Ultra-sonic skin doc in Nevada County | TheUnion.com

Ultra-sonic skin doc in Nevada County

Lorraine Jewett| Special to The Union
Kimberly “Pepper” Pepe, who has had two Ultherapy treatments, greets visitors as part of her job as patron services manager at Grass Valley’s The Center for the Arts.
Photo by Lorraine Jewett |


Dr. Selene Medical Spa

Owner/Surgeon: Dr. Selene Castrejon

Main Office: 5130 Commons Drive, Rocklin


Website: DrSelene.com

The future of plastic surgery is not having surgery.

Non-invasive cosmetic procedures are becoming increasingly popular with people who want to look better but don’t want to go under the knife — and a Grass Valley doctor is at the forefront of the latest technology.

“Ultherapy is for the person who does not want surgery but wants improvement,” said Dr. Selene Castrejon, surgeon and owner of Dr. Selene Medical Spa. “For now, it’s the best thing we have short of a surgical face lift.”

Castrejon is the only doctor in western Nevada County performing Ultherapy treatments, which use ultrasound technology.

“Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound energy to stimulate collagen deep below the skin. The collagen regenerates itself and goes from a loose matrix to a tight matrix that lifts the neck, face and brows,” Castrejon explained.


An Ultherapy treatment, which takes 60 to 90 minutes, involves a smooth applicator that intensely heats tissue beneath the skin.

“It’s definitely uncomfortable. It hurts, because it goes all the way down to the muscle,” Castrejon said. “Anything that gives a worthwhile change is going to hurt. But administering painkillers and relaxation medicines makes it tolerable.”

According to Ultherapy’s website, unlike a surgical face lift, there’s no down time after a treatment. Patients may see some initial effect, but ultimate results will take place over two to three months. Those improvements can last up to two years; Castrejon recommends having follow-up Ultherapy treatments every year or so.

“Ultherapy puts the reins on aging. It doesn’t reverse the aging process, but the lift achieved through Ultherapy will still be there one to three years later,” Castrejon said. “It’s Hollywood’s best kept secret. Actresses who don’t want to get cut do Ultherapy every six months to a year. They don’t allow the droop to happen.”

Gina, who lives in Grass Valley and asked that her last name not be used, said she’s glad she had an Ultherapy treatment with Castrejon.

“I wanted to do it because I was noticing areas on my face that were beginning to sag, specifically around my cheek and mouth. The skin didn’t have elasticity anymore,” recalled the 56-year-old. “The procedure made a huge difference. People who don’t know I had it done have come up to me and said, ‘You look healthy’ or ‘You look so youthful.’ I’ve received many compliments and I’m thrilled with the results.”


Castrejon performs Ultherapy treatments an average of once a week. She charges $3,000 for a full facial Ultherapy session; a forehead and brow treatment costs $500. In addition to Ultherapy, she provides a variety of facial rejuvenation procedures at four different locations: a home office in Grass Valley, plus offices in Truckee, Rocklin, and Roseville.

“My practices in Rocklin and Roseville are the most robust. But Ultherapy is becoming more common in our little town. People just don’t talk about it. In Roseville, there’s no need to talk about it. It’s as natural as coloring your hair,” said Castrejon, whose patients call her “Dr. Selene.”

Kimberly “Pepper” Pepe, patron services manager at Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts, has had two Ultherapy treatments.

“The drooping appearance of my jowls is diminished. I have a more defined jaw line now,” she said. “I was considering having surgery to lift my eyelids, but now I don’t need it because the Ultherapy opened up my eyes. I like that it’s regenerating the collagen.”

Pepe, 52, said the procedure was painful but worth it.

“Yes, it hurts. But I’m covered in tattoos as well, so it wasn’t a big deal. I’ll do it again in another couple of years. I’m fine with aging; I just want to look the best I can at this age. I don’t want to look 42. I’d like to be a really good-looking 52.”

As with any medical procedure, there may be undesirable side effects. Those include redness, bruising, and swelling. Castrejon said those effects are temporary.


More than a half-million Ultherapy treatments have been performed worldwide since the procedure was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009. Both positive and negative reviews are posted by patients at realself.com/ultherapy/reviews.

“It’s all about expectations,” explained Castrejon. “If a patient is expecting the results of a surgical face lift, that’s not going to happen.”

Castrejon is a board-certified physician and surgeon. She earned her medical degree from UC San Francisco and completed her residency in trauma and emergency at UC Davis. But she said plastic surgery didn’t appeal to her.

“What I do now is a beautiful service to provide to people,” Castrejon said. “It’s artistic, and not many things in medicine are. I have a love for things that are beautiful, and I enjoy helping make people the best they can be.”

Lorraine Jewett is a freelance writer who lives in Nevada County. To suggest a business news feature, contact her at LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

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