Parkbench Interview with Dr. DePasquale

Meet Dr. Kalpana S. DePasquale, DO at Avanti Medical Spa

Are you looking to combat the aging process of Mother Nature? If so, then you are at the right place. Avanti Medical Spa can help you reverse the hands of time and enhance your natural beauty. To revitalize your appearance, we offer the following cosmetic procedures:
Botox
Fraxel
Facials & Peels
Dermal Fillers
Visia Skin Analysis
Facial Waxing
To learn more about our spa services, contact us at 904.461.6797, or better yet come see us:
In St. Augustine, Monday thru Friday between 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (NOTE: Office is closed for lunch from 12 PM – 1:15 PM). Avanti Medical Spa St. Augustine is located on Anastasia Island, 1.5 miles east of Flagler Hospital at 1301 Plantation Island Dr, Suite 401A, St. Augustine, FL.

What do you love most about the neighborhood?

There are so many different people constantly moving into this area so I feel like we’re in a small, big town. I meet people from Europe, people who are on vacation who come to me with a specific problem sometimes, or people who’ve recently moved from the North or West Coast. I just love the melting pot of all kinds of people from diverse backgrounds–I think that’s my favorite thing!

What You Should Know Before Getting Botox or Filler at a Day Spa

Day spas are a perfect retreat for the busy woman who needs a chance to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. It’s a one-stop shop for massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, and body treatments. As you enjoy the serene ambiance sipping champagne, one of the estheticians informs you that the spa is now offering Botox and other filler services. Your inner voice says, “This would be amazing since I am too busy to make another appointment with my doctor!”
Before you fully succumb to that multi-tasking inner voice, here are a few questions you need to ask of your day spa.

  1. Who is the doctor performing the procedure? It is important to know what kind of physician is performing the procedure. My recommendation is to make sure it is either a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or ENT Physician who focuses on cosmetic procedures. Surgeons typically have a better understanding of the facial anatomy and facial balance.  
  2. Where is the physician’s practice located? Many day spas have physicians who come from out of town to perform the procedures one or two times a month. Excellent physicians are often plenty busy in their own practices. So, they do not have the time or desire to travel long distances to work.
  3. Will a follow up appointment be scheduled? As a consumer, you must understand how post-procedure questions, concerns, or dissatisfaction with results will be handled.  
  4. Are the procedures performed in a medical environment with medically trained professionals? Make sure the injectables are purchased directly from the manufacturer and not a knock -off website. The staff would should be trained on occupational safety standards from OSHA, and sharps should be disposed of appropriately.  

The last thing to consider is that a physician who travels to perform your procedure may not be as invested in your outcome as a physician that you see regularly. The relationship and communication between physician and patient is of great importance, especially when it comes to your face!
Are you in the St. Augustine area? Come visit me at Avanti Med Spa

Why Do Celebrities Look So Strange?

Celebrities set the standard of beauty in magazines, television, and on the runway. The general public expects celebrities to set this standard.
But what happens when we see celebrities look like caricatures of themselves with excessively plumped cheeks and lips. Celebrities can afford the best, but is this what all that money buys you?
My suspicion is that this overdone, unnatural look is created by the mindset of the client and the physician performing the procedure.
The client wants perfection and doesn’t understand that our imperfections are what make our faces unique and interesting. The physician does not want to disappoint the client and does exactly what the client asks for, instead of suggesting that injecting too much filler will actually make them appear less attractive. Unfortunately, this confuses the general public into thinking that all cosmetic procedures look unnatural.

In my medical spa, I take a different approach with my clients. First and foremost, my patients choose me to perform their procedures because they want to look refreshed and rejuvenated.  They do not want to look as if they had a procedure done.
When filler is injected properly, keeping the client’s unique facial balance in mind, no one can tell  a procedure was performed.  Friends and family will assume that you look younger because you went on vacation, or that you did something different with your hair or makeup. You look younger and more vibrant, but they just can’t pinpoint why.
On the contrary, when filler is overdone, it changes your face by changing the unique facial characteristics that make you special.  It looks “fake” or “overdone”.  This phenomenon can be easily avoided by speaking with the Physician, Physician Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner performing the procedure.
Make sure their ideas about your final result are congruent with yours.  Also, conduct a thorough visual survey of the person injecting you. Do they appear to practice self care? Do they look older or younger than they are? How well do they take care of their skin? Do they look natural or overdone?
These two things will likely tell you everything you need to know about how your final result will look.

Who needs skin care when you can just get Botox?

The advent of Botox leaves many thinking they no longer have to worry about their everyday skin care.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
In my practice, we start every Botox consult with a Visia skin analysis. This simple analysis uses cross polarized and UV light to give us an analysis of sun damage, texture, brown spots, and wrinkles in the form of a score in each category. The score is obtained by comparing you to peers in your age group. Just like a test, higher numbers are better. It is important to know this information since these are factors in skin aging.
Botox is a neuromodulator that is effective in reducing the appearance of forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and those pesky scowl lines between your eyebrows. It can also help turn your frown upside down by elevating the corners of your mouth. So, with all these amazing things that Botox can do, who needs skin care?

Importance of Skin Care
Botox only improves lines and wrinkles, but wrinkles are not the only reason that people look older. Youthful skin has smooth texture and an even skin tone without fine lines or wrinkles. Botox does nothing for the radiance, texture, and brown spots. Nourishing skin care will improve skin elasticity and texture while reducing brown spots. Exfoliating your skin and adding a retinol to your skin care regimen will help increase cell turnover, which greatly decreases as we age. Moisturizing your skin will improve its elasticity and enhance your Botox procedure.
Save Money with Proper Skin Care
Skin care can actually save you money! Botox can cost on average $300 or more every three months, depending on which areas you address and how deep your wrinkles are. In my practice, the patients that are diligent with skin care and sun protection typically spend less on Botox treatments when compared to clients who neglect their skin. Remember that all skin care is not created equal. Look for brands without harsh chemicals that contain plant-based active ingredients. Also, be careful not to base your decision solely on marketing and packaging!

Botox got rid of my RBF!

I have been injecting Botox for over a decade.  What makes these injections so much fun are comments from patients that lead to uncontrollable bursts of laughter.  These are the days I love my job the most. Recently, my Thirty-three year old patient, who is an Intensive Care Nurse, returned for her second Botox treatment.  When I asked if she was pleased with her results, she immediately exclaimed “Botox got rid of my RBF!  I loved it!”  She went on to tell me how her husband now makes comments to her every morning about what a good mood she is in.  “It’s interesting that he says that, I am always in a good mood but he thought I was unhappy.   So glad my RBF is gone!”
I finally caught my breath after more laughter and she went on to tell me that she enjoys talking to people but they never seemed interested in talking to her.  Now she talks to people everywhere, including the grocery store and the gas station.  She said her patients open up to her more and their families are kinder and more appreciative at the hospital.   
People seek cosmetic intervention not solely for vanity as most outsiders may assume.  My patients always tell me they want their outside appearance to match their inside feelings.  What they mean is that they are internally happy and energetic but their wrinkles, downturned mouth, or hollowed cheeks, make them look sad, tired or worst of all- angry!  They want to look as good as they feel.  They want to be approachable and engage with others.  After all, as human beings, this social interaction is the one of things we desire most.  So, the next time you judge someone for getting Botox, keep in mind, they may not be vain, they have the procedure done for an entirely different reason.  

Botox 101

If you are considering getting Botox to address unwanted wrinkles, or wrinkles that make you look angry, you need to be able to differentiate fact from fiction. Most people who talk about their Botox injections don’t know enough about it to be experts. Let’s start with the three worst ways to get Botox injections.
 
Botox parties. Let me paint the picture… too much wine, peer pressure, and a doctor that is rushed trying to inject 15 or 20 people. Many times that doctor comes from out of town and is nowhere to be found if you have a problem.
Getting injections from a doctor who barely speaks to you. I hear this story all the time. “The doctor just walked in and started injecting.” He/she barely spoke and walked out the door. A physician or their assistant should take a thorough history to make sure you don’t have any conditions such as neurologic diseases, and to make sure you are not pregnant or nursing. Not speaking to you about your desired result is simply unacceptable.
Basing your decision on Botox by price alone. Everyone loves a bargain, but remember, Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport are all toxins that are injected into muscles to relax them. Improper injection can result in an unfavorable appearance that lasts for up to three months. I would rather spend a little more money since I really like my face.
 
Your Botox experience should be pleasant. You should be greeted by friendly staff who makes you feel as if they value you as a client. A thorough history should be taken and then you should be asked what areas you are concerned about. You should inquire about the qualifications and experience of the injector. The injector should be a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant. The procedure should be performed after a consent is signed and the area of the face is clean and dry. The injections usually do not hurt or cause bleeding. Post procedure instructions should also be provided. With this information in mind, you can have a safe and pleasant experience while banishing the appearance of wrinkles.
 
Considering Botox? Take advantage of our Botox special until October 31st where you can get Botox or Xeomin for $10/unit. Call 904-461-6797 to book your appointment today!

Three Questions I Wish Patients Would Ask

Every time I step into a room with a patient, they will tell me what bothers them the most about their appearance. And, they immediately want to know how to fix it. Although I understand this completely, I find myself wishing they would ask me about so many other things. I like to take a thorough approach in my medical and aesthetic practices and I enjoy discussing prevention just as much as I enjoy giving people cures.
Here are the top three questions I wish my patients would ask . . .
What can I do to take better care of my skin?
Almost every patient I see in my medical spa is focused on Botox, fillers, and laser treatments. For some reason, they continue to use products on their skin that are ineffective in correcting skin tone and texture irregularities that occur with age. These patients may be worsening the appearance of their skin with harsh ingredients. Plus, their skin care methods may be the equivalent of washing delicate lingerie in Ajax. Not the best idea.
If I seek cosmetic interventions before the problem gets much worse, will I have a better outcome?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES! If you have small wrinkles, they can be erased much easier than large creases in your face. Volume loss is easier to correct before the skin starts to lose too much elasticity and before the skin folds over itself. You get the point – early intervention is key.
Does my health and nutrition impact my appearance?
In a medical spa environment, people tend to open up. They discuss their lifestyles and tell me they are too busy with life to eat right and exercise. Many of them take better care of their cars and pets than they do with their own bodies. I had one patient tell me she put the best gasoline in her high-end luxury car and bought the best gourmet cat food for her cat. However, she ate at McDonald’s at least once a day. To care for your pet or automobile than your own health is shocking to me.
What are you afraid to ask your doctor about your health? Leave your questions in the comments, and I’ll answer you openly and honestly!