Debunking 5 Myths about BOTOX® and Filler
Botox and Filler

Botox and dermal fillers are popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures that can help you look younger for longer, yet they are not completely without controversy. There are many myths and rumors surrounding the efficacy and safety of such treatments, many of which are completely unfounded. Today we expose those myths:

 

MYTH 1. BOTOX® is toxic and dangerous

Many people believe BOTOX® to be a harmful form of Botulism and therefore dangerous. While it is true that BOTOX® is derived from a toxin, it has been used in its form for decades first as an ophthalmology treatment and then later for cosmetic use. It is FDA approved, researched, trialed, and shown to be relatively safe when used properly.

 

MYTH 2. Once you have Botox or fillers, you must continue to have them forever

Many people believe that once you start having BOTOX® injections or dermal fillers, your skin will sag and wrinkle more than ever before if you stop the treatments. This is not true. When the effects of BOTOX® or filler wear off, the skin will return to the normal state it would have been without the treatment. In some cases, the appearance is better than if treatment had not been administered.

 

MYTH 3. BOTOX® and fillers are terribly painful

There will always be some amount of discomfort when having cosmetic injections, but it is not unbearable. BOTOX® injections are likened to the sensation of a mosquito bite. The injections are quick and are generally completed in a matter of minutes. For dermal filler, while treatment is more uncomfortable than BOTOX® injections, numbing agents such as lidocaine are included to minimize discomfort. We also use ice and topical numbing agents to mediate the discomfort.

 

MYTH 4. BOTOX® makes you lose all facial expressions

All of us have seen the results of bad BOTOX®, but the key is to see the right medical injector. BOTOX® is merely a tool to achieve a look. Just as a good pair of scissors can create a bad haircut in the wrong hands, BOTOX® results will differ significantly depending on who you see. The goal is for you to maintain the entire range of facial expressions, but with fewer lines.

 

MYTH 5. BOTOX® makes you lose all facial expressions

You don’t have to pick between one or the other; fillers and BOTOX® can give beautiful and transformational results when used together. BOTOX® will help address areas such as forehead lines and Crow’s feet, while dermal fillers can provide lift and volume to the face. There is a reason that the combined treatment is called a “liquid facelift” since the result can be naturally striking and longer lasting.


Exciting changes to come

To our wonderful Clara patients, clients, and friends

 

Nine years ago, my husband (Dr. Vinh Chung) and I opened Vanguard Skin Specialists with the goal of taking care of dermatology patients like family. We began with four team members, and today the practice has expanded to four locations and over 70 team members.

 

We opened the aesthetic practice in 2012, and we named it “Clara MediSpa” after our daughter. Clara means “light” and we chose this name to remind us of our hope – that the organization would be a light with all proceeds going to support women and children here and around the world. Thank you for being part of this vision and being part of the Clara and Vanguard family.

 

We have some exciting changes in store for Clara as we expand the types of services we offer and the breadth of our skincare products.

 

We began with medispa services but now have a full suite of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Given this expansion, we are categorizing our cosmetic surgery and aesthetic services under Vanguard Skin Specialists to provide the resources that this growing area needs.

 

We still offer popular non-surgical services such as BOTOX®, filler, laser treatments, chemical peels, and dermaplaning. They will all be part of Vanguard Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics, under the direction of board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jim Banich.

 

This is an opportunity for Clara MediSpa to become simply “Clara” and expand our skincare offerings:

  • Expansion of Clara Medical Skincare: We are gratified by the success of our private line Clara Medical Skincare. It is a medical grade line that gives visible results. We will be adding new products to this line.
  • New skincare line: We are working on another private label line that offers quality skincare at a more affordable price. We look forward to launching it later this year.
  • eCommerce: We have requests from around the state and country for products, so we will take our products online for your convenience by end of year. Stay tuned for a brand new website.

Our mission remains unchanged. At both Vanguard and Clara, we continue our commitment to make a positive impact on patients, community, and the world-at-large. To that end, Vanguard has been sponsoring projects here and in Southeast Asia and Africa for many years. Clara continues to donate 100% of profits to women and children around the world.

 

Thank you for your loyalty and being part of our story.

 

Sincerely,

 

Leisle Chung

Co-founder

 


Are You Ready for Summer?
Summer Skin

We see many skin conditions at Clara MediSpa but there are certain conditions which become more urgent right before summer. With warmer weather and lighter clothing, here are the conditions you ask about most in spring and summer.

(1)    Keratosis Pilaris

(2)    Toenail fungus

(3)    Hyperhydrosis

(4)    Excess hair

 

(1) Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris appears as tiny bumps on the skin. Some people describe it as plucked chicken skin while others think it looks like small pimples. The bumps are most common on the upper arms and thighs, and it is a common skin condition for adults and children. The bumps are plugs of dead skin cells, and they are harmless. Treatment is not necessary, but if the appearance bothers you, there are some treatments you can pursue. Click here to get tips on what you can do at home. If you need additional treatment, you may schedule a consult with us.

 

(2) Toenail fungus

Fungal nail infections are common, particularly on the toenails. Symptoms can include yellow or brown nails or nails that split or lift up. Nail fungus is contagious and it can worsen. Ideally, you should take precautions to reduce the risk of toenail fungus. This video provides advice on prevention.

 

Once you have toenail infection, it is easier to treat in the earlier stages. In some cases, treatment can take up to a year. Clara MediSpa helps improve toenail fungus with laser treatment.

 

(3) Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. While sweating is necessary, hyperhidrosis can interfere with every day activities. Sweat from underarms often soaks through clothing, hands may be constantly sweaty, and the excess sweat can contribute to skin infections. Prescription antiperspirant, medication, BOTOX® injections, and surgery are among treatments for this condition. Read more about hyperhidrosis here. BOTOX® for hyperhidrosis is offered at Clara MediSpa and can provide significant relief for 4 to 6 months.

 

(4) Excess hair

As people begin shaving for summer clothing and bathing suit season, interest in laser hair reduction increases. For your safety, Clara MediSpa only allows a Nurse Practitioner or Registered Nurse under physician supervision to provide laser hair reduction. This ensures maximum safety and minimizes risk of burns or scars. A series of treatments significantly reduces hair growth.

 

If you have any questions on these warm weather concerns, we’re happy to speak with you. Call Clara MediSpa at 579-5555 to schedule a consultation.

Clara MediSpa and Vanguard Skin Specialists will merge
On January 1, 2018, Clara MediSpa and Vanguard Skin Specialists will merge into one entity. That means we will both fall under “Vanguard Medical Specialists, LLC”, operating with DBA Vanguard Skin Specialists and DBA Clara MediSpa.

When you come into Clara MediSpa, you will still be welcomed by our same team at our same facility. You will experience the same level of care you are used to. Clara MediSpa has always shared common ownership with Vanguard Skin Specialists, and this merger will allow us to come together to serve you better. Operating as one team on the same robust system, we will be more available for you. We can also deliver better medical care; if you are in for a cosmetic concern but have medical concerns that need to be addressed, we can do so.

 

Please feel free to reach out with any questions. We look forward to continuing to serve you at Clara MediSpa.

 

Sincerely,

Your team at Clara MediSpa


2017 Give Thanks Campaign

Give Thanks Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa are partnering again for the “Give Thanks” campaign to recognize local charitable organizations who make a significant impact on our communities and world at large. It’s our way of thanking you for the incredible work you do.

Vanguard and Clara will feature selected charities through social media including Facebook, website, and newsletters. The public will have an opportunity to “vote” on their charity of choice, and we will award top charities. It’s an opportunity to showcase your work and receive funding.

Eligibility Requirements

We will feature up to five charities this year. To be eligible, your organization must have headquarters or a location in El Paso, Pueblo, or Teller County.

We know that there are lots of great causes out there. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we will select charities which focus on helping children and/or families in need. Your beneficiaries can be local, national, or overseas.

We also want to see a proven track record for achieving your mission and demonstrating financial responsibility.

The Campaign

The campaign will take place during the month of November. All charities will be showcased on Vanguard and Clara’s social media platforms.

Voting will take place through Facebook:

The Facebook pages will include a description of each charity. The description will include a link to the charity website and a short description of the charity. From November 5 to 25, the public can “vote” for their favorite charity through Facebook.

Winners will be announced end of the November.

Give Thanks Awards

Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa will make the following awards to the most recognized charities:

First place:                                    $5,000

Second place:                               $1,000

All other finalists:                           $   250

To Apply

We know you’re busy changing the world. So we made the application process simple. Submit the following information via email to Megan Wilkerson, mwilkerson@vanguardskin.com.

-        Your information

  • Name of organization
  • Name of contact person
  • Email & phone number
  • Website

-        A link or attachment with your annual report (or 2 year’s financials)

-        One simple page that tells us the following 3 things:

  • The mission of your organization
  • The impact you make
  • How you will help promote your organization to maximize the number of “votes” that your organization receives

Final application deadline is October 27, 2017, but we will accept charities on a rolling basis until then. So apply early.

Charities will be selected at the sole discretion of Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa. We will select and notify finalists by November 3. We’ll work with you to design a great campaign to feature the work you do.


2017 Extraordinary Woman

Each year, Clara MediSpa honors a woman who has made significant contributions to her family and to her community. Over the past years, we have been fortunate to spend time with some amazing women in our community:

2013 – Dawn Ignatius

2014 – Lupita Hastings

2015 – Anita Sepp

2016 – Amy Boles

 

We are so pleased to introduce this year’s Extraordinary Woman – Jane Hegstrom. Jane is a wife, mother, and dedicates herself to helping children in our community. We look forward to pampering her with a spa day and making a donation to her charity of choice, The Hanger. The best way to describe this amazing woman is to share her nomination from Kristen Nunez:


Quiet but mighty, Jane Hegstrom has dedicated the past 16 years to advocacy work on behalf of at-risk youth throughout the Pikes Peak Region. A resident of Colorado Springs married to Dr. John Hegstrom and mother to Adam and Luke, Jane made a decision to volunteer as a CASA advocate through a friend of hers who was fostering a young boy. This boy had a CASA advocate assigned to his case and Jane was deeply moved by the work she did on behalf of the boy. At a point in life where she could make a significant time commitment, Jane took the advocacy class and was assigned her first case. Since then, Jane has continuously had a case as an advocate and up to three cases at one time.


Jane continues to make a life-changing impact on countless children but, when asked which case she feels made the biggest difference, she told of a young woman, now an adult, who was removed from her home at age 5. Her first case as a CASA volunteer, Jane quickly discovered the extent of abuse and neglect this young girl faced at the hands of her mother. The girl was a severe Type-1, insulin-dependent, diabetic who was punished by her mother for having the disease and was made to stand in cold showers, fully clothed, for hours at a time. Her mother also made her pack a garbage bag with her belongings and sit outside on the curb for hours, and, in one instance, overnight - alone, at age 5. Jane was instrumental in helping this girl receive the resources and treatment necessary to obtain safety and permanency. The girl’s foster care placement led to adoption and, today, at age 21, she is in college, working full time, and maintains close family ties to her adoptive family. Through care and persistence, Jane changed the course of this young woman’s life which was on the path towards tragedy and despair.


While Jane still actively serves as a CASA advocate, she is the founder and volunteer manager of The Hanger (a project of CASA’s Milton Foster Children’s Fund) - a store where fos-ter youth may shop for free donated clothing and accessories and gain work experience by assisting with store operations. This project began when Jane encountered a young woman who was placed in foster care with minimal clothing and personal belongings and moved from a very small rural school to Coronado High School in Colorado Springs. The young woman was skipping school daily and when asked why she wasn't going, the girl replied she was too embarrassed to wear the same clothes to school every day. Jane immediately saw the need to provide clothing for foster youth not provided by any other agency and started formulating a plan to start The Hanger so these youth could have a sense of normalcy among their peers. Today, The Hanger is open almost every Saturday throughout the year and receives upwards of 60 fos-ter youth visits weekly. Foster youth may take up to five items of clothing on each visit along with other personal items.

There are a number of volunteers who support The Hanger, but Jane is always working to ensure its continued operations. From picking up and sorting through the thousands of dona-tions received each year, to changing out the inventory each season and working on any given Saturday when the store is open, Jane is the ‘face’ and constant presence for this important community resource, unduplicated in this area. Through her work there, she provides a warm, safe, and non-judgmental presence to the many foster youth she interacts with on a regular basis.


As someone who personally knows and has volunteered with Jane, I cannot think of an-other Extraordinary Woman who better exemplifies giving generously and sacrificially to others and who makes a meaningful difference in her family and community. I am inspired by her passion, commitment, and selfless dedication to the youth in this area who need a lift up and possibly a chance to change the course of their future.


Here are quotes from Jane’s sons when asked about the impact she has made in the community:

"Our mom Jane Hegstrom taught us from an early age the virtues of generosity, kindness, and serving others; not only through what she thinks and says, but also through her sacrificial and creative actions both within our family and throughout the community. We are extremely excited for the legacy of love that she is helping to build through CASA and The Hanger."  - Adam

"Jane Hegstrom is truly an extraordinary woman! Not only is she the most incredible, loving and inspiring mother to my brother Adam and I, she has dedicated the last 15+ years of her life to helping kids less fortunate in the foster care system in the Pike Peak Region. So many of us would love to make a difference in our community but just don’t know where to start sometimes. This is not a problem for Jane! One of her strengths is being able to recognize a need in the community, especially in the lives of foster kids, and step forward to formulate a plan to fulfill those needs. She has continually demonstrated this through her extensive volunteer work as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), committee member on the Milton Foster Children’s Fund and working at the store she helped start The Hanger which fulfills the needs for clothing and personal items for local teens in the foster care system. Through Jane’s efforts, she is making a positive impact in the lives of foster kids in our community."   - Luke


Stay Dry this Summer
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. While sweating is necessary, hyperhidrosis can interfere with every day activities. Sweat from underarms may often soak through clothing, hands may be constantly damp, and the excess sweat can contribute to skin infections. This condition can cause embarrassment, affecting daily social interactions.

If you answer yes to any of the following, you may have hyperhidrosis:
  • Do you sweat visibly, even when you are sitting or in a location that is not warm?
  • Does your sweat drip heavily, soaking your clothing or your papers?
  • Do you have to wear layers of clothes or change throughout the day to hide the sweating?
  • Does sweating interfere with daily activities such as typing or turning a doorknob?
  • Do you get frequent skin infections in areas that sweat heavily?

For many people, hyperhidrosis begins during childhood or teenage years. But it can begin at any age, affecting both genders and people of all races. Hyperhidrosis can be the primary condition, or it may be a condition that is secondary to another medical issue. Because hyperhidrosis can indicate a more serious, underlying medical issue, it’s important to see your dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.

Many people do not realize that hyperhidrosis can be treated. At Clara MediSpa, we treat hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxin injections in the underarm area. For patient safety, we use only botulinum toxin provided by Allergan known as BOTOX® and sourced in the U.S. The FDA has approved these injections for the underarm area, and studies show high effectiveness. The injections temporarily block a chemical in the body that stimulates sweat glands. Results are usually visible within a week and will last 4 to 6 months. Once excessive sweating returns, the treatment needs to be repeated.

Our patient tell us that the treatment is “life changing”. Our hope is that you step out this summer with confidence.

Time to Give Thanks!

Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa have partnered for a “Give Thanks” campaign to recognize local charitable organizations who make a significant impact on our communities and world at large. It’s our way of thanking charities for the incredible work they do. We are excited to announce the five finalists:

Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado

www.careandshare.org

At Care and Share Food Bank, we believe that no one should go hungry. Our vision is an end to hunger in the 31 Southern Colorado counties that we serve. Last year, Care and Share distributed 23.7 million pounds of food, the equivalent of more than 19 million meals, to 134,000 of our Southern Colorado neighbors facing hunger.

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region

www.casappr.org

Milton Foster Children's Fund (MFCF) provides foster children in El Paso and Teller counties with opportunities not funded through existing agencies or programs, allowing them to be nurtured, educated and enriched just like other children, and grow into healthy, contributing adults. Last year, we served more than 920 children through the program.

Feed My Starving Children

www.fmsc.org/mobilepacks

Feed My Starving Children is called to feed God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit. Mobilepack weekends started in 2008 and to date have packed over 3 million nutritious meals, and raised over $700,000 at our Colorado Springs annual event. Hundreds of local community groups, and thousands of local volunteers have been a part of helping us fight world poverty.

Help the Needy

www.htntc.org

Over the past 35 years our all-volunteer organization has given 100,000+ hours and assisted over 5,000+ families with shelter, transportation, education, medical, dental and counseling. We advocate for the poor and at-risk. In essence, we offer a helping hand to keep families from losing what they have. We collaborate with other organizations to ensure clients’ needs are met.

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains

www.lfsrm.org

Lutheran Family Services was founded in 1948 to provide adoptive placement for babies. LFS has since added services for birth parents, foster care, older adult services, refugee resettlement, immigration legal services, prevention services, parenting support for at-risk or struggling families, and case management for survivors of disasters.


The charities will be awarded grants between $250 to $5,000, and you can help choose the winners. Go online to vote for your favorite between now and November 22nd. Winner will be announced Thanksgiving Day.

Where to vote:


Give Thanks Campaign

Give Thanks Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa are partnering on a “Give Thanks” campaign to recognize local charitable organizations who make a significant impact on our communities and world at large. It’s our way of thanking you for the incredible work you do.

Vanguard and Clara will feature selected charities through social media including Facebook, website, and newsletters. The public will have an opportunity to “vote” on their charity of choice, and we will award top charities. It’s an opportunity to showcase your work and receive funding.

Eligibility Requirements

We will feature up to five charities this year. To be eligible, your organization must have headquarters or a location in El Paso or Teller County.

We know that there are lots of great causes out there. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we will select charities which focus on helping children and/or families in need. Your beneficiaries can be local, national, or overseas.

We also want to see a proven track record for achieving your mission and demonstrating financial responsibility.

The Campaign

The campaign will take place during the month of November. All charities will be showcased on Vanguard and Clara’s social media platforms and through displays in the offices.

Voting will take place through Facebook:

The Facebook pages will include a description of each charity. The description will include a link to the charity website and a short description of the charity. From November 1-22, the public can “vote” for their favorite charity through Facebook.

Winners will be announced Thanksgiving Day.

Give Thanks Awards

Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa will make the following awards to the most recognized charities:

First place:                                    $5,000

Second place:                               $1,000

All participating charities:           $   250

To Apply

We know you’re busy changing the world. So we made the application process simple. Submit the following information via email to Megan Wilkerson, mwilkerson@vanguardskin.com.

-        Your information

  • Name of organization
  • Name of contact person
  • Email & phone number
  • Website

-        A link or attachment with your annual report (or 2 year’s financials)

-        One simple page that tells us the following 3 things:

  • The mission of your organization
  • The impact you make
  • How you will help promote your organization to maximize the number of “votes” that your organization receives

Final application deadline is October 12, 2016, but we will accept charities on a rolling basis until then. So apply early.

Charities will be selected at the sole discretion of Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa. We will select and notify finalists by October 20. We’ll work with you to design a great campaign to feature the work you do.


Skincare for Your Wedding

First off, CONGRATULATIONS! You get to marry the love of your life.

But then the stress sets in…

So many things to plan, so many little details to think about, and of course that crazy uncle or aunt that can’t sit by most of the family.

Well, let us help you with one thing from your long list of stressors, your skin. Every bride wants to be glowing and gorgeous on her big day, but most people don’t know what they can do to help their skin get there.

First step is sunscreen. This will prevent you from getting sunburned, weird tan lines, and it will also help to prevent new sun spots or freckles from coming to the surface on your skin. Try to find one that says “non-comedogenic”, is a broad spectrum coverage, is 30 SPF or greater, and make sure to reapply. We recommend sunscreen with either zinc, or titanium oxide which sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun rays off of your skin.

Second, start a regimen of tretinoin. This is one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients, and for highest efficacy, you want the prescription tretinoin instead of over-the-counter retinol. Warning: It will cause peeling initially so if it is within 3 months of your wedding, this might not be a great option for you to start now.

Tretinoin is a topical medication that will help to exfoliate the skin and promote cell turnover to reveal more youthful skin. Using this daily (depending on the peeling) is ideal and will lead to healthier skin that will look gorgeous for all the pictures you’ll be taking on the big day.

Third addition is the use of an antioxidant. Most people have heard of the benefits of eating antioxidants, but not many know about the benefits of using them topically on your skin. They have a similar effect to what they do in body by binding to free radicals and in turn decreasing the chances of developing skin cancer. An antioxidant in combination with sunscreen optimizes protection. Although most skin cancers are not life threatening they definitely don’t look beautiful in wedding pictures, so why not take this step to make sure you are beautiful when you walk down the aisle.

Finally, your insurance for the big day is Laser Genesis. This is a laser treatment that is non-invasive and acts as an “air-brush” of your skin before the big day. It will help even your complexion, decrease the appearance of minor imperfections, scars and lines, and make those pores look smaller. This will just aid your makeup stylists in making sure that you look flawless! The most important thing to know about this treatment is that it has no down time and usually the best results are seen if you do it about 2-3 days before your wedding day.

Once again congratulations on your big day and we hope that these steps help you to reach your skin care goals. Remember to stay hydrated and try not to stress (too much). No matter which crazy uncle shows up you still get to marry the man of your dreams!

Anneliese Hale is a Physician Assistant student, who completed her dermatology rotation at Vanguard Skin Specialists and Clara MediSpa. She is also a former Medical Assistant and former member of the pre-health program at Vanguard Skin Specialists. She appears here, picture perfect on her wedding day. (Photo credit: Dynamic Range Photography)