Ask Kristina: Q&A with a medical director

Kristina Donnay is a mom, wife and owner of Maricopa Wellness. In August, 2022, she added a doctorate to her resume. Here's a look at both of her worlds through the magic of photographer/visual illustrator Victor Moreno.

Dr. Kristina Donnay is medical director at Maricopa Wellness Center.

Are chemical peels good for your skin? — A.M.
Some chemical peels can help rejuvenate the skin. But, here at Maricopa Wellness Center, we take it a step further and use laser peels, which offer a safe, more-even treatment and produce superior results. A laser peel by Aerolase offers a non-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment to help improve the tone and texture of the skin, decrease acne and acne scarring, and decrease the appearance of fine lines and acne. The laser peel is painless and with very little down time. Fall is a great time for a laser-peel treatment due to less sun exposure.

What’s the best way to lose weight? — D.S.
Weight loss can be a different journey for everyone. At MWC, we first want to make sure the weight gain is not due to any underlining issues, such as thyroid disfunction or vitamin deficiencies. If there are no underlying issues, Semaglutide may be a good option. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist. It belongs to a class of drugs that’s been around for years. These medications mimic GLP-1, a hormone that our body makes. Weekly injection of Semaglutide can help slow gastric emptying, which helps us feel full, and acts on the appetite centers in the brain to decrease hunger. This medication should be used with lifestyle changes to get the full benefits and weight loss.

How can I get rid of my toenail fungus? — R.M.
At least 10% of Americans have toenail fungus, and these numbers increase with age. About 20% of people in their 60s find themselves dealing with toenail fungus, and at least half of men and women in their 70s show symptoms. Once established, toenail fungus is notoriously difficult to treat because the organisms causing your infection can penetrate deep inside your nail. Not only can they sit on top of your nail or grow beneath it, but they can also get in between the nail layers themselves and skin. Traditional remedies for toenail fungus focused on oral and topical medications and surgery. But MWC brings the latest innovations in laser treatment to our practice. Aerolase, a gentle yet effective laser-therapy system, penetrates deep into your nail bed and matrix, where it administers targeted levels of heat to kill your fungal infection. This innovative approach creates a uniquely pain-free treatment session with fewer chances of pigmentation changes in the treatment area.

I hear a lot about collagen peptides. Are they really needed? — S.F.
Yes! Collagen is a special type of protein that accounts for as much as 30% of the body’s total protein. Compared to other proteins, collagen has a unique amino acid composition. Collagen is an effective choice in supporting strength and flexibility of bones, tendons and cartilage, appearance of skin and nails, and GI-tract health. Many people, the elderly in particular, do not consume enough protein. Those with higher protein intake are still deficient in adequate sources of collagen unless they utilize the richest sources of collagen, such as animal skins, bones and tendons. If a person does decide to supplement their body with collagen, they must look for one that is hydrolyzed. This means the collagen has been broken down into small peptides that are easy for the body to digest and transport to the cells where they’re needed.

Benefits of collagen peptides include:

  • Healthy skin elasticity, thickness, hydration and appearance.
  • Improved brittle nails, damaged hair and fine lines and wrinkles.

Multiple studies have found that collagen peptides improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis by reducing joint pain. It also improves joint tissue health and function involving cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

Research shows that collagen peptides may improve gut health and reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. They also strengthen the immune system, making a person less likely to suffer from infections or allergies.

Collagen peptides improve recovery time and joint function in athletes.

Here at Maricopa Wellness Center, our collagen peptides contain three highly potent forms of collagen: FORTIGEL®, FORTIBONE®, and VERISOL®. This ensures we get all the various benefits in an easily digestible form. It is non-flavored and can easily be mixed into hot or cold drinks. One scoop provides 12.5 grams of collagen peptides
If you have a question you want answered in the next edition of “Ask Kristina” email it to

You should always speak with your provider before you start, stop or change any part of your care plan or treatment. This article is not considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


This sponsored content was first published in the December edition of InMaricopa magazine.