With skin treatments and cosmetic procedures so conventional that baby-faced teens are getting work done, and—like Simon Cowell said—Botox injections as common as teeth-cleaning, what could possibly be next in the field of dermatology?
Well, here in the Las Vegas Valley, where for some the Fountain of Youth is the jackpot, Las Vegas Dermatology (653 N. Town Center Drive, Suite 410) is the place to find out. Dr. H.L. Greenberg has been on the cutting edge since he opened the practice in 2007, often being the first in town to offer the latest skin-care, cosmetic and surgical treatments. Here’s what’s new on his menu:
The Cynergy Laser
Greenberg uses this state-of-the-art device to attack spider veins (the fanned-out flossy variety that sits just beneath the skin’s surface) and varicose veins (those thicker, winding, deep-seated vessels). Besides being unsightly, they may also be painful, Greenberg says. Whereas many dermatology offices might use just one laser, the Cynergy is essentially two powerful lasers in one. “Not a lot of offices have them simply because of the expense,” he says of the $100,000 machine. The Cynergy does double duty by firing the two lasers sequentially, targeting hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen in the blood. The blood in the vein clots together from the laser’s light energy, causing it to collapse and leading to more effective vessel destruction and less bruising than a typical laser. As a bonus, the Cynergy can be set to simultaneously remove hair, if desired. Two to four treatments are average, with the price starting at $75 per spot.
It’s winter and you still have a perpetual oil slick on your face and what appear to be breakouts. You might be experiencing sebaceous hyperplasia, a disorder in which oil glands become enlarged, producing shiny, doughnut-like bumps. “Sebaceous hyperplasia are very common,” Greenberg says. “People think it’s acne, but it’s not. And it won’t go away with pills or topical treatments.” The hyfrecator treatment essentially melts oil glands away with an electric needle that’s pricked into the skin. It’s an existing device that’s traditionally used in dermatological surgery to stop bleeding. With a change in the device’s setting, Greenberg says it’s completely safe to attack sebaceous hyperplasia or even other skin growths such as skin tags. “I’m not sure how many people are using it for these benign growths, but often I’ll have patients come in from another provider stating that they had previously been told that their condition was untreatable, when in fact this is not the case,” he says. As with most treatments, however, there’s no guarantee that the problem won’t reoccur, Greenberg points out. “If you have weeds, you may get weed killer to destroy them. But they may grow back in future.” It’s $200 for 15 spot treatments.
Botox isn’t the only contender in the wrinkle-fighting arena anymore. Greenberg now offers Dysport, which, like Botox, is injected into the face and interrupts nerve impulses to muscles, preventing those accordion-like aging lines. However, Dysport’s effects can potentially last up to four months and set in within a couple of days, whereas Botox might last about three months, with results first appearing in about a week. Fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm plump up lines on the spot. “They fill out areas where there’s volume loss, like a balloon that’s been deflated,” Greenberg says. New solutions include a built-in painkiller. Formerly, patients would get a topical numbing cream before being injected with these fillers. These new solutions save time, numb the skin and alleviate patients of pain almost immediately, Greenberg says. Botox is $549 and up; Dysport is $875 and up.
About Dr. Greenberg
H.L. Greenberg, who grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo., is a clinical assistant professor in the internal medicine department at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He also practices general medical and surgical dermatology for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Las Vegas. He stresses the importance of not just aesthetics but also having skin checked for cancer or other potentially critical problems. “I’m a physician first and enjoy cosmetic stuff second,” he says. “I love what I do, and I’m happy to go to work every day.”