WHAT ARE MY GOALS?
When you look in the mirror, what would you most like to change? It’s difficult to see yourself objectively, so that can be a difficult question. But it’s one that you need to be ready to answer when you’re speaking with your cosmetic consultant or dermatologist. Bring a flattering photograph of yourself from five or ten years ago, if you like — this can be a great tool for conveying your goals.
WHAT IS MY BUDGET?
Figure out the amount you’re prepared to spend, and do your homework on the current costs of various procedures. (Remember that many of them, such as peels and laser treatments, require a series of appointments.) Once you decide on a potential course of action, ask your doctor if it’s realistic to accomplish it on your budget.
WHAT ARE MY EXPECTATIONS?
It’s important to understand the limitations of what these procedures can do. We can’t achieve total transformation, nor do we want to. Our goal is to capture your own individual beauty and enhance it in subtle ways, to make you look fresher and more youthful—not to completely change your face.
WHAT ARE MY FEARS?
Your fears probably fall into one (or both) of two categories. The first can be summed up as “duck lips and a frozen face”: many people are terrified that they’re going to end up looking like an alien or a plastic mask. That is not where we’re going to take you! Part of our role as dermatologists is to act as a voice of reason, advising patients when to back off and do less in order to achieve natural-looking results. The second common concern is the fear of pain, and the consultation is the perfect time to bring this up. When we understand your fears, we can reassure you and help prepare you, all so that we can provide the best possible care.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE BEFORE MY PROCEDURE?
Three days before any procedure, stop using chemicals on your skin; that means retinoids, acids, scrubs, benzoyl peroxide, cosmeceuticals, and chemical sunscreens (switch to mineral ones). Take off any makeup before the procedure. If you are prone to herpes, fever blisters, or any kind of infection on your face (even acne), treat it with the proper medication before and after your procedure, since any treatment can cause stress to the skin that may trigger a flare-up.