Beauty Insider: Laser Focus

Dermatologist Anne Chapas’s new practice, Union Square Laser Dermatology in Manhattan, is filled with the latest industrial-scale tools— what she fondly calls her “toys.” Christina Han sat down with her to discuss the science of beauty.


What lasers are you recommending right now? Clear + Brilliant improves fine lines and pigmentation, and patients can put their makeup on right after the procedure and go back to work. And Excel V is my go-to laser for visible blood vessels on the face; it’s great for those little veins around the nose.

Liposonix, the most recent ultrasound device for body contouring, was cleared by the FDA last fall. What are your thoughts? It treats unwanted fat around the abdomen by heating and liquefying the fat, which is then recycled by the body as energy. You can expect a one-pant-size loss in one hour, in one treatment. It’s different from CoolSculpting, which freezes fat cells and can take two to three hours per session, but the people seeking these treatments are the same: They’re fit but can pinch at least an inch in their midsection.

Other than lasers, what’s the biggest trend in cosmetic dermatology? There are a bunch of new options in fillers, including the LaViv system and the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) procedure. LaViv just got FDA approval, but it’s definitely not for those seeking instant gratification: A biopsy taken from behind the ear is sent to a lab, which cultivates the collagen-producing cells from the sample. Three months later, this new collagen gets injected into the face in several sessions. PRP, a filler that uses patients’ own blood platelets, isn’t FDA-approved for aesthetic use as a volume filler, but we’re using it in conjunction with lasers to boost recovery time in treating fine lines and scars.

What’s the most overrated derm treatment? I’m going to get into trouble here: facials. They vary so much, and there’s not a lot of regulation on who can administer them. I see so many patients who look really beat up after a facial, and I just wonder, What happened—did someone dig at you with a spoon?

Photos: Marko Metzinger (2)