Business Spotlight on…GCS Medical
Name and Position: Goldie Schwarzbard, M.D.
Location: 624 Avenue U
Number of Employees: Solo practitioner
Years in Business: 5
What made you enter this field of medicine?
I am board certified in emergency medicine. As such, I would often see patients with terrible skin scarring caused by trauma, burns, or even acne. I would see many non-healing wounds as well. This experience spurred my interest in researching and learning how skin behaves and how it heals. It was a logical progression to aesthetic medicine, natural skin rejuvenation, and hair restoration. I was trained and certified in various aspects of skin pathology. Of course, when we talk about skin we have to talk about Botox, which has many medical benefits beyond just skin care, so I became certified in those treatments as well. As I learned more about the use of platelet-rich plasma to address many of these concerns, I became aware of additional applications such as musculoskeletal pain management, dry eye syndrome, and injections for arthritic knees, for which trained and received certification.
Who would make a good candidate for your services?
That is a difficult question to answer as it would depend on what concerns the patient has. Is this person suffering from scarring, wrinkles, hair loss, muscular injury, or some sort of other medical issue? I would need to spend time with the individual in a private consultation to clarify and determine what the issues are and which procedures may be appropriate for that specific candidate.
What’s the ideal age to begin cosmetic treatments?
Again, that would depend on the patient’s concerns and the interventions. Certainly, upon first noticing unwanted changes to the skin such as poor color, tone, wrinkles, skin creases, and hyperpigmentation, it might be a good time to think about cosmetic intervention. For those who are concerned with antiaging prophylaxis, medical microneedling would be appropriate as it does not have a downside when started earlier rather than later. It is recommended that one starts treatment in their twenties or thirties so that the boost in collagen production is more significant. This is not necessarily the case for other procedures, which over time for a young patient may even lead to less-than-optimal results . So, in summary, the best time to begin treatment varies with each case.
What’s the difference between Botox and fillers?
They are both injectables. Botox is used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles, fillers on the other hand will fill in wrinkles. Botox is a paralytic toxin. It inhibits the contraction of the muscles of facial expression thereby controlling rhytids (wrinkles), but generally not skin creases as they are not caused by repeated muscle contractions. Facial fillers are designed for contouring and filling hollow areas on the skin (e.g., Juviderm). For both, the results are temporary and require upkeep. I like to use gel fillers made from platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is extracted from the patient’s own blood. I prefer this as it gives safer and more natural results.
How often do you advise having these treatments?
It depends. PRP (or vampire facials, as they are sometimes called) with medical microneedljng has a somewhat finite end. Depending on skin condition and desired results, it could be one prophylactic treatment for young skin and a booster treatment one or two times per year. For hair restoration and skin that is more problematic, anywhere from three to four treatments. These rejuvenating results can last up to two years with the occasional booster treatments.
What are the most common procedures you perform?
I would say hair regrowth, hyperpigmentation, scar reduction, and skin rejuvenation.
How soon can patients see results?
Results take time for skin rejuvenation. The procedures are based on the collagen and elastin synthesis, which is what gives young skin its volume, texture, and tone. The skin cycle is about 28 days, so for the first month healthier looking skin will dominate, followed by the other improvements in the next few months. Hair restoration is very individual with results beginning after the first month and in some people several months later.
Can you share a memorable case?
I remember a patient with a lifetime of acne scarring whose reduction of scars and hyperpigmentation exceeded expectation. To have her tell me that she can now go out without spending huge amounts of time applying coverup and foundation was particularly gratifying to hear. To know that she feels confident and comfortable in her own skin is why I love doing what I do.
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