Women, Weed and Plastic Surgery

Cannabidiol, CBD is quickly becoming a buzz word in skincare and wellness.  The Cannabis Industry is exciting. We’re seeing some progress in medical research but clearly its been under-studied for years.  The new term for cannabis is Lifestyle Medicine. Cannabis is  a wellness medicine.  Not everyone who uses it is a Pothead. We need to get that stigma out of our heads.  Using CBD during your post-operative plastic surgery recovery instead of opiate drugs, is much healthier and does not lead to addiction. Surgeons are prescribing too many opiates post-op. Patients get nauseous and  feel lousy when they are taking too many pain killers.

Currently, nine states plus D.C. have legalized recreational weed, and 29 states have legalized medical marajuna . Legal marijuana is a serious, fast-growing industry, one that’s estimated to have generated almost $9 billion in U.S. revenue last year. New York and Illinois, which are poised to allow medical marijuana to be recommended as a substitute for opioids that have been prescribed for pain.

Even more exciting, Monday the Food and Drug Administration announced the country’s first drug derived from marijuana, a medication that treats two rare and devastating forms of epilepsy. This is promising.

Unfortunately  Cannabis is still federally illegal and a schedule one drug in the same class as Heroin!  This makes little sense to me.  Because it is illegal doctors cannot prescribe it to you, but under your first amendment  right they can recommend it.

On the other hand, a lack of FDA and DEA approval has hardly prevented an industry of beauty and wellness companies from using CBD in everything from mascara to bath bombs.

I became interested in the benefits of medical cannabis about  a year ago because I saw an opportunity to educate my plastic surgery patients about CBD and THC for their mind and body before and after plastic surgery.  I also found it a fascinating plant, nothing like the weed I remember in the 1960’s. I never realized how complex the cannabis plant is and knew nothing about the endocannabinoid system. 

Here’s what I discovered:

  1. The cannabis industry has attracted many women from various professional backgrounds.  Maybe being a female plant and a challenging new industry is a contributing factor.  Women like challenges and have creative out of the box thinking ( not that men don’t). Infact the cannabis industry has one of the highest rates of women in executive and founder roles. Most of the people whom I’ve met are women with a great passion for the plant and it’s amazing medicinal  qualities.
  2. Cannabis, Mental Health and Yoga is another trend that’s getting lots of buzz. There are Ganja Yoga classes cropping up all over San Francisco.
  3. Women are using high doses of CBD to THC to treat depression, anxiety and for overall wellness. Also as a substitute  for ant-depressant  drugs.
  4. CBD is a pain reliever and its anti-inflammatory
  5. CBD in the right ratio of THC can replace any opiate drugs and much healthier for you.
  6. Cannabis creates an overall feeling of wellness tapping into our body’s receptors.

There are new cannabis derived skincare products entering the market.  A recent editorial appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology  about how cannabinoids applied topically may treat a variety of dermatologic conditions, including sever itching, inflammatory skin disease, and skin cancer. Hopefully we will begin to see this products in our doctor’s office.

The industry is huge and exciting.  Know what you are buying and who you are buying CBD and THC from.

Be Happy and Healthy.

 

 

 

Review: Skin Tightening Without Surgery Thermage FLX- Five Months After

I had my first Thermage treatment for a loose neckline in 2009, as I was a long way away from any surgery.  Ouch!  The treatment was not only very painful, I saw no results.

So when Dr. Vic Narurkar , San Francisco dermatologist and Laser King asked if I’d like to try the new Thermage treatment for training purposes, I said yes.  For years, Thermage has been called “the gold standard” for skin tightening.

Thermage FLX  delivers radio-frequency energy deep below the surface of the skin were the collagen is produced. The energy heats and smooths out the existing  collagen and creates  new collagen. It also heats up the skin faster. FLX  is the newest version and a big game changer as it produces more predictable results.  The tips are 33% larger so larger treatment surface areas can be treated, allowing for faster treatment times.  A face and neck can be done under 60 minutes, making all the treatment areas more comfortable.  You will see immediate off the table results but optimal results are generally at the 3 to 6 month mark . Retreatment is done every 1 to 3 years.

I’m always a little skeptical about skin tightening devices. Patient selection is key, as not everyone will benefit.  Since my last Thermage in 2009, I’ve had a face and neck lift. However, my neck was never tight enough, so I was willing to give this a try.

I expected to get numbing cream before the treatment, even though I knew it could not hurt as much as the first time.  I was told that I did not need  numbing cream and that it would not hurt. My anxiety level went up 100%. However, I put my faith into Dr. Narurkar’s  skilled hands and trusted him.   Once we started the treatment, I was incredibly surprised to feel almost nothing.  I was dozing off. Amazing!

Dr. Narurkar used a setting of 2.5 to 3.5 on my face and 1.5 to 2 on submentum and 0.5 to 1 on my neck.  900 count tip.  About 4 to 6 passes per anatomic area.

 

 

Right after my treatment, my face had a nice glow and I could see it looked tighter.

It’s been five months since my treatments. I see a little lifting around my jaw line. My brows do look elevated. It’s hard to tell if there is any improvement in my neck, but I was not expecting much.

In conclusion, Thermage FLX is extremely comfortable. As results improve over time, you have to be patient. It’s not a quick fix.  Results take 3-6 months. The treatment is a great adjunct after a facelift. If I had a Thermage treatment soon after my facelift, my  facelift may have lasted longer than it did.  As I said, patient selection is important and you have to manage your expectations.   Combining Thermage FLX  with Botox and Fillers helps in maintaining a youthful appearance.   Keep in mind, if  you really need a facelift and have lots of loose, sagging skin you may not be happy with the results. Results are different with each person.  Before you decide, please seek the advise of a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon who has a lot of experience in treating patients of all age groups with Thermage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What To Know Before You Get Fillers This Holiday Season

You’ve heard about new facial fillers such as Juvederm Volbella® or Restylane Refyne®. Your doctor or nurse injector has many fillers in their tool box. How do they know which ones to use?  What fillers are the longest lasting  and what  should you know about each facial filler. When you’re planning on getting fillers for your lips, smile lines, temples or cheek area its important to be well informed. 

The most common fillers are Hyaluronic acid HA is a natural substance found in your body. These fillers are easily dissolved with Hyaluronidase if you are overfilled, have complications or don’t like the way it looks. However, it’s important your injector knows how to use this product, as too much can dissolve your natural tissue, this is not permanent.

I’ve tried all the Hyaluronic acid  fillers on the market today. I’ve been injected by the most skilled plastic surgeons, dermatologists and nurse injectors.  I still experience swelling, bruising and have had fillers dissolved.  Recently, I tried newer fillers like  Juvederm Vollure ®,  Juvederm Volbella® as well as Restylane Refyne® and Restylane Defyne®. My body breaks down fillers rapidly, therefore some fillers have a shorter duration.  Due to different technologies and your body’s chemistry some fillers  may cause more swelling and bruising than other fillers. Expect swelling and bruising especially with lip and under the eye fillers.

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