Huge Allergan Announcement

Huge announcement and thank you! We at Maine Laser Skin Care have recently received a big announcement from Allergan, the makers of Botox, Juvederm fillers, Kybella and CoolSculpting:

Allergan regularly ranks aesthetic practices at different levels based on their patient volume and overall use (i.e. distribution) of their products.  Maine Laser Skin Care started out several years ago at Allergan’s Silver level, and quickly progressed to Gold.  In the past year, we transitioned quickly through Platinum and Platinum Plus.

The big announcement and thank you concerns the recent announcement that we have just achieved Diamond level.  This distinction now ranks us among the top practices in Maine and in the top 3% globally.

This achievement is truly mind-boggling considering our modest beginnings 15 years ago.  Plus, Maine is a predominantly rural and sparsely populated state compared with our national and global competition.

I personally want to thank you, our clients, and all our patients for this great achievement. It will translate this achievement into more discounts and specials that we can pass on to you, plus more Brilliant Distinctions benefits.

Meanwhile, if we can help you in any way to look better and feel better, please call our Augusta office at (207) 873-2158 or our Scarborough office at (207) 303-0125 to schedule a consultation or treatment.

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October Product of the Month

Our October Product of the Month is a staff favorite that Emily, our Augusta receptionist, uses every day. This month’s special product is the SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture.

SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture is a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer that minimizes pore size.  It has been specifically formulated for normal or oily skin.

This exclusive combination of marine extracts acts to hydrate and nourish the skin, giving a fresh, glowing appearance to whomever applies it.  The reduction in pore size also results in a smoother texture for the skin.

Daily Moisture is best applied once or twice daily to the face, neck, and decollete. For the best results overall, Daily Moisture can be used after applying an antioxidant and before applying a sunscreen.

The 60 milliliter, or 2 fluid ounce, jar retails at $62, and will last several months even when used twice daily. You can order a bottle for yourself online at this link, or call us either in Augusta at (207) 873-2158 or in Scarborough at (207) 303-0125.

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Six Strategies to Save Your Skin

There are certain common daily habits that can be bad for your complexion, but you may not realize how bad these habits can be until the damage is done.  While new technologies are now available to reverse certain prolonged skin impairments, they can only do so much in the end.

Prevention remains the best medicine.  In fact, these six key strategies will save your skin from unnecessary repercussions and expensive treatments down the road:

1.) What You Eat Can Help Or Hurt Your Skin

You are probably familiar with the saying, “You are what you eat.”  Just like other benefits to eating healthy, your skin needs nourishment from the inside as well as the outside.

Important components of diet for skin health include daily protein intake to support production of collagen, and elastin & omega-3 fatty acids to improve cell membranes and to reduce inflammation.  Antioxidants are also vital, which is why foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E can help limit damage before it progresses to visible levels.

2.) Drink Your Water

Insufficient total body intake of fluids can result in your skin drying out, making the signs of aging more evident.  Without adequate water consumption, your body and your skin will not work efficiently, resulting in an accumulation of toxins and the skin looking dry and frankly older.

Ideal water intake can vary from person to person depending on gender, weight, and activity levels.  My rule of thumb for people is that if your urine has any yellow coloration, you are not drinking enough.  Keep drinking water until the urine itself looks like water.

3.) Protect Your Skin

Too much sun exposure is the number one factor affecting skin health and causing premature appearance of aging.  Ultraviolet rays causes collagen to break down, pores to enlargement, and pigmentation of the skin to become abnormal, which is the most evident effect of them all.

The prescription remains the same: try to stay out of the sun during its peak hours of 10 AM to 2 PM.  Wear hats and sunglasses when you can’t avoid the sun.  Finally and most importantly, wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30+ every day.

4.) Keep Your Skin Clean

Pollution in the environment, whether in the air or on your hands, can cause damage to your skin.  The most effective methods to counter the effects of these agents include a skin care regimen of a gentle cleanser morning and night, an antioxidant serum, and a moisturizer.  Clean the dirt off your skin whenever you can, and your skin will be better able to repair itself.

5.) Your Skin Needs Beauty Rest

Lack of sufficient sleep is most obvious on your skin with the appearance of wrinkled puffy skin and dark circles.  Be consistent with your sleep habits.

Go to bed at the same time most nights, and wake up at the same time every day after at least 6-8 hours of sleep.  Also try to eliminate as much light and sound in your bedroom as you can.

6.) Get More Exercise

Physical exercise is important for your body and your skin.  Time and again, medical studies have shown that exercise can slow and reverse the appearance of skin aging.

Exercise increases blood flow through your skin.  More blood flow helps flush out toxins within the skin, and delivers more oxygen and nutrition throughout your body.

As you can see, lifestyle habits can have dramatic effects on your appearance and overall health.  Since your skin is your largest organ, many of the habits for your general health will make you feel better and look better too.

However, if there is old skin damage from years past, we here at Maine Laser Skin Care can help reduce it or remove it depending on its severity.  Feel free to call us at our Augusta office at (207) 873-2158 or our Scarborough office at (207) 303-0125 for your free consultation.  Our mission remains to “beautify Maine one face (and body) at a time”

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Important Update on Vampire Procedures

Many regular readers know not only how much I stand by every procedure that Maine Laser Skin Care practices on our patients, but most especially how much I have stressed the effectiveness of the recent Vampire procedures.  Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of attention in the news media lately about a spa in New Mexico that was improperly handling blood and needles in a way that may have exposed their clients to bloodborne infections such as hepatitis and HIV.

Over this past weekend, I received an email from Charles Runels M.D., the inventor of the Vampire Facelift procedure.   In the message, he discussed some very important details about this incident that I feel personally and professionally obligated to relay to all of you, especially those of you who are understandably concerned.

First and foremost, this New Mexico spa was illegally using the name Vampire Facelift.  Unlike us, the providers were not trained by Dr. Runels and were not certified to perform this procedure.

The only medical offices or spas that allowed to use this formal name of Vampire Facelift are those that have been trained either by Dr. Runels himself or his certified medical teachers.  All of us who perform Vampire Facelifts safely and successfully are members of the American Cellular Medicine Association (ACMA), and can also be found on the official Vampire Facelift website,

Second, there are over 10,000 medical papers published on the effectiveness and safety of the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) in multiple medical specialties.  Over one million procedures are performed per year worldwide using PRP, and no one has died or had a serious infection when done by someone certified by the ACMA group and using FDA-approved equipment.

Third, proper medical technique needs to be used at all times in any procedure involving human blood.  Those techniques are followed meticulously when any Vampire procedure is performed at Maine Laser Skin Care.

The blood is drawn in a sterile fashion and placed in a sterile tube specifically designed and FDA-approved for PRP treatments.  After being centrifuged, the PRP is also removed from tube into sterile syringes with sterile needles.

Before anything is re-injected into the body, the skin is cleaned thoroughly to insure a clean site for injection or microneedling.  Done properly, everything in the chain of blood handling is sterile, and there is no trace of blood from anyone else.

Fourth, whether it is Botox, injectable fillers, or Vampire procedures, I feel it is important that the consumer knows that the injector is fully trained and certified and experienced.  I have been a physician for over 30 years, and have performed aesthetic procedures for over 15 years.

I traveled to Alabama over three years ago to be trained in person by Dr. Runels in Vampire techniques.  I have since treated hundreds of patients with these procedures over that time frame.

With as much medical certainty as possible, I can vouch for the safety of the use of platelet rich plasma.  I have had the Vampire Facelift done on myself, and several members of my family have undergone Vampire treatments on multiple occasions without complications.

Sadly, there are always going to be unscrupulous people out there who pretend to be medical professionals when they are not, or who take advantage of unsuspecting consumers who only want to improve their appearance.  Hopefully this incident will be an isolated case that will not tarnish the image of this very valuable and safe procedure or anyone who is actually qualified to practice it.

If you have any questions about the Vampire Facelift or any of our other procedures, please feel free to call our office in Augusta at (207) 873-2158 or in Scarborough at (207) 303-0125 to ask or to schedule a free consultation.  We also carry the book about the Vampire Facelift authored by Charles Runels M.D.  To get your free copy, just call us or drop by our offices at either 12 Shuman Ave, Suite 7 in Augusta, or 438 US Route 1 in Scarborough.

Posted in News, Other, Vampire Facelift, Vampire Facial, Vampire Hair Regrowth, Vampire Procedures | 1 Comment

Tips For Managing Acne

Acne is a very common and very visible skin condition that we commonly treat here at Maine Laser Skin Care.  As a result, our patients ask us lots of questions that revolve around how to prevent outbreaks or how to manage acne when outbreaks have already occurred.

As we are well into a new school year, I thought now would be an especially good time to review useful skin care tips for the acne prone, both teens and adults:

1.) Wash your face twice a day and after sweating.

Removing elements that could plug your pores is important, of course.  Sweat can make acne worse, especially when one is wearing a helmet or hat.  Washing your face after a game, practice, or workout is a great start to preventing more acne from spreading.

2.) When washing your face, do so gently.

Gently apply a non-abrasive cleanser to your face, and use only your fingertips when washing.  Scrubbing can unnecessarily irritate the skin, so please be gentle!

3.) Use gentle products on your skin.

Avoid products that contain alcohol.  Do not use astringents or exfoliants that irritate the skin.  When skin is red and dry, acne looks and feels worse.

4.) Rinse your face with lukewarm water after washing.

If you wash your face with hot water, you will overly irritate delicate tissues.  You can wash your face with cold water, but lukewarm water will feel much more comfortable and be just as effective.

5.) If you have oily hair, shampoo daily.

Oily hair will result in acne outbreaks along the hairline and neck.  Regular shampooing will remove pore-clogging oils and debris.

6.) Do not pick or pop your acne pimples.

Popping pimples, while temporarily satisfying after the initial pinch, makes the localized acne worse.  Even more importantly, it increases the risk of scarring in the long term.  Like any other bad habit, avoid it at all costs.

7.) Keep your hands off your face.

You would be shocked if you knew all the disgusting bacteria that are on your fingertips over the course of a day even with regular hand washing.  Touching acne-prone skin can result in more flareup and that temptation to pick (See Tip #6 above).

8.) Avoid the sun and tanning beds.

Not only does tanning damage your skin, but many acne medications make your skin more sensitive to ultraviolet rays, increasing both pigmentation of current acne scars and future risk for skin cancer.  Wearing sunscreen every day and staying away from tanning beds altogether are ideal habits for your overall skin health, but it is especially great for preventing the spread of acne as well.

Acne is a very treatable condition.  The team here at Maine Laser Skin Care can help you to combat existing acne while also preventing new breakouts and reducing the risk of  developing scars.

You can call us either in Augusta at (207) 873-2158 or in Scarborough at (207) 303-0125 to schedule your next free and confidential consultation to see how we can help with acne or other skin issues you may be having.  As always, our mission is to beautify Maine one face at a time.

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September Product of the Month

We chose Maine Laser Skin Care’s Product of the Month specifically for September because it is a perfect treatment for the end of the summer.  This product, like many great things about autumn from pumpkin spice to colorful foliage, makes the end of summer feel far less harrowing, and brings about a feeling of excitement for the ensuing fall season.

C-STEM has the distinction of being this month’s highlighted product.  As its primary active ingredient, C-STEM contains vitamin C, which is well known as a powerful antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals that damage human cells.

Throughout the summer, your skin cells are bombarded by ultraviolet A and B rays from the sun.  Unfortunately, these UV rays produce such free radicals within the skin that cause visible damage to the skin’s surface over a period of years.

Applying C-STEM to your skin daily can protect your skin while also reversing sun-related darkening and discoloration.  What better time to repair any residual summer skin damage while brightening your skin simultaneously.

C-STEM comes in two convenient sizes and can be ordered online through our Maine Laser Skin Care website.  You can also purchase either size bottle by calling or visiting either of our locations in Augusta [12 Shuman Ave, Suite 7, (207) 873-2158] or Scarborough [438 US Route 1, (207) 303-0125].

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What You Need To Know Before Laser Hair Removal

Other than Botox injections, laser hair removal remains our most popular procedure here at Maine Laser Skin Care at both our Augusta and Scarborough locations.  Men and women both tend to have hair in areas of their bodies that should not have hair, and shaving and waxing is only a temporary, not to mention an often painful, solution to the problem.

Despite its popularity and a wealth of information available on removing unwanted hair permanently by way of laser, we still get lots of questions about this treatment.  I thought I would compile a number of these most-commonly-asked inquiries for this blog post:

How Long Is a Laser Treatment for Hair Removal?

The amount of time one laser hair removal treatment takes can vary depending on the area of the body that is being treated.   Removing hair from the upper lip takes only a few minutes, while wider areas of the body such as the back and the legs take as much as thirty minutes each.  For comfort reasons, we generally try to limit the total laser time to 30 minutes per procedure if possible.

Is Laser Hair Removal Effective Anywhere on the Body?

Yes.  I frequently tell anyone who asks this question that I have performed laser hair removal on literally every part of the body except the top of the head.

Is Laser Hair Removal Painless?

No, but the pain involved is generally well-controlled when using a combination of numbing cream and application of a cold compress to the area immediately after a treatment.  Most patients tell us that the pain is less than that experienced with electrolysis, tattoos or waxing the same area.

The first treatment is generally the most uncomfortable because of a combination of the amount of hair that needs to be removed and a patient’s general anxiety.  Rest assured, each subsequent treatment is progressively less painful.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

The laser beam targets the color within the hair, especially in the root where the color is most concentrated.  When the laser light is absorbed by the targeted spot, a burst of heat will damage the root if it is in its growth phase.

After the root is “killed”, the shaft will fall out on its own.  Then, that hair will be gone permanently.

Why Do I Have to Come Back for Multiple Laser Hair Treatments?

Laser hair removal is only effective when the hair is in its active growth phase, and only 10-15% of hairs are in that phase on any particular day.  Therefore, to treat a specific area such as the chin, multiple sessions are needed to remove the majority of the hair in that area.  Laser hair removal is universally regarded as the most effective method to permanently eliminate unwanted hair.

How Popular is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal grows in popularity every year.  Over 1 million laser hair removal procedures were performed in the US last year alone, and this year’s number is already on track to exceed last year’s total.

Will Laser Hair Removal Help with My Ingrown Hairs?

Laser hair treatments are particularly effective in dealing with ingrown hairs whether from shaving or plucking.  The most common areas for ingrown hairs are in the lower neck area in men and the underarms and bikini area in women.  By eliminating the hair roots, the laser treatments prevent the hair shafts from building up under the skin, thereby causing bumps, irritations and infections.

Will My Laser Hair Treatments Be Cost Effective and Worth It?

Despite the cost of the individual laser sessions, laser hair removal has been found to be cost effective compared to simpler methods such as shaving and waxing.  The lifetime cost of waxing the face and bikini areas alone can be more than $25,000, and that amount is not even counting the time spent having the repeat treatments done over and over again.  With the laser hair removal, your final outcome will be permanent hair removal in the treated area.

If you have any other questions about this procedure that has liberated many people, especially women, from the embarrassment of facial and other area hair growth, feel free to call us at (207) 873-2158 in Augusta, or (207) 303-0125 in Scarborough to ask.  You may also schedule a free and confidential consultation with our highly trained staff, who are constantly working to “beautify Maine one face at a time.”

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How Inflammation Affects The Skin

If you have ever experienced the feeling of skin inflammation, you know that it is usually painful and sometimes unsightly to look at, especially if you have it.  Still, skin inflammation is frequently the result of an immune response to damage to the skin, or sometimes even the threat of damage.

This inflammatory response is actually an important and normal response that initiates healing when the skin has been damaged by trauma.  However, when the inflammation becomes chronic and ongoing, your skin cells remain inflamed and then become shrunken and dehydrated.

The list of causes of skin inflammation is extensive and includes:

  • ultraviolet light
  • stress
  • poor diet
  • environmental pollution
  • lack of sleep
  • chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and COPD
  • genetic predisposition

Although everyone can uniquely react to these causes, skin inflammation can result in a range of skin problems including rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and acne.  The skin can also experience sudden traits of generalized aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, and crêpey skin.

As previously noted, inflammation can be beneficial when your body uses it to heal skin wounds and kill bacteria.  This type of process is a temporary or acute inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is much more insidious, and occurs over an extensive period of time.  Initially, chronic inflammation may not be visible on the skin’s surface, and may be smoldering underneath the surface.

The inflammation associated with the aging process and sun damage typically causes gradual but progressive effects on the skin.  Conversely, if we can limit and control inflammation, we can reverse and even prevent some of the signs of aging.

Genetics can also be a significant factor in an individual’s susceptibility to inflammation.  Many people are born with a lower threshold for inflammation, and therefore are labeled as having sensitive skin.

While there is no solution to skin inflammation that works for everyone, there are basic helpful principles that the majority of people can apply.  For example, protecting the skin is a key to reducing the inflammation that cascades the aging process.

For that reason, as you may well know, I recommend sunscreen use for everyone.  At Maine Laser Skin Care, we carry several lines of sunscreen that are excellent for sun protection even for those with sensitive skin.

After assuring proper protection for the skin, it is also important to enhance the skin barriers that prevent toxins from entering the skin from outside.  A good moisturizer will reinforce the skin’s natural defenses, as dry and scaling skin can allow external forces to damage deeper within the skin.

More active treatments for inflammation can include the use of topical products containing antioxidants.  These ingredients can absorb and neutralize the free radicals produced by damaging forces, and prevent and limit the inflammatory effects of aging.  Vitamin C-based topicals are very effective and, as a result, are very soothing to the skin.

Other indirect methods can also help prevent and limit skin inflammation.  Regularly consuming foods including leafy greens, whole grains, fruits, and cold water or oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna) can greatly diminish inflammation.

Internal hydration by drinking plenty of water and limiting caffeine and alcohol can also boost your inflammatory abilities.  Plus, getting more sleep is a great help, as they don’t call it beauty rest for nothing.

For those who want to limit the effects of aging (and who doesn’t),  using these common sense approaches regularly can help.  The treatments that we perform regularly here at Maine Laser Skin Care can also undo much of the old damage you may already exhibit.

Feel free to call our Augusta office at (207) 873-2158, or our Scarborough office at (207) 303-0125 to schedule your free and confidential consultation with our medical and aesthetic staff.  Our major goal is still to “beautifying Maine one face at a time.”

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Baby Botox: The Latest Trend In Injectables

Some of you who have noticed the title of this blog post probably assume that I have lost my mind.  You may be thinking that it is one thing for people in their teens and early 20s to receive Botox treatments, but babies?  Really?

Allow me to set your mind at ease and explain what I mean by “Baby Botox”.  The term actually has nothing to do with infants, if the thought of babies having their faces injected with needles makes you understandably appalled.

What Baby Botox actually means is using smaller doses of Botox on an adult patient at each point of injection to achieve a smoother and more natural look.  According to various articles that have been published recently, Baby Botox is considered to be the hottest trend in the use of Botox.

Many people, out of fear of looking frozen, have been afraid to even try Botox in the past.  With Baby Botox, smaller doses are used per injection, and these micro-injections are also precisely targeted to achieve one’s desired look.

For years at Maine Laser Skin Care, I have counseled patients that when it comes to Botox, less is more.  In other words, it is easier to add more Botox to a section of the body later than it is to over-treat someone, or add too much Botox to create that stereotypical frozen look.

Even before the term became used in such articles, I have personally used and taught this technique of only using minimal dosage of Botox.  How much Botox a person needs really depends on multiple factors, including the age of the person, whether or not they have had Botox in the past, and the strength of the muscle area that needs to be treated.

The other benefit of smaller Botox doses is that the already small number of Botox complications becomes even smaller.  For example, in the forehead area, if micro-doses of Botox are used and precisely targeted to achieve maximal effect in the frontalis muscle, a common Botox side effect known as eyebrow droop (see the picture on the left) becomes rare to non-existent.

This Baby Botox trend finally recognizes a principle that we at Maine Laser Skin care have stood by for the 15 years since our founding: no two faces are exactly the same, every face is unique, and each face requires a customized approach.  A cookie cutter approach to Botox or any aesthetic treatment will eventually gives those therapies an undeserved bad name.

Smaller targeted injection of Botox can be virtually personalized to each individual getting treatments so that their aesthetic goals and their concept of beauty are met.  If lower doses of Botox do not eliminate all intended lines after several weeks, more small doses can then be added.  Once an individualized formula for Botox is developed for a person’s face, this process can be repeated with each visit.

This approach also works very well in the emerging use of Botox to prevent the appearance of facial lines in the first place.  Because many people are starting to receive preventative Botox treatments even as young as their late 20s or early 30s, the low-dose method of Baby Botox can help to manipulate the way that wrinkle-producing muscles move.

Here at Maine Laser Skin Care, you will always receive a personalized, individual evaluation and an approach that will be tailored to your goals.  If we determine in your next free consultation that Botox is indeed the product that is best for you, you will not be overdone and we will always strive to make you look more relaxed and a younger version of yourself.

Speaking of free consultations, if you would like to schedule one for yourself, please call our Augusta office at (207) 873-2158 or our Scarborough office at (207) 303-0125.  We will continue to move forward on our mission “to beautify Maine one face (and body) at a time”.

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Changes in Treating Unwanted Fat

Over the past decade, there has been a tremendous shift in the way the medical profession treats areas of unwanted fat on the body, particularly the love handles, the lower abdomen, the upper abdomen, and upper arms.  Ten years ago, the only fat removal available required invasive surgery with all the pain, expense, and potential risks that anesthesia and surgery implies.

Currently, the majority of fat removal or body contouring is done in offices, not operating rooms.  Fat removal is now predominantly non-invasive or minimally invasive with no flesh-cutting, no anesthesia, and virtually no downtime after the procedure.

In fact, data from the American Society of Dermatological Surgery in 2016 showed that for every invasive or surgical procedure, there are 10 non-invasive fat removal procedures.  That is equivalent to about 6 million non-invasive procedures per year.

The main advantage of surgical fat removal is that the treatment can be done in one treatment session and the removal of fat is immediate.  However, the procedure is usually followed by bruising and post-operative pain.

Plus, when it comes to surgery, the risks from anesthesia and infection are real.  Also, patients who have undergone surgery in the past note that managing drains and wearing compression garments after surgery are uncomfortable.

In contrast, the fat removal procedures performed at Maine Laser Skin Care and Medi Spa, both in our Augusta and Scarborough locations, are shorter in duration and less painful.  They also require less recovery time and  minimal side effects.

Current CoolSculpting treatment cycles can be completed in 35 minutes, whereas previous versions took 60 minutes.  Better yet, after a CoolSculpting procedure is done, you can get off the treatment table and go out to do all your normal activities without restriction.

Kybella, the injection therapy for the submental or “double chin” area, does involve needles and some discomfort that is minimized by a topical numbing cream.  There is a burning sensation right after the treatment with redness and swelling for a week, but the pain is still a far cry from the after-effects of invasive surgery.

It usually takes a period of several months for the fat cells that are damaged by Kybella and/or CoolSculpting to be completely removed from the body.  However, most patients feel that this difference from surgical treatment is still a worthy trade-off in terms of improved post-procedure comfort, decreased expense, and significantly shorter downtime.

As you can see, much has changed over the past ten years in the area of fat removal.  This area of aesthetic medicine is likely to continue to change and grow.

Here at Maine Laser Skin Care and Medispa, we will continue to remain at the forefront of these procedures in the state of Maine as we continue our mission to “beautify Maine one face (and body) at a time”.   If you have any questions about these fat removal technologies and how we can help you eliminate those pesky bulges that resist proper diet and exercise, call us at (207) 873-2158 in Augusta or (207) 303-0125 in Scarborough for a free and confidential individualized consultation.

Posted in Coolsculpting, Fat Reduction, Kybella | Leave a comment