By Ruth J. Katz
To be perfectly frank—no pun intended—Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, an Upper East Side board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and dermatological surgeon, ironically observes: “Mother Nature isn’t always fair: Too much fat in some places and not enough in others.” Don’t we know it.
Frank has been practicing for some 25 years, has written a book on cosmetic rejuvenation, and is an authority on age prevention and anti-aging procedures—with a chic clientele (including The Material Girl herself)—using the most advanced techniques in laser resurfacing, fat reduction, and injectables, among the many “tools” in his war chest for battling Mother Nature’s march. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and a fellow of both the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the American Academy of Dermatology. Additionally, he is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Cosmetic Surgical Clinic for Training Dermatologists at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
And if all that were not enough, in addition to running his very busy practice, he just opened the PFRANKMD Skin Salon, adjacent to his office; the facility features a broad and tempting menu of treatments. Additionally, and more notably, there are many treatments that you would not find in a typical elegant spa setting—procedures that need to be performed under the auspices and oversight of an on-premises physician. The facility offers many types of treatments that Dr. Frank performs across the hall, but at PFRANKMD Skin Salon, procedures cost less than at his private practice.
New York Lifestyles recently sat down with Dr. Frank to discuss the state of cosmetic dermatology today and to learn about medi-spas and what his new salon offers that others may not.
Can you give us a brief overview of the state of cosmetic dermatology today and the public’s ever-increasing desire to stay young-looking forever.
The world of aesthetic medicine is an ever-expanding landscape of new technology and advanced skincare treatments, driving the growth of non-invasive, cosmetic enhancement. The pursuit of healthy, youthful skin no longer requires that patients undergo aggressive medical procedures to achieve the best version of themselves. I have seen an increase in the number of young people and the number of men coming to my office, so it’s obvious that keeping a youthful glow is a desirable notion—and an attainable goal—to all. More millennials want procedures, and the pharmaceutical and laser companies are developing more and better machinery, procedures, and products to respond to the consumer interest.
Do you find that today people are more transparent about their procedures?
Yes, for sure. In the 1930s, women who colored their hair usually had their treatments in the basement, in the shadows, as hair-coloring was deemed socially unacceptable. It took 30 years before we saw those Clairol ads, “Does she or doesn’t she?” It is the same with injectables like Botox and other fillers, and laser treatments. Thirty years ago, only the “ladies who lunch” talked about it, among themselves. Today, my patients are posting their treatments on social media; cosmetic rejuvenation is a very accepted form of grooming, like getting a mani or pedi. I want to further legitimize these kinds of procedures, and present them as the benefit that they are. Hence, another reason for the PFRANKMD Skin Salon.
How is the PFRANKMD Skin Salon different from other day spas?
After decades of being on the cusp of new advancements in technology, skincare, and injectable techniques, I knew it was the right time for the PFRANKMD Skin Salon, as a brand, expanding my expertise beyond my practice. At the Skin Salon, we offer the full palette of cutting-edge, non-invasive technologies, prescribing the right combination of treatments to best suit the needs of each individual. Many are treatments I offer in my private practice, but at a lower price at the Skin Salon, since I am not performing them. To ensure safety and efficacy, each patient is evaluated and treated by medical professionals, trained in accordance with the standard of care in my own practice. The Skin Salon is overseen by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Brauer, a skilled and highly credentialed cosmetic dermatologist; he is on-premises.
With the overwhelming selection of treatment options and providers available today, it’s challenging to know what is safe, and who should be performing these treatments. What should an astute consumer look for in a medi-spa?
This topic can be very confusing. Sadly, there is a great deal of illegitimacy in the market, with unlicensed providers who are not skilled or educated enough to perform particular procedures. In many settings, there are aestheticians performing services illegally, services that legally need to be performed by a doctor or a registered nurse. Licensing for medi-spas varies by state, but here in New York, a medi-spa must be owned by a physician who is ideally on premises, evaluating a patient taking a case history, and assuring safety. All procedures do not necessarily have to be performed by a physician; some may be performed by a registered nurse or aesthetician. In most states, estheticians are generally not licensed medical professionals. They can do hair-removal laser, but they are not allowed to do any other laser, say, for skin tightening or fat removal. In 90 percent of medi-spas, aestheticians are evaluating and treating patients. Government agencies are not enforcing the law, as they are too busy chasing down insurance fraud. At PFRANKMD Skin Salons, guesswork and uncertainty have been removed from the equation.
© Ruth J. Katz 2017 All Rights Reserved. The author of five books, Ruth J. Katz was style editor of Promenade magazine and has written extensively for The New York Times and New York magazine. She has served as editor at numerous magazines and appeared regularly on Fox television as the consumer services expert.