The war on wrinkles really is a war on aging, says Dr. Joseph Muccini. Beyond just wrinkles, the enemies in the fight include skin damage, laxity, changes in tone, surface and color. With more than 20 years of experience in dermatology, Muccini is equipped to help his patients wage that war at MidAmerica Skin Health & Vitality Center. “Wrinkles don’t occur in isolation; you need to consider everything in context to find the best approach for the patient to achieve the desired results.”
MidAmerica Skin, which Muccini opened on the campus of St. Luke’s Hospital two years ago, offers a wide variety of cosmetic services, in addition to medical and surgical dermatology. When patients come to him for cosmetic procedures, often they ask, What do I need? Muccini’s usual response is, I don’t think you need anything. But he also poses a different question: What bothers you? “I need to know how aggressively they want to attack the problem,” he explains.
The conversation is an education between doctor and patient, because the war on wrinkles doesn’t have just one solution. The dermatologist has worked hard to ensure his practice offers skin treatments that run the gamut from traditional to the most high-tech. It is a set of tools he likens to an artist’s palette. “If you had just one color on that tray, you can only paint in that shade. But if you have a full palette of colors, you can combine and mix them to create the exact shade you need.”
At the basic level, Muccini says every woman should have a regimen of skin care that includes a decent cleanser, a vitamin C serum in the morning, a retinoid at night, and sunscreen. From there, MidAmerica Skin offers chemical peels, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion and dermaplaning through an aesthetician on staff, as well as Cutera intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments. Other popular procedures are botulinums including Botox Cosmetic and Dysport, and fillers such as Juvéderm, Restylane, Perlane and Radiesse. “With the botulinums, you’re stopping the muscle contraction that causes wrinkles, while the fillers help even or smooth out parts of the skin where you already have them,” Muccini notes.
With a focus on providing cutting-edge treatments, Muccini also offers more aggressive options using lasers and/or ultrasound. He adds that he was the first dermatologist in St. Louis to offer Ulthera Ultrasound Skin Tightening, and while he has been using laser resurfacing since 1996, the practice recently began using new Pearl and Pearl Fractional lasers. By combining the two treatments, like paint on a palette, Muccini can provide patients a three-dimensional approach to skin rejuvenation. “Using both, you can get deeper level tightening, as well as superficial tightening and significant reduction in age spots or uneven skin coloration. The effects are pretty impressive.”
Whether it’s a lunchtime Botox appointment or an extensive laser procedure, Muccini makes sure his patients understand the ongoing commitment to ensure the best result possible. “If you put time, money and energy into doing something to help your skin, you want to protect that investment.”
Muccini says he is motivated by the reaction his patients have when they see the results in the mirror. “What matters in the end is that the patients feel better about themselves. As long as they feel like they got some benefit and are happy they went down this road, that’s all I need.”