Questions to Ask Your Skin Care Provider

skin care providers

Most laser clinics and medical spas today offer a complimentary skin analysis and the questions you ask your skin care professional can be just as important as the aesthetic treatment itself. Your professional skin care provider is happy to answer any of your questions, but we can help you ask the right questions. Whether a registered nurse, esthetician, laser technician, or plastic surgeon is performing your treatment, we'll help you get the most out of your skin care consultation.

1. For my particular skin condition, what are the different aesthetic techniques and procedures available to me?

There are usually multiple non-surgical procedures that can work on any given skin problem. Each treatment varies in costs, efficiency, and effectiveness. Depending on your unique needs, a skincare professional can advise you of all your options. If you feel like you're being "railroaded" into a particular treatment without a full explanation of how it compares to similar treatments, consider getting a second opinion.

2. Are you licensed or certified to be giving this aesthetic treatment? How much experience do you have with this procedure?

While some states don't require certain providers (namely laser technicians or estheticians) to be certified or licensed, it's still something you'll want to ask. If you're state has such requirements, make sure you question their credentials during your consultation. There's nothing wrong with asking if you can see your skin care professional's certification or asking questions, like where they went to school.

3. What's the science behind this advanced treatment? Does it have studies that demonstrate its safety and effectiveness? Is this treatment FDA approved?

There is a lot of science behind even minor skincare treatments and it's best to know what you're actually getting into. When products are FDA approved you know that it's gone through at least a certain level of testing. Any reputable skin care provider will be able to explain the scientific benefits of treatment in a way that makes sense to you. Only you can make the ultimate decision about whether to pursue a particular treatment, and if you have any questions after your consultation, continue your research.

4. Are there possible side effects and risks associated with this procedure? If so, what are they and how often have previous patients reported them?

Most non-surgical aesthetic treatments carry little to no risk, but side effects can be wide ranging. More importantly, you should know how common the side effects are. Technology has made strides in recent years and that generally means the treatments become less invasive with little downtime. However, some intensive laser treatments and strong chemical peels can cause mild to moderate blistering which your skin care should make you aware of.

5. How much does this aesthetic procedure cost? Does that fee include physician fees? Are there any additional costs that come up after treatment, including any products I will need to purchase?

Make sure you're getting the total cost of your treatment from your skin care professional. Also, most skin care providers work with financing companies like Care Credit or Medi Credit, so feel free to inquire about the office's financing programs and if their offering any incentives.

6. How much pain will I experience?

Everyone has a different threshold for pain or discomfort. When your aesthetic specialist describes the treatment to you, make sure to ask if past patients have thought the procedure was uncomfortable or downright painful. If you have a low threshold for pain, then inquire about different treatments that are available. While, most non-surgical treatments do not require anesthesia, you can request a numbing cream to spread on the area before treatment. This is especially common with laser based procedures and you can usually find a numbing cream at your local drug store.

7. Can I expect any downtime after the procedure? If so, when can I return to my normal routine?

Non-surgical skincare can often require as little downtime as a lunch hour. Some aesthetic skin care can be a little more intensive and you might want to stay out of the public's eye because of blistering, redness, or peeling. It's important to know how much, if any, work you might miss.

8. How long will the effects of my aesthetic treatment last?

Put simply, some procedures last longer than others. For example, most Hyaluronic Acid (HA) derived dermal fillers such as Restylane®, Perlane, and Juvederm™ might only last in your body for 6 months. Radiance/Radiesse™, on the other hand, is a HA filler that can last for 2 years or longer. Also, keep in mind that some treatments require you to come back for multiple sessions to receive the results you're looking for. Laser Hair Removal is a good example of this as it usually takes at least 3 treatments before you notice results.

9. What happens if the results don't match my expectations?

It's important to know exactly what you should realistically expect from a given treatment, and your skin care professional is the best person to answer that question. If you're not satisfied with your results, some skin care companies offer guarantees on their procedures, so check with your provider to see what they offer.

10. May I talk to other people who have had this treatment, and do you have before and after photos of the treatments you've performed that I can look at?

This is most important question you need to ask at your free consultation. Even if you cannot talk to anyone who has had the particular treatment with your skincare professional, before and after pictures can really help you determine what the aesthetic treatment with this skincare practice can do for you.

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