Aesthetic Medicine and Treatment

Latest UpDate: Hot Trends in Beauty

The Latest In Hot Beauty Trends

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I’ve been meaning to write this post after I had the pleasure of attending  the  American Academy of Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) meeting in San Francisco several weeks a ago.

I attended many interesting  lectures, sampled products, had a skin tightening treatment and brought home a bag of skincare products to try. Here are my highlights from the meeting:

The Most Talked About Procedures

By far the most buzz was about  Zeltiq’s CoolsculptingA non-surgical F.D.A. approved body contouring treatment that freezes your fat. Patent’s before and after pictures were quite impressive. In fact some surgeons are saying they are getting better results than with traditional liposuction. As with any treatment, patient selection is important. This is one treatment, I’m anxious to try.  You can listen to my interview with Dr. Grant Stevens on NipTuck Coach Radio to learn more about this procedure.

Along with Body Contouring Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBL) was another hot topic. Curvy bodies are in; thin and lanky bodies are out. Women across different cultures are seeking a big tush. In some parts of the world the bigger the better.  As trends come and go. I’ll be keeping a close eye on BBLs. (more…)

Your Image: Your Brand

Listen up! Did you know that your image is YOUR brand? Yes, when people meet you at a networking event, a live- webinar, video or a seminar or workshop- you are your brand.

What does that mean? The first impression people have of you is going to carry through to whatever message you are sending professionally.

We live in a visual society!!

All too often I see people, woman in particular, whose appearance is not congruent with their brand image. This does not mean that you have to look like a celebrity, have cosmetic surgery or get Botox injections.

Here are some friendly tips and suggestions to look your best whether it is online or in person. When you are looking good you feel good and your self confidence soars together with a healthy self-esteem.

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Rejuvenate Your Skin: Micro-needling New

Does the thought of tiny needles rolling across your skin scare you? No need to fear. Micro-needling  is actually an age-old treatment used to treat scars and stimulate collagen and ellastin.

Many clinical studies have shown that micro-channeling (Needling) is more effective than other methods of treatment including laser resurfacing, chemical peels and microdermabrasion.

Micro-needling or micro-channeling uses a micro-needle roller to painlessly penetrate the epidermis in order to stimulate collagen and elastin growth and to create clear routes to increase absorption of topical serums into the skin. This system also benefits acne scars.

Micro-needing became popular in 2004-2005, however the theory of puncturing the skin has been around for a long time.  Have you ever punctured a zit?  Afterwards, the healing process begins.  Tattooing is also a form of micro-needling with a penetration depth of about 1.2 mm.

Histological findings of skin tissue that was microneedled with 0.5 to 1.5 mm long needles (according to facial skin thickness) revealed that they stimulated massive growth of elastin- and collagen fibres (in some cases up to 1,000%). The inventor called this form of microneedling COLLAGEN-INDUCTION-THERAPY (CIT in short). In the Nineties the Canadian surgeon Camirand used tattoo-guns without colour pigments to treat operation scars after plastic surgery. His intention was to perforate scars to take off their tension. They became softer and pigmentation sometimes came back. This post-operative microneedling technique soon disappeared from the operation rooms because it was a tedious job without income.

There are several micro-needling devices on the market for at home use.  One product such system  DermaFIT™ combines a dermaroller with a topical peptide serum to encourage the growth of collagen, elastin, keratin skin to give you a more youthful, smooth appearance.   What I like about this system is that it comes with a topical peptide that has been specifically formulated for micro-needling, plus a sunblock and instructions.  Your skin will be more sensitive to after each treatment. The roller is easy to maneuver and the needles  are .25mm.   It takes a little practice to learn how deep to press to the roller into your skin to get a uniform treatment.

The DermaFit is only sold to medical practices and spas, the aesthetician or MD demonstrate will demonstarte how to  it effectively for home use.

An at home micr-needling treatment will not take the place of an in -office micro-needling treatment with DermaFrac, a new micro-needling office treatment.

I will post an update on this treatment is a couple of weeks.

Rejuvenating Your Skin with Laser Treatments

There are so many lasers devices on the market, all claiming to be the best.  So, I have taken yet another journey into skin rejuvenation.

This time my focus is  on my sun damaged and hyper-pigmented  chest, some fine lines and pigmentation on my neck and the vertical lines around my mouth.

Since my facelift, I have noticed the fine lines around my mouth more, the uneven skin tone on my neck and my blotchy chest with vertical limes from all the years of sleeping on my side, scrunching up my  décolleté  area.

My first area of attack.. my  décolleté. I believe that I damaged my chest by having too many microderms on this delicate area, and not being diligent with sunscreen.  After consulting with my dermatologist, Dr. Sonia Badreshia-Bansal,  We decided the best course of action would first be a series of IPL treatments,( Intense Pulse Light)  to get as much red and pigmentation removed before we went to a more aggressive stage. Light pulses target the melanin in the skin’s surface which heats and destroys melanin to remove the discoloration. It also targets the red-pigment (haemoglobin) in the blood which heats and destroys the pigment without affecting the skin or other tissues. There are many IPL machines on the market that basically will do the same thing.  Effectiveness depends on the settings and the expertise of the technician.

After a series of 4 IPL treatments on my chest, my discoloration and vascular lesions looked much better.. but I still had the vertical lines, uneven skin tone and redness.  Next step.. Laser resurfacing on my chest..Since I would have  down time for my chest I opted to have the perioral area (around my mouth) and my neck done at the same time.

Three years ago I had a MiXto SX® laser treatment on my whole face.  A micro fractional CO2 laser.  The physician at the time was training on the laser and was not very aggressive with my treatment.  My first treatment showed great results, my skin looked much smoother, pore size diminished and my sundamaged lesions were less.. However, I did not see much improvement in fine lines. My second treatment 8 weeks later showed little results and I was quite disappointed. Laser should build collagen over the next 6 months,however, I saw little improvement from this laser.

My hyperpigmentation returned less than one year later.  In all fairness, my poor  results my have been due to an inexperienced physician, who perhaps became more aggressive  and comfortable with subsequent treatments. There is a learning curve with these devices.  Lesson here… if you are part of a “study ” with  an inexperienced laser MD/  medical technician,  manage your expectations. DO NOT PAY FULL PRICE!!

This was over three years ago.. Since then after several chemical peels and using medical grade skin care, my skin looks great. Except for smal vertical lines above and around my mouth and redness on my chin.   I did not want a lot of down time – yet wanted results. So we decided on the Pearl Fusion by Cutera.  The world of lasers is very confusing. There are CO2 lasers, Fractional, Erbium, Nd:YAG laser to name a few.  CO2 Lasers are more invasive, go deeper and require more down time.  They are an excellent choice for someone with extreme sun damage, deep wrinkles and more mature skin. Some plastic surgeons will combine a CO2 resurfacing treatments with a facelift.  However, I do not need, nor want  such an invasive treatment.

The Pearl combines a fractional ablative with non-ablative factional laser called the Pearl Fusion. It is one of the new generations of lasers.   Downtime is less and the risk factors are minimum compared to CO2 lasers. My goal is to remove the fine lines around the mouth area, improve texture and pigment on my neck and chest.

Discuss your options with the doctor, including down time and risk factors.  Above all DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK.

Remember there are several key laser companies out there and they  all market  themselves as the best.  Laser are costly and many practices only have one. Larger practices may have several different laser options. Also many physicians are trainers for laser companies  and will only recommend those. You as the consumer, should ask questions and get several quotes.  Cheap is not best!! Laser prices range  can range from under $1000 for a small area to over $5,000 for face, neck, and chest.  Laser treatments are invasive and should be medically supervised.  

 Pre- treatment

I was given an anti-viral medicine ( to prevent herpes- routine)  and an antibiotic  to take 2 day before, plus a Rx for itch. ( the worst part)

The day of the procedure

I showered at home with an anti-bacterial soap. Upon arrival I had my pre-procedure pictures taken and  lots of gloppy Lidocaine to numb the areas  to be treated.  Jeff is the RN, and an expert laser technician. No worries here.. He gave me a dental block around my mouth area so that he could be aggressive there.

The first area was my chest and he used the non-ablative  Pearl setting first and did one pass over my entire chest. It felt like little pin pricks. Not too bad. Tolerable – some spots were more sensitive. Then he  treated my mouth area one pass, however he went a little deeper on this area. Then he switched to the factional ablative Pearl. This was a little more uncomfortable and he needed to add more numbing cream.. The cool air helped the pain. Still not too bad.. He then attacked my mouth area with 2 passes. I was pretty numb here, but still could feel it.  He got real close to  my lip line. Next, my neck. I was more nervous about this area, since my skin is thin. He used a milder ablative  setting and did not go as deep on my neck as elsewhere. Last we zapped my frown lines, 2 passes… perhaps I can save on Botox injections!! 🙂   We are done!!  Jeff slathered me with a copper-peptide cream … told me to stay out of the sun and keep the area moist with cream and rest. The treatment took about one- hour after prepping.

As the day progressed, I looked like a character from a horror movie.  I used cold  gel pack throughout the day and re-applied the cream often to keep it moist.  My husband said I was crazy and refused to look to at me..He does not understand why anyone would put themselves through this… 🙂

I sleep on a slanted foam pillow- I had from my facelift.. knew it would come in handy again…. took a Xanex and had a restful sleep.

Day 2 – Woke up looking bloody, but as I washed gently it all came off.  I started my vinegar soaks to start the healing process. 4- 6 times a day.  Took a couple of showers and kept the area moist with cream.  The bleeding is gone the color is redder. It does not hurt  thought it does feel hot in areas.

Day 3- I can see the areas start to crust especially around my mouth. It feels tight!!  My chest area is still red and not crusting yet. My neck is only mildly  red. I expect this.  Should have gone deeper.. perhaps.. we’ll see.   I also had a red LED light treatment  today to speed up the healing process and will have another on Monday. I am starting to itch.. which will drive me crazy..  Yea for Atarax.

A few tips:  Wear old clothes they will get greasy. Pull you hair back and wash it the day before. Buy 4×4 gauge pads for the  white Vinegar soaks. They are softer than a wash cloth and disposable.  Use straws if you have your mouth area treated. And a soft diet the day of the treatment. Plan on not going out for several days and if you have your chest area treated.. Tops are challenge due to all the cream. I cut up an old cotton tee shirt to wear.

You can see from the last picture the color is darker. The color will continue  darken to a brown then peel off. Underneath will be pink smooth skin.

I will report again in a few days.