Monthly Archives: August 2009

Help for Damaged Skin

Are you looking for a solution to repair your damaged skin? Those with acne scars and sun-damage will be pleased to know about Fraxel Laser Treatments, which can target very specific areas of the skin with pinpoint accuracy. Fraxel is used to improve conditions present in superficial and deeper layers of the skin and the results are immediate. Such treatments include: skin resurfacing; treatment of wrinkles; and treatment of pigmented lesions, such as age spots, sun spots, and melasma. Fraxel is also great for removing scars resulting from acne, surgery, or trauma.

When thinking of how Fraxel works, imagine that you have a digital photograph that requires editing or a high-quality painting in need of restoration. Just as a damaged painting is delicately restored one area at a time, or a photographic image is altered, pixel by pixel, the Fraxel laser improves your appearance by affecting only a fraction of your skin at a time with thousands of microscopic laser spots. You can think of it like having digital photo-editing software for your skin!

“The unique ‘fractional’ approach is a huge step forward in providing significant cosmetic results more than any noninvasive laser treatment in the past can offer with minimal downtime,” says Dr. Tess Mauricio, Board Certified Dermatologist and owner of Scripps Ranch Dermatology and Cosmetic Center. “This advanced treatment is the first cosmetic laser to provide an effective, gradual procedure that creates new healthy tissue by stimulating the body to naturally repair aging and photo-damaged skin without significant risks or recovery time.”

After receiving Fraxel Laser Treatments, you skin will immediately feel softer and look smoother. The skin is tightened and pores are usually smaller. There is little to no down time. Those who receive the treatment can resume daily activities upon leaving the clinic. Swelling is minimal and should disappear in 2 days. The skin will have a pinkish tone for 3 to 5 days. For best results, we recommend a series of 5 treatments spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart. Call us for more details or to schedule a consultation.

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Look Good in Time for the Holidays

Fall is right around the corner, and with that, it’s time again to think about preparing for holiday parties, family events and looking your best! Whether you have just a few weeks or up to 3 months to devote to your rejuvenation plan, our cosmetic center can customize a plan just for you and your needs. Here are some general suggestions:

If you have 2-3 Months:

  • Aurora Fotofacial/RF, Polaris or Refirme
    This series of treatments will get your skin glowing and erase the signs of sun damage on your skin ie.) brown spots, redness, broken capillaries, fine lines, large pores and dullness. Get your face, neck, chest hands and legs treated and show off some skin!
  • Botox
    Your Botox effects should get you through the stressful holidays virtually wrinkle free with treatments for your forehead lines, upper lip lines, and crow’s feet. Fillers, like Restylane, can instantly soften or erase unwanted lines and plump your lips.
  • Liposculpture
    Liposculpture will sculpt your problem areas away so you can fit into those holiday dresses you REALLY want.
  • Sclerotherapy
    Fall/winter season is a perfect time to have sclerotherapy done as it is much easier to wear the compression stockings when the weather is cooler. Get your leg veins treated and show off those legs!
  • Skin Care Products
    Using the right skin care products can take years off your look! The Replenix for Dr. Tess Skin Care Line is simple to use with medical grade ingredients to improve your skin. These products are only available at our dermatology clinic, so, treat yourself to the best products available for your skin.

If You Have 1 Month or Less:
When you don’t have much time, or your holiday party is two weeks away and you want to look your best, there are still ways to achieve the look you want:

  • Botox and Fillers
    With the use of Botox and dermal fillers like Evolence, we can take years off your face almost instantly and wipe out that tired look. Best to give yourself 2 weeks before your big event to get these treatments done.
  • ReFirme and Polaris Treatments
    These treatments are noninvasive and require no downtime. They will amazingly tighten, lift and smooth your skin. I usually get treated a few days before an event to give myself a completely natural, flawless glow. My make-up goes on so well, and I feel more confident! Once you try it, you will become a believer.

We would love to create a plan especially for you, and are just a phone call away. Contact us and let us know how we can help you look your best.

A Dermatological Look at Skin of Color (Including Asian Skin)

There is an impressive emerging interest in my field regarding the rejuvenation and treatment of skin of color, including Asian skin. As a Filipina Cosmetic Dermatologist, I have had the privilege of traveling around the world educating physicians on why skin of color (like my brown, mocha colored skin and that of my fair skinned Korean husband) is different than white Caucasian skin. And, more importantly, how those differences in skin color can impact the efficacy and safety of treatments.

The difference seems so obvious when we look at each other’s different skin color. It all boils down to the difference in the amount of melanin (pigment) in our epidermis (the very top layer of the skin). This melanin offers dark skin an advantage with less aging, less wrinkling than the more fair skin counterparts, because melanin protects us from sun damage. However, the downside is that melanin can make laser and skin rejuvenation treatments more challenging because it can absorb too much heat and energy from laser treatments causing complications like burns or discoloration on the skin.

The great news is that one of the biggest advances in technology has been our ability to now treat Asian skin and even those with darker skin. With the proper technology in the hands of experienced practitioners, we can now enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation, wrinkle reduction and skin tightening!

The beauty and aesthetics industry is taking a much closer look at skin of color as a new and untapped market for new products and innovation in technology. As a result, this year has surfaced many opportunities to learn more about Asian skin and how it will respond to emerging technologies, especially in skin whitening and skin rejuvenation.

We have a number of important clinical studies, like the study on a breakthrough topical skin whitening cream, which is free of charge to everyone who qualifies. I urge those who may be interested in the studies to contact us.

Take Off 10 Years in One Week Without Surgery

Do you want to look 10 years younger, in just one week, without the use of surgery? We can help. In just one week, we can perform a few noninvasive treatments that are safe, effective and have no downtime. The result? An “almost” instant transformation that makes you look 10 years younger.

Just follow this plan:

  1. Erase the Signs of Aging and Sun Damage on Your Skin
    Do you have spots, discoloration, fine lines, challenges with pore size or skin texture? Our treatments will help. They can also reduce redness and rosacea. Would you like to tighten up your skin, almost like magic? ReFirme is the answer. We can erase the signs of aging, not only on your face, but your hands too. Wouldn’t it be nice to have hands with less age spots and tighter, younger looking skin? We offer our patients only the safest and most effective laser technology available today. More importantly, with your treatments performed personally by Dr. Mauricio or Dr. Lee, you can feel confident that you are getting an amazing treatment each time!
  2. Erase Wrinkles
    Botox provides tremendous success eliminating those worry lines between the brows, the lines across the forehead, those pesky crow’s feet and lines around the mouth. If you’ve been waiting to try Botox, or if you have been treated by someone else before and you want to finally experience an expert’s touch, visit our dermatology clinic. There is a difference! Dr. Mauricio and Dr. Lee use only FDA approved Allergen Botox with a more concentrated dilution than most other clinics. Many patients report that their effects last up to 6 months! We also offer Fillers, such as Restylane, that will instantly erase unwanted lines anywhere on the face.
  3. Don’t Forget Your Lips
    Lip volume restoration can do wonders for rejuvenating the face. With the use of a Filler, you can wipe off years – instantly!! All lips deflate over time. Lips that were once full and youthful can become thin and wrinkled. Our goal is to restore what was lost to give you what you naturally had just a few years ago. Most patients are very pleasantly surprised at how much younger they look after filling their lips.
  4. Get Your Body Ready
    A de-toxifying body wrap treatment along with VelaShape will take inches off, smooth and tone your skin, and treat that pesky cellulite!

Achieving a younger you will give you confidence. No matter what your needs, we have the treatment that will help you feel better about yourself, and with our 4 step plan, we can do it in just one week.

Don’t Give Up on Stubborn Acne

Acne vulgaris affects 40-50 million people in the United States. Acne affects patients of all skin types and a wide age range from teens to ladies in their 50’s. The psychological impact of acne is underestimated. It is now publicized that part of Michael Jackson’s body image problem may have stemmed from having severe acne as a teenager and having to endure embarrassing scars as he faced thousands of people.

Everyday in our dermatology clinic we hear stories of how acne prevents people from fully enjoying life with confidence. Acne can be devastating as we are left with discolored scars which can be embarrassing especially on adults. They may feel like acne and scars make them look less attractive, less professional and hence, less confident to perform or be taken seriously in their line of work.

Ance scars before PDT treatment.

Ance scars before PDT treatment.


With teens, I believe it is imperative to seek treatment as early as possible because I have seen depression and social withdrawal from having bad acne. These are patients who come to see us for consultation barely looking up, having hair covering part of their faces, wearing unnaturally thick make-up. My message for these patients is always one of hope as treatment for acne has advanced dramatically over the last few years. There really is no more reason to have acne or acne scars!

In our clinic we combine the latest in medical treatment (oral antibiotics, topical treatments) with the most advanced technology to get patients better as soon as possible to prevent scarring. We recommend Photodynamic Therapy(PDT) for patients with more inflammatory and cystic acne. In a study done by Serrano, et al., it was shown that treatment with ALA-PDT showed 50% reduction in the number of lesions (counts) after the first treatment session, 75% after the second session and 92% after the third session. There were no relapses at the end of the 16 week follow-up period.

Acne scars faded after PDT treatment.

Acne scars faded after PDT treatment.

A series of PDT treatments done monthly can save patients from having to require Accutane treatment. Most of the patients we see seeking PDT series already have been failed by traditional medical treatment and have been advised they will need Accutane. Many parents of teens hesitate to have their children undergo such a potent systemic medication with known complications and are wondering what else can be done. PDT’s can also offer relief for adult women with stubborn acne who hesitate to take Acutane since they are not sure how long they can put off reproduction.

Although PDT is not 100% effective, the majority of our patients do improve significantly to a point where they can be acne free for many months and at the least, the quality and severity of the acne lesions are now more acceptable, manageable and patients feel better about their skin overall. Once we have the active acne under control we can start discussing options for acne scar treatment. At this point, these once shy, withdrawn patients have a new confidence and spirit! Let us know how we can help you. We welcome your comments below.

Welcome to the Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic Center Blog

Welcome to the Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic Center Blog

We want you to look and feel your best and at Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic Center in San Diego, California, you’ll receive nothing less than an expert’s touch! On this blog, we will be highlighting our products and services that will provide you with the most advanced techniques in non-invasive rejuvenation.

Our doctors Tess Mauricio and James Lee focus on quality, and they are recognized by their peers as true experts in their fields. In addition to being outstanding doctors, they genuinely care about each patient and use only the best, most effective equipment and proven techniques to help you look and feel your best.

Each patient of the Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic Center receives an individual treatment plan is designed just for them. All your questions are answered up front to make sure you feel at ease. Your safety and comfort is of the utmost importance and our center only uses proven treatments and products.

We look forward to bringing you new topics each week and hope you will provide comments back to us and become part of the discussion. You can also follow us on Twitter and become a Fan on Facebook.