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  • Beth Delany

Q&A with: SpaDerma's Suzie Carroll

You can probably pin the blame on Bravo TV and The Real Housewives for the reason that I'm constantly chasing the frozen and overdone look for my face. It's a look that I've grown accustomed to seeing on television for over twelve years and in turn, I started looking in the mirror and pulling my face back before I could drive. So thank God for Suzie, a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner from SpaDerma, who reels me back to actual reality and cautiously injects the perfect amount of Botox in my head every three months. She makes sure that my overdone aspirations cease to exist and I've steered away from filler thus far, but that's only because I know once I start, I won't be able to stop. Know thyself!

Suzie is a straight shooter -- pun intended. I can trust her to tell me when I need to back off the Botox or when I need to make up for lost time, which is a rare conversation.

Patrons of SpaDerma are likely to echo the same sentiments for the growing medspa's entire team, most of whom are available on Instagram to thoroughly explain various treatments, walk through new technology and answer endless Q&As.

Thanks to Suzie, I'm lucky to have her answer many of those FAQs right here! If you don't know where to begin with a regular skincare regimen or an anti-aging plan, or if you're looking for treatments ranging from hydrafacials to tattoo removal (guilty!), read on for common inquiries answered by one of Chicago's most sought-after Nurse Practitioners!

A lot of young women feel like they're ready to start some preventative aging measures, but don't know where to start. How can SpaDerma help and why is SpaDerma a good starting point for new medspa-goers?

SpaDerma offers a wide variety of services that can be customizable for clients of any age. I’ve had clients between the ages of 18-70. At your first visit, you can expect for your injector or medical aesthetician to assess your skin and develop a comprehensive skincare plan that will address your concerns but also help improve the overall quality of your skin. I’m so happy to see that skincare has become “trendy” and I hope this flux of interest stays.

What's the difference between a dermatologist's office, a medspa and a plastic surgeon's office? What treatments can people expect from SpaDerma?

A medical spa, a dermatologist’s office and a plastic surgeon’s office all operate under a physician. SpaDerma can offer many of the same treatments as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, but our focus is more limited to lower-risk and cosmetic treatments. SpaDerma offers many of the same services you could find at your dermatologist or plastic surgeons office such as chemical peels, laser genesis, IPL/photofacial, laser hair removal, hydrafacials, microneedling and of course Botox and fillers! There are certain cases that we will refer patients out to dermatologists or plastic surgeons when necessary. 

What's one treatment or procedure people have misconceptions about? 

Cheek filler! The first place we start to lose volume is our cheeks, starting as early as age 26. Adding some more volume to your midface helps support your undereyes and takes some weight off your nasolabial fold (smile lines), marionette lines and jowls. Most patients require two syringes of cheek filler for correction, and when I tell people this, patients often worry they will end up looking like an alien or a Real Housewife, but I promise you won't! A syringe of filler is one-fifth of a teaspoon. One ketchup packet from McDonalds carries ten syringes - and think about how many ketchup packets you need. Cheek filler is the single easiest treatment that will make you look and feel refreshed in a single appointment. 

Is Botox really preventative or should clients wait until they have visible lines?

Botox and Dysport injections are preventative. They work by relaxing the muscles in the face that create lines and wrinkles. Over time, those wrinkles start to become etched into our skin and are much harder to treat. If you start injections prior to developing those static or etched lines, it will prevent them. Botox and Dysport injections last between three and four months. For my younger clientele, I usually encourage them to come in twice a year initially to start.

What are the most cost-friendly treatments people can use that have long term benefits?

Sunscreen, Retinol and Botox! The most obvious answer is sunscreen. I could go on and on about the benefits of sunscreen. Simply put, sunscreen prevents against skin cancer. Additionally, sun damage will end up causing hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and can create lax, leathery skin.  We carry medical grade, broad-spectrum sunscreens at SpaDerma, but you won’t be able to reap the benefits unless you wear it. I insist that all my clients wear sunscreen, every day and reapply throughout the day.

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that increases skin cell turnover and helps with fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, scars and overall skin health. Medical grade retinol products usually cost $90 to $125 and should last you quite a while since you don’t use more than a pea-sized amount a couple times a week.

Where is the line between doing too much and keeping it natural?

Every injector has their own aesthetic. My best advice is to find an injector you trust and listen to them! My primary goal as an injector is to create natural and subtle enhancements, that will end up making my patients look youthful and refreshed. I try to highlight and brighten everyones eyes and treat early signs of aging, so that we aren’t chasing the issue down the line. I often find myself turning down patients when they ask for more Botox or more filler, because they don’t need it. I prefer to keep my patients with some natural movement, so they are able to show their expressions. I will not make you look fake, frozen or overdone.

To schedule a complimentary consultation at SpaDerma's Lincoln Park or West Loop location, call (773) 672-8728 or visit them online at

And don't forget to follow Suzie on Instagram at @Suzie_SpaDerma!


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