When a client comes to Perlis Wellness Center in Lake Bluff asking about Botox or another aesthetic procedure to improve appearance or how they feel about the way they look, the response that comes with the consultation always goes beyond a single solution.
Dr. Cheryl Perlis, a board-certified physician who specializes in natural hormonal therapy, brain and body biochemistry, and aesthetic procedures, knows that beauty comes from inside out. While Botox or dermal fillers might immediately improve appearance, she knows that aging comes with other challenges that—when treated with an integrated, holistic approach—can be addressed in life changing ways.
“My thoughts are first, how can I help them feel better with their looks,” explains Perlis, who has been in private practice since 1990. “I talk to them about why they may look tired and their skin is dry and thin because they are losing their hormones, or their under eyes are puffy from allergies to gluten or dairy or an untreated thyroid issue.”
Whether the client is a woman or a man, the approach is always the same. Dr. Perlis looks at them as “a whole person,” treating not only requests for cosmetic improvements but also diet, hormone therapies, and overall wellbeing.
“For example, I know that if they use hormones, their fillers and Botox will last longer,” she explains. “As we age, we lose bone, fat, collagen, and have less elasticity in our skin. They are beginning to feel less attractive, and often are beginning to gain weight. Most women complain of feeling tired and not as happy. They feel old, and often they are less motivated.”
A big focus of Dr. Perlis’ work is on the brain and how the brain controls behaviors that determine the quality of our health. “So many of our life decisions are determined by how our brain works,” she says. “People make major decisions, such as career changes, based on how our brains are wired.”
While she has been a doctor for 29 years, Dr. Perlis says it’s been her more holistic focus over the last decade that has brought the most rewards for both her and the men and women she serves.
“What I see is that patients want to be heard,” she explains. “They are looking for help from their physicians, but often they are caught in a medical system that places everyone into the same protocol.”
With an individual approach, Dr. Perlis customizes programs for patients that goes beyond cosmetic procedures. She has learned from experience that the same treatment approaches do not work for everyone.
“As part of this ongoing training, I have learned new advanced injection techniques from attending conferences all over the country—which has taught me to give my cosmetic patients a natural, refreshed look,” adds Dr. Perlis, whose personal experience with a bout of Bell’s palsy during her pregnancy and her own struggle with hormone imbalance has shaped her areas of specialization. “People want to leave the office with minimal to no down time. They want to meet their friends for dinner without anyone even knowing that they had something done but everyone commenting how amazing they look.”
That is what she describes as her “best kept secret.”
“Only your doctor knows what you did at your lunchtime break,” she says. “For me, I want my patients to know that I truly care about them. Knowing about their family life or career makes me better able to help them reach their personal and professional goals.”
Going beyond the aesthetic life enhancements, Dr. Perlis says the treatment she gives patients improves their overall wellbeing. From better sleep habits to hormone therapy to taking the steps toward a healthy diet or finding alternatives to antidepressants if possible, the results she has seen at her practice over the last decade have been life changing for her patients—especially women.
“Because women are living longer, they are remaining active in their careers and their lives. They want to look and feel as great,” she says. “Some woman are in great shape but they have a long history of sun damage and have not been doing Botox or fillers, so they appear a lot older then they feel. Everyone makes their first impression in the first 20 seconds they meet someone, so why not look as great as you feel?”
Perlis Wellness Center is located at 81 E. Scranton Avenue in Lake Bluff, 847-295-5997, perliswellnesscenter.com.