Ask the Laser Expert
Q & A with Dr. Glenn DeBias of The Institute for Laser and Aesthetic Medicine
by Dr. Glenn DeBias

Q:Do Botox and Dysport, the two most popular neurotoxin injectables, accumulate in your system if you use them for any length of time?

A:No, Botox and Dysport are injected into the skin via a needle in the injected muscle. They are broken down and eliminated by the body’s immune system in about two weeks. The result, however, of the Botox or Dysport cleaving acetylcholine molecules at the synaptic cleft of the muscle fibers, is diminished muscle tone and relaxation. This lasts approximately three to four months.

Q:Once you a have cosmetic filler such as Restylane or Juvederm injected for facial filling, can you still have laser treatment over the injected area?

A:The most popular fillers-Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane are made of hyalauronic acid and have been shown in numerous studies to be safe for various laser treatments. More permanent fillers such as silicone have been shown to be more heat sensitive and are not recommended for an inexperienced laser operator to laser over the product. Other products, such as Radiesse and Evolence, have not been studied as thoroughly. It is better to err on the side of caution when it comes to these products.

Q:When fat cells are removed from a body’s fat stores during Smart Lipo (laser-assisted lipolysis), do the fat cells regenerate and will new fat cell deposition take place?

A:Depending on how many of the fat cells in a particular area are extracted and how much future weight gain occurs, the general belief is that if the procedure is performed in someone close to their ideal body fat (15-20 percent in men and 20-25 percent in women) and a significant number of fat cells are aspirated, there is less likely to be a regeneration of fat cells in the treated area. If the person has some weight gain (5-10 percent of body fat), it will most likely show up in other areas with a higher density of fat cells. However, if the fat gain is excessive, it has been shown that undifferentiated stem cells can be turned into fat cells if needed for storage. This could lead to a return of fat deposits in a treated area.

Q:If a laser is used to rejuvenate my face (resurfacing, skin tightening), will I have to continue those treatments to maintain the result?

A:While there are many laser treatments today that claim to rejuvenate and tighten your skin, there are only a few that excel above the rest. The Active Fx CO2 fractional procedure improves texture and tone and tightens the skin in a short 12-minute procedure. The resurfacing and evening out of pigmentation results are seen within the first week, with the majority of the collagen building and skin tightening effect occurring over the next four to six months. Of course, at the end of the six-month period, unopposed aging effects will start to break down your new and pre-existing collagen, leading to further aging and the return of your former look. It takes about two years to lose all of the positive effects from one Active Fx procedure.