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Health Care

Tank tops, bathing suits, shorts, slip dresses... We all tend to wear a little less in the summer. If you're not comfortable in your skin, summertime styles can cause anxiety. If you've been considering tattoo removal, cellulite treatments, or are concerned about sun damage, The Dermatology Center is here to help!

The Dermatology Center owns five state-of-the-art lasers to treat a wide range of medical and cosmetic conditions. Their laser clinic addresses issues such as rosacea, acne and acne scarring, port wine stains, spider veins, wrinkles and sun damage.

Board-certified dermatologist Terri Morris, M.D., Ph.D, answered several questions we had concerning skin care and tattoo removal. Her practice includes medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology. She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and The American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.


Can any tattoo be removed regardless of color and size?

Today, most colors used in tattoos can be removed or significantly improved. We will have the new 532 mm handpiece that is the most effective technology for removing red tattoos.

How long does the tattoo removal process take? What is the recovery period?

With the new picoseconds lasers, tattoo removal may take up to five treatments. This is a marked improvement over the 10- 20 treatments it takes with the older technology. The recovery period is similar to that of getting the tattoo. The site is covered and kept moist with Vaseline or Aquaphor until the skin is healed.

Will the scarring from tattoo removal be noticeable?

Everyone will heal differently. In the best cases, there is no remnant of the tattoo and the skin looks normal. Some people may heal with hypopigmentation (lighter skin) or hyperpigmentation (darker skin) at the tattoo site.

Is tattoo removal more painful than getting a tattoo?

Never having gotten a tattoo, I have no first-hand experience. From the patients I have treated it seems that the pain is similar to getting a tattoo. We do use a topical numbing cream prior to removal.

What treatments do you have to repair sun-damaged skin?

There are multiple methods of repairing sun damage ranging from topical products to intense pulsed light to lasers. We provide consultation for all the options available.

How often should we be reapplying sunscreen throughout the day?What level of SPF do you recommend for everyday use?

Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is recommended. This level of SPF will block about 95 percent of the ultraviolet rays. Higher SPF can block some of the additional 5 percent. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours, or more frequently if in the water.

Do you see tweens or teenagers for acne treatment? Would their care differ from adult acne treatments?

We treat patients of all ages with acne. Treatment would vary with the severity of the acne. Typically tweens have milder acne that may be controlled with topical products, both prescription and over-the-counter. Adult acne is frequently related to makeup or hormonal changes and may be treated with different oral medications than those used in younger patients. Medical facials are done in our cosmetic spa to deep clean the pores and can be done in conjunction with medication.

What advice do you have to reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles?

Topical products will help to prevent and improve mild fine lines. Lasers are the mainstay of treatment for more advanced aging changes. Most lasers do have some downtime since they will produce some redness and swelling. The new PicoSure laser is the only laser for facial rejuvenation that has no downtime following treatment. In some cases, Botox and/or dermal fillers are used.

What causes cellulite?

Cellulite is caused when normal fat protrudes through fibrous bands and is located higher up in the skin, closer to the surface.

Is there any way to prevent cellulite or reduce its appearance?

There is no way to prevent cellulite. There are many treatments to reduce the appearance of cellulite but not to actually remove cellulite. Some treatments incorporate suction and massage and may temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite, but ongoing treatments are required.

When should someone have a mole checked for abnormal cell growth? What is that process like?

Anyone who notices a change in an existing mole or the appearance of a new mole should have it checked by a dermatologist. We recommend annual total skin exams to monitor for atypical appearing moles or lesions suspicious for cancer. Anyone who has a history of blistering sunburns — even as a child — should be checked routinely.

How often should skin be exfoliated?

Daily exfoliation can help minimize the effects of aging changes on the skin. Treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser treatments can provide more extensive, deeper exfoliation and are a great way to jumpstart the process.

For more information about The Dermatology Center, or to schedule an appointment, call (540) 371-7118 or visit 


Dr. Morris and the staff at The Dermatology Center will be hosting Ask The Expert with us on July 16th, 2015. If you have a question you'd like to ask, join us.

Ask The Expert is a live discussion that takes place on our Facebook Page every Thursday night at 8:00pm. Come join the conversation!

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