Tell Me Santa, What is it that Bothers You About Your Appearance?


The plastic surgery and aesthetic internet chat site RealSelf has asked me to comment on what I, as a facial plastic surgeon, would do if Santa Claus were to show up at our office for a consultation.  I have been so honored because “…Your sense of humor shines in some of your answers so we thought you’d be a great commentator for this.”

First of all, who in their right mind would change anything about Santa Claus? …well, perhaps a few reality show Beverly Hills doctors.   After listening to what Santa “wished for”, I would remind him that our society really has a double standard for men and women with regards to facial aesthetics.   I would tell Mr. Claus that men can get away with a lot more wrinkles, crow’s feet, and laxity of their skin compared to women.  Many years ago when I had the pleasure of meeting Sean Connery, I observed how men seem to be perceived as sexy and masculine as they age.  Unfortunately, not so for our female patients.  I would then reach into the drawer in my consultation room and hand Santa a copy of Bruno Mars’ “(You’re Beautiful) Just the Way You Are” and tell him to get his reindeer and sleigh from the parking valet service.

Should Mr. Claus continue to insist on aesthetic changes here’s what I would recommend. 


He can immediately take 10 years off his appearance by simply shaving his beard.  Getting rid of all of that greyish white facial hair does wonders.  Shaving off that old beard is an easy plastic surgery fix…just ask Mrs. Persky!  We would have Santa meet with our aesthetician for Intraceuticals Oxygen Infusion facials and get him started on scientifically proven skin care products.  He would use Kiehl’s non-alcohol skin toner after washing his face followed by SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum, Vitamin C and E Complex, Hydrating Gel, and Intraceuticals Moisture Binding Cream.   For the strong North Pole sun, we love Elta MD sun block (sun block should contain titanium oxide and zinc oxide).    At night time we would add a retinal product.  For Santa’s red,  rosacea-like skin we would make sure that he wasn’t drinking too much Holiday cheer (alcohol) with the elves, and start him on SkinMedica’s “Calm” redness relief lotion.  At the recent 2011 Cosmetic Surgery Forum,  Steve Dayan, MD presented evidence that diluted Botox injected in very small intra-dermal doses greatly reduces the redness of rosacea.

Ah, but, “What about those chimmeys that I get stuck in?” We would treat Santa’s unwanted fat bulges that have been resistant to diet and exercise with CoolSculpting to his tummy and love handles, a non-invasive fat freezing one hour treatment in the office.  He can review his gift deliver list and chart his Christmas Eve flight plan on his Santa iPad during the procedure.  Each treatment decreases the fat bulge by about 20%, so in his case we may need to give him a second treatment in two months (watch those cookies and milk).  And forget about it Santa, hugging Frosty the Snowman without your shirt on will not be as effective as CoolSculpting, plus it could seriously injure Frosty!

I would not risk the downtime  of surgery on Santa with his very busy schedule and traveling obligations, but would recommend the revolutionary “next big thing” in facial plastic surgery,Ultherapy.  Ulthera uses focused ultrasound energy to lift and tighten the skin and muscles of the face, neck, brows, crow’s feet, and upper lip non-surgically (an excellent treatment for Ms. Claus and her daughter’s between 35 to 60 years old as well).

I would use strategically placed neuromodulators (Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin) for Santa’s crow’s feet.   I would let him know that it is okay to exercise and diet without worries that loosing weight in his fanny will mean that his face will become gaunt, lax, and aged.  That’s because we would start Santa on Sculptra  injections to replace the lost volume, and even build up a more masculine jawline.

For the sun damage and brown spots  from all of his outdoor activities and from flying in his reindeer sliegh with the top down, I would treat his face, neck, and hands with Fraxel Dual, helping not only remove brown age spots, but also toning his skin and helping with fine lines and wrinkles.

Fortunately Mr. Claus will not need any of our rhinoplasty procedures, but I would give him one of my business cards to hand over to his friend Rudolph for a complimentary nose job consultation.   I can see it next Christmas….”Rudolph the Natural Nosed Reindeer”.

Lastly I wouldn’t want Santa to dip into any of his gifts stash, so I would let him know that Care Credit is available to finance his rejuvenation.  I would then have him leave through our private “celebrity” exit door to avoid the paparazzi, and other celebs such as Mr. E. Bunny, Ms. Tooth Fairy, The Pillsbury Dough Boy, and of course Joan Rivers.  Ho-ho-ho and…..

    Merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year to you and your family.  Peace on Earth.

With Love,

Michael A. Persky, M.D., F.A.C.S.; Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon


Be sure to follow RealSelf and Dr. P during Passover 2012 for “The Moses Makeover”, oy, what a nose!

16311 Ventura Boulevard; Encino, California 91436;  Telephone number: (818) 501-3223; Fasimile Number: (818) 981-7031; EMail Address: see our website

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Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon