fast food. It can be bad for you. It is risky and can result in 3 months of uneven features, droopy eyes or worse. It’s not worth it.

Is BOTOX® safe?

BOTOX® is one of the safest medications we know and it has the backing of the FDA. It is also one of the most tested and studied drugs in medicine. Millions of procedures have been performed worldwide and serious side effects are unheard of. In the United States alone, 3.5 million injections are performed each year. There is no long term or permanent side effects and this fact has been established through extensive research. Rare temporary side effects include: bruising, redness at the injection site, headache or flu-like symptoms. Injecting BOTOX® into the wrong place can result in a temporary eyelid droop.

Am I going to be numb after BOTOX®?

No. BOTOX® weakens muscles temporarily, but has no effect on the nerves that control sensation.

My friend couldn’t move her face after she got BOTOX®. Does that always happen?

Absolutely not!

However it does mean that you should not get BOTOX® from the person who injected your friend. BOTOX® injection is a bit of an art, and the tough part is to make the patient look relaxed and younger without taking away their ability to make facial expressions. We stress the critical importance of a natural result. The patient should be able to move their face. Their forehead should not look too tight. Their smile should be natural. Their eyebrows should not arch like Dr. Spock!

The way to do it right is to always customize the dose of BOTOX® to the individual. That means taking the time to watch them move their facial muscles and knowing where and how much to inject.

What happens during the treatment?

After a brief medical history and examination, ice is applied to the area that is going to be injected. This is important to prevent bruising and to make the injections completely painless. Then several quick injections are performed using an extremely small needle. The whole procedure takes less than a couple of minutes and really doesn’t hurt.

Really – no pain.

Is there anything that has to be done after treatment?

We recommend that you make an effort to move the injected muscles for the next hour more than usual. You should be making exaggerated facial expressions for that time. This will help more of the BOTOX® to get into the right muscles faster. You also should not rub the area injected. You can lie down and you can exercise if you feel like it (although we recommend taking it easy for a few hours).

Does the BOTOX® take effect right away and how long does it last?

No, you will usually start to feel the relaxation of the muscles injected with BOTOX® the next day or the day after. BOTOX® takes about a week to be maximally effective in most people. The effects last about 3 to 4 months. Some people who get regular BOTOX® injections notice that they need smaller doses of BOTOX® and that their BOTOX® starts to last longer – up to 6 months.

Do my wrinkles get worse if I stop doing BOTOX®?

Absolutely not.

After BOTOX® wears off, your face looks like it did before BOTOX®. There is no loosening of the skin, no sagging due to BOTOX®. Using BOTOX® for a prolonged period of time does not cause sagging of the face due to atrophied muscles. On the contrary, prolonged use of BOTOX® over several years is very common and actually results in visible softening of the wrinkles, even after the BOTOX® has worn off. Whether this is due to a weakening of the muscles that cause the wrinkles or your body reprogramming itself to not make certain facial expressions when you want to communicate an emotion is unclear.

Who is a good candidate for BOTOX®?

BOTOX® is safe and effective for anyone who is bothered by expressive wrinkles on their face,except:

  • people with neuromuscular diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis or Lambert Eaton syndrome.

  • patients with an active infection at the injection site

  • women who are pregnant or breast feeding

Why can’t I get BOTOX® when I’m pregnant or nursing?

There is no evidence linking BOTOX® with birth defects or infant damage. There is no reason to think that having BOTOX® injections would expose the baby to harm. However, there is also no evidence to prove that BOTOX® does not harm the baby. Therefore, we feel that the risks outweigh the benefits and do not administer BOTOX® to patients who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Is it bad to receive BOTOX® regularly for a long time?

Intuitively, its not a great idea to use any medication for too long of a long time. In this case, however, there have been a number of good, long-term studies of patients using BOTOX® for neurologic diseases. Over many years of use, BOTOX® has shown no side effects or toxicity. These studies followed patients who were receiving amounts of BOTOX® several times higher than the highest doses that cosmetic patients get. We therefore feel comfortable saying that using BOTOX® regularly over many years is not dangerous

FAQ’s – Microdermabrasion

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a skin restoration process utilizing a controlled vacuum and fine aluminum oxide crystals to gently clear away dead and sun damaged skin cells revealing softer, smoother and more vibrant looking skin. By repeating this treatment over the course of several weeks, the younger, softer skin moves up to the surface. The desired effect of significant texture and color improvements will continue with time. Microdermabrasion is the safest alternative to laser resurfacing and chemical peels with absolutely no downtime. A cleansing toner is first applied to the skin to remove excess oils for better application and penetration. The machine then delivers fine, sanitary aluminum oxide crystals to the face that “sand blasts” away dead skin and impurities. Afterwards a soothing toner is applied to the face and then a re-hydrating cream and sun block are applied.

What are the benefits?

Microdermabrasion has been medically proven for simple and painless treatments of many skin conditions. Microdermabrasion activates the collagen fibers in the skin through increased stimulation and circulation therefore enhancing skin appearance and texture. The thorough exfoliation improves and lightens hyperpigmentation (brown spots), helps rid skin of fine lines, improves the appearance of acne scarred skin, aids with the treatment of acne, and improves the appearance of new “pink” stretch marks. After a revitalizing microdermabrasion treatment the rejuvenated skin is visibly more healthy and vibrant.

How often can treatments be performed?

SAMS Medical Spa specializes in custom tailoring our clients individual skin care needs. Although there are immediate benefits after one microdermabrasion treatment, for optimum results we recommend a series of six to twelve treatments.

How much time is needed for each treatment?

On average, the client will spend twenty to forty five minutes in treatment.

How soon will the results be visible?

Results will be noticed immediately but because every individual’s skin is different the visible improvements will vary.

Is it painful?

Our client’s comfort is the top priority at SAMS. Generally speaking, Microdermabrasion is not painful and requires no topical anesthesia. Your skin may feel a little hot and appear a little pink for the first day.

Am I a good candidate?

Microdermabrasion is safe and effective for all skin types and for anyone interested in improving the appearance of:

  • Scarring, including acne scars

  • Mild to moderate acne

  • Fine lines and wrinkles

  • Uneven skin tones and pigmentation problems

  • Sun damaged skin

  • Dull, lifeless skin

Who should NOT have Microdermabrasion?

You should not have a microdermabrasion treatment on the affected area if you have the following:

  • Undiagnosed lesions

  • Recent herpes outbreaks

  • Warts

  • Active, weeping acne (stages 3-4)

  • Active Rosacea

  • Unstable diabetes

  • Auto-immune system disorders

  • Some patients hyperpigment post-op. Lower pressures are used on follow-up treatments

  • Using Retin A religiously or just had a chemical peel

  • Recently had laser surgery

How does Microdermabrasion compare to a Chemical Peel?

With microdermabrasion there is no preconditioning, no anesthesia, no chemicals, no “downtime”, and it can be performed on all skin types. This noninvasive procedure, performed by a licensed aesthetician, will improve your overall appearance with no disruption from your daily activities.

FAQ’s – Medical Spa Treatments

What can I expect from the Spa Treatment experience?

At SAMS we combine the luxury and pampering of the day spa experience with real medical benefits. Soothing aromatherapy and hot towel treatments help you to relax and prepare for treatment. Spa treatments are conducted in a comfortable and intimate setting. You should leave feeling refreshed, relaxed, and beautiful.

How long do spa treatments take?

Most of our spa treatments last about an hour to an hour and a half, but we also have some shorter condensed versions for days when you need refreshment, but do not have time for a full treatment.

What is the difference between a medical spa and a regular day spa?

Traditional day spas can be a luxurious and pleasant experience and their treatments are best used to maintain healthy skin. A medical spa provides real medical benefits. A medical spa treats problems, such as rosacea, acne and aging skin to get real results in an atmosphere of relaxation and comfort. All products used in a medical spa should be carefully chosen by the medical director to reflect the best and safest available ingredients.

What types of conditions are addressed by spa treatments?

Our spa treatments can improve or resolve many skin conditions including:

  • Acne

  • Clogged or enlarged pores

  • Fine lines

  • Pigmentation problems

  • Aging skin

What are laser treatments used for?

Dr. Akhtar uses laser/IPL skin treatments to treat many conditions including:

What is the difference between Fraxel and traditional laser resurfacing?

Rather than taking off the entire outer layer of skin, as ablative laser resurfacing does, Fraxel laser skin resurfacing uses many very narrow (microscopic) columns of light that target and destroy microscopic areas while leaving healthy cells surrounding the treated area intact. This allows for quick healing and reduced pain. The healthy cells left behind aid in the healing process. Whereas laser resurfacing entails weeks of pain, redness, raw skin and downtime, Fraxel avoids all of these issues, while providing dramatic, natural looking results that the older lasers could never achieve.

What is the difference between Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Fraxel?

IPL uses light of certain specific wavelengths to target discolored cells, leaving the normal lighter colored cells behind. Fraxel targets microscopic areas, and destroys all of the cells in the area, leaving the surrounding cells behind. Fraxel is somewhat more aggressive than IPL. Both leave healthy cells behind and stimulate collagen production.

Will laser treatments burn my skin?

Traditional laser treatments have a reputation for burning and scarring. We uses non-ablative, light-based treatments, which work more gently and gradually than ablative laser treatments and carry much less risk of burning.

We will evaluate your unique needs and explain the procedure in detail. You will have the opportunity to view before and after photos, so that you will know what to expect from the treatment. After your treatment we will instruct you on the best techniques to maintain your new healthy look.

FAQ’s – Rhinoplasty Surgery Without Surgery

What is Injection Rhinoplasty™?

Injection or Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty (also known as Non Surgical Nose Job or the 15 Minute Nose Job) is a simple procedure used to lift and straighten the tip of the nose, camouflage a bump or correct a deviated nasal bridge by injecting Radiesse  or Artefill into very precise areas of the nose.  The procedure can also be used to make a wide bridge or round tip appear more narrow and defined.

Who is a candidate?

Anyone with a mild to moderate nasal hump, irregularity or deviation who does not desire a change in the size of their nose is a candidate for Injection Rhinoplasty™  (Non-Surgical Nose Job™). Clients with drooping nasal tips have also had excellent results from the procedure.

The procedure improves the definition of the nose, and increases the height of the nasal bridge, resulting in a much improved profile. The procedure does not result in a "Caucasian" appearing nose since the fundamental structure of the client’s nose is not being altered.

Teenagers who are concerned about a cosmetic nasal irregularity should strongly consider this procedure over permanent rhinoplasty specifically because the Non-Surgical Nose Job™ is a temporary procedure and does not permanently alter the normal anatomy. Teens are still growing and cosmetic surgery of any kind is really not a good idea in this age group.

Ultimately, of course, the only way to know how good a candidate you are or what your nose will look like after Injection Rhinoplasty™ is to come in for a consultation.

If you are considering rhinoplasty surgery, give our certified nose job surgeon a call first. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

If it’s not permanent, then why do it?

First, Injection Rhinoplasty™ is much more affordable – about one eighth to one tenth of traditional surgical rhinoplasty cost.

Second, there is no downtime. Usually, there is no bruising, pain, or swelling and you don’t have to miss work.

Third, it is subtle. Since the size of your nose is not changed, people will notice that you look better, but most will not be able to put their finger on the reason.

And you don’t have to tell them.

Westside Aesthetics provides non-surgical nose jobs in California

How long does it last?

The duration of the effect depends on the filler selected. If you choose Radiesse the effect will last for about 1 year.  At the end of that time, the filler is broken down by the body and excreted gradually, symmetrically and slowly.  Your nose does not look funny while the Radiesse is being absorbed.  It just slowly returns to its previous shape.  The breakdown process starts about 10 months after injection.  Once the filler vanishes, your nose will look exactly the same as it looked prior to the procedure.  Radiesse does not have a permanent effect on the shape of your nose.

We also uses Artefill, mostly for patients who have already experienced the temporary Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty procedure and are now looking for a permanent, non invasive solution.  Artefill was recently FDA approved in the USA, but it has been used with great success in Europe for many years.  European studies have shown its safety and efficacy over more than a decade of follow-up.

nose surgery patient from Newport Beach

Won’t it make my nose look bigger?

No, your nose will remain the same size it was before the procedure, no larger and no smaller. The procedure will fill in the small depressions around the hump or deviation, making your nose appear straighter and more symmetric. A drooping tip is straightened by placing Radiesse or Artefill into a couple of precise points at the edge of the tip, lifting the skin.  A flat, broad bridge is enhanced and better defined by injection of filler along the line of the bridge.  A symmetric nose blends in better with your face and does not stand out, like a nose with an obvious irregularity. This is why your nose will actually sometimes appear smaller after the procedure.

Is it painful and is there a long recovery time?

The injections are minimally painful – the same level of minor discomfort that is encountered with any wrinkle injection of Radiesse. In keeping with SAMS policy of pain free procedures, we always use numbing cream and ice.  When injecting the tip of the nose, we usually recommends that we use a dental numbing shot under the lip to the tip of the nose.

There is minimal recovery time. As with all of the procedures that we perform, clients can return to work or class immediately afterwards. Any redness, swelling or bruising after the procedure is usually minimal and can almost always be easily  camouflaged with make-up

Cosmetic Injectables for Healthy Skin

What kinds of injectables do you use?

Through our experience, we have found that some injectables are safer and deliver better results than others.  Depending on the application and your preference we use Botox Cosmetic, Collagen, RestylaneRadiesseSculptraJuvederm, anthelis and Artefill.

For how long do the results last?

Results vary in length depending on the patient, the injectable used and the amount of injectable they are receiving. BOTOX® lasts for three to five months, Juvederm lasts for about seven to eight months, Radiesse for ten to fourteen months, while Sculptra lasts much longer, up to two to three years. Artefill is a permanent injectable that does not dissolve and the effect has been seen to persist for longer than a decade.

What happens if I don’t have follow-up treatments?

Your original appearance will return with time as the injectable wears off and is excreted by the body.

What happens when the injectables wear off?

The body slowly and safely breaks down and excretes the injectable substance. Most of the injectables that we uses do not have long term effects in the body. None of them build up in the body over time, and none of them cause side effects over long term use.

Will I need an allergy test?

In the past many injectable fillers were animal based and allergy testing was required well in advance of treatment. Of the injectables that we use, only Artefill has collagen in it and so requires an allergy test. The rest contain no animal products and do not require an allergy test.

FAQ’s – Radiesse & Sculptra Treatments


Radiesse consists of tiny micro spheres of a synthetic material called calcium hydroxylapatite (30%) that is combined with a common hydrogel (70%) used in a vast array of products. The result is a white, creamy like substance. Since the calcium hydroxylapatite is not a foreign substance, but actually the same material as that found in our bones and teeth, no allergy testing is required. After injection, the microspheres are incorporated into the substance of the skin, resulting in a soft and even enhancement.


Sculptra is an injectable filler that contains microparticles of poly-L-lactic acid – a synthetic compound that has been shown to be non allergenic, biodegradable, stable and safe after injection into the human body for many years.


No. Due to the safe and compatible materials used in both Radiesse and Sculptra, no pre-testing of any kind is required. There have been no reported allergic reactions from use of Radiesse or Sculptra. None of the components of Restylane or Sculptra have animal or human tissue.


SAMS Medical Spa is committed to a painless experience, no matter what the procedure. Depending on the particular patient’s preference we have local lidocaine injections, topical creams and ice to make sure that there is no discomfort whatsoever.


After going over your treatment goals, we will apply your chosen method of anesthesia. The injection is performed with you in a sitting position and takes about 15 to 20 minutes. A small needle is used to place the Radiesse or Sculptra just underneath the skin and it is gently massaged into place. Since results are visible immediately, you will be in complete control of how much Radiesse or Sculptra is used. We will pause throughout the procedure to show you the progress and get your input.


Results are visible immediately.


Most patients report treatment with Radiesse lasting about 2 years, although many have had results last for 3 or more years. Sculptra has also been shown to last approximately 2 years.


Radiesse is best at:

  • Smoothing the lines between the nose and mouth (otherwise known as smile lines or the nasolabial folds)

  • Smoothing the lines at the corners of the mouth (otherwise known as frown or marionette lines)

  • Smoothing wrinkles between the eyebrows

  • Filling depressions like acne scars.

We also uses Radiesse to:

  • Correct nasal bumps and deviations (Non Surgical Nose Job)

  • Correct dark circles under the eyes (Non Surgical Eye Lift)

  • Camouflage jowls and restore a youthful jaw line (Non Surgical Face Lift)

  • Correct a receding or disproportionally small chin (Non Surgical Chin Enhancement)


No. Both Radiesse and Sculptra are very soft materials and are easily and quickly integrated into the skin tissues. You may feel a soft prominence in the area injected, depending on the amount of Radiesse or Sculptra used, but it will not be visible as a lump.


You may have some mild redness or swelling immediately after the injection, but this will usually resolve within 24 hours, especially if ice is applied to the area. This can easily be camouflaged with mineral make-up and most patients go back to work immediately. There is no pain after the treatment.


The only limitation is that you should avoid activities that will strain your facial features for 48 hours following treatment as much as possible. For example, avoid activities such as strenuous laughing, using a straw, singing, shouting, cheering, chewing gum, eating tough food, etc. Otherwise normal activities are fine.


Radiesse has been safely injected in over 30,000 patients worldwide without a report of serious reaction to the product. There have been minor complications reported by some patients receiving large volume lip augmentation where some lumpiness or small nodules have occurred within several days of treatment. These nodules are not permanent. Nevertheless, this is why we does not use Radiesse in the lips.

The only adverse effects seen to date with Radiesse have been limited to bruising and, very rarely, infection at the injection site. We avoid injection into areas of skin inflammation and we counsel against the use of Radiesse in clients prone to keloid formation

FAQ’s – Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatments

What is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment?

By utilizing injectables, such as BOTOX® and fillers, WE can provide the results that you would normally only expect from invasive, painful and expensive surgeries.

(Injection rhinoplasty™)

What are the benefits of non-surgical vs. traditional procedures?

Surgery carries many inherent risks including scarring, infection, and anesthesia complications. Traditional cosmetic surgery typically involves a long and painful recovery period that includes significant bruising, swelling, and the need for strong pain medications. Non-surgical techniques are non-invasive, do not involve the risks of surgery, and cause no significant pain, swelling, bruising or recovery time. They are also very affordable.

Are the results permanent?

That depends. Most of non-surgical treatments last anywhere from six months to three years. The advantage of the temporary non-surgical treatments, is that they can be adjusted as your face changes with time and you always maintain a natural look. The positive results of traditional cosmetic surgery typically last seven to ten years. Any undesirable results can be difficult or impossible to reverse and many procedures begin to stand out as your face changes with time.

Can non-surgical cosmetic treatments do all of the same things as cosmetic surgery?

No. There are some things that can only be accomplished with surgery. For instance, our Non-Surgical Nose Job™ cannot actually reduce the size of your nose. It can however correct asymmetry, bumps, and deviations giving your nose a more balanced look. This balanced look actually makes your nose appear smaller. The best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for a non surgical treatment is to either come in for a consultation

FAQ’s – Medical Spa Treatments

What can I expect from the Spa Treatment experience?

At SAMS we combine the luxury and pampering of the day spa experience with real medical benefits. Soothing aromatherapy and hot towel treatments help you to relax and prepare for treatment. Spa treatments are conducted in a comfortable and intimate setting. You should leave feeling refreshed, relaxed, and beautiful.

How long do spa treatments take?

Most of our spa treatments last about an hour to an hour and a half, but we also have some shorter condensed versions for days when you need refreshment, but do not have time for a full treatment.

What is the difference between a medical spa and a regular day spa?

Traditional day spas can be a luxurious and pleasant experience and their treatments are best used to maintain healthy skin. A medical spa provides real medical benefits. A medical spa treats problems, such as rosacea, acne and aging skin to get real results in an atmosphere of relaxation and comfort. All products used in a medical spa should be carefully chosen by the medical director to reflect the best and safest available ingredients.

What types of conditions are addressed by spa treatments?

Our spa treatments can improve or resolve many skin conditions including:

  • Acne

  • Clogged or enlarged pores

  • Fine lines

  • Pigmentation problems

  • Aging skin

Light Based Acne Treatment

What is acne?

Sebaceous glands within the skin create an oily substance called sebum. Normally sebum is expelled through pores in the skin. These pores can become clogged due to overproduction of sebum caused by hormones, dead skin cells, and other factors. When these pores become clogged they become infected with bacteria, creating pimples and inflammation.

How do light based treatments treat acne?

Light based treatments including Blue LightIntense Pulsed Light (IPL), and Photodynamic Therapy specifically target the overactive oil glands and the bacteria associated with acne. This kills the bacteria and dries up excess oil, eradicating existing acne and helping prevent further breakouts.

Are the results permanent?

Blue Light therapy and IPL help to prevent future beak outs. Photodynamic Therapy treatments have been shown to prevent acne from returning for two years or more. That being said, acne is a chronic condition caused by factors that we do not yet fully understand. Promises of permanent acne eradication are difficult to make for any of the accepted treatments.

What about cleanliness and diet?

Acne is not caused by dirt or by eating chocolate and greasy foods. Over-washing can actually make acne worse. You should wash your face twice a day. Changes in diet alone will not cure acne, but if you find that certain foods seem to coincide with breakouts then it is best to avoid those foods.

FAQ’s – Restylane Skin Treatment


Restylane is a clear, transparent and viscous gel that is injected into the skin in order to add volume to lips and lift up wrinkles and folds. Restylane consists of hyaluronic acid, which is a natural substance already present in your body. Once in the skin, Restylane works by creating volume. In contrast to other similar products, the hyaluronic acid in Restylane is not produced from animals. This means that there is no risk of disease being transmitted or allergic reactions being elicited if you are sensitive to common foods, such as beef, chicken and eggs.


Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is found throughout your body. It gives volume to the skin, lubricates the joints and gives the eyes their shape. The hyaluronic acid in Restylane is stabilized for long duration and is not of animal or human origin


Treatment with Restylane is a very quick and easy process. As no pre-test is needed, the treatment can be carried out immediately. A treatment generally takes 30 minutes. The time differs somewhat, depending on the area and the correction you wish to have performed.


During treatment, the crystal-clear Restylane gel is injected into the skin in tiny amounts with a very fine needle. The gel produces volume under the wrinkle, which is lifted up and smoothed out. When enhancing lips or facial contours, Restylane adds volume and shape to the treated area.


Look at yourself in the mirror and think about the result you are expecting. Try to convey your expectations to your physician before the treatment and ask him or her what is possible.


No. Restylane is non animal based, so the chances of having an allergic reaction are extremely small. Of course if you would like a skin test, we are happy to perform one.


Restylane can be used for smoothing out folds and wrinkles, lip enhancements and shaping facial contours. The most common areas are the glabellar lines (between the eyebrows), the nasolabial folds (from the root of the nose to the angle of the mouth) and the lips, although other sites can also be treated.


Most people find the injections relatively painless. SAMS is committed to providing the most comfortable and pain free experience for our patients. To that end, we always apply a topical anesthetic cream to the area being treated prior to your procedure. We also always use ice before and after the injection procedure. When enhancing the lips, a local anesthetic injection is always given to numb the lips completely.


The results can be seen immediately. There is a brief period of redness or swelling (usually a few hours to a couple of days), after which the final result is evident.


Immediately after the treatment, you can expect slight redness, swelling, tenderness or an itching sensation in the treated area. This is a normal result of the injection. The discomfort is temporary and generally disappears in a few days. After a lip treatment, the lips may become swollen, slightly bumpy or look a bit uneven. This can persist for a few days (up to a week). If the discomfort continues, please contact your physician. In almost all cases, these issues resolve very quickly and the result is a beautiful and natural looking enhancement.


Immediately after treatment we suggest using Arnica Montana to decrease swelling and Tylenol for if there is any soreness once the numbing has worn off. During the first 48 hours after your treatment, do not massage or rub the treated area. If you have had a lip enhancement, avoid puckering your lips for the first two days after the treatment and avoid hot liquids for the rest of the day. Until the initial swelling and redness have resolved, do not expose the treated area to intense heat (e.g. in a solarium or by sunbathing) or extreme cold.



If the results of the treatment are unsatisfactory, Restylane can always be dissolved with the injection of a safe, naturally occurring enzyme. It is extremely rare that we have to reverse our Restylane injections, but it does give our patients peace of mind to know that reversal is possible and easy.



However, Restylane is sometimes used in conjunction with surgery to fill out wrinkles that cannot be removed by surgery.


The rate of reactions to Restylane is very low. However, after the treatment some injection-related reactions may occur, such as swelling, redness, pain, itching, discoloration and tenderness at the injection site. These typically resolve spontaneously within a few days after injection into the skin and within a week after the injection into the lips.


The cause of this is not yet known, but there is no reason to believe that this is an immunologic reaction. Normally, the swelling is gone within a week after injection into the lips.


If you have recently had some other kind of facial treatment, you are recommended to wait until the treated area is totally healed and the skin has normalized (usually about 2 weeks) before you undergo a Restylane treatment.


So far, no connection between patients with allergies and patients that report a reaction to Restylane has been established.


Restylane lasts for about 6 months in most areas. We have seen that under the eyes it tends to last about 8 months.

The length of time the effect of a Restylane treatment lasts is very individual and depends on many factors, such as the structure of your skin, lifestyle, age, the degree of perfection demanded and the injection technique of the practitioner. Experience indicates that touch-up and follow-up treatments will add to the duration. Most people choose to have a new treatment within a year after the treatment of wrinkles and folds and within 6 months


You should not expose the treated area to intense heat (e.g. in a solarium or by sunbathing) or extreme cold for the first few days after the treatment in order to avoid the risk of inflammation, as the area has been disturbed. However, once Restylane has integrated into the body, it will adjust to your normal body temperature.


The correction will gradually disappear until your skin looks like it did before the treatment. Follow-up injections will help you maintain your correction

FAQ’s – Fraxel® Laser Treatment

What is Fraxel® Laser Treatment?

Fraxel® Laser Treatment is a “fractional” treatment that produces thousands of deep, tiny columns in your skin, called microthermal treatment zones. The treatment is “fractional” in that, instead of destroying entire layers of skin tissue, the Fraxel makes pinpoint island injuries in the skin, leaving the surrounding tissue intact and healthy. Leaving healthy tissue makes healing faster and easier, whereas the pinpoint injury still has the desired effect of stimulating collagen in the deepest layers of the skin. As these thousands of little pinpoints heal, there is an overall contraction in the skin, reducing fine lines and making the skin appear tighter and smoother. Also, when the Fraxel goes over a brown, sun damaged area of skin, the pinpoint injuries heal with normal colored skin cells, erasing the brown spot forever.

How is Fraxel different from other laser treatments?

Until Fraxel, there were two main types of light based skin
improvement treatments. Ablative laser treatment, (which means the vaporization of a layer of skin using laser energy), is very effective but has significant side effects and requires a lengthy healing period. Intense pulsed light or photofacial treatments, being non-ablative, have little or no side effects and almost no healing time. This is good, but these treatments require numerous sessions over many months and have limited results at best. Fraxel treatments offer the effectiveness of ablative treatment without the downtime and side effects.

How Does Fraxel Work?

Fraxel® Laser Treatment is designed to improve aging and sun damaged skin by targeting portions of specific damaged tissue. By creating microscopic “wounds” within the targeted areas, Fraxel® Laser treatments trigger the body’s natural healing process, accelerating the production of collagen and new, healthy skin cells.

What About Acne Scars?

Fraxel is the best treatment currently available to improve the appearance of acne scars. T Older technology, like Smoothbeam or CO2 laser resurfacing, has an unacceptable amount of pain, downtime and risk. Fraxel minimization of acne scars happens the same way that the laser improves the appearance of sun damaged skin. The pinpoint injuries replace depressed and discolored scar tissue with normal skin. Over 3 to 5 treatment sessions, we have seen even deep ice pick scars smooth out and disappear.


What are the benefits of Fraxel® Laser Treatments?

Since Fraxel has the impact of an ablative laser delivered with the gentleness of a non-ablative treatment, healing time is significantly accelerated. There is minimal downtime, swelling or redness. Fraxel treatment does not cause weeping, raw skin, disfiguring laser burns or the waxy skin appearance that are risks of traditional, ablative
laser resurfacing treatment. Make-up can be worn immediately following the procedure. Some patients are able to return to routine activities, including work and social obligations, the same day of treatment. Others require a little more time, depending upon their skin condition and treatment.

What are the risks of Fraxel® Laser Treatments?

Swelling and redness are the most common side effects from treatment. Swelling is usually minimal and subsides within a day or two. Redness usually occurs and will fade within five to seven days. There is a very limited risk of infection or scarring.

How many treatments will I need?

Clinical studies suggest that on average, an effective treatment regimen consists of 3 to 5 sessions, spaced about 2 to 4 weeks apart. Depending upon your condition and schedule, You can usually see some results within a week, once the redness and swelling have resolved. Unlike many laser or IPL treatments, you should see benefits after your very first Fraxel SR1500 treatment. The improvement is also progressive. Optimal results are usually visible in about 2 to 3 months. This time frame and treatment structure allows for complete healing and replacement of damaged tissue with new collagen and elastin, as well as the growth of healthy new skin cells.


How are Fraxel® Laser Treatments performed?

To prepare your skin for treatment, it will be cleansed. A topical anesthetic ointment is also applied to the treatment area approximately 60 minutes prior to treatment. It takes between 20 to 25 minutes to treat your full face. The anesthetic ointment are washed off immediately after the treatment.

Is Fraxel® Laser Treatment painful?

Most patients describe the treatment as having a “prickling” sensation. The topical anesthetic ointment and air cooling alleviates most discomfort.

What should I expect after Fraxel® Laser Treatment?

During the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel as though it is sunburned, and it will appear pink or red. Make-up can be worn to reduce the sunburned appearance. Your skin will naturally bronze over the next week or two. As you continue treatment, the sunburned to bronze conditions will repeat. Just like a natural sunburn, your skin will flake and exfoliate normally. Using a moisturizer will help reduce the appearance of dry flakes.you will be provided with a post treatment kit of medical grade cosmeceuticals to speed healing.

What precautions should I take after treatment?

Wearing sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher twice a day is especially important. Avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process and for at least 3 months after treatment. Wearing wide brimmed hats is highly recommended when out in the elements.


Tip of the day >>

Dark circles can be due to lack of sleep, exercise or fresh air, poor circulation, possible kidney problems, food intolerance, or nutritional deficiencies. Place thin slices of raw potato underneath your eyes the potassium in them counteracts dark circles.


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