High tech meets high touch

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DR. MIKE HAAS is no stranger to medical lasers. He’s been working with them since he was a biomedical engineering student at Tulane University in the 1970s.

Today, Dr. Haas is putting his knowledge into practice at Paradise on Columbia Med Spa in Covington. Armed with an arsenal of lasers and medical devices, Dr. Haas helps men and women look and feel their best.

“Thirty years ago, (esthetic lasers) were a lot different. You were put to sleep under general anesthesia and basically had a layer of skin burned off of your face. It worked, but you didn’t leave the house for six months,” he said.

Lasers used in modern esthetic procedures work much differently. Instead of ablating (or vaporizing) the entire face, the laser makes tiny channels in the skin. As the micro-wounds heal, collagen remodeling occurs which improves the look, color and texture of the skin.

“Now, the products and lasers we have minimizes the downtime, but they are powerful enough to be very effective,” Dr. Haas said.

Collagen remodeling is key to achieving a younger, fresher appearance, Dr. Haas said. Over time, collagen breaks down, impacting the skin’s structural framework. Dr. Haas likes to use a construction analogy to explain the process.

“Think of your skin like a wall. There’s sheetrock and two-by-fours. The collagen is like the two-by-fours,” he said. If the two-by-fours weaken and bend, the wall would sag and look bumpy. It works the same way with collagen. As the collagen bonds break and bend, your skin takes on fine lines, wrinkles and undulations.

The laser’s light energy heats the chemical bonds in the collagen, which smoothes them and straightens them back out.

“I see light energy as an eraser of time,” Dr. Haas said. “Once you educate clients about what lasers can and can’t do, almost everyone wants it done.”

When a client comes for his or her first appointment, Dr. Haas likes to start slowly. First, it’s important to see how a client’s skin will respond to laser treatment since some types of skin may not react as well as others.

Second, if the treatment is too intense, the client may not return for subsequent visits, Dr. Haas said. For most people, multiple treatments will be required to achieve optimum results. “I start mild and build up to stronger treatment if that’s what is required,” Dr. Haas said.

The goal of fractional laser resurfacing is to provide long-lasting results. It’s a therapeutic treatment — not a pampering facial that’s intended for relaxation. “The procedures we do here are therapeutic and actually improve the health of your skin,” he said.

Despite being a little hesitant about pain associated with laser treatment, Dr. Haas’s wife Joey allowed him to treat brown spots on her hands. She rubbed numbing cream on her hands prior to treatment and felt no discomfort. The best part? The results are truly remarkable.

“It was getting embarrassing, but it looks so much better,” she said, showing off a pair of youthful hands.

Discomfort associated with laser treatment is minimal and dissipates quickly. If a client is concerned, anesthetic cream can be applied to the skin prior to treatment and a cooling fan used to alleviate discomfort.

Along with fractional laser resurfacing, Paradise on Columbia offers a wide array of esthetic services. Injectables and fillers like Botox® and Juvederm® are on the menu of services along with photofacials, microdermabrasion, tattoo removal, dermaplaning, chemical peels, microneedling and more.

Laser hair removal is an extremely popular service at Paradise on Columbia, especially among younger clients, Joey said.

Laser hair removal is also a good way to get men in the door and introduce them to services they may not have considered before. For example, golfers, boaters and others who spend lots of time in the sun may have red and/or dark spots on their faces which laser treatment can correct.

“Slowly, those barriers between men and women seeking esthetic treatments are starting to break down,” she said.

The med spa also offers CryoPen treatment for warts, lesions, skin tags, moles, actinic keratosis, lentigo, keloids and other dermatologic conditions. Dr. Haas developed the medical device several years ago and sells the CryoPen to physician practices around the country. He also works to educate the medical community about the capabilities of lasers for esthetic and therapeutic uses. Paradise on Columbia opened in February with the goal of helping clients look their best while also promoting healthy skin and a healthy lifestyle.

“Our philosophy is it’s your skin for life so wear it well. We always want to find out (a clients’) concerns and how they want to look better. Then, we educate them and give them tools to keep their skin looking healthy,” Joey said.

To that end, Dr. Haas recently penned the book, “Your Body: Instructions for Use” that offers a holistic blueprint for losing weight and feeling great.

Joey said she follows the guidelines laid out in her husband’s book and has achieved dramatic weight loss and overall better health.

“It works. I swear by it,” she said. Copies of the book are also available for purchase at the med spa or on Amazon.

Paradise on Columbia is located at 200 N. Columbia St., in Covington. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling 985-892-8876 or visit paradiseoncolumbia.com for more information or to see monthly specials.



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