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A Beginners Guide to Cosmetic Medicine Part 2

November 2016

~ Continued From Part 1

Dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections are the talk of the town and most people are at least curious about what they can do to enhance their beauty. The truth is, they are fabulous, so fabulous they are probably the most satisfying cosmetic treatment you could hope for in a single sitting. Knowledgeable experienced injectors who keep up to date with advances in injecting techniques can work wonders and most people are surprised to learn of the extensive indications for these treatments. For example, dermal fillers can be used to fill tear troughs for clients with under eye hollowing as a result of ageing or perhaps bad genetics. Anti-wrinkle injections can be used to release muscles in the neck reducing the appearance of ‘banding’ in the neck helping to prevent ‘jowling’. Recent and surprising findings about cosmetic injectables showed that anti-wrinkle injections are not only used relax the muscles in the face and neck, but also improve skin texture and tone. Dermal fillers are not only ‘volumising’ but actually work to stimulate collagen production. This means, people who have regular cosmetic injectable treatments over time will benefit from a secondary treatment effect – plumper skin with improved tone and texture. Sign. Me. Up. 

Laser skin treatments - Laser treatments are among the lesser known wonders of the cosmetic medicine world but really are the unsung heroes. Ever since celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Kim Kardashian were quoted in the media talking about the wonders of laser facials, people are starting to at least wonder about the aesthetic merits of regular laser treatments. In my experience, most people are still sceptical about laser skin treatments and tend to glaze over when they’re mentioned. Is it because people don’t know how they work? Are they hesitant to invest their hard earned money in a treatment they don’t understand? Would we be better off holding our iPad’s over our head? The truth is they work, really work and the possibilities are endless. The key is pairing the right laser treatment to your area of concern and to do this, you need good advice. Aim to find a clinic that at least has a cosmetic doctor on board. This is a good start. Arrange an appointment and talk to them, many clinics these days offer complimentary consultation with no obligation to go ahead with treatment. Ask yourself, have they addressed my questions? Have they provided me with treatment options that address my areas of concern? is it within my budget? From here it’s a matter of jumping in face first, you won’t know until you try. 

How do laser skin treatments work? The basic principle of cosmetic lasers is ‘controlled wounding’ - using heat energy to ‘wound’ the layers of the skin and regenerate collagen, elastin and new skin. Simple really. The differences between the various laser treatments is the extent of the wounding and therefore how much ‘downtime’ involved in a procedure. The more downtime the better the result (generally). As they grow in popularity, many laser facials these days are ‘lunchtime’ treatments meaning you can go straight back to work afterwards. It’s like having a very thorough exfoliation (remember microdermabrasion… well it’s like this but 10 times better. Clinics still offer microdermabrasion because it’s what people ask for and therefore it’s profitable, not because it’s an effective treatment). ‘Lunchtime’ laser treatments are still very effective, but you need to get them done regularly to see great results (usually 3-5 treatments 4-6 weeks apart then maintenance treatments 1-2 times a year. The other end of the spectrum is fractional ablative resurfacing for advanced signs of ageing. This is the mac daddy of laser treatments. The upside is you only have to have one treatment. The downside is 1-2 weeks out of action but the results are certainly worth it. This treatment is only performed by a Doctor and requires consultation to assess suitability for this treatment. It isn’t for the faint hearted but by god it’s worth it. 

The key to laser facials is pairing the right laser treatment with what you’re skin concerns are. For example, there’s no point having a photorejuvenation laser facial if you’re concerned about fine lines and wrinkles. This laser treats, colour in the skin – pigment caused by ageing and the sun, freckles. A nice by-product of photorejuvenation is improved skin texture -  smoother tighter skin but if your main concern is fine lines and wrinkles you’re better investing your money in something like fractional RF treatments which remodel the skin surface and regenerate collagen. 
I really can’t say enough about laser. If you’re like me and you dream of minimising your daily beauty routine for that ‘made up without make up’ look then laser facials are for you. You know that old adage - skin first make up second. My advice, get on the laser train and don’t get off. 

The Verdict

Cosmetic medicine works. Our conservative selves (perhaps more so those of us who were born before 1985) tell us to continue to put our trust in beauty counter BS, expensive lotions and potions that promise the world and deliver minimal, if any results. We’re better than this, more intelligent, more sophisticated! And the world of beauty is too. Enter the world of cosmetic medicine and you won’t look back.

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