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Dr. Marc Kerner says he was one of the first doctors in the Valley 12 years ago to see Botox in a new light. Back then, the material was mostly used to treat facial muscle spasms. But Kerner, a former chief of surgery of Northridge Hospital’s Roscoe campus, thought the substance could also be used to fix, or at least lessen, a common worry: looking old. “People were doing Botox for medical reasons,” he said. “I was doing it for cosmetic reasons.” Kerner seized on to Botox and other cosmetic procedures to build Dermatique Medical Center for Advanced Skincare, a quickly growing medical spa he branded four years ago in an Encino high-rise. The business specializes in non-surgical cosmetic procedures, such as microdermabrasion, fat grafting and something called photofacials, a pulsed light treatment that reduces damaged skins. Treatments range from a $200 underarm laser hair reduction to a set of five skin-tightening procedures for $4,500. Despite the considerable investments, as many as 30 patients come to the 15-employee office each day and his client list tops well over 1,000. Kerner, who still maintains clinical rounds at several Valley hospitals and has a Northridge office, in 2004 also created his own skincare line, B & #237;o Q & #237;. More accepted Kerner said the success the company boasts a compound revenue growth of 20 percent for the past three years is due in large part to his clients trusting him and the product he delivers. It doesn’t hurt that cosmetic procedures are much more mainstream than in previous years, even for men. “It’s much more accepting of men to have the procedures now,” he said. The concept has taken off so much that Kerner is planning to expand, opening locations in Westlake Village and possibly in Beverly Hills. “We’re really growing,” he said. “It’s the perfect time.” Kerner is tapping into a quickly expanding spa industry, which contributed nearly $10 billion to the economy, according to the International Spa Association. Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Lloyd M. Krieger has worked with Kerner for years and credited his accomplishments to a highly nuanced business sensibility. “He’s extremely involved and sets the agenda for the entire spa,” said Krieger, who is partnering with Kerner on the proposed Beverly Hills location. “He’s not an absentee medical director. The key is return customers.” Valley boy Kerner grew up in Woodland Hills and received training in medicine and plastic surgery at USC in 1989 and UCLA in 1995. Initially, he specialized exclusively in head and neck surgery, particularly rhinoplasties and reconstructive surgeries. He opened his own office in Encino about 12 years ago. Then came Botox and Kerner recognized a need for clinics that offered noninvasive cosmetic procedures directly under a doctor’s care. At the time, Botox was just catching on and was being injected in storefront clinics by untrained nurses. (Under California law, Botox and other cosmetic procedures can be injected by nurses under the supervision of a doctor.) Kerner said he wanted to change that image and opened Dermatique. “We were trying to keep it safe. There are those horror stories,” Kerner said, adding later that he has some patients who come to him after having poor results from other clinics. “They’ve had some mishaps.” He picked Encino because it could tap into customers from the Valley and the Westside. Today, his clients come as far away as Santa Clarita. “We get people from all over,” he said. In recent years, he’s seen a significant rise in the number of clients from far western Los Angeles County, which prompted him to leasing space at 869 North Hampshire Road in Westlake Village for a second location. The project will cost about $500,000 $260,000 of it on new equipment and will open in the fall. “We’d like it soon, but you know how that goes,” Kerner said. He said his business plan is simple: expand slowly and gain name brand recognition. In a sea of other spas, it’s the best way, he said. “You have to distinguish yourself with quality,” Kerner said. “Our goal is to play by the rules, establish a brand named that won’t be an overnight success and gone the next day. We want to be here a while.” SPOTLIGHT Dermatique Medical Center for Advanced Skincare Year Founded: 2003 Employees in 2006: 15 Employees in 2007 (estimated): 25 Revenues in 2005: $1.12 million Revenue in 2006: $1.44 million Driving Force: To provide clients with a safe, doctor-supervised location to receive noninvasive cosmetic procedures. Goal: To expand into key, growing markets.

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