A Few Minutes with Local Beauty Expert Kelly Sutter, RN, CANS of SkinWellnessMD.



We had the chance to talk with Kelly, the owner of SkinwellnessMD, the newest medical spa in Southern Maryland located in Lusby, MD. We asked some beauty questions which were on our minds.

SMW: We have had some very interesting conversations regarding skincare, laser treatments and personal beauty routines. We discussed everything from in office treatments performed by medical professionals to home care products. Would you start by explaining about how modern technology fits into our lives in terms of making our skin beautiful?

Kelly: Absolutely. The most exciting part of SkinWellnessMD both in the Annapolis and Lusby offices is the decision we made to invest in American made laser technology. The Sciton suite of lasers are the only aesthetic lasers made in the United States. Sciton lasers are manufactured in Palo Alto, California. This Silicon Valley company is privately held and has the world’s best research and development engineers. When I attend a laser meeting or trade show and a salesman tries to sell me a laser they always ask what I already own. When the answer is a Sciton Joule I am never asked to buy their products. The most influential leaders in the industry all own Sciton technology. This speaks volumes in terms of quality and outcomes for our patients.

SMW: Tell us about what these lasers can accomplish?

Kelly: One of the best examples of the effectiveness of the Sciton laser treatments is the MicroLaserPeel (MPL), which we highly recommend to our patients. This is a trademarked treatment unique to Sciton. A MicroLaserPeel removes a thin layer of damaged skin to improve texture and provide a more youthful appearance. It provides superior results because it can be administered with great precision of depth. The procedure is performed in our physician’s office and can be custom tailored to your specific skin conditions and desired outcome.

SMW: How does a MicroLaserPeel work?

Kelly: The MicroLaserPeel’s beam is scanned over a treatment area to remove a very thin layer of the skin. Removing the top layer eliminates some of the damaged cells that can give skin a tired, aged look. As the skin heals, fresh cells grow and resurface the treated area. The result is healthier-looking skin, often with reduced wrinkles and improved color evenness. Patients often say that it looks like their skin went from tired to vibrant.

SMW: What conditions and what areas of the body can be treated with MicroLaserPeel?

Kelly: MicroLaserPeel is ideal for mild wrinkles, scars, especially acne scars, Keratosis, sun damage (brown spots, freckles), pigment irregularities, texture issues and skin laxity, and most skin areas can be treated. Popular treatment areas are the face and neck, though
some people also treat the chest and hands. You can discuss your needs with your physician.

SMW: How many treatments would a patient require?

Kelly: Excellent results can be obtained in just one treatment, however the number of treatments needed may vary from patient to patient. Your physician can personalize a plan based on your specific needs and may choose to combine MicroLaserPeel with other aesthetic procedures to further personalize your treatment.

SMW: What will happen during the procedure?

Kelly: Your skin will be cleansed in the treatment area and your eyes will be protected with safety shields. Your physician or nurse will position the laser hand piece above the skin and will hold it in place as the computer guided scanner moves the laser beam around the treatment area. Depending on the size of the area being treated, the procedure usually
takes less than 30 minutes.

SMW: Will it be uncomfortable?

Kelly: One of the primary advantages of the MicroLaserPeel is that it causes little pain because it does not penetrate very deep into the skin. At it’s most shallow settings, most people can tolerate the treatment with no anesthetic at all. At deeper settings, a topical numbing cream is typically used.

SMW: What should a patient expect immediately after the treatment?

Kelly: Immediately after the treatment you will notice that the skin has a “frosty” appearance. This is the dehydrated skin that will peel away within the next few days following the treatment. You may experience some skin redness and a sensation resembling sunburn as well as mild swelling.

SMW: How long does it take to recover?

Kelly: Depending on the depth of the treatment, most patients feel comfortable enough to return to work within 3 to 4 days – an attribute that has given rise to the term weekend peel. While recovering at home you will feel well enough to enjoy all your normal indoor activities.

SMW: What aftercare is needed?

Kelly: You will be given skin care products and instructions on how to use them. Your skin will be sensitive to ultraviolet light after the procedure, so you must avoid direct sun exposure until fully healed. It is recommended that you always use some level of sunscreen to avoid sun damage and premature aging of your skin.

SMW: When should a patient expect results?

Kelly: Because only the outer layer of skin is treated, most patients notice an obvious improvement in tone, texture and color evenness once the skin is healed in 3-4 days.

SMW: This really does sounds amazing! Tell us more about what lasers can

Kelly: I have trained with Dr. Patrick Bitter who teaches the Forever Young BBL treatment. Dr. Bitter is the creator of the Photofacial (or Fotofacial); he is famous for the 10 year Bitter/Stanford University study. The Bitter/Stanford study followed a group of women from ages 30s to 50s. The women began with three Photofacials the first year of the study, for the next 9 years they had one or two per year. After ten years, photographs were taken and double blind panels of skin experts were asked to identify the beginning photographs from 10 years prior. The experts could not tell the difference between the photographs or choose the more recent photograph. All participants in the study showed that their skin had not aged in 10 years. When working with Dr. Bitter his enthusiasm for the procedure and the outcomes achieved gets me so very excited, I want to make sure everyone receives this treatment.

SMW: You got our attention. Please tell us more about this treatment.

Kelly: Photofacial is performed with a light technology known as BBL or Broad Band Light. A hand held device attached to the machine delivers a bright burst of light. The light penetrates through the skin and is absorbed by dilated vessels and excessive pigmentation (brown spots) without any damage to the skin. By utilizing specific light parameters the color of the skin (skin tone) can be improved with no down time.

SMW: What does a Photofacial treat?

Kelly: Any area of your body can be treated. The most commonly treated areas are those most exposed to the damaging effects of sun light, such as face, neck, back of the hands, chest, arms and shoulders. A series of Photofacial treatments are highly effective for a variety of skin conditions such as sun damage or brown spots, broken capillaries, small spider veins, general skin redness and facial flushing. These treatments consistently and predictably
improve the visible appearance of the skin with little or no down time.

SMW: How many treatments will a patient need and what improvement will a patient see in their skin?

Kelly: Generally, we recommend 3 to 5 treatments (each 3 to 4 weeks apart) depending on the amount of damage to the skin. After the initial series, maintenance sessions are usually one every 3 to 4 months. Younger patients would require maintenance treatments twice a year. On average 90% improvement is seen in most patients.

SMW: Are there any side effects with treatment?

Kelly: Because of the inherent safety of the treatment, most of the side effects are mild and short in duration. There is usually mild redness immediately following treatment lasting less than 24 hours. On rare occasions the redness may last up to three days. Mild swelling of the face may occur and will resolve over several days.

SMW: What will a patient expect during the treatment?

Kelly: Each treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes. We will remove all make-up, sun block and face creams. Men will be asked to shave on the day of treatment, prior to their arrival. Eye shields will be applied to protect the eyes. A cool gel will be applied on the skin prior to treatment which will help reduce any discomfort and a warm “rubber band snap” sensation may be felt as the light is absorbed by the targeted areas.

SMW: What can patients expect after a treatment?

Kelly: Redness similar to mild sunburn following the treatment, this generally lasts less than 24 hours. Avoid anything that creates heat for two days after treatment: hot bath, sauna and exercise. Avoid direct sun exposure (natural and artificial) for 7-10 days following each treatment. Pigment presented in the treatment area will usually darken and flake off your skin.

SMW: What else can you tell us about the long term benefits of these laser treatments?

Kelly: When I worked with Dr. Bitter recently he spent a good deal of time talking about genetic expression and anti-aging. These treatments make the skin look so very bright and healthy. All of these treatments are not about chasing wrinkles but about building your own collagen and having your face look fresh and healthy.

SMW: What about other cosmetic options to improve the look of the face?

Kelly: Injectables are extremely popular with Botox injections being the most popular cosmetic procedure worldwide. This is a treatment that takes about 30 minutes and is a series of small injections to the upper third of the face. The goal is to relax the muscles of the forehead, between the eyes and around the eyes to give the face a rested look. Many clients seek treatment after coworkers or family members keep asking them if they are angry or tired. The treatment begins to work 2 to 4 days after injection with final results in about two weeks. Results last up to four months.

A second group of injectables called dermal fillers are products that restore volume and remove wrinkles. The most popular treatment right now is Voluma, an injectable designed to treat volume loss of the cheek area. This gives nice lift to the lower face and makes the patient look younger. Lips and the fine lines around the lips are popular as well, this is an important area to treat in a way that makes the patient look natural. The best injectables should not be detectable! Natural and healthy is the goal of an aesthetic treatment.

SMW: Lastly, we talked a bit about the beauty industry as a whole and I was struck by some of the statistics you shared with me about the average woman and her spending habits when buying beauty products. Would you share those numbers with our readers?

Kelly: Let’s start by asking your readers if they know the answers to the questions! What percentage of American women purchase a skin care product each month? And, what is the dollar amount of skincare products sitting in the average woman’s bathroom that she does not use? The number of women purchasing a skincare product each month is 87%. I found this to be astonishing but most clients guess the number correctly, many have answered 100%. The average woman has $880.00 dollars of product at home she does not use at all. This tells you that ladies keep purchasing products to correct or repair a problem, when they do not see results they purchase another product.

The problem is that the over-the-counter products have virtually nothing in them to change your skin at all, this includes products from grocery stores, department stores, pharmacies, spas, etc. They may feel good, you may like the fragrance and chances are you like the packaging too because companies producing these products spend their budgets on marketing rather than research and development.

All of the physician dispensed products we carry at SkinWellnessMD are designed for correction of a skin care issue and for maintaining beautiful skin. We encourage clients to use these products in tandem with the in-office treatments we provide. A great home care routine allows you to treat your skin morning and evening for the best results.

To schedule a consultation with Kelly Sutter, RN, CANS or Maureen Mussomele, RN call 410.231.2123 and visit skinwellnessmd.com for further information.