Brian Zelickson, MD, knows his lasers. Zelickson, a Minneapolis-based dermatologist and founder of Zel Skin & Laser Specialists has been working with lasers and other energy-based devices for close to 20 years—which places him well ahead of the learning curve. He has also served as President of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, a distinction reserved for the best, brightest, and most accomplished doctors in this dynamic field. Zelickson uses his expansive laser arsenal to treat vascular birthmarks, photo-aging, brown spots, lines, and wrinkles. He is also widely sought after for the treatment of scars due to his prowess with laser and energy-based devices.
He spoke with Beauty in the Bag about why he loves what he does, what continues to inspire him and how he really never stops learning.
How do you define/create beauty?
For me, there is no one specific definition of Beauty. Beauty is best seen in people who are confident and content in who they are and how they look. To create beauty is to help people get to this self-assured point.
What is your signature procedure?
As a dermatologist, I spend most of my time diagnosing and treating skin conditions. Due to my expertise in laser and energy-based devices, I perform many treatments for vascular birthmarks, photo-aging, and removing unwanted redness, blood vessels, brown spots, lines, and wrinkles. With the advances in technology, I have also been treating a significant number of scars including those from acne, surgery, and burns.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because there is always a chance to learn and improve. Working individually, face-to-face, with people in the medical and cosmetic industry is a privilege and very humbling. I am constantly confronted by limitations to overcome and continually strive to be better.
How did you get started in the beauty business?
My initial interest in skin lasers came from treating vascular birthmarks about 20 years ago. The technology has evolved significantly and now allows for the treatment of many cosmetic concerns, and with this evolution my practice has grown to be about 50 percent cosmetic.
How is your practice unique?
Along with the fact that I still see general dermatology patients, my experience with the energy-based devices and the clinical research program at my practice sets me apart. Incorporating these treatments with other cosmetic therapies, such as fillers and neurotoxins, allows us to obtain a significant synergistic effect.
What is your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from trying to do the best work that I can.
What is your beauty mantra?
Less is more.
What is your greatest challenge?
Trying to understand what a person’s individual concerns are and addressing them in the best, personal way I know how is a continuing challenge and interest for me. The most challenging part of what I do is identifying a patient’s real concerns and designing a therapeutic plan to address them. The technical aspects of what I do are not nearly as challenging as doing everything I can for the patient. Sometimes it means not doing anything. It is very hard to accept that the current treatments we have at our disposal will not address the specific concerns of every patient. It is a very important for us as practitioners to be realistic and honest with our patients and the treatments available.
What charities do you support?
I’m lucky to be able to contribute to a variety of charities and causes. On a national level, I’m a proud supporter of the American Cancer Society. On a local level, I’m happy to contribute to Perspectives, a human services agency that provides comprehensive services to the homeless and those faced with disadvantages.