Ask Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Perkins: Vitamin B Skin Care

Dr. Terry Perkins answers questions from clients about cosmetic surgery procedures and skin care. If you have a question for Dr. Perkins, please email him with “Ask the Cosmetic Surgeon” in the subject line. 

Q: Hi Dr. Perkins, I keep seeing skin care products that have Vitamin B in them and have recently read a few articles in beauty magazines that boast about the benefits that Vitamin B can have on skin. Is Vitamin B really that great for the skin? And if so, what products do you recommend? Thanks! Theresa, Santa Barbara

A: Hi Theresa, you have posed a great question. I agree that there has been a lot of press about vitamin B products lately. Vitamin B in skin care products is often referred to as niacin and that specifically refers to B3. To answer your question, yes, niacin does have the potential to rejuvenate your skin but there is a caveat. Most of the products on the market, that are not medical grade, probably do not contain enough vitamin B to be effective in changing your skin.

In my opinion, the best niacin skin care products on the market today are NIA24. These products contain a patented molecule called Pro-Niacin that penetrates the skin to deliver niacin directly to the cells, energizing them and encouraging normal cell turnover. It also protects and repairs the DNA in the skin cells that became de-normalized due to aging and UV sun damage. Also, Pro-niacin stimulates the release of the hormone leptin, a natural repair hormone, that improves skin tensile strength.

What sets NIA24 apart from the other niacin containing products is that they have developed a MicroNutrient Delivery system that allows the beneficial ingredients to penetrate the epidermis in a slow, continuous release, allowing the molecule to bio-convert to its working form and providing your skin with its protective powers 24 hours a day.  I’ve added an image in from the NIA24 website to better illustrate this concept:

NIA24 is good for sun-damaged, rosacea, hyper-pigmented, and allergic skin. It is fragrance, color-free, dye-free, and non-comedogenic. While we carry select NIA24 products at Cosmetic Surgery CenterEvolutions Medical Spa Santa Barbara has a more robust selection. Call them at 805-687-0212 or visit them downtown to purchase your NIA24 products. 

Santa Barbara Liposuction after Weight Loss? Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins Answers Your Questions

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins answers reader’s questions about Santa Barbara plastic surgery. If you have a question about cosmetic surgery, especially face lifts and liposuction in Santa Barbara, send Dr. Perkins an email with “Ask the Cosmetic Surgeon” in the subject line.

Q: Hi Dr. Perkins. I have just lost over 100 pounds after being over weight for many years! I am so excited with my “new me” but what bothers me the most is the excess skin on my upper arms, thighs and stomach. Tell me more about the skin removal procedure and will my health insurance cover it?


A: First of all, I’d like to say Congratulations for such an impressive feat! I have treated patients before in your situation and, like you, most of them have worked very hard to take the weight off and having the excess skin removed is their “prize” at the end of the race, so to speak. My patients have gotten excellent results and are very happy to be able to wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, bathing suits, etc., without having excess skin hanging on them.
All the liposuction and body contouring procedures would be done out of my Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgery Center facility and you would be able to choose the treatments you want and have them done together or separately. Please understand that since I have not seen you in person I am giving you the most likely scenario(s) for each treatment and my recommendation would be for you to schedule a plastic surgery consultation with me at 805.563.0000 so we can tailor the body contouring procedures to your specific needs.
    • Arm Liposuction and Arm Skin Removal: The excess skin on the upper arm often looks like a “bat wing” hanging down. If there is fat, the fat can be liposuctioned. In the case of too much loose skin, the skin is removed leaving a scar on inside of the arm, above the elbow and will not be visible from the front or back. If there is only a small amount of loose skin, the removal can often be confined to or near the armpit – which means minimal or no scar visibility.


    • Abdomen Liposuction and Abdomen Skin Removal (Santa Barbara Tummy Tuck): If a smaller amount of skin needs to be removed, a “mini” tummy tuck is usually sufficient. The mini tummy tuck is done with a small incision that will lie at the upper edge of the pubic hair (similar to a C-section scar). If a larger portion of skin needs to be removed, a tummy tuck can be done, where the abdominal muscles are usually sewn together to further flatten the lower abdomen and the incision may be extended from hip to hip.


  • Thigh Liposuction and Thigh Skin Removal: If there is fat to be removed, it can be done through liposuction on the inner and outer (“saddlebag”) thighs. If skin removal is needed, this is done for the inner thighs. The incision line will lie on the groin and upper thigh area so that it is hidden.
As for your question about health insurance, we do not take health insurance and, in most cases, liposuction and body contouring procedures are not covered. However, we will provide you with any information you need so that you may make a claim with your insurance company if appropriate. We do have a payment plan through Care Credit.


You can view “before and after” photos on our Cosmetic Surgery Center website of all the procedures discussed above and more!
Dr. Perkins sees patients in Santa Barbara. Call for a consultation today at 805.563.0000. In many cases, if you decide to go ahead with the cosmetic surgery procedure(s) of your choice, your surgery can be scheduled within two to four weeks of your consultation.

Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Perkins talks about Cosmetic Surgery and Young Adults, Heidi Montag, and Multiple Cosmetic Procedures Done at Once

Dr. Terry Perkins, cosmetic surgeon in Santa Barbara for over 30 years, answers questions from his readers and clients. If you have a questions about plastic surgery, send Dr. Perkins an email with “Ask the Cosmetic Surgeon” in the subject line.

Q: Hi Dr. Perkins. Everywhere I turn, I am being bombarded with pictures and news clips of Heidi Montag, the 23-year old who is famous for being on a reality tv show, and now even more well-known for having 10 cosmetic procedures done at the same time. I’ve seen before-and-after pictures of Heidi Montag and she does look like a different person. The show Good Morning America interviewed Heidi Montag and her face looked like it wasn’t moving! What do you think about someone so young having plastic surgery? And how do you feel about 10 cosmetic procedures at once?

A: I have noticed that Heidi Montag’s plastic surgery is certainly making news. While she is on the younger side for having cosmetic surgery, it is not that unusual. Many young women have gotten breast augmentation and/or rhinoplasty, however we just don’t hear about it because they are not in the public eye. Since Heidi is only about 10 weeks out of surgery, her face may still be swollen and stiff. With time, her face will “settle” more and may look more natural.
These days many younger adults are seeking cosmetic surgery or cosmetic procedures, like Botox to reduce their wrinkles. Perhaps this is happening more than in decades past because it is much more affordable and there are many more doctors specializing in cosmetic and plastic surgery than before. On that note, I do stress that it is important to thoroughly research the doctor you plan to use. With the rise in popularity of cosmetic surgeries, some of the doctors may not be properly trained and may not be board certified.

Ten cosmetic procedures may sound like a lot, but assuming that Heidi is young and in great health, she may have opted to do everything at once so she would not have to go under general anesthesia multiple times. Electing to have procedures done one at a time or all at once is a decision that should be made between the patient and the doctor and varies from person to person. Some of the procedures that Heidi had done could have been done without general anesthesia, like Botox in her forehead for wrinkle treatment, and liposuction. At Cosmetic Surgery Center, we try to do most liposuction procedures with the combination of local anesthesia and oral sedation. I’ve blogged about anesthesia and liposuction before and you can read the entire post here.

If you are interested in having a cosmetic surgery procedure in Santa Barbara such as liposuction or a facelift, call my office for a consultation appointment. We are here to discuss your options, answer your questions and address any concerns.

Cosmetic Surgery Center is located in Santa Barbara and can be reached at 805-563-0000.

Ask Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Perkins – Popular Cosmetic Procedures in Santa Barbara

Dr. Terry Perkins, a cosmetic surgeon who has been practicing cosmetic surgery in Santa Barbara for over 30 years, answers your questions about cosmetic surgery. Email your questions to Dr. Perkins with “Question for the Cosmetic Surgeon” in the subject line and look for an answer on our cosmetic surgery blog soon!

Q: Hi Dr. Perkins. What are your most popular plastic surgery procedures?

A: Thanks for contacting me! The breakdown of the procedures I perform is about 30% liposuction and 70% divided out between other procedures such as face lifts, rhinoplasty (nasal surgery), eyelifts, neck and chin lifts and other facial aging issues.

Liposuction is used to improve a person’s body contours. It is not a weight-loss alternative. Often people get liposuction in Santa Barbara to treat areas that are more stubborn than others. Many women who have had children find that they have abdomen bulges that are harder to work off due to stretched skin from pregnancy. Skin removal can be done along with the abdominal liposuction and this procedure then turns into a mini-tummy tuck. Another popular area treated by liposuction are the legs, specifically the inner and outer thighs, where the main goal is to decrease bulk with a smooth end result. The upper arms are also a common place for liposuction – where I may have to remove excess skin along with liposuction to help the patient lose the “bat wing” look. I do not do breast augmentation, but in some cases am able to transfer the patient’s fat from liposuction to the breast area for a “natural” breast augmentation. Read more about that in one of my previous posts.

The other 70% of the cosmetic procedures that I do involve the facial area. A face lift addresses skin laxity with the end result being a natural, well-rested, non-operated look. A chin procedure using an implant gives a “weak” chin a more prominent look. An eye lid lift, or eye lid surgery, addresses sagging skin or bulges that may make a person look tired or unhappy. A forehead procedure lifts the forehead and brow, opening up the eyes and minimizing frown lines (with the partial removal of the frown muscles). A neck lift removes sagging skin and fat accumulation that is often seen as one ages. Neck lifts re-contour the neck for a more youthful appearance. Nasal surgery (or rhinoplasty) is done to improve appearance or breathing function.

Book a consultation for cosmetic surgery in Santa Barbara! Call my office – Cosmetic Surgery Center Medical Group at 805.563.0000. Visit our FAQs page for answers to common questions about cosmetic surgery procedures, financing and more.

Ask Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Perkins – Skin Tightening and Lightening Without Surgery

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins, owner of Santa Barbara’s Cosmetic Surgery Center Medical Group, answers questions about cosmetic surgery, liposuction and more. Email your questions to Dr. Perkins with “Question for the Cosmetic Surgeon” in the subject line and we will feature your question on our blog.

Q: Hi Dr. Perkins, I have received an email from Evolutions Medical Spa that is featuring an event about skin tightening without surgery. I have heard your name associated with the spa and I’d like to know how you are involved with the spa and what the event is about.

A. Great topic! I founded Santa Barbara’s Evolutions Medical Spa as a place for people to be treated for non-invasive medical aesthetic services in a spa setting that is serene and luxurious. I work closely with the nurses and medical estheticians to bring clients the most innovative treatments combined with the best technology for a variety of skin types and concerns including wrinkles, acne, sun damage, cellulite, hair removal, and stretch marks. I have a hands-on approach with Evolutions, including seeing patients on site weekly and personally training the staff.

Evolutions hosts educational events that are free and open to the public on a topic chosen by me and my staff. I give a presentation and, if applicable, a live demonstration, that is followed by a discussion period where we encourage the audience to ask questions and learn more about the topic. It is our belief that educating the client with information and facts enables them to make an active decision in their skin care. In addition, we usually have a raffle and specials that attendees are eligible for.

Education at Evolutions topic this month is about skin Tightening and Lightening and is taking place tomorrow – Wednesday, October 28th! We will discuss how you can achieve facial rejuvenation without surgery. I look forward to seeing everyone at the event and more information about it follows:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Refreshments, Raffle, Specials for Attendees!

Please RSVP to Evolutions at 805.687.0212

Ask Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Perkins – Chemical Peels Address Fine Lines, Hyperpigmentation, Skin Tone and More

Dr. Terry Perkins, a cosmetic surgeon in Santa Barbara, CA, answers questions from patients and readers about cosmetic surgery, Botox, acne, wrinkles and more. Email your questions to Dr. Perkins and look for his answer on his blog soon!
Q: Dr. Perkins, is there a procedure that is not too expensive or invasive, with little down time, that can address my fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation (age spots)? I am looking for something that I may be able to do in one visit to your office.

A: I founded Evolutions Medical Spa in Santa Barbara for clients like you! Evolutions offers medical grade skin-related services for all skin types and for a wide variety of concerns such as wrinkles, acne, scarring, hyperpigmentation and more.

I chose your question because this month Evolutions is focusing on chemical peels. A chemical peel may be the right choice for your skin concerns mentioned above. Evolutions recently blogged about chemical peels, stating that they are the “best bang for your buck”. Read more from the Evolutions post about chemical peels here.
Evolutions offers light, medium and deep chemical peels that have not too much down time, yet they yield results that you can visibly see. The deepest peel we have is the Obagi Blue Peel – your skin will appear clearer, smoother and younger looking. The medium peels, or Alpha-Beta peels, and lighter peels can be done once or in a series – since they are not as intense as the Blue Peel.

This month Evolutions is hosting an educational event focused on chemical peels. Join us for this free, informative evening with a presentation and a question and answer session. There will be exclusive discounts for attendees along with wine and refreshments and a raffle.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 6:30 to 8:30pm, at Evolutions, 1309 State Street, Santa Barbara. Please RSVP to Evolutions at 805.687.0212.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Ask Dr. Perkins – Questions about Liposuction and Anesthesia

Santa Barbara-based cosmetic surgeon and founder of Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Terry Perkins, answers your questions about liposuction, face lifts, Botox Cosmetic and more. Email your questions to Dr. Perkins and look for his response in upcoming blog posts!

Q. Hi Dr. Perkins. My biggest concern with liposuction is the anesthesia. I am worried about getting an “anesthesia hangover” the days following the surgery as I think this would make my recovery harder. This is the main roadblock to getting the liposuction done. What are your thoughts on anesthesia and liposuction?

A. You have a very valid concern. I have been in the cosmetic surgery business for more than thirty years and have performed liposuction for many years using general anesthesia. We have refined our techniques now to perform all procedures comfortably using local anesthesia plus sedation. For many patients this combination is much easier, especially the day of liposuction and the day following. Without having the “anesthesia hangover”, which can include nausea and vomiting, patients find that their down time is less and I have known some patients who return to work within a few days after liposuction (sedentary jobs only). Another plus to local anesthesia plus oral sedation is that patients seem to take less post-operative medication. Typically for liposuction procedures, patients will take about a week off work to rest and recuperate.

At Cosmetic Surgery Center, we can do liposuction procedures under local anesthesia and oral sedation including those that require skin removal in the arms, inner thighs and lower abdomen. Visit Cosmetic Surgery Center’s website to see some of our “Before and After” photos of liposuction of the abdomen area, liposuction of the hips/thighs, liposuction of the neck area and liposuction of the upper arms.

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Perkins, please our Cosmetic Surgery Center office located in Santa Barbara at 805.563.0000. 

Dr. Perkins is also owner of Santa Barbara’s “Best Medical Spa” (as voted by Independent and Santa Barbara NewsPress readers) Evolutions. Evolutions, conveniently located in downtown Santa Barbara, offers innovative treatments for all skin types and conditions by a highly-trained medical staff in a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere. Read more about Evolutions and services offered and learn about promotions and upcoming events on the Evolutions blog!

Ask Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins – Lifestyle Lift vs. other Facial Lifts

Though Cosmetic Surgery Center’s founder Dr. Terry Perkins is a busy man, he always takes time out to answer his patients questions – and yours too! – in his “Ask Dr. Perkins” blog posts. If you have cosmetic surgery questions, please email them to Dr. Perkins and he will answer them on his blog.
Q. Dr. Perkins, I have heard a lot about the “Lifestyle Lift” – a face lift procedure that is supposed to be quick with less healing time than a traditional face lift. What do you know about it and do you perform that procedure?

A. The Lifestyle Lift is a procedure that was developed by a doctor and has been heavily marketed. While there is nothing wrong with the procedure, it is important to note that it is not anything that is revolutionary or even markedly different than procedures that have been performed by surgeons for years. Essentially it is a “short flap face lift” that rejuvenates the lowers two-thirds of the face. While it can result in a “refreshed” appearance, it is usually more suited for younger patients. Because one size does not fit all, I prefer to meet with my patients and assess their needs on a case by case basis. If it is appropriate, I can certainly perform a procedure very similar to the Lifestyle Lift. However, if the patient is looking for facial enhancement and longevity there are many other options that we can do to work more on the under structure rather than doing the Lifestyle Lift.

Regarding healing time, there are now many different options in both the aggressiveness of the treatment and the associated downtime. The range is from no downtime (with skin tightening procedures that we perform at Evolutions Medical Spa) to 7 – 10 days for full facelifts. Other surgical procedures only have 2 – 3 days of downtime. We customize our treatments based on what the individual’s goals are and what their schedules allow. Regardless, we do our best to make sure that each patient is as comfortable as possible before, during, and after the procedure.

Call for our office, 805-563-0000, to book your consultation with Dr. Perkins.

Ask Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins – Financing Your Cosmetic Procedure

Do you have questions about a cosmetic procedure or our cosmetic services? Dr. Terry J. Perkins of Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara is happy to address any of your questions or concerns. Send us an email and we’ll be sure to feature your question soon!

Q. I have been interested in having a face lift for a long time. What has been stopping me is that we just don’t seem to have the money when the time seems right. What do you suggest to patients who are in a situation like mine?

A. I understand your concerns especially in these economic times. Many patients feel it is still a priority to maintain themselves and one solution that we offer is the CareCredit plan. What we like about CareCredit is that it offers two types of payment plans: no interest (if paid within the promotional period) and low interest. CareCredit can be used multiple times for other procedures and it does not affect your insurance coverage in any way. In addition, CareCredit can be used for you and your entire family at over 90,000 participating health care practices including: dentistry, vision care, veterinary medicine and more. For more information, visit CareCredit. You can apply for it in our office, online at or by phone at 1-800-365-8295.

Ask Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon Dr. Perkins – Tried & True vs. New Cosmetic Procedures

Do you have questions about a cosmetic procedure? Dr. Terry J. Perkins of Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara is happy to address any of your questions or concerns. Send us an email and we’ll be sure to feature your question soon!

Q. Dr. Perkins, I am always hearing about “new” procedures or things to re-shape a women’s body and/or remove cellulite such as specific exercises, fat-burning pills, special massages etc., How much credence do you give these and what are your recommendations to re-shape and, specifically, tighten my body after having children?
A. As a cosmetic surgeon who has been in the practice for more than 30 years, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, I have seen lots of these fads come and go. I have also seen lots of women who are interested in re-claiming the body they had before having children. While I believe cosmetic surgery can achieve great results, I don’t want people to think that it is the only solution. I encourage women who are trying to shed extra weight after having a child to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle – make good food choices and try to exercise (always hard to do with a new baby, but walking with a stroller can be a very effective workout!). Sometimes, however, doing all of that will not tighten the belly or shrink the thighs sufficiently and that is when I can help out. Bulges is such areas can be treated with liposuction and often a mini tummy tuck can complete the procedure. The excision is done at the upper edge of the pubic hair so as to leave a minimal scar that is easily hidden with a bathing suit bottom.

I treat every patient on a case-by-case basis. If you would like a consultation in-person with me, please call our Cosmetic Surgery Center Santa Barbara office to set up an appointment at 805-563-0000.