Health and Beauty

Microdermabrasion Columbia Md

Skin Tips from an Esthetician

The room in the Bethesda office where Susette Lapina gives facials and chemical peels includes spa touches such as soothing music and hot towels. But sun damage and acne, not relaxation, are the top reasons people schedule appointments. Lapina’s patients, who range in age from 11 to 78, tend to be mostly female, but she also sees a lot of male teens. “The boys are hilarious,” says Lapina, a licensed esthetician at Rockledge Med Spa, part of The Dermatology Center. “The extractions of blackheads and whiteheads can be a little painful, and if we use a little treatment for acne, that can sting a little bit. Those facials are not relaxing. One boy said to me, ‘Are you going to put cucumbers on my eyes?’ I was like, ‘No honey.’ ”

When skin issues are especially challenging, Lapina, 53, feels fortunate to work in a setting that combines a doctor’s office with spa services. Patients come in for everything from customized facials and microdermabrasion—a noninvasive skin-polishing procedure—to mole removals, Botox and liposuction. For pigmented lesions, or dark spots, the Rockville resident might turn to a chemical peel to slough off dead skin and reveal a smoother layer—a treatment not typically performed in day spas. “Because it’s a med spa, we can use slightly stronger stuff than in day spas,” Lapina says. “We work under the doctor’s supervision.” The collaborative approach means that her patients might also see one of the practice’s dermatologists for a remedy such as photo rejuvenation therapy, which uses laser technology to treat age and sunspots, facial veins and other skin problems.