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Meet A Member of Our Staff – Julie Blecker

Julie Blecker has been part of the Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology team since 2010. With over 12 years of aesthetics experience, she is a great resource to anyone who has concerns or questions about their skin. As a licensed, medical esthetician she’s seen it all. Julie has always been fascinated about skin conditions, treatments and skin care products. After attending college for a few years and being undecided on what path she wanted to take, she went back to her first love, skin care and enrolled in aesthetics school. Since graduating from aesthetics school she’s become an expert in product ingredient knowledge and worked with a variety of different pharmaceutical grade cosmetic lines. If you ask Julie what her favorite procedure and product is, she won’t hesitate before answering. Julie is a personal fan of PCA peels. She’s seen great results from having them done on a regular basis and frequently receives compliments about how her skin glows. Another reason that Julie’s skin glows is her use of the Clarisonic, a skin cleansing device, that removes 6x more makeup and 2x more dirt and oil than cleansing with your hands alone. Since using the device for the first time, she has seen and felt an immediate difference in her skin and has been hooked ever since. Like most people, Julie wishes she would have taken better care of her skin when she was younger by using sunscreen on a regular basis when she was a kid. “I wish I would have been more aware of the damage the sun causes,” Julie states. As she’s gained knowledge throughout her career, she offers this bit of advice for her clients, “Exfoliate your skin on a regular basis and wear a minimum of 7% zinc oxide sunscreen every day and don’t forget to reapply.” Sounds like good advice to us!

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Meet A Member of Our Staff – Dr. Niki Christopoulos, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

You know that Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology has excellent dermatologists but did you also know that we offer aesthetic plastic surgery procedures as well? Dr. Niki Christopoulos is a plastic surgeon specializing in aesthetic plastic surgery of the face, breast and body. A Chicago area native, she completed medical school at Chicago Medical School and then went on to complete an intensive seven year surgical training at Rush University, one of Chicago’s leading university centers. She is Board Certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery as well as the American Board of Surgery. Aside from her impressive credentials, what sets Dr. Christopoulos apart from other plastic surgeons is her passion to combine her artistic and creative side with her surgical expertise. Plastic surgery allows her to treat patients of all ages and both men and women. For Dr. Christopoulos, plastic surgery is about restoring people to their best possible self, giving them the confidence that was altered or shake by disease or the natural aging process. For people who have concerns about plastic surgery, Dr. Christopoulos offers this insight, “Probably the biggest misconception about plastic surgery is two-fold. First, that it is unattainable or only for Hollywood types…definitely not the case. Second, is that it is difficult to have plastic surgery that looks natural or that is not obvious. Also not true. That is why the most important thing when considering plastic surgery is to find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with whom you can connect and whom you feel understands your vision.” When this Chicago plastic surgeon isn’t donning a pair of scrubs and a surgical gown, you will find her taking in all the city has to offer. From amazing restaurants to all of the activities, “Chicago is one of the greatest cities to live in!” If you’re new to the city or just looking for something to do, Dr. Christopoulos recommends taking the Chicago River architecture boat ride and then grabbing a bite to eat at Le Colonial. And make sure on the first day or Spring, you drive down Lake Shore Drive with the sunroof open (and your sunscreen on!). Dr. Niki Christopoulos is now accepting patients at Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology. Schedule your consultation with her today by calling 312-245-9965 ext. 2.

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Julie’s Favorite Product: Clarisonic Pro Face & Body

One of my favorite products is the Clarisonic brush. I’ve been asked by many patients whether it really works. My answer is always, YES! I have seen dramatic changes in my patient’s skin in texture, skin tone, brightening effects and significantly reduced number of breakouts.The Clarisonic has micro-vibrations that gently loosen dead skin cells and makeup making it more effective than manual cleansing. Clarisonic is the only brand that has been approved to be used after a chemical peel during the post care period. The Clarisonic brand sets itself apart from all other brands on the market because of its superior quality. One of the best features of the device is the choice of brush heads depending on your specific skin type. So, whether your skin is sensitive, acne prone or contains blackheads, there is a specific brush that would fit your skin needs. Also, the body brush and extension handle is great for use on the back as well as back acne and KP (keratosis pilaris). Cleansing benefits: Removes 6x more makeup than manual cleansing. Leaves skin feeling and looking smoother. Removes impurities that keep creams and serums from working their best. Gentle enough to use twice a day. Reduces redness associated with old blemishes. Minimizes the appearance of visible pores. Clarisonic has been on the market since 2001. The new Clarisonic PRO for face and body is available exclusively through skincare professionals, is beauty engineering at its most advanced. I highly recommend the PRO model to all of my patients. Also, don’t forget to register your Clarisonic online to extend your warranty. Remember, healthy, beautiful skin begins with the Clarisonic. Using it every day will make a noticeable difference in your skin. Your skin will be smooth, clean, vibrant and changed! Julie Blecker is a licensed medical aesthetician who has worked in aesthetics for over 12 years. She performs a variety of aesthetic procedures including microdermabrasion, chemical peels and deep pore cleanse. She has a passion for aesthetics and making her patients feel great in their own skin.

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An Esthetician’s inside point of view | Fine Line Eraser

Fine Line Eraser! So, I’m sure everyone has heard about growth factors in skincare products entering the market lately. Well, when I was introduced to the newest eye cream from Neocutis called Lumiere I was curious to see how this product was different. After just two weeks of using this product twice daily, I was sold. I noticed a significant difference in existing fine lines as well as tightening of the skin. This amazing eye cream contains 30% more PSP (processed skin cell proteins) than other products that Neocutis manufactures. This makes for faster results! This eye cream also contains anti-oxidants, caffeine and Hyaluronic acid to help firm and hydrate. This helps with stressed, puffy skin and reduces dark circles over time. Use twice daily for optimal results. Retail $80. Julie Blecker, Esthetician

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An Insider’s Point of View | Latisse

...Miracle in a bottle. I have been using Latisse for four years and my eyelashes have completely transformed from average to fabulous with only one thing…Latisse. I often get asked if I have fake lashes on or eyelash extensions. I have tried the fake lashes but I’ve never been very good at applying them and so half way through my evening, they are usually falling out and can make for an embarrassing situation! My secret is Latisse. And it’s less time consuming and overall less expensive than the alternatives. My lashes look great with mascara but I can even go without mascara now. They have made my lashes not only longer, but also fuller and darker. And it’s very easy to use. Just apply directly to the skin of the upper eyelid margin and the base of the eyelashes (like using eyeliner) every night. It takes about four weeks for you to notice the effects but being patient is well worth it! Latisse is a prescription and can be purchased through our office. Give us a call and make a wish on your new eyelashes! Trish, Patient Entry Staff and Cosmetic Coordinator

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An Esthetician’s Point of View | The Truth about Peels

An Esthetician’s point of view… The Truth about Peels I decided to blog about peels this month to help clarify and put to rest some notions that peels are scary and require days of downtime. In the early days of peels, it was believed that the more aggressive the peel the better the treatment. As such, peels were composed of a high percentage of a single acids that had to be neutralized and rinsed off, leaving your skin with a sunburnt appearance for several days. Here at CCSD we use different yet equally effective peels when used properly. PCA (Physicans Choice Alliance, LLC) peels are different because it’s a layered and leave on treatment. The peel slowly gets released into the skin over the next 5-8 hours and you rinse it off. Minimal flaking of the skin occurs between days 3-5 and you’ll be sent home with a post procedure kit that you will use to minimize the potential for complications and increase positive patient outcome. Some of the benefits to having the PCA peels done are that they effectively exfoliate and brighten with blends of Lactic, Citric and Salicylic acids, and Resorcinol, while promoting an even skin color with Kojic acid and Hydroquinone. These peels help encourage a clear complexion and soften the appearance of lines to provide a more even and smooth skin texture. These are great for overall skin health and maintenance. Myths and Truths Should skin peel after having a peel treatment? No, visible exfoliation doesn’t determine the efficacy of the treatment. Generally, healthy skin has less visible exfoliation as well as patients that use topical prescriptions on a regular basis. Exfoliation often takes place at the cellular level and is not always apparent to the naked eye. Could skin be too sensitive for a chemical peel? Sensitive skin is defined as a heightened intolerance to certain topical products or external factors. PCA’s Sensi-Peel is formulated as a unique peeling option for all patients, including those with highly sensitive skin. To find out which PCA peel is right for you I encourage you to meet with me, a Licensed Esthetician. I am also certified with PCA Skin. (Physicians Care Alliance) The consultation is free and the cost per treatment is $200 and a series of 6 for $1000 and could be performed every 3-4 weeks. Julie Blecker,LME

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National Eczema Awareness Month

October is National Eczema Awareness Month Eczema or atopic dermatitis comes in many forms. From mild to more severe cases, there is a very high prevalence of this skin issue among the general population. The most common symptom is itching and a red rash, but frequently there are other signs and symptoms. It is important to have a good daily skincare regimen and treatment from your dermatologist to help treat and prevent the recurrence of this common skin issue. Please let us know if you have any questions about eczema as this is eczema awareness month!

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An Esthetician’s Point of View | Silkpeel Dermalinfusion

The benefits of Silkpeel Dermalinfusion. I have often been asked about the difference between regular Microdermabrasion verses Silkpeel Dermalinfusion treatments. I hope to answer and clarify these questions for you! Silkpeel Dermalinfusion is a non-invasive skin rejuvenation procedure which offers advanced exfoliation and then delivery of problem specific, topical solutions. The diamond tip treatment will exfoliate the superficial buildup of dead skin allowing the solution delivery to penetrate deep within the skin. The dated versions of microdermabrasion with aluminum oxide crystals will leave the surface of the skin feeling dry and dehydrated. It is also not recommended to acne prone patients as there is a risk of worsening the acne. What makes Silkpeel Dermalinfusion treatments superior to other types of microdermabrasions…the ability to custom choose the type of topical solution for your specific skin needs! Patients with acne, oily prone skin would benefit from the Clarifying solution of 5% Salicylic Acid which helps decrease the surface bacteria count as well as help speed up the healing process of current acne blemishes. Patients with dry skin would benefit from the Hydrating solution which contains Hyaluronic Acid and Chamomile to soothes and moisturize the skin. Patients with skin discoloration caused by photodamage would benefit from the Lumixyl solution which helps lighten as well as brighten the skin It is best to have these treatments performed in a series of 6 and intervals of every 2 to 3 weeks. The cost is $150 per treatment or a series of 6 for $800. Your skin will feel softer and brighter after each treatment, but the series will yield maximal benefits. Julie Blecker, Esthetician  

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Client Reviews

Thank you to the friendly staff at CCSD for always making my visits pleasant and efficient! An even bigger thank you to Dr. Jacob for the phenomenal job she did all but erasing a scar on my face from skin cancer, and the amazing job she always does defying Mother Nature keeping my face looking young and alert!

— Christopher

Dr. Ibrahim is AMAZING. He has such a wonderful “bed side manner” and his experience is multifaceted. I go to him for both regular skin concerns and cosmetic reasons and he has been able to help with every issue I have! He is by far the best dermatologist I have been to and I recommend him 100%!

— Maddy

Loved results..and my daughter had microdermabrasion and beautiful results..they r so professional and very organized..appointment times right on waiting. I would say this is the best place in Chicago..for any needs of the face. They are the experts..

— Rosalina

What a great experience! I love this office, every time I come everyone has a great smile, and the office is always bright and clean. Dr. Pritzker is awesome, she is so fast and efficient and knows exactly how to combat those pesky wrinkles.

— Valarie


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