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Recently, I paid twice the amount of my previous fee for personal training, because I knew the value was there. For all services I purchase, I expect a specialist to carry out that service, whether a personal trainer, housekeeper, massage therapist or neurosurgeon

I am always willing to compensate based on value. What I do not want is the "cheapest" service available, as I might regarding commodities, such as laundry detergent, cereal, and nail polish. When I am asked to pay more for a specialist's service, I’m not offended. In fact, I expect to pay more.

I share this philosophy because I often see people undervaluing their services by dropping their prices to increase revenue and sales. Then, they seem surprised when their clients don't value them. Customer complaints increase, and retention and referrals decrease.

This theory works in both directions. I also see consumers drawn to discounts and savings, only to be disappointed when the provider isn't the best at what he or she does. They, too, seem surprised when they get subpar results.

We live in a world where anyone can be anything. Realize that everyone is doing everything – or saying they are, at least.

Today, when I purchase a service, I consider the following, in this order:

  1. Can this person or company achieve results as well as or better than anyone else in their particular industry regarding my particular needs? Does the person offer proof of experience and/or case studies showing expertise?
  2. Do the proposed solutions align with me and my opinions? Was my unique position heard, and did I make a connection? Can I trust the provider?
  3. What are the reviews and testimonials about this provider? What are people saying about his or her service?
  4. What levels of certifications, licensure, and/or training does the provider have?
  5. Are the proximity and location convenient? Can I fit this into my schedule?
  6. Price matters. Is this the best value I can get for this amount of money, considering all of the points mentioned?

I think service providers often focus on price because they don't understand consumer purchasing behavior. If they drop the price, they get sales.

But the companies that see the most long-term success won’t cut prices to generate that next sale. These companies nurture their staffs, improve their customers' experiences, and add value for the pricing they have in place.

Here’s a perfect example: Amazon Prime recently increased my annual membership price. Yet, the cost is nowhere near the price point at which I would consider a cancellation. I get much more value for Amazon Prime’s service, versus when I signed up two years ago. I understand the increase.

In summary, when I receive a greater value for a service that I actually paid for, it’s a good deal. The best bargains I have ever received were not "cheap" or even low-priced. But they had mega value.

At CAS Clinical Med Spa, we understand value, and we believe in over-delivering on our promise to best serve our clients each and every time you walk through our door. We hold a high standard for ourselves and strive to surpass that standards you hold for us. We would rather have you as a lifelong client who received stellar services, than a one-and-done customer who found a “cheap deal.”

The thread lifts of today may not align with what you thought you knew about thread lifts. In the late-1990s, the so-called “thread lift” was using threads to lift sagging skin, known as the “kinder and gentler” face lift. However, it had much scarier side effects, including scaring. Infection and obvious lumps under the skin made it a poor choice for most men and women.

The new and improved thread lift is FDA-cleared and non-invasive, with little to no downtime. It is becoming an increasingly popular way to tighten and re-suspend moderately saggy cheeks, brows and neck.

The old threads were made of barbed sutures and, if not anchored correctly, the patient would have visible lump and nodules. With the introduction of the PDO threads this solution has been greatly reduced.

Gone are the days when only facelift surgery could address facial skin laxity. A new procedure has been developed to provide noninvasive facial rejuvenation in place of surgery. The “thread lift” uses temporary sutures to produce a subtle, but visible, lift in the skin. You can experience instant skin lifting through mechanical effects with the PDO Thread Lift.

This treatment lifts and tightens sagging skin using threads made of polydioxanone (PDO). Once introduced, the threads produce cellular renewal through collagen stimulation and neovascularization to improve skin texture, fine lines and elasticity. The contracting of fat tissue actually tightens the skin.

The PDO Thread Lift is an effective, non-surgical, face-lifting treatment that is suitable for anyone looking to improve the appearance of sagging skin. If you are willing to undergo some injections and want to attain an immediate lift of the facial contours without undergoing a facelift surgery, you are a candidate for this procedure. It is best suited for men and women who are unwilling to tolerate the long downtime of a facelift surgery, but want to look refreshed and lifted, naturally.

Immediately after a PDO Thread Lift procedure, you will notice a 10 percent improvement to your appearance. Over the following six to nine months, as the threads dissolve, your skin will continue to tighten. About six months after the procedure, the PDO threads will disappear through simple hydrolysis, since they are absorbable. The lifted facial contours will remain for about three to six months more, due to the cellular rejuvenation effects. Your skin cells are stimulated to produce new collagen, and new blood vessels will improve skin microcirculation. At the same time, the PDO threads cause the fat tissue to contract, producing a skin-tightening and facial-slimming effect.

A PDO Thread Lift is a minimally invasive procedure. After numbing through the infusion of a local anesthetic, the PDO threads are inserted via sharp- or blunt-tipped needles (called cannulas) into different layers of the skin. Once inserted, the threads anchor the skin and lift it upward. The excess threads are then removed.

The procedure takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Improved techniques are allowing our patients to experience less pain, so there is minimal discomfort during the procedure. We suggest coming in yearly for maintenance of your threads to maintain your look. Ask about our Presidential Membership, and take advantage of the significant savings you’ll receive monthly. You’ll never have to worry about necessary adjustments again.

At CAS Clinical Med Spa, our treatment plans are different, as is our attention to detail. After your PDO Thread Lift, we will follow up with the latest in laser technology, which boosts collagen growth and enhances your PDO thread purchase. To further enhance your threads, we may suggest using fillers, i.e., hyaluronic acids, Bellafill, and neuromodulators to complete your transformation.

In the beginning, you may look slightly tighter than with your final result. In about one week, you will begin to look much more natural. There is no downtime, however, you may be slightly sore and swollen for a few days.

About nine months after the treatment, the threads will be dissolved, but the results will continue for many more months. We encourage our clients to follow up with us six to nine months after the first procedure to have much smaller threads placed. This maintains and continues the production of collagen growth.

The PDO Thread Lift allows practically all areas of the face, and more, to be treated. These include the undereye area, glabellar and inner eyebrows, crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eye) cheeks, nasolabial and nasojugal folds, jowls and jaw line, neck, and forehead. You also can receive a buttock lift, and treatment to arms, leg décolleté crepiness, smoker lines. Lip lining and the defining of your cupid’s bow are also options.

Phi (also known as 0+1.618033988749895) is most often pronounced like “fi” and is an irrational number, but one that has many mathematical properties. Phi is the solution to a quartic equation and the basis for the Golden Ratio, developed by Greeks. It is named after the Greek sculptor Phidias.

Phi – or Golden Ratio – appears in the universe everywhere, and its use is limitless. You will see it in mathematics, geometry, art, architectural design of any kind, logos, products, fashion, web designs, photo cropping and, most important, at CAS Clinical Med Spa in aesthetics.

Studies have shown that when random faces are viewed, the ones deemed most attractive are those with substantial parallels to the Golden Ratio. Faces judged as the most beautiful often show Golden Ratio proportions between the width of the face and the width of the eyes, nose and the eyebrows.

Look at Leonardo da Vinci’s illustration of "Divine Proportion" in 1509 as well as the Mona Lisa. The Golden Ratio – technically 1.618 – has been used for centuries in art. Da Vinci used the Golden Ratio to define all the proportions in his “Last Supper” artwork, all the way down to the dimensions of the table and the proportions of the walls and backgrounds.

With aesthetics, beautiful people of all races look similar in terms of facial shape, balance, and proportions. Most people share a sense of what is attractive, regardless of nationality, age, or ethnic background, according to recent studies validating the significance of Phi. The Golden Ratio measures the length and width of the face. Divide length by width, and if the result is close to 1.6, you have a Golden Ratio.

When viewing a face, the eye focuses on seven areas. We call these “The Magnificent Seven.”

  1. Facial shape – symmetry of chin and cheeks
  2. Forehead height
  3. Eyebrow shape
  4. Eye size and distance between eyes
  5. Nose shape
  6. Lip length and height
  7. Skin clarity, texture, and color

When measuring for Phi, we at CAS Med Spa we use Calipers, which has five benefits with the Golden Ratio.

  1. We can show more accurately where the face has balance, harmony, and proportion.
  2. We can tell you more geographically which areas on your face need more attention.
  3. It serves as an education tool for our patients regarding the aging process and how areas change over time.
  4. It assists with developing a more tailored and customized approached with our patients. We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all program.
  5. It begins the foundation for the design for a full-face treatment plan, leading into our Presidential maintenance program (for qualifying members only).

Are you ready to experience how Phi affects your appearance? Give us a call today to learn more about this fascinating use of Old World mathematics in today’s modern aesthetics.

I am often asked this question by both patients and other healthcare providers and staff. Some patients insist that one or the other of these products is the only product that gives them results.

Let’s break down the differences. First, we must understand that Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are each classified as a “neuromodulator” –  a tiny protein that interferes with the synaptic transmission in our nerve cells.

Botulinum toxin type A is the neuromodulator used in Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. It disables certain endings and can make changes in the way the face hangs and folds, and the way you make expressions. Neuromodulators are also referred to as “neurotoxins.”

Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are different brands, but what is important is their molecular makeup. Botox is considered a complex protein, while Dysport is a combo protein, and Xeomin strips the molecule of complex proteins to its purest injectable form.

All three have been scientifically compared and proven to work equally well. All studies have shown that one does not last longer than the other. They all last three to five months and can take two to five days to work, but the prices and the way they function definitely can differ.

Botox is made by Allergan and is officially marketed to temporarily improve the look of both moderate to severe crow's feet and frown lines between the eyebrows. However, it is used off label for many other purposes. Results usually happen in six to 10 days, and the durations last usually three months for most of our patients.  

Botox has been around since the early-1990s. Dysport and Xeomin came into play in 2009 and 2011. Generally, more people know of Botox and usually feel more comfortable and confident with it. Botox is the most versatile, and you also can save with the Brilliant Distinction Program. Save those points, my friend! Adding up points up from CoolSculpting all the way up to Botox can save you lots of money in free rewards!

Dysport is made by Galderma and is marketed for the temporary improvement in the look of moderate to severe frown lines. Dysport, as well, has off-label uses. The results are usually visible within a few days, and the durations are at around 90 days. You can save cash with Galderma's Aspire Reward Program.

Xeomin does not have to be refrigerated and has no additives, and it is no different than Botox and Dysport. Xeomin does have a rewards program called Xperience.

The most common targeted areas for neuromodulators are horizontal lines across the forehead and perpendicular frown lines between the lines (we call these your “elevens”). These treatments can help with crow's feet, nasal squint lines – i.e. bunny lines, platysmal bands around the neck, eyebrow lifting, migraines, profuse underarm sweating, facial slimming, and relief for masseter muscle pain caused by teeth grinding.

The procedure usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes, and cost can range from $300 to $900, depending on the treatment area(s). You may experience some slight redness or swelling at the injection site, but only momentarily. You can resume your normal activities quickly. You may have a small bruise, but nothing a little concealer can't hide.

In short, you’re in the South, and it’s much like Coke versus Pepsi when it comes to these three products. They are all neuromodulators. They are all going to alter the nerve impulse of targeted muscles and reduce or eliminate contracted or inducted wrinkles. The only difference is your particular taste. Personally, I prefer my Coke, thank you very much…

Facial fillers are twice as popular today as they were 15 years ago. Results can be remarkable when these treatments are done in moderation. Too much filler, however, can result in an overstuffed looked, causing the cheeks and other areas of the face appear puffy.

Aesthetic procedures were once thought to be a “female thing,” but times have changed. Men want to look their best as well, and since they are less likely to opt for a surgical facelift, procedures such as PDO thread lifts and derma fillers are great alternatives. Even better, these procedures usually have little to no downtown.

Men of all ages option for aesthetic procedures. Younger men choose soft tissue fillers before their skin takes on an aged appearance. By adding volume and plumping up the skin, wrinkles can possibly be delayed from forming. When the correct filler is used, it is possible to delay the development of new lines, creases, and folds. In some cases, fullness to lips can be restored.

One of the main reasons fillers make sense for men is to address concerns about staying competitive at work as well as re-entering the dating scene. Looking younger on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, has become important. Rather than posting a picture from 10 years ago, men can let fillers create an accurate picture of which they can be proud.

Fillers are particularly popular is because they provide immediate results, full final results, within a few days of treatment. Let’s face it: No matter your age, you can rest assured that mobile phones are here to stay. That means social media and HD lighting will probably always be around. We need all the help we can get as we age!

The faces of men and women do not age the same, and, therefore, their treatments are not the same. Overfilling a cheek or lips can cause a "puffy" appearance on a man and create feminine-looking features. Men tend to have thicker skin and larger bones, so a more viscous filler is needed to achieve the best results.

Most men are concerned about the forehead and glabellar area (between the eyes). Botox is the usual go-to in the beginning, easing into a refreshed look.

We start slowly at CAS Clinical Med Spa with all of our fillers, adding more as we go, remaining slow and steady. We would much rather add more treatments later than try to subtract treatments later. We pride ourselves on giving our clients a natural look. One of the best compliments a person can receive is to be told he looks good by someone, but that person can’t pinpoint exactly why. New hair? Weight loss? They don’t realize that treatments have been done

Our patients come back hug our necks as they tell us these stories.    

Plastic surgeons estimate that nearly 20 percent of their patients are men – an increase from previous years. At CAS Clinical Med Spa, our client base is 19 percent male, and that percentage continues to grow. Botox, PDO thread lifts, under-eye treatments, Bellafill, and CoolSculpting are the major treatments that our male clients choose.

Botox was used in 10 percent of all male cosmetic surgeries, according to 2017 data from the American Society for Plastic Surgeons. Today, the number of men getting Botox is at 27 percent.

Although men are increasingly opting for aesthetic procedures, they aren’t always open to talking about it. It is often still frowned upon for men to look in the mirror and want to be attractive and handsome – straight men, in particular. However, this stigma is changing, and men are feeling less discouraged to seek aesthetic procedures. It is becoming less taboo, especially for millennials.  

In a future blog, I will discuss my own injectable and skin care journey, and how I stumbled into the healthcare aesthetics field. I’ll also talk about why I nearly walked away after 30 days until I found my smile.

Retin-A is a drug generically known as retinoic acid or tretinoin, derived from vitamin A. Retinol is a less-potent form of Retin-A, and its effectiveness is scientifically supported. Since Retin-A can improve skin texture and fade dark sports and freckles, Retinol is extremely helpful. It shrinks dilated pores and improves cell turnover within the pores, so they are less likely to clog and become blackheads or whiteheads. More important is its ability to affect the retention of collagen.

Collagen is what gives our skin its structure, firmness and elasticity. Repeated sun exposure breaks down collagen, and along with aging. Cells produce less college to repair this damage. Thus, we have wrinkles, sagging and the loss of fullness as we age.

Retinol requires common sense. You must start off slowly, using no more than a pea-sized amount once every three nights for a couple of weeks. You will slowly graduate to nightly application, and that’s only if your skin can handle it. If your skin becomes red and irritated, you may have to decrease the amount of usage to every other night.

Retinol does have its contraindications. It is not recommended for pregnant women or for people with rosacea. You may also want to consider applying a moisturizer over retinol, 20 minutes after its application. It is imperative that you use proper sun protection when using Retinol as you will become sensitive to the sun rays. There are concerns that you may tear the skin while waxing when using retinol, so this is strongly discouraged.

Retinol does double duty in helping to boost collagen. Research shows it has potential to stop photoaging before it starts. The regular use of a retinoid product increases the amount of new collagen formed, and research has shown that new collagen will last for years.

Retinol may actually make the skin look worse in the beginning, with redness, flaking and peeling. This sometimes lasts for up to eight weeks. However, at 24 weeks, patients will see dramatic improvements, most studies have shown.

Retinol isn’t used only for cosmetic purposes. It has been used to treat precancerous skin cells and acne as well. During these treatments, physicians noticed another benefit with enormous impact – skin that was vibrant and smooth. They found that Retinol actually works to remodel the skin on a cellular level.

Wrinkles do not develop overnight. During your 20s and 30s, your skin becomes thinner, dryer and less elastic. The amount of collagen produced by your skin declines, and the skin turnover process becomes slower. Retinol works by speeding up the skin cell turnover process when your body replaces liver skin cells on the surface of skin with newer, fresher skin cells formed on the lower level of the epidermis.

Retinol is a prescription medicine that is far more effective than the creams and washes you can by over the counter. Retinol also has mountains of scientific data to back it up its effectiveness. It works by speeding up the rate at which your body replaces skin cells, giving your skin a fresher, more youthful appearance.

Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Before applying, you should wash your face with warm water, and use a small amount of non-irritating soap or a mild cleanser.
  2. Make sure the soap has been washed away, and then blot your face with a dry towel.
  3. Squeeze a pea-sized amount onto your finger and apply it to your cheeks, chin and other areas where you notice wrinkles, avoiding lips, nostrils and eyes.
  4. Gently rub into your skin, and do not use large amounts as it will cause irritation.
  5. Set a timer for 20 minutes for full absorption, and avoid touching skin or applying any other topical until the 20-minute time frame has passed.
  6. Apply moisturizer, if necessary.

Avoid excessive sun exposure, and be sure to use a SPF 30-plus at all times as you will be sensitive to the sun. Stay hydrated. It is important to drink plenty of fluids and keep your skin hydrated. Be consistent, since you may not see the full effects for several months.

Retinol comes in three strengths: .025%, .05% and .1%.

Retinol is a safe medication. Since it is topical, it does not have to pass through the liver as do other medications, such as Accutane. It’s easy to stop using, with a short half-life and none of the withdrawal effects of topical steroids. It does have some side-effects, including dryness, irritation, peeling and sensitivity to sunlight. Less common side effects would be rapid onset dermatitis, blisters and vesicles, which are very rare.

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