He Said. She Said.

He’s tee’d it off to me to tell my side of the story. Here is my version of the week’s events post fractionated CO2 laser treatment.

A day of rest

Coming to a close on this week’s postings, it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned. Yes, the fractionated CO2 laser works. Yes, it can be annoying for the first few days, but after the skin peels off, all is greatly improved. Aquaphor is your friend for the first few days. And yes, there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock.
I have a few pictures for today, though I admit they’re not that different from yesterday’s. Renee has developed a few small red spots near the corner of her mouth, and elsewhere. This is likely from the change in climate, as she’s noted a significant change in how dry her skin becomes, being in a much dryer place.


Now for the good part – tomorrow Renee will post her own thoughts and feelings on things. I’m not TOO worried about what she’ll say. I know she’s not a fan of being on display, but she IS a fan of not having melasma. Everyone please give her a big round of applause for letting us catch a glimpse of the journey, and stay tuned! I’m sure tomorrow will be interesting.

And you were worried…


Well, well, well. Here it is the weekend, and everyone is out playing. So is Renee! She has gone on a field trip to a very dry place. Before she left, she washed her face, and voila! Now she’s soft as… well, you can imagine. This can be evidenced by the smile she can’t seem to get rid of in her pictures. No more melasma. No more fine wrinkles. She does have some residual skin peeling, but this should be gone in a day or so.
Because she’s so close to the desert, she’ll need to be VERY careful to stay hydrated and stay out of the sun. It’s getting to be time to start thinking about preventing future melasma spots from forming, too. This will require strong sun block (not just sunscreen), and likely a prescription medication or two.
As you can see, her skin is still quite pink. This is because it is thin. With the passage of time (a week or two) her skin will continue to grow and the coloration will normalize. As advertised, I’ll keep up the daily posts to complete the week. In a week or so we’ll check in again with Renee to show how things normalize.
And now admit it. Only a day before and you were worried. What with the itching and scratching and annoying husband, the slightest doubt may have entered your mind. But this husband isn’t as dumb as he may look. After all, he does this for a living!

Renee-ometer stands at 7.5

Screen shot 2013-09-20 at 8.56.11 AM

That’s right! It’s time for the Itchy and Scratchy Show! Yes, Renee has survived yet another day. Although she must admit, this third day out has been the worst day so far. It’s not so much a pain thing. She’s frustrated with the itch… with the difficulty sleeping… with being tired… and maybe with the husband who drew on her face on the internet. Although she has to admit – it was kinda funny.
But kudos to her, Renee has figured out how to master the problems, and she’s willing to impart her wisdom to you. Because she has a nasty reaction to Benadryl, Renee has used Allegra with great results. She’s one of “those people” who don’t like taking medicine, and has stayed away from Ibuprofen, but Tylenol PM right before bedtime has done wonders. And because she has to move when she sleeps, she’s used a towel over her pillow at night just in case, which has allowed her to de-stress. We’d hate to sully the nice floral pillows!


So here she is today – the Renee-ometer stands at about a 7.5. She’s been a true camper, and she believes me when I tell her it’ll only get better from here on out.
Screen shot 2013-09-20 at 8.58

Action Plastics Renee Tracker Forecast!

For the past 24 hours the Renee Tracker team has noticed a clearing of the dark clouds over the forehead and cheek areas, as the melasma debris is sucked up by the humoral high pressure system we’ve seen the past few days. Despite the darkness clearing, Aquaphor precipitation has continued over the greater facial area, and we continue to forecast more wetness and humidity for the coming days. We’re also starting to see some tightening of the skin over her frown lines, and some swelling receding in that area, as well. Local residents admit they were worried the swelling would continue, as it’s brought with it some nasty itching that may stay in place for several days.


As we move into the end of the week, we anticipate continued clearing of the redness in her jaw areas, as these areas were less affected by the recent storm. That means a quicker recovery in these areas, but the cheeks and forehead shouldn’t fear, as in the coming days these areas should also be lightening up.


Stay tuned to your Action Plastics Renee tracker team, as we bring you the latest developments!

How does Renee fair today?

Renee has survived her first day since laser resurfacing. She went to work. People stared. She went to McDonalds. People stared. One guy looked at her and said “ouch!” But if you ask her how she has felt, she would say she has felt great. She went for a run (out of the sun) – she was admittedly a little wary of how she would feel, but she had no problems. She thought she would feel much worse, but most activities have been normal. The only caveat is laughing or smiling, which makes her skin feel tight, and she’s had to cut up her food into smaller bites because she doesn’t want to open very wide.

Looking at her pictures, you can see some redness throughout her face, though you can see more at the top near her forehead and cheeks, as this is where her melasma was located. On the lower parts of her face we took a much more gentle approach.


Also, you’ll note that the darker portions of her skin have become even more so. This is normal, and is a good sign that that pigment will be “lifted” out of the skin. In the coming days I expect for her skin to get slightly redder and tighter, but for the pigment to fade.

Stay tuned for more updates, as her saga continues!

A sophisticated heat beam, known as a “laser”

No, we don’t plan to shoot through the ozone layer to threaten the world, nor do we put our lasers on sharks or seabass, but we do occasionally break up the outer layers of your skin. Yes, that’s right – skin resurfacing. What is it, why does someone need it?


Meet Renee. By all accounts, Renee is an attractive individual, but like many women, Renee has had trouble with skin hyperpigmentation known as melasma. You see, Renee developed acne after childbirth, and because of this was placed on birth control in hopes of improving the acne. Unfortunately, the changes in her hormones, and a likely genetic predisposition, caused her skin to darken in areas. She tried over-the-counter skin lightening creams, IPL, prescription hydroquinone and retinol. Nothing seemed to work right. And then she married me. No wait – that’s not right. Then she saw her plastic surgeon, who recommended fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing.
For this week, we’ll take you through Renee’s experience, in a day-by-day pictorial of what she goes through during and after her laser treatment. Here’s how she started out:


And here’s her yesterday driving home from her treatment.

renee car

She tells us the numbing cream helped quite a bit during the treatment, as did the ibuprofen. She drove herself home, and today she is going to work. Tomorrow I’ll post a 24hour post-laser picture, and then we’ll go daily for a week, giving you all the play-by-play. How ever will she wind up?

To give you an example of the power of the fractionated CO2, here’s a few pictures of a lady some of you may know. She was treated for aging and sun-damaged skin, and as you can see, her results are fantastic:

sheila beforesheila after

Mirror, mirror….

Zeuxis chosing models - FA Vincent

A long, long time ago, in a place much more sunny and breezy than this, a beautiful woman was ready for marriage. Because of her beauty, her father was somewhat concerned about the number of potential suitors, and the potential trouble all the competition may cause. Because of this, the father made the suitors all promise to defend whatever marriage would result. Hesitantly they agreed. In order to win, one bachelor promised to sacrifice to the gods, but after he won, he quickly forgot his promise, and incurred the wrath of an angry god of beauty.
Venus of Urbino - Titian
Meanwhile, a young lad from a far-off country was growing in wisdom. He spent his time raising cattle, but because of his wisdom, was chosen by the gods to settle a dispute. Three of the godesses couldn’t decide who was the most beautiful among them, so they turned to the young man for judgment. To spice up the battle, they each promised the young man something if she was chosen. One of them, the goddess of beauty, offered him the most beautiful woman in the world – the young girl, who by this time was already married…
To make a long story short, the young man wooed away the beautiful girl (either seductively or forcibly), and by so doing, set in motion an enormous army, that would eventually come and kill the young man and destroy his hometown.
Yes, this young woman had a “face that launched a thousand ships” – Helen of Troy.
There are many take-home messages from this tale, but my question for today is simple. If Helen was so beautiful, what did she look like? What does “beauty” look like? Over the ages, numerous artists have tackled this question, which gives us insight into what they thought was beautiful.
At the top of this post is a painting from FA Vincent, showing Zeuxis chosing models for a painting of Helen. He couldn’t find any one woman for the part, so instead he chose 5 women from the surrounding area, in order to make a composite picture of their features. We’ll be talking more about composites in the time to come.
For now, let’s just explore what ideas people have had about beauty over time. Back in the day, when Greeks were the ones creating the images, Helen may have looked like this:
Helen and Menelaus
In the 1600’s, as political tensions brewed between Spain, France, and the Holy See, Guido Reni composed this picture of Helen’s departure.
Departure of Helen - G Reni
In the 1776, an American painter living in England (working for George III) painted a soft version of Helen, also with political undertones, as seen here:
Helen brought to Paris - B West
Contrast these with Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s depiction done in 1863, as shown here:
Helen of Troy - DG Rossetti
To provide even further contrast, consider more recent versions. The first is from a recent movie:
Diane Kruger - Helen
But this next one may help you see even more that every society (and individuals within that society) tends to put their own interpretation on beauty:
Abduction of Helen - Erika Meriaux
As you can see, beauty means different things to different people. Its definition can change with time and place. So what do we make of that? How does someone try to be “beautiful?”
True beauty need not follow a fad or trend. Rather, more lasting beauty adheres to a sense of symmetry and proportion. A plastic surgeon with a keen eye for that proportion can 1) educate you about what options are best for you, and 2) help you realize that beauty within yourself. One of my life’s greatest joys comes from helping people achieve not just a new look, but an understanding of their personal beauty and worth. Care to join me on the journey?

To begin with…

We are more than just a combination of parts.
Not just heart plus brain plus skin.
Not breasts and womb.
Not arms plus legs plus belly plus back.
We are a whole, and can be whole if we’ll allow it to be so.
How many of us define ourselves by our compartments, or by the compartments we fill – job, spouse, parent?
Now, this may seem a weighty subject for a simple plastic surgeon running a blog talking about beauty. I can enhance certain parts, and that may change how others see you. But a bigger question is how you see yourself. Are you beautiful? Why do you think yes or no? What makes you so?
In reality I can change your proportions. I can nip or tuck here or there. But your real beauty is up to you. I’m just happy I’m allowed to be a part of the process.


Welcome to beauty, art, and medicine – a blog by Dr. Jared Nimtz of the Waldman Schantz Plastic Surgery Center!

Cue the intro music….

Every six weeks or so, I go to get my hair cut.  Now, I’m not an expert on hair cutting or hairstyles.  I do know what I like, and what I think looks nice, but how to achieve the look I want is more difficult.  Many people approach plastic surgery in a similar way.  Consider the mother who faces deflated breasts, who just wants “them to look perky again.”  The older gentleman who wants to “comfortably fit into clothes.”  A lady who wants to “look younger and more refreshed.”  Even the younger woman who wants larger breasts may not fully appreciate the variety of choices available.

The internet has done much to advance the interest people have in plastic surgery.  Whether information comes from people offering their surgical stories, or surgeons offering advice, or even celebrity bloggers offering plastic surgery watches, the reader is left wondering what they should trust, and how they should go about reaching their cosmetic goals.

In starting this blog, I hope to accomplish several things.  I want it to introduce people to reliable information to plan their future consultations, but I also want to expand the readers’ understanding of what beauty is, and how to achieve it.  To accomplish this I’ll be discussing art, science, and nature in ways you may not have previously considered.

This blog will by no means sidestep the standard consultation process that should precede any medical or surgical procedure.  If you find something here that interests you, please make an appointment and come see me and the rest of the Waldman Schantz Plastic Surgery team.   The location is new and elegant, and the quality of care is exceptional.