The Benefits of Cryotherapy

The Benefits of Cryotherapy


At the Ritacca Laser Center, we’re constantly looking for safe, minimally invasive ways to reverse the aging process. In doing so, we often turn to established medical technologies. Many of the methods doctors use to heal injuries and manage chronic health conditions can also encourage cosmetic rejuvenation. This overlap exists because compounds used during healing, like collagen and elastin, are also essential for the maintenance of firm, smooth, and youthful skin. 


Cryotherapy has been used for decades to provide pain relief and prompt tissue regeneration, but it’s only recently been adopted by plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Today, this procedure is used to quickly and painlessly improve the health and appearance of patients.


What is Cryotherapy?


Cryotherapy is a system wherein patients are exposed to hyper-cooled vapors for two to four minutes. This exposure time is sufficient to stimulate the healing process and metabolism, while being too short to induce cold-related injuries. 


Cryotherapy can be applied to the whole body or just specific areas, such as the face. When applied to the face, cryotherapy is often called a “cryofacial” or “frotox.”


What are the Benefits of Cryotherapy?


The primary advantages of cryotherapy over other skin rejuvenation treatments are safety and convenience. No harsh chemicals or injections are used during cryotherapy, and patients can resume their normal activities soon after treatment. Furthermore, cryofacials do not cause the skin to crack or peel. Cosmetically, cryotherapy can grant all of the following benefits: 


  1. Instantly tighter skin.


Extreme cold causes a wide variety of materials to contract, and human tissue is no exception. When cold vapors are applied to the skin, the blood vessels and connective tissues below the epidermis are immediately constricted. This instantly (and painlessly) firms the skin, lifting the face and reducing the visibility of wrinkles. 


  1. No-contact exfoliation.


Under the right conditions, cold air can act as a powerful exfoliant. Cryofacials open clogged pores, induce the natural shedding of dead skin cells, and reduce the production of sebum (skin oil). This creates a radiant, glowing look and helps control acne symptoms.


  1. Increased collagen production.


When the body is subjected to extreme cold, it instantly goes into “panic mode” because it assumes that the skin is being injured (e.g., by frostbite). In its rush to repair potential damage, the body sends a surge of collagen and elastin to the skin’s surface. This collagen and elastin then gets to work, rebuilding and strengthening the epidermis. 


This healing process, which is a fundamental part of how laser and chemical peels work, effectively combats age-related collagen loss. In the weeks following a cryofacial, the skin gradually becomes fuller and healthier. 


  1. Better fat burning.


Our bodies have to burn a lot of calories to stay warm in cold conditions. In fact, being exposed to temperatures cold enough to induce shivering can burn 100 calories in just 15 minutes. Some people therefore use whole-body cryotherapy to enhance their weight loss efforts. The deep cold used during this procedure may burn up to 500 calories per session. However, it’s important to remember that cryotherapy is not a feasible substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Caloric restriction and regular exercise are necessary for weight loss, with or without the assistance of cosmetic treatments. 


If you’re interested in skin rejuvenation but don’t want to deal with downtime or peeling, cryotherapy might be right for you. To learn more about this treatment, contact the Ritacca Laser Center at 847-367-8815.

Keeping the Weight Off After Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck With Orbera

slim woman in sports bra

The decision to get liposuction and/or a tummy tuck can be a momentous choice. Those of you who decide to have these procedures often experience a significant change in how you view their bodies and, by extension, in your feelings about yourself.

However, maintaining these amazing results and one’s weight after the procedure can be a big part of preserving the desired results. Weight maintenance and weight loss can be difficult and can take a lot of effort.

How Does Weight Gain Affect Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

It is normal to gain back a little weight after liposuction or a tummy tuck, but too much weight gain can affect the long-term results of both procedures. For example, weight gain after a tummy tuck can cause problems with stretched skin and lack of muscle tone. Individuals who do not change their diet and exercise regimens after liposuction can sometimes see fat appear in other parts of the body, such as the breasts, back, and arms.

How to Keep the Weight Off

The following techniques can help ensure that people eat right and keep the weight off after having one or both of these procedures.

  • A good tip is to drink lots of water. This is almost always a staple of a regular dieting regimen because it will help individuals stay stable after surgery and will boost their ability to lose weight. Drinking more water helps burn more calories while resting, and it can help people feel fuller longer, which is especially beneficial for those who drink a glass of water before meals.
  • It’s also important to eat a balanced diet. Post-surgery patients should avoid eating the same foods every day and try to stay away from processed foods, which are often overloaded with sugar. It’s better to stick to whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins, including lean meats.
  • Another good tip is to eat smaller snacks or meals throughout the day, rather than limiting oneself to three squares. This can help keep one’s energy levels high and avoid the possibility of overeating during one sitting.
  • Finally, controlling stress can be important for maintaining one’s weight after surgery. Stress raises the level of the hormone cortisol, and cortisol can hinder the body’s ability to burn calories, making it more likely to store fat. It can also make a person more likely to reach for unhealthy foods as a de-stressor, so learning to de-stress can help lead to better eating habits. There are different methods of reducing stress levels, including meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and hot baths.

These are all great ways to maintain a healthy weight after a weight loss procedure like liposuction.

Non-Surgical Weight Loss – Getting Back to Your Post-Op Weight

Sometimes, everyone needs a little extra help, especially with something as difficult as maintaining or losing weight. When this is the case, an Orbera balloon can be extremely helpful.

Orbera is an FDA-approved balloon that is placed in the stomach and inflated with sterile saline solution to create a feeling of fullness, reduce hunger and lose 20-50 lbs. The procedure is extremely simple, noninvasive, and nonsurgical. The whole process only takes about 20 minutes.

Orbera not only reduces hunger pangs, but it also slows down the process of digestion, which ensures that patients aren’t eating more than necessary. It is important to mention that Orbera is not a permanent choice, but kick starts your weight loss — after six months, the balloon is removed, which allows for a lot of flexibility.

The balloon has been shown to help patients lose more than three times the weight than diet and exercise alone. It can also be an effective tool in helping keep weight off after a tummy tuck or liposuction. It can also work for those who have put on weight several years after surgery and are looking to lose 20 to 50 pounds or more without surgery.

It can be very difficult to follow the strict diet and exercise routine that is expected after these procedures, especially for those who have always struggled with weight gain. Orbera makes it easier to avoid unnecessary snacking or overeating, which will help keep the pounds off.

All in all, Orbera is an elegant, easy and noninvasive solution to the issue of weight gain after cosmetic procedures like a tummy tuck or liposuction. Those who have chosen Orbera are often able to retrain the brain to avoid unnecessary overeating and to make permanent changes in their lives without side effects. For full safety information about Orbera, visit their website at


Facial Rejuvenation: The Key to Your Youth

facial skin care for women

Feeling self-conscious about the signs of aging is more than an inconvenience. Poor self-esteem can cause you to withdraw from friends and miss opportunities; it can also diminish your energy and dampen your youthful, vital spirit. Solving this issue, rather than trying to ignore it, can empower you socially, emotionally, and professionally.

As the stigma surrounding cosmetic medicine lessens, researchers are discovering that both plastic surgery and non-invasive facial rejuvenation have significant mood-boosting benefits. According to a study published in Clinical Psychological Science, those who elect to have cosmetic surgery typically have higher self-esteem, suffer from less anxiety, and even report feeling healthier overall as they get older (when compared to people who don’t undergo any aesthetic procedures). This study also revealed that those who have cosmetic surgery almost always have a better body image: Having just one area of the face or body modified seems to improve how people view themselves as a whole.

Though this research shouldn’t be taken to mean that plastic surgery is right for everyone, it does indicate that looking younger is a valid and vital part of feeling younger. If you’re mentally and physically healthy and have an interest in facial rejuvenation, it’s worthwhile to book a consultation and explore your options.

What is Facial Rejuvenation?

Facial rejuvenation can take the form of facelift surgery or it can be conducted solely via noninvasive treatments like facial peels and injectables. Many patients choose to combine both surgical and nonsurgical procedures to achieve comprehensive results, but this isn’t always necessary. A good surgeon will personalize your treatment plan to reflect your aesthetic needs, your schedule, and your budget. Some of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures are outlined below:

Facelift Surgery

Facelift surgery is the most effective option for patients who have visible jowls, hanging neck skin, or other signs of advanced skin laxity. Modern facelift methods don’t stretch or pull the skin tight; instead, your surgeon will carefully lift the muscles and connective tissues that support your face, restoring your features to a more youthful position. Then, if necessary, he or she will remove any excess skin. These advanced techniques create graceful, natural results that remain visible for ten or more years.

Fractora Laser Skin Resurfacing

During Fractora laser skin resurfacing, a precisely calibrated medical laser is used to dissolve damaged skin cells and stimulate the production of skin-firming collagen. This treatment is a great way to get rid of the signs of cumulative UV damage (i.e., age spots, diffuse fine lines, and areas of leathery or “crepey” looking skin). It can also smooth out pitted scars and eliminate vascular abnormalities, like broken capillaries and spider veins.


Injectable fillers, like Juvéderm® and Restylane®, can safely restore facial volume that’s been lost over time. Fillers are often employed after facelift surgery to “fill in” any remaining facial hollows or creases. They can also be used to occupy loose skin and elevate the facial features of patients who don’t want surgery.

Non-surgical patients are often advised to combine fillers with a neuromodulator (like BOTOX® or Dysport) for more dramatic results. BOTOX® targets dynamic wrinkles on the upper face (e.g., crow’s feet and frown lines), whereas fillers primarily target sagging and volume loss on the lower face.

Though the treatments above form the backbone of most facial rejuvenation plans, they’re just a small part of what we offer at the Ritacca Laser Center. To learn more about the many ways our experts can help you look (and feel) your best, contact us to arrange a personal consultation.

Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore Before Getting BOTOX® or Fillers

When used correctly, BOTOX® and dermal fillers (like Juvéderm® and Restylane®) are some of the safest compounds in medicine. Unfortunately, poor federal oversight has allowed a number of unqualified practitioners to capitalize on the popularity of these injectable treatments. As a result, people have reported complications ranging from unsightly cosmetic issues (like the dreaded “frozen” look) to painful medical problems, such as nerve damage. In rare cases, patients have even been hospitalized after being injected with unregulated knockoff compounds. Before you have any kind of cosmetic injection, you should therefore familiarize yourself with the “red flags” that may indicate an injector is poorly trained.

3 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore when Choosing an Injector

  1. Your injector seems willing to work anywhere.

While the idea of having your BOTOX® or filler injector show up at your house, workplace, or hotel room seems very convenient, it’s a clear sign that hygiene isn’t your injector’s top priority. Many people who offer to make BOTOX® or filler “house calls” lack any specific training and don’t have an office of their own—because they aren’t medical professionals at all. This is roughly the equivalent of letting a random stranger give you cosmetic injections, so it’s incredibly risky. Cosmetic injections should only be administered in a sterile clinical setting (like a plastic surgeon’s office), never in a private residence, non-medical spa, or salon.

  1. Your injector isn’t a board-certified plastic surgeon or registered nurse with specific training.

Even if you know that you should never let a hairdresser or manicurist give you BOTOX® injections, it’s still possible to choose an under-qualified practitioner. Today, many doctors and nurses offer in-office cosmetic injections, and patients feel safe with this option because they know they’re working with medical professionals. However, while it’s true that doctors and nurses know how to administer medical injections, they often lack the specific training needed to create aesthetically pleasing BOTOX® and filler results.

Injecting too much BOTOX® or filler, or injecting these compounds in the wrong areas, can result in a stiff, unpleasant look. Injectors therefore need to develop an in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and cosmetic injection techniques before they can properly administer these treatments. Because doctors and nurses don’t get this kind of training at medical school, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the results you want when you visit them. For best results, you should always see a board-certified plastic surgeon (or a registered nurse working alongside one) for aesthetic injections.

  1. The price looks too good to be true.

BOTOX® and dermal filler injections are some of the most affordable cosmetic treatments available. Still, it’s wise to be wary when an injector offers rates far below the average cost of treatment in your area.

Medical professionals have to charge the rates they do because maintaining a clinic and employing trained staff costs money. Ergo, if someone is offering you a bargain on injections, it’s usually a sign that they aren’t properly qualified. More dangerous still, they may be using completely unregulated knockoff compounds, which are often very toxic. If you encounter one of these compounds, your medical bills will end up costing you far more than authentic BOTOX® or filler injections ever would.

The low cost and excellent safety profile of BOTOX®, Juvéderm®, and Restylane® have combined to make injectable treatments extremely popular. Still, we should never let this fool us into thinking cosmetic injections are anything other than a medical procedure. Having a safe, satisfying injection experience means working with trained experts in a clinical setting—like the Ritacca Laser Center. For more information on BOTOX® or dermal fillers, contact our team to arrange a personal consultation.




The Secret to Tighter Skin is Now Minimally Invasive with J Plasma

skin tightening treatment

Traditionally, invasive procedures have always been the best choice for treating loose skin. Patients hoping to get rid of deep wrinkles, diffuse fine lines, and sagging jowls had to choose between facelift surgery and intensive laser or chemical peeling. For loose skin on the body, tummy tuck, thigh lift, and arm lift surgery were the only options. J Plasma, an innovative new skin strengthening procedure, promises to change all of this: J Plasma uses ionized gas to dramatically tighten and rejuvenate the skin, without significant discomfort or downtime.

How J Plasma Works

J Plasma shouldn’t be confused with skin treatments that use human plasma to stimulate collagen regeneration. The plasma employed by J Plasma is comprised of helium gas that’s energized with an electrode to form a low-current cold plasma. Cold plasma was originally pioneered for use in medical applications because it can destroy unwanted cells (like cancer cells and bacteria) without harming surrounding healthy cells.

In recent years, researchers discovered that combining helium gas with existing noninvasive skin-tightening technology could produce superior results. During J Plasma treatment, cold plasma is energized with radio frequency (RF) waves, the proven skin-firming agent used in procedures like Ultherapy. First, tiny incisions are made in the patient’s skin, then a device administers cold plasma directly into the dermis. The incisions used during J Plasma treatment are too small to cause significant discomfort or scarring, but they allow the applicator device to access the deeper connective tissues that support the epidermis. The cold plasma simultaneously heats and cools these tissues, causing them to contract. The result is instantly tighter, younger-looking skin.

Like other noninvasive skin rejuvenation systems, J Plasma treatment activates collagen-producing fibroblasts in treated areas. In the weeks and months following treatment, new collagen binds with the patient’s skin and connective tissues, creating further improvements in firmness, volume, and elasticity. The effects of J Plasma treatment are so profound that this procedure has been called the first truly non-surgical equivalent to facelift surgery.

Where can J-Plasma be Used?

The safe, gentle nature of J Plasma technology makes it suitable for use virtually anywhere on the body. Most people use J Plasma to eliminate facial wrinkles, jowls, and loose neck skin, but you can also tighten your stomach, arms, and thighs with this procedure. In some cases, J Plasma treatment makes a good alternative to tummy tuck surgery, provided that the patient isn’t suffering from abdominal muscle separation.

Does J-Plasma have any Side Effects?

J Plasma isn’t associated with any serious side effects. Sometimes, patients notice mild redness and bruising in treated areas, similar to the bruising that occurs after having an injectable treatment. These symptoms are generally minor and resolve on their own within a few days.

Learn More About J-Plasma

If you’re concerned about loose skin on your face or body but you don’t feel ready for surgery, J Plasma might be right for you. To learn more about this procedure, contact our team of board-certified plastic surgeons to arrange a personal consultation.

Revive Your Skin Post Winter with a HydraFacial

By March, your skin is just as sick of winter as you are: Months of cold weather and harsh winds take a toll on the body’s largest organ, creating problems that range from simple flaking to red, blistering rashes.

Though topical treatments can temporarily ease the symptoms of winter skin, they don’t really attack its root causes. To effectively hydrate and rejuvenate your skin, you’ll need to look beyond superficial solutions and try a medical-grade procedure like the HydraFacial. The HydraFacial painlessly exfoliates the skin before delivering healing, nourishing serums deep into the epidermis.

Why Does Winter Weather Damage Your Skin?

Winter skin is usually caused by a combination of outdoor conditions and lifestyle factors. Cold, dry air and high winds strip moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and fragile. Taking hot showers and turning up the thermostat to warm up compounds this initial damage. Both of these habits increase moisture loss and strip our skin of its natural oils. Even if you have naturally oily skin, this isn’t a good thing: Once the skin’s protective barrier has been eroded, it’s easier for acne-causing bacteria to penetrate its surface. Paradoxically, this kind of dry skin actually makes breakouts worse.

Cellular turnover (the rate at which dead and damaged skin cells are replaced by healthy cells) also slows down in the wintertime. As temperatures plummet, blood vessels in the skin contract, impeding the skin’s natural cycle of renewal. This causes layers of dead skin to build up, resulting in overall dullness. Wrinkles, fine lines, and areas of loose or thin “crepey” skin also typically worsen as regeneration slows down.

How the HydraFacial Can Help

Every HydraFacial starts with a gentle yet thorough exfoliation that stimulates the process of cellular renewal. First, the skin is cleansed with the HydraFacial system’s patented Activ-4 cleanser, then an acidic solution is applied to dissolve remaining debris. The HydraFacial system uses a very mild organic acid to break down dead and damaged skin cells, so this treatment won’t irritate your sensitive winter skin. Finally, vortex extraction technology is used to remove loosened particles and powerfully unclog pores and hair follicles. This process primes the skin for further treatment: Getting rid of built-up dead skin and toxins is necessary to facilitate serum absorption.

During the final stage of HydraFacial treatment, hydrating serums that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants are infused into the skin. Patients have the option of choosing from four “Booster” serums designed to address specific skin concerns, so the HydraFacial can be completely customized to meet your needs. Different serums are designed to combat skin discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles, signs of UV damage, and uneven skin tone and texture. These serums also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, setting the stage for firmer, younger-looking skin that can effectively retain moisture.

                This spring, let our skincare experts ensure that your outer glow matches your inner glow. To discover the benefits of the HydraFacial, contact the Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa for more information on this gentle restorative treatment.




How to Care for Your Skin After a Medical Grade Chemical Peel

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just had a chemical peel or if you’re thinking about getting one, it’s important to know how to care for your skin afterward. It’s best to know what while your skin is shedding so you can avoid any mishaps and enjoy the fantastic benefits of this time-tested skin rejuvenation treatment.

A medical-grade chemical peel can transform your sun-damaged skin into an even-toned, radiant skin presence. The treatment may also reduce hyperpigmentation while leaving the skin visibly smoother and brighter. After a chemical peel, it’s critical to have an excellent after-treatment plan to achieve the best results possible. Here are some tips to follow for safe and effective results.

Hands Off

The goal of a chemical peel is to remove aged and damaged skin and reveal the fresh, radiant underlying tissue. After the dead skin begins to peel, you shouldn’t touch, pick, or scratch off dying skin but let it shed naturally. If you attempt to remove the skin with your fingers, it could lead to scarring.

Pull Back

Keep your hair off your face by pulling it back with a hair tie or band. This practice will allow your skin to peel on its own without contact with your hair as you manage it. If soiled hair or skin contacts the new skin layer while it’s healing, breakouts may occur. If breakouts do happen, don’t self-treat but contact us or leave it alone.


A chemical peel will cause a controlled burn to your skin to initiate peeling. Afterward, the skin will become sensitive. This effect will require you to change your skin care regimen in the treatment area. We offer optimal medical-grade skin products to use for post-chemical peel care. These products will include sunscreen and a moisturizer.

We will recommend a neutral moisturizer for the first few days after treatment and then a moisturizer like Skin Medica’s Dermal Repair Cream.

During application, be careful not to rub or scrub the product on but gently apply a thick layer to the treated skin multiple times each day. Once the peeling process is complete (about a week after a chemical peel), you can return to your regular skincare routine.

Protect Against the Sun

Now that you’ve removed the damaged skin make sure you protect the new skin layer with an active sunscreen. It’s a good practice to wear sunscreen whether it’s sunny outside or not. Also, if you think you will be indoors most of the day, the sun can affect your skin just as much through a window at your office or in your car.

We recommend an SPF 30 or higher; Skin Medica’s Total Defense plus Repair Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is a great product to ensure total protection for overly sensitive skin.

Don’t Exfoliate

Do not remove any dead skin with any exfoliation while your skin is peeling. Avoid all cleansing brushes, acids, and facial scrubs until your skin stops shedding, about a week after the procedure.

Lighten Up

Because dead skin is more visible on dark clothing, you may want to lighten your clothing choices to save embarrassment. Whites and light colors camouflage your shed skin better than those dark suits and blouses.

Let ‘em Know

Let people you will see regularly know about your decision to have a chemical peel. This transparency will let them know why your skin is flaking and save you explaining afterward. They will also get an advanced alert to expect to a bright, glowing skin presence.

To learn more about proper chemical peel aftercare, contact us or call 847-367-8815.