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D.C.’s Top Dermatologists Share How To ‘Age in Place’

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While your chronological age will continue to increase, you can slow the clock on physical signs of aging with the right cosmetic treatments. Read on to learn how Washington D.C. dermatologists Tina Alster, MD and her associate Neelam Khan, MD keep their patients looking young even as the years go by.

Professional Service

Their most important tip for aging in place is visiting the right medical professional. “In this day and age, it’s so important to check the credentials of where you’re going and who you’re seeing for any treatment on the face and body,” says Dr. Khan. “We have very high standards in terms of the credentials of everyone working at our office. On the patient side, it’s very important to be educated on the vast differences in expertise between medical offices and medi-spas.”

Dr. Alster adds that it’s vital to visit a physician who offers a wide variety of treatment options. “What makes our practice different is that we can afford to be choosy. We don’t have a few lasers and injectable treatments—we have the whole nine yards. Having such a range of treatments allows us to customize and pick what is best for each individual. A lot of times, patients think they know what they want, but a good physician should be able to guide them to the perfect treatment.”

Take a Detour

Dr. Alster redirects patients to the right treatment when they come into her office. “Aging in place requires a combination of many procedures, which is why going to a practice that offers customized and curated treatments for each individual is important. Patients often don’t realize that a number of different treatments are available to them or that the treatments can be combined on the same day.” To guide the patient in the best direction, Dr. Khan asks her patients if she can assess their faces and create a long-term comprehensive rejuvenation plan unique to them. “Patients are eager to receive our professional guidance about the different options of what they can do to age gracefully.”

The Perfect Combination

“Because we’re a laser center, everyone assumes that’s all we do, but that’s far from the truth,” says Dr. Alster. “Half of our daily procedures include cosmetic injectables such as fillers and neurotoxins, and we routinely perform combination treatments with lasers and other devices. On a typical day, it is common for me to perform multiple treatments on a single patient in one sitting, ranging from injectables and laser treatments to hair enhancement procedures and body contouring.”

Dr. Khan says that skin care is also an important part of the mix. “We review all the daily products that patients are using and re-design their regimen to combine their current products with others that better benefit their specific concerns. We have a multi-modality approach to skincare, and we recommend a customized plan for every patient.”

Natural Wonders

Dr. Alster explains that her patients like to err on the natural side, as many of them are in politics or on television. “Our patients often come into the office between three and four times a year and many receive all their procedures at once so they don’t have to take time off from work for their recovery. And while they are busy outside of our office, we ensure they’re staying on a hard-hitting skincare routine at home to enhance their results.”

Hair Enhancement

“We’ve also been seeing more and more patients coming in with hair thinning complaints,” says Dr. Khan. “Like our skin, our hair changes through the decades and for some, that’s normal. If patients are bothered by accelerated hair thinning or hair loss, we can help determine the cause to provide the best recommendations for improvement. While it is important to set realistic expectations, there are many new and exciting treatments that allow for a fuller, healthier hairline including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, specialized topical and oral medications and therapeutic light treatments.”  

The Aesthetic

“Our approach is specifically suited to our Washington base where patients often desire a natural appearance,” Dr. Alster says. “The cosmetic work we perform is to elicit noticeable but subtle improvement. Patients continue to look like them themselves, just refreshed. This is everyone’s ultimate goal, and we love guiding our patients to a place where they feel and look their best every time they look in the mirror.”

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