Groupon Injectables . . . what’s the downside?

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coupon deals

There is no denying that cosmetic procedures can be pricey . . . so it can be tempting to look for specials and deals at the local salon or Groupon. Patients often ask us, “how come they can offer botox for so cheap?”

Like many things, you often get what you pay for . . .

The application and use of various non-invasive treatments combined with the artistic and expert techniques utilized by Dr. Chiu is what truly sets The Derm Institute’s treatments apart. There are no shortcuts, inappropriate dilutions, or non-original manufacturer discount supplies ever used in our clinic. Dr. Chiu and The Derm Institute team are committed to exclusively providing advanced, expert, cutting edge and artistic facial rejuvenation safely.

Injectable neuromodulators such as Botox and Dysport, and cosmetic fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane are highly regulated FDA-controlled drug treatments. The raw cost of Botox and fillers direct from the approved manufacturer is a set price. Counterfeit, illegally imported, near expiration, or inappropriately diluted product has been an increasing problem in the US as price competing medi-spas and nurse injectors are opening all over the country.

Discount cosmetic centers often cut costs whether knowingly or not by using illegal or counterfeit, less expensive product. Less experienced injectors, often non physicians, although this decreases treatment pricing for the patient, it can at times increase risk of side effects. All medical and cosmetic procedures can rarely result in a complication. Treatment administered by a Board-Certified Dermatologist, like Dr. Chiu, who is extremely experienced in cosmetic procedures can reduce not only the likelihood of a serious complication, but if something does occur, she is specially trained to know how to recognize and resolve any issues.

Often, the cost quoted can also be misleading. Coupon deals show examples like $500 per syringe, but it may take a less experienced injector much more product to achieve the same result. So your overall cost to achieve a desired look may actually be more! It is not uncommon we get patients who tell us they spent thousands and did not see a visible difference they were happy with.

Dr. Chiu and The Derm Institute Team are sincerely committed to fair pricing with the most advanced, expert techniques used with artistry. We apply the highest standards to everything used in our clinic, and we only use the most high quality products, including pharmacy grade numbing cream, German imported microneedles for comfort, and of course, only FDA approved, manufacturer direct medications and treatments. Every expiration date, lot number, and hologram is noted and recorded. Come see the difference for yourself . . .

…Shared by The Derm Institute Team



Are your hands giving away your age? TDI’s Radiesse “Hand•Lift” to the rescue!

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As we become more expert and advanced at rejuvenation of the face and neck, more and more patients are noticing the changes that occur over time on the hands. This is one of the most age-telling areas on the body, as it is almost always exposed.

Chronic sun exposure and time thins the skin and collagen, and the skin becomes lax and discolored with sun or age spots. The hands lose plumpness and firmness, becoming more “bony” appearing, with veins and a skeletal appearance.

Treating these changes is an incredibly easy set of non-invasive, non-surgical procedures that result in extremely high satisfaction and duration of improvement (1-2 years!).



Step 1: Replenish Volume

The FDA recently approved Radiesse as the first and only injectable filler to correct for thinning, bony, skeletal appearing hands that have more bone and vein show. Radiesse instantly restores and replumps to give a more youthful appearance. Radiesse is a filler made of microspheres of natural calcium hydroxylapatite, which provides a scaffold to stimulate your own body’s production of collagen. The product has been used safely for facial rejuvenation for many years, and is eventually metabolized out of the body.

Placed beneath the skin on the back of the hands, Radiesse provides instant smoothing of wrinkles and long lasting results up to 1-2 years in a 15 minute treatment session! The result is smooth, beautiful, and natural.


Step 2: Brown Spot Removal

In an easy treatment with either a V-beam or IPL laser, 1-2 sessions can clear brown spots on the hands with very minimal downtime. These lasers target the discolorations on the hands so the skin appears even toned and not “spotty.”

Step 3: Maintenance and Nourish

The texture of the skin is important to maintain. Keeping the hands sun protected, nourished, and moisturized is important to discourage the return of brown spots, reduce fine lines and crepiness, and also give the appearance of healthy thickened skin.

  • Daily sunscreens for your hands should be reapplied throughout the day. We powder them up with Sunforgettable SPF 50 Powder for quick reapplication in the car.
  • Nightly treatment with a product like Revision’s Lumiquin hand cream with licorice root extract, Vitamin C, and peptides brighten and reduce fine lines. This keeps the hands smooth and soft. Dr. Chiu loves this product. She keeps a tube on her bedstand and puts just a pea-size on the back of the hands nightly.
  • Light Peels can maintain the suppleness for hand holding . . . Try SkinLab’s Boost Weekly Power Peel Pads.

Extra tips:

  • If you drive a lot, use fingerless sunprotective gloves, available on amazon
  • If you get gel manicures, request a LED light for curing, NOT a UV lamp

All these procedures and products are available at The Derm Institute. Our hands do so much for us every day, isn’t it time they got a bit of pampering?


Call The Derm Institute today for specials celebrating FDA’s recent approval of Radiesse for hands at 310-939-9800.

…Shared by The Derm Institute Team

Giving Superhero Makeovers for the Surgically Averse Man

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We all know the look of a masculine, virile man . . . Modeled after superheroes as we know them, the chiseled jawline–no double chins, no slackening of skin– gives the sense of confidence, strength, being in shape and of course youth.

More and more men are seeking non-invasive cosmetic procedures to give them not just a competitive edge on aging, but in the workplace as well. A well defined jawline, without saggy double chins, portends strength and success, yet was previously determined mostly genetically. Nowadays, subtle and completely natural appearing enhancement can occur in about 30 minutes at a dermatologist’s office.

Look at profile pictures of CEO’s and you will see the chosen LinkedIn shots tend to be angled to highlight a sharp, masculine, superhero like jawline. Maybe it is our obsession with superman and batman (who prominently only shows his jawline), but this feature somehow conveys to the human eye a sense of control, power, and intensity–characteristics that often define success.

Weight loss, getting fit, and skincare do not address the jawline laxity that starts occurring as early as 30s in both men and women. That is because bony remodeling and the resorption of jawbone occurs over time, causing the skin to appear more lax over the weakened underlining scaffold of bone. As the skin loses laxity, the under chin fat pad (aka the dreaded double chin) becomes more prominent, and that border between the neck and jaw somehow starts to blur. Some men are under the misbelief that working out can improve this–but it can often worsen the condition, as stronger neck muscles can pull down the jawline skin even further.

Most men who come to The Derm Institute or seek a dermatologist’s help can’t identify this exact issue. But they do notice a slackening and tiredness of the face, a sense of weight gain that shows around the jaw, and of course the double chin. There’s a reason men in their mid thirties suddenly sport some sort of facial hair–as this often masks the lack of sharpness in the jawline and gives a shadowing to give an impression of definition.Malejawline


For all you superhero, CEO, and success inspired men out there– don’t fear, nowadays there are numerous options and methods to re sculpt the masculine jawline:


1. Botox/Dysport.

Advanced techniques can be utilized to reduce the downward pull of muscle fibers in the neck, known as platysmal bands, on the jawline to give the face better contour. This is an easy, painless 15 min procedure.

2. Kybella.

For those with a prominent fat pad under the chin, a newly FDA approved series of injections can be used to essentially destroy the fat cells that give you the dreaded double chin appearance. Non-invasive and with minimal downtime, this is an exciting new development in jawline rejuvenation.

3. Fillers.

Some patients are born with a “weak chin”, or the bony remodeling over time makes the chin appear smaller, losing the strength of a sharp jawline. With products like RadiesseVoluma, Restylane Lyft, and Sculptra, advanced cosmetic injectors such as Dr. Chiu can resculpt, relift, and redefine the entire chin and jawline area in less than 45 minutes. Results are immediate for those who love instant gratification with minimal downtime.

4. Radiofrequency tightening.

Breakdown of collagen with age, sun exposure, smoking, and genetics causes thinning and loss of elasticity in the skin. Radiofrequency can heat the collagen, stimulating new collagen production and tightening of collagen fibers to redefine the jawline.

A lot of these procedures can be combined for the best results depending on each individual’s needs. The Derm Institute is committed to a comfortable low pressure environment for every patient to discuss their concerns. See someone with extensive experience in treating men, such as Dr. Annie Chiu, as specific techniques are important not to feminize the male face. Instead we can help you work towards a chiseled, non-jowly, confident you.

You are all superheroes at TDI 🙂

…Shared by The Derm Institute Team

Get Lyfted! FDA Approves Restylane Lyft

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Restylane LyftIt’s here! The FDA has approved Restylane Lyft! This is a dermal filler with a history of longstanding safety. It is a unique product that has over 15 years of proven safety data, and is a hyaluronic acid product previously known as Perlane.


What’s New?

This is the First and only FDA approved filler that is indicated to address multiple areas of the face. This includes the cheeks and smile line areas. These are the areas that have a more pronounced appearance as we age because this is where we lose the most volume in our face.

Its WOW Factor

TDI refers to Restylane Lyft as the “one syringe wonder”. We can use it to safely and effectively lift the cheeks, soften the smile lines, turn up the corners of the mouth, and soften under eye circles. It is a great choice for someone who may be looking for a product that can target a large area for volume enhancement, achieving a natural and beautiful lift.

Why should you use it?

With age we lose collagen and this causes volume loss in the face. This leads to sagging or droopy areas of the face. This can lead to heavy folds near the mouth and feathering of the central part of the face. Restylane Lyft is specifically targeted to provide top tier results when it comes to restoring volume and lifting the face in these areas.

Schedule an appointment by clicking here. Let TDI help get you Lyfted!

…Shared by The Derm Institute Team

Kybella Injections for Chin Fat: What You Need to Know

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  1. What is Kybella?

KYBELLA™ (deoxycholic acid) is the first, and currently the only FDA-approved non-invasive treatment that helps contour and eliminate the double-chin area by disrupting the fat cells that collect under the chin.

doublechin edits2

  1. Does it hurt?

This treatment is safe and effective.  Kybella is administered through very tiny needle injections (same size as botox injections).  There may be some burning sensation that occurs for about 10-15minutes after injection. This does subside, but like with any injectable there are common side effects such as swelling, bruising, redness, numbness, and slight pain.


  1. How many sessions does it take to see results?

The amount of sessions for treatment depends on the amount of fat that is in the area that is to be treated. Most patients will require a minimum of 3 treatments and a patient with a larger treatment are will require anywhere between 4-5 treatment sessions spaced 6-8 weeks apart.


  1. Who’s a good candidate?

People who feel their jawline and neck area is saggy as a result of under chin fat, or those who see a double chin on front view or profile.  This is a great procedure for patients that have the desire to have that area of the double chin fat eliminated without surgery or liposuction.  Ideal patients are of normal body weight and not had surgery to the area.


  1. Is there any downtime?

There is about 3-5 days of redness and swelling.  Some patients may consider having the treatment on Thursday or Friday to be optimized for going back to work on Monday.


  1. Where does the fat go?

When Kybella is injected into the fat beneath the chin it eliminates the fat cells in that area. Once those cells have been destroyed they cannot store or accumulate fat and they are processed through your body’s metabolic system.


  1. Does it help with saggy, jowly, or droopy neck and jawline skin?

During the clinical trials on Kybella it was discovered that the treatment did induce new collagen production which in some candidates gave significant skin tightening.  If a lot of neck skin laxity is present, you may consider pairing this treatment with radiofrequency tightening for even treatment of jawline and neck bands with Botox or Dysport.


Contact us today for an evaluation if you are interested in the procedure!


… Shared by the TDI Team

Look Rested. Look Younger. But don’t look “Done”!

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With the recent chatter about Renee Zellweger and other alleged celebrity dramatic changes in appearance, we hear a lot of concerns from patients about cosmetic procedures making them look “fake” or “done”. At The Derm Institute, we have lots of secrets to keep your look refreshed without changing who you are. We want everyone to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin, and we know how to simply make you look like the very best version of YOU.

volumaOne of our favorite products to achieve the soft, natural and rested appearance is with the filler product Juvederm Voluma. Voluma is made of a patented cross-linking of a naturally derived sugar molecule called hyaluronic acid. This VyCross technology gives Juvederm Voluma a more significant lifting effect and longer lasting results than other cosmetic fillers currently on the market.

Voluma utilizes your own body’s natural ability towards hydration around sugar molecules like hyaluronic acid.  The injected Voluma attracts water and collaborates with collagen for production of elasticity and volume in sunken areas of the face to bring a natural, softer, rejuvenated appearance.

Voluma is classically used on mid-face areas such as the cheeks, as they do drop with Voluma before and aftergravity over time.  The first signs of a sunken and tired appearance are normally at the mid-face/cheeks.  The cheeks have the greatest surface area on our face compared to the rest of our face.  So it is best to keep the cheeks higher for a seemingly rested face, and to reflect light flatteringly instead of a shadowed, tired appearance.

When youthful volume is restored in the cheek area, a natural luminous glow appears furthering an appearance of rejuvenation and rest.  Think about the glow makeup artists strive to create using “highlight powder” on high point areas such as the cheek bone.  Lifting facial features with Voluma is achieving this from the inside out.  Recent studies also show Juvederm Voluma may also induce local collagen production, giving the skin texture a brighter, dewy appearance.  Our patients are loving their results.

Dr. Chiu is a master Juvederm Voluma injector, and she utilizes it not only for cheek lift, but also to rejuvenate hollowed temples and undereye areas.  Non-surgical shaping of the nose and chin augmentation can also be done beautifully and naturally with Juvederm Voluma.  Dr. Chiu can add additional lift to a flatter nose, or build a soft chin that augments the heart shape of the face.  This is an extremely popular procedure among our Asian patients.

With predicted last time of around 18-24 months.  Voluma is great for a natural and rejuvenated appearance while avoiding the “taut” and “fake” look.   Results are seen immediately, with a chance of bruising for 2-7 days after the procedure with slight redness for the first few hours.

Looking dewy fresh and rejuvenated without looking “done” or looking like you “tried” is an art.  Luckily TDI and Dr. Chiu has the tools to master this art, you just need to provide us with the canvas!  For more questions please call us at or email to schedule a free consultation on how you could look more rested.  Dr. Chiu and TDI are always here for you!

. . . Shared by the TDI team.

On the Cutting Edge . . . Beauty Breakthroughs on the Horizon

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2015 is set to be an exciting year for new cosmetic procedures. At The Derm Institute, we are always on the cutting edge to deliver the newest and best procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology. Below are soon to be offered brand new procedures to keep you confident and happy in your skin.

1. Restylane Silk for “smoker’s lines”, “lipstick lines”, or vertical lip lines.

Modified 11/22/06 19:03 AlterImage® V3.10Repetitive puckering of the lips from pursing or frequent use of straws and water bottles can cause creasing wrinkles around the mouth area. Restylane Silk was recently approved for use in the United States by the FDA to treat these pesky “smoker’s lines” that age the face. Dr. Chiu is one of the first injectors to offer this product exclusively to TDI patients before its official launch. Restylane Silk differs from classic Restylane, in its particle size. Because of its makeup of finer particles, Restylane Silk will be a “fine line” filler, perfect for those stubborn thin smoker’s lines around the lips, or other fine, shallow lines that can look etched in the skin. The smaller particle allows for a smoother, less bulky fill for a more natural appearance.


  • Vertical lip lines or “smokers” lines
  • Etched lines on the cheeks or in the smile area
  • Stubborn forehead or glabellar etching that is not fully treatable with just a neuromodulator such as Botox or Dysport
  • Horizontal necklace lines on the neck area

2. VANQUISH for the thighs, hip area, and arms

At The Derm Institute, we have been getting amazing results around the abdomen, flank, waist, and back with non-invasive fat elimination utilizing radio frequency with the VANQUISH system.  We are now introducing a new subsystem to use the same efficient, yet comfortable technology to treat the thighs, hip area, “saddle bags”, and arms.  Unlike some of the other fat elimination systems in the market, VANQUISH is unique in that it can treat a more comprehensive area:  such as both the inner and outer thigh to reduce the entire thigh circumference if desired.  Treatments will be once a week for 4 weeks, with each treatment lasting about 45 minutes.


  • Inner thigh and outer thigh contouring and reduction in fat
  • Reduction in excess fat around the hips or “saddlebags”
  • Inner knee fat pockets
  • Upper arm fat for more attractive contours

3. Kythera ATX-101 

This is procedure in late clinical trials with the FDA, with likely launch in early 2015. Kythera ATX-101 is what Dr. Chiu considers a “game changer” in the rejuvenation of the face and neck. The procedure consists of a series of simple injections in the area under the chin and jawline to reduce the fat and sagging that occurs over time. This is a first in class non-invasive cosmetic treatment to better define the jawline by treating the underjaw and underchin fat. Fat is disrupted by ATX-101 and clinical studies show some possible collagen stimulatory effects that tighten the area and allows for a more defined jawline and neck.


– For the treatment of a “double chin”

– For the treatment of fullness or jowls around the jawline and neck area

– In expert hands, for the treatment of other small areas of stubborn fat pockets such as the neck and arms.


. . . Shared by the TDI Team

Restylane Silk: A new weapon to banish “smokers lines” around the lips.

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One of the most common complaints we hear from patients is the appearance over time of vertical lip lines, commonly referred to as “smoker’s lines” or “lipstick lines”.  These stubborn wrinkles are caused by a variety of factors, including age, genetics, repetitive lifestyle habits, and in some individuals, smoking.

Vertical lip lines, or wrinkles around the lips issmokers lines before and after rest-1 not always caused by smoking, despite its common reference as smokers lines.  In fact, they are mostly caused by repetitive regular lip movements, and in some individuals are hard to avoid.  These lines are noticeable when lipstick “bleeds” into these fine lines, which earns these wrinkles their other common name “lipstick lines”.

As with all wrinkles, preventing their formation or deeper etching of these lines is the first line of defense.

  • Use sunscreen regularly to protect collagen breakdown
  • Stop smoking, if you do smoke. Even occasional smoking greatly expedite the formation of these lines!
  • Frequent use of straws or drinking from a water bottle nozzle causes the firm pursing of the lips that can lead to these lines! Drink from a glass, or from pour bottles of water instead of the sports topped bottles.


Once these vertical lip lines develop, treatment usually requires a soft approach so the area still looks natural, but without the lines.

restysilkbanne-2Restylane Silk is the newest product to treat these pesky wrinkles.  Restylane Silk is the newest filler on the block approved by the FDA this year.  It is the softer, thinner sister filler to the classic Restylane, which has been approved since 2005 for the treatment of facial wrinkles and smile lines or the parenthesis lines (nasolabial folds).   Setting it apart from other fine line fillers like Belotero, Restylane Silk contains the anesthetic lidocaine to improve comfort during the procedure.

Restylane Silk is composed of hyaluronic acid, a naturally found sugar molecule in the body.  Our natural supply of hyaluronic diminishes over time with age, and fine lines and loss of collagen occurs as a result.   Because of its unique small particle size, Restylane Silk can re-deliver this naturally plumping substance to minimize fine vertical smoker’s lines.

In FDA studies, 98% of participants treated with Restylane Silk reported an improvement in lip wrinkles.  Over 75% of subjects still showed improvement 6 months after their initial injection.  There is no downtime to the procedure, and the treatment takes approximately 30 minutes.

Other Treatment Modalities

Because “smokers lines” are so pesky, sometimes multiple treatment methods may be needed to result in complete correction.

  • We often use very small, expertly injected amounts of Botox around the mouth to relax the repetitive pursing that causes etching or deepening of these lines. This not only helps the appearance of smoker’s lines by relaxing the muscles that cause vertical lip lines, but it can also improve the longevity of a product like Restylane Silk.
  • Topical creams containing retinoids or polyhydroxy acids can gently resurface and thicken the collagen in the deeper layers of the skin, helping to soften these wrinkles. At The Derm Institute, we love our SkinLab Airbrush Retexurizing Cream, as it contains resurfacing acids and  antioxidants to smooth the appearance of fine lines.
  • Physician strength chemical peels can remove the upper layers of the skin, allowing new skin to grow and plump the area, diminishing the appearance of these lines. Deeper peels, including phenol, TCA, and Baker-Gordon-Phenol are handled only by Dr. Chiu can be effective to soften this area around the mouth.
  • Dermarolling or the use of Rejuvapen utilizes neocollagenesis, or the production of new collagen stimulated by microinjury induced by tiny needles to soften fine lines and improve skin texture. This is a great, cost effective way to treat this area.
  • Fractional ablative and non-ablative lasers can cause microzones of collagen repair which resurface vertical lip lines.

Subtle, artful and expert treatment is key, as this area can easily look “done” or overfilled.  But in experienced hands, smokers lines can be totally banished.  Dr. Chiu is an injector trainer for fillers including Restylane Silk.  Contact us today for a consultation.

. . . Shared by the TDI team


Three Tips to Brighten Undereye Circles

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Under eye circles can be caused by a number of different things: lack of sleep, sinus problems, sun exposure, age, allergies, smoking, and even genetics.  The appearance of undereye circles results from where the bone along the orbit of the eye transitions to just skin.  Naturally, there may be a groove in this area that makes the undereye appear hollow, shadowed, and thus darker.  The skin is also very thin in this area, allowing the underlying structure to be seen through the skin.  Blood vessels and muscle can all be slightly seen through thin skin, again making the area appear dark or pigmented.  There are several different approaches to help manage and treat this troublesome issue that many of us suffer from. This includes prevention, treatment, and the benefits of cosmetic procedures for under eye circles. This information will hopefully help you decide which approach (or combination of them!) to take, and which ingredients to look for in products designed to help get rid of those dark circles.


1. Prescription Retinols

Products that include a retinol, especially prescription strength retinols such as Renova are an essential part to a good skincare regimen. Retinols helps with cell turnover and collagen synthesis, and can be used for restoring and reviving skin around your eyes by thickening the collagen to help reduce wrinkles and crepy texture. Retinols can be a bit irritating to use, so make sure you follow the correct directions.



2. Eye brighteners and depuffers

Brightening ingredients such as Vitamin C can reduce the appearance of dark circles by inhibiting melanin which causes pigmentation on the surface of skin.  Eye creams with caffeine also can help reduce puffiness and the appearance of undereye bags.  At The Derm Institute one of our favorite eye creams is Neocutis Bio-Restorative Lumiere Eye Cream, which contains caffeine, for depuffing, Vitamin C for brightening, along with PSPs (or Processed Skin Cell Proteins) that harnesses the power of growth factors and cytokines to boost skin thickness.  It is also packed full of anti-oxidants such as green tea extract to firm the skin This is an ideal all in one product for dark undereye circles and is available for purchase at The Derm Institute.


3. Fillers and Peels

One of the most powerful ways to address undereye darkness, circles, and sometimes even puffiness are in-office procedures such as chemical peels and hyaluronic acid injectable fillers.  Products such as Restylane  are sugar molecule gels that can be administered under the eye through a syringe, leaving the undereye area lifted and brightened dramatically. By adding volume back into the undereye, the skin here can be filled in to smooth out any negative contours, effectively eliminating the dark color and shadowing, and erasing the perceived tired look.  Not all dermal fillers can be injected in this area, as have more of a tendency to lump than others.  Placement is also extremely important, as too superficial placement can lead to a bluish visible tint under the skin.  Here at The Derm Institute, Dr. Chiu is an injection instructor, and has extensive experience in addressing this area, including the use of microcannula technique to reduce bruising if necessary.







Physician-grade medium to deep chemical peels including the Phenol Peel can also be used to lift superficial pigmentation, sunspots, address wrinkles and refresh the texture ,

The best part about these procedures is that they can lead to rejuvenation lasting over a year, contact us to find out more!

“Bro•Tox” aka Botox for Men

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1Men have a growing interest in cosmetic dermatologic treatments. Wrinkles don’t just affect women, so it only makes sense that wrinkle treatments can be used by both MEN and women.  BOTOX has been used for cosmetic purposes to relax frown lines and crow’s feet for over  ten years now, and its use in men continues to grow rapidly annually.   Wrinkles are also not the only thing Botox is used for—often men use products such as Botox to decrease sweating, or hyperhidrosis in the armpits or hands.  This can help a socially annoying condition for up to a year!

Men often use BOTOX to get rid of wrinkles, frown lines, and achieve a generally smoother face for a more youthful, rested, and approachable look?  For all you guys who are worried that this procedure is just for women, fret not. BOTOX or “Bro-tox” for men, has seen a 258 percent increase between 2000 and 2010, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


Bro-tox, which is the name given for male Botox injections, is on the rise as it is one of the most subtle  non-invasive skin rejuvenation procedures on the market.  The procedure is fast, virtually painless, and easy.   Bro-tox injections leave no signs of having “work done,” and men are able to get the smoothing, lifting and relaxed appearance without facing the stigma associated with cosmetic procedures. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2011 there has been a 56% increase in minimally invasive procedures in men such as brotox injections. The brotox injection is the most popular.   Increasing numbers of guys are considering non-invasive cosmetic procedures to appear more approachable, to stay competitive in an ever younger millennial workforce, and to generally increase their confidence.  Men and women have very differing  facial anatomy. Men’s skin is thicker, with more oil glands and more hair than female skin, and the aging process is different in the two genders. Women have more fat pads in their faces, and as time marches on the fat pads diminish and the skin begins to sag. Because men have less dense fat pads, the sagging process isn’t as apparent, but stronger muscles in the forehead and around the eyes can lead to deeper, etched lines in men. In general, men can be treated with the same Botox techniques as women, but often require more units to treat the larger muscles in their face. The most common cause of an inadequate result in male patients is under-dosing. Forehead lines require care, as many men with horizontal lines have low-positioned eyebrows, and excessive relaxation of the lower frontalis muscle can drop their brows further. Special consideration should be given to the masculine male brow when treating men.  Going to an experienced master injector such as Dr. Chiu is important to avoid a “done” or even feminized appearance.


BOTOX is a low-concentrated neuromodulator  that blocks nerve impulses, causing the muscle to become temporarily paralyzed. The process relaxes the muscles that cause wrinkles, reducing the appearance of forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and frown lines. BOTOX can also be injected into the muscle and within days, the lines in your bow decrease and your brow line is elevated, leaving you a more youthful, relaxed looking face.  Often our patients state that the “11” lines between the brows make them appear angry or unapproachable, and that Botox softens this effect greatly.

Since this is a nonsurgical procedure, you can be in and out in no time. Pop by before work or after the gym for a quick fifteen-minute visit and look younger instantly. Patients are recommended to come every four to six months to receive new BOTOX injections.


Another great use for Botox is for underarm sweating. Men and women both can benefit from this. Men sweat more than women, and the area of greatest concern is the underarms, although sometimes excessive sweating on the hands and feet can interfere with daily social interactions. The first long-term study of Botox injections in the treatment of the common sweating disorder shows the injections can safely reduce underarm sweat for up to two years. Botox Treatment of the underarm is a very fast (10-15 minutes) and nearly painless procedure when an appropriate numbing cream is applied.  How does Botox reduce underarm sweating? The drugs contained in the Botox treatment will send signals to the nerves to temporarily put a stop to the production of sweat in the underarms.  This is a very safe procedure that is also increasing in popularity.

Botox is one of the most easily administered and highly effective wrinkle treatments, and because of its efficacy, high degree of satisfaction, and affordability.

Our male patients are incredibly happy with their procedures, and we have an over 90% return rate for male patients here at The Derm Institute.  So be excited and encouraged to try it out! — Botox is not just for women!  A cosmetic consultation is all it takes to get the conversation started.

Fillers vs Freezers • Infographic

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Injectable treatments can plump thin lips, enhance shallow contours, soften facial creases, remove wrinkles and improve the appearance of recessed scars. With little to no recovery time and impressive results, injectables are a valuable alternative to more invasive cosmetic surgeries. If you’re considering your first injectable treatment, you may be wondering which is right for you. Learn more about the two main types of injectable treatments available and how they work.


. . . Shared by Dr. Chiu and The Derm Institute Team

Dermal Fillers for Acne Scarring

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Here at The Derm Institute we see many acne patients with wide variations of acne scarring. There are five common types of acne scars:  ice pick acne scars, boxcar acne scars, rolling acne scars, hypertonic acne scars, and keloid acne scars. Ice pick scars are among the most common types of acne scars and are narrow scars that form pits in the skin. Boxcar scars are similar to chicken pox scars and have angular, well-defined edges that make them appear like a box. They create an indentation in the skin and are most often found on the temples or cheeks. Rolling scars create an indentation in the skin that looks like a wave, due to its wide size and shallow depth. Hypertrophic scars create a raised area on the skin within the boundary of the original wound. Unlike most acne scars, these can diminish in size and appearance over time. Keloid scars create a raised area on the skin that extends beyond the boundary of the original wound. Keloid scars are rubbery, firm and sometimes itchy. In many instances, they grow to be larger than the original inflamed blemish.

Dermal fillers are a great way to treat and potentially get rid of certain types of acne scars, being particularly effective for rolling scars and some less defined boxcar scars. They are safe and well tolerated, with great results to fill the depression associated with scars. They are excellent for volume loss caused by acne scarring.

Considering Dermal Fillers


The dose required for acne scar filling varies and is dependent on the patient’s facial anatomy, the scarring and where the patient wants to get to in terms of desired results. There are also many types of dermal fillers that you want to go through with your dermatologist. At the Derm Institute we recommend to our patients hyaluronic based fillers such as Belotero, Juvederm, or Restylane.

The dermal filler gives great results immediately and also continues to modify over the next few months.  This modification and improvement occurs as a result of the technique of injection of the filler breaking up some scarred down bands, and because the product and technique stimulate collagen modification due to the stretching of the fibroblasts with the dermal filler.

How this works

A topical numbing cream is usually applied to the skin to alleviate any discomfort. Ice is always used to decrease pain and to reduce the risk of bruising. So if you are concerned of feeling any pain from this procedure, you do have relief options.

What to expect during the procedure

First the doctor and patient will have a discussion about which scars will be filled. Often patients have certain scars in particular that disturb them more than others. We want to make sure we focus on these. After the discussion of which scars will be treated, the skin will be cleaned with alcohol, ice will be applied to the area briefly before treatment, the doctor will inject using a very fine needle and then pressure with gauze will be applied.

After the doctor has filled all of the scars which seem suitable for treatment, the patient will be shown the mirror, and then the patient is offered the opportunity to point out further scars that bother them. These will then be filled.

After your treatment

Acne Scar Before and AfterWe will give you a personal ice pack to hold in the areas that are treated. Treated areas may be red, swollen, and bruised for the first 2-7 days. DO NOT get a facial or massage for 1-2 weeks after your dermal filler procedure. AVOID strenuous workouts and alcohol for the 24 hours if possible. If bruising occurs, Arnica supplements or applying arnica gel have been shown to decrease bruising. *Another trick, drinking pineapple juice, and/or take Bromelain supplements is suggested to help bruising resolve faster. Bruising can be covered by make-up.  The Derm Institute recommends Dermablend (available at CVS or Macy’s) or the Colorescience Corrector Palette.


Other Methods for Acne Scarring to Consider

Here at The Derm Institute we offer a 360 degree approach to acne scarring. This is why it is very important to go see a board-certified dermatologist to assess your skin type and your specific type of scarring. Punch excisions, TCA cross technique for icepick scars and fractional non-ablative laser are other great option and we often combine different treatments for the best results.

Icepick or pitted scars can be treated with the “TCA CROSS” trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and chemical reconstruction of skin scars (CROSS). TCA Cross is a skin care method in which a very high percentage of TCA is applied to the acne scar tissue only. The TCA Cross method needs to be repeated every 1-2 months so that dermal thickening and collagen production occurs inside the acne scars. After 3-9 months, you should see a great improvement in the appearance of your acne scars!

Fractional non-ablative laser offers both superior results and a little to no downtime! This laser has a hand piece that delivers light in an array of narrow, focused microbeams to create columns of coagulation within the skin. These columns initiate a natural healing process that forms new healthy tissue. This results in an improved skin appearance! Downtime is milder than other lasers, and typically resolves in 3-5 days.

Dermal Fillers show great results and improves the appearance of acne scars by lifting the depressed scars. Their effect is temporary. The results can last from between a few months to a year using fillers such as Belotero, Restylane, Juvederm, and Perlane, etc. However, with a combination of laser treatments such as the fractional non-ablative and very effective chemical peels, this can help dramatically reduce the appearance of acne scars with improvement in overall skin texture and healthy, happy skin.

Dr. Chiu and her medical team are personally involved in every treatment here at The Derm Institute. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about any of the procedures. To learn more about treatments at The Derm Institute or to schedule a free consultation, contact us by phone or email today.


. . . Shared by Dr. Chiu and The Derm Institute Team

The Liquid Lift

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Sculptra® and Juvéderm VOLUMA™ to restore “baby fat” on the face . . . the Liquid Lift

Now that the season is changing to chillier days, complement your natural winter flushed rosy cheeks with restored voluminous cheeks.

Let”s go back to our roots…when we were getty_newjust a baby!  3-dimensional Liquid Facelift via volumnization on the face is an ongoing sensation for restoring a youthful look.  At a younger age, facial fat contributes to volume and lift, and gives you a vibrant, youthful appearance.

Over time, there is overall loss of fat on the face, as well as gravitational changes.  Studies show that skin aging is only 20-30% genetics, the rest is due to environmental factors.  This should be good news if you are wearing your daily sunscreen protection!  But what is the key contributing factor for that youthful look that we want to maintain?  As we age, we start to lose facial volume and plumpness across the face.  When we age or even just lose weight, we tend to look older with sunken or hollow cheeks. Sunken cheeks and a sagging chin are both key points on the face that gives away our age and could even cause us to look older then we really are. People, who are very active, such as runners, also have increased facial volume loss.

liquid-lift-manhattan-beachLike a balloon, our cheeks will begin to deflate and lose plumpness with time.  As we age, the first area to show this deflation and droop is the mid face area.  Dermatologists call youthful faces the “triangle of youth”.  Which means if you connect the highest point of the cheeks from the ear to ear, then finish the triangle connection at the chin, the widest part of the face would be the cheeks for a heart-shaped face.  However, with age, the triangle reverses, and the widest part is now the chin.  Restoring volume in the cheeks lifts the face and defines youth.

Sculptra and Juvederm Voluma are both great fillers to restore volume and gift your face with a youthful sparkle and are keys to obtaining a Liquid Lift.

Sculptra slowly replenishes the collagen lost from aging or even weight loss. It works beautifully and naturally for sunken cheeks and to boost overall skin texture. Collagen is an essential ingredient that gives our face form, volume, and glow.  At around age 25, production of collagen decreases by 2% each year, which means collagen is broken down faster than our skin is able to replenish. Sculptra is a collagen stimulator which gradually helps bring back lost collagen and volume.  This water based collagen stimulator is injected in the skin to create natural volume and restore lift:  lifting the cheeks, softening nasolabial folds, reduce jowls, and improving texture via collagen stimulation.  Sculptra is normally used for adding volume to temples, cheeks, and chin, and can be used to rejuvenate the chest as well.

Sculptra Manhattan BeachJuvederm Voluma targets the specific areas of the skin that make us appear older.  It helps restore our cheeks, cheekbone, and chin. Juvederm Voluma is especially designed for volume loss for the midface area. Juvederm contains hyaluronic acid, a casino online complex sugar, known as glycosaminoglycan found throughout the body. This naturally occurring sugar molecule in our skin helps restore lost facial elasticity and supports volume and contours to the face and chin.  It rejuvenates volume loss and restores the mid face area. Juvederm Voluma aids in creating a natural, and elastic looking skin.  The results are instant, and last for up to 18-24 months.

What our patients love about Juvederm Voluma and Sculptra is that it is a “lunch time” treatment, meaning there is no downtime! You could apply makeup right after and go to work.

So which fillers should I choose? And what”s the difference?  You should choose your filler based on the amount of lift needed, and the desired length of duration for the product. Call for a free consultation and Dr. Chiu will guide you through the subtle differences in all the fillers for your “Perfect Airbrushed Lift”.  If a smaller amount of volume/filling is needed then we suggest Juvederm Voluma. If more lift or overall improvement of skin texture is needed, then Sculptra is more cost friendly for a longer period of time.

Everyone ages differently and is working with a different budget, so there is no one solution that fits all. At the Derm Institute we firmly believe in finding the right mix between aging naturally while maximizing and enhancing your natural beauty.  Contact the Derm Institute today for a complementary cosmetic consultation.  Dr. Chiu and the Derm Institute team would love to help you get that perfect balance for your youthful sparkle!  Let”s put your best face forward for this holiday season and the upcoming New Year!


. . . Shared by Dr. Chiu and The Derm Institute Team


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What is Juvéderm VOLUMA™?

Voluma pix 1Juvéderm VOLUMA is a safe injectable gel that is made from a natural complex sugar called Hyaluronic acid (HA). Found within the tissues of living cells including human skin, HA assists in the skin hydration by attracting and holding water. It also combines with collagen and elastin to help provide skin structure and elasticity. Over time, aging faces show changes and shifts that make us look more tired. The cheek area loses volume, causing skin to sag, droop and drag. Juvéderm VOLUMA adds lift and volume to the flattening and descending mid-facial region, reversing the deflated, sunken look and restoring a more youthful appearance.

The Procedure?

Treatment for volume restoration with Juvéderm VOLUMA is a non-surgical procedure. It is administered through a number of injections. The procedure usually takes 15 to 30 minutes to perform. The treatment area will be cleaned, and a topical numbing cream will be applied to improve maximal comfort.  Dr. Chiu will personally will then inject Voluma into the treatment site as defined by each person’s individual facial contours and needs using a very fine needle or cannula. After the treatment, you will be able to return to your normal activities. Any visible side effects, such as bruising or discoloration, should be minor and can be easily concealed with makeup.

Is it painful?

The treatment is very effortless. With a fine needle or microcannula (an advanced technique that Dr. Chiu specializes in), VOLUMA is injected under the skin, specifically in areas where volume has been lost. Because VOLUMA contains a small amount of numbing agents premixed into the filler, in addition to a topical numbing cream that is applied to the treatment area. Most patients can easily tolerate the treatment and do not report significant discomfort.

Treatment Results & Longevity?

voluma-4-before-afterVolume rejuvenation treatment with Juvéderm VOLUMA gives instant results. Most people can resume normal daily activities immediately following the appointment.slotseeingHowever, for the first 24 hours following treatment, it is recommended that patients minimize strenuous exercise and exposure to sun and extensive heat. The efficient cross-linking in Juvéderm VOLUMA slow HA metabolism so that you can expect to see natural-looking result for up to TWO YEARS (!), after which VOLUMA is metabolized naturally by the body.

Possible side effects?

Juvéderm VOLUMA is a safe, FDA-approved non-surgical injectable gel that is made from a natural complex sugar call Hyaluronic acid (HA) found within the tissues of living cells including human skin. HA dermal fillers have been used and clinically studied for many years and is well tolerated and very safe. Because the HA in Juvéderm VOLUMA is naturally present in the skin and not derived from animals, there is no need for allergy testing before treatment.

While you may experience no side effect at all, there is a chance you could experience redness, pain, firmness, swelling, lumps/bumps, bruising, itching or discoloration. These effects are generally temporary, however they may last up to 7-10 days.

It is recommended that you avoid massaging and/or applying pressure to the treatment area for a few days following treatment.

Am I a good candidate for Voluma?

Dr. Annie Chiu, M.D. is a board certified Dermatologist and has extensive experience with non-surgical procedures facial contouring and volumnizing treatments. She can determine if Juvéderm VOLUMA XC or if another volumnizing agent is right for you, based on your individual needs, appearance, skin type, age, and medical history. To, make an appointment for a personalized complementary cosmetic consultation with Dr. Annie Chiu, M.D. at The Derm Institute today, contact us at The Derm Institute @ (310) 939-9800 or fill out an appointment request here.


 . . . Shared by Dr. Chiu and The Derm Institute Team