July 2009 Blog Archive
Friday, July 31, 2009
When you walk in the store and pick up a bottle of moisturizer, what is the first thing you look for? For many, evidence of scientific testing and terminology catch their eye. These scientific terms are added onto cosmetic products as a way to attract the savvy consumer.
"Right now, the more your product can sound ultra-rocket science, the more attention it's going to get. Consumers want the chemicals, the clinical studies and the technology because if all we needed or wanted was olive oil and lemon for skin care, we would have been using that years ago" says beauty analyst Kat Fay to the Los Angeles Times.
Consumers want to feel good about the products they purchase for their skin. Scientific testing and "before/after" photos help ease any worries a potential consumer may have. However, many times these studies claimed on packaging are not peer-reviewed studies and cannot be validated. Despite this, these tactics peak interest in consumers and draw them in to learn more about the manufacturer and the product.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
First At-Home Laser for Wrinkles
Palomar Medical Technologies has received approval to market the first at-home laser treatment to cure wrinkles around the eyes. The laser would repair age-demanded skin around the eyes by penetrating through the first layer of skin, called the epidermis. Although the price and image of the product has not been released, the stock in the company has risen dramatically since the announcement.
This laser is still in the early stages of development, but more information should be released shortly. Because information is unknown, it is hard to estimate how many treatments would be needed if you were to perform your own laser treatment. The lasers used would have to be less intense for consumer use. As technology advances at such a rapid pace, devices such as laser wrinkle removal have quickly jumped from the doctor's offices to your bathroom counter.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Carding for Treatment
In an age where identity theft has become easy, many physicians are taking the extra step to prevent such crimes in their offices. Doctors check identification to ensure that the patient they are treating, is really who they say they are.
"Patients are asked to have identification with them, usually a drivers license or health ID card. They are cross referenced and then they are entered into the computer as being a legitimate person" says one dermatologist to WWLP News.
There have been several cases of identify theft where a patient uses credit card of another to fund their plastic surgery. Although these persons are later charged, the hassle related to credit card debt still remains with the person whose name is on the card. Physicians that take the extra step to prevent such mishaps are ensuring that their own practice is safe as well as their patients.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Extra Costs for Your Facelift
As a revenue booster for new government healthcare plans, a new excise tax is being discussed that may cost you more for that facelift or Botox injection. A 10% excise tax would be placed by the government on all surgeries and procedures not deemed medically necessary.
According to Congress Daily, the law states that cosmetic surgery is "any procedure which is directed at improving the patient's appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease."
Any liposuction, teeth-whitening, rhinoplasty, facelift, etc. would fall under this new tax. As a result, physicians may have to raise prices to counter the tax. Women and men who have been saving up for their procedures may just have to wait a little longer. Although not approved yet, the tax is already faced with opposition by plastic surgeons that perform these cosmetic procedures.
Monday, July 27, 2009
The Price for Beautiful Eyelashes
In order to get beautiful eyelashes, women traditionally turn to their tube of mascara. Mascara, although relatively cheap, is only a temporary fix and usually involves a mess to remove. Allergan's introduction of Latisse, a prescription eyelash lengthener and thickener, has been praised by many women as an answer to their prayers for beautiful eyes.
"The active ingredient in Latisse is Bimatoprost, a prostaglandin used in the glaucoma drug Lumigan. When doctors saw little old ladies and others taking Lumigan develop Mata Hari eyelashes, researchers began investigating Bimatoprost for its lash-making ability" reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal website.
Latisse may be more expensive than a normal tube of mascara, ranging from 100-200 dollars depending on location. The prescription is FDA approved and is applied just like eyeliner. There are a few side effects, but they generally fade. The product is even being used off-label as an eyebrow thickener.
Friday, July 24, 2009
There is still controversy over the use of tanning beds as a "fake bake" way to avoid harmful sun UV rays. However, many believe that tanning beds may actually be just as harmful to your skin, if not more. One way to get the bronzed summer look but without the harm is to use a sunless tanning option.
A cosmetic dermatologist told Herald Net, "there is no such thing as a safe tanning bed with safe UV rays. Sunless tanning is definitely the safer way to go."
Sunless tanners range from creams to pills. Technology has increased dramatically over the years. Sunless tanning moisturizers no longer turn their users orange, but now have a much more natural look. The sunless tanning pill is an evolving technology as well, but the FDA has still yet to approve it. For those who need a summer bronze, but don't want to pay the price later, sunless tanning is an easy option.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The majority of people deal with acne in their lifetime, mostly during teenage years. This includes oily skin, pimples, bumps, and blemishes. As we grow older, we don't expect acne to follow us into our adult years. However, adult acne is a problem that a large majority of people face.
"Teenage acne tends to be on oily skin and consist of blackheads and whiteheads. The difference with adult acne is that adult acne is more often seen on the face, along the jaw line and neck, and is usually accompanied by dryer or combination skin" reports CBS News.
Acne that is left untreated can develop into acne scars on the face, back, neck, and arms. Laser therapy, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or light therapy can be used to clear these scars. Adult acne tends to effect women more than men due to the changing hormone levels in women. In addition, people that have a larger amount of stress in their life are also affected at a higher rate. There are a majority of over-the-counter creams to help treat adult acne and those suffering should consult a dermatologist for proper treatments.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Relief from Rosacea
Rosacea affects about 10% of the population and causes facial redness and sensitivity. There are different types of rosacea, each with different treatment options. These range from lifestyle changes to laser therapy, reports the New York Times.
Those suffering from the most common form of rosacea have small broken blood vessels on their face, causing the red tinge to their skin. These patients benefit most by avoiding flush-provoking substances like hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot meals. They are also suggested to wear a daily sun block of SPF 15 or higher.
If suffering from a more severe form of rosacea where pimples and bumps arise across the face, antibiotic creams and pills are the best form of treatment. Sulfur creams are usually prescribed to be applied directly to the affected area.
The rarest form of rosacea is rhinophyma where the nose and face may swell. Laser therapy or surgery helps these patients control the symptoms and return the skin to a normal color and shape. Patients concerned about their rosacea symptoms should see a physician for a full list of treatment options available to them.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Wrinkles May Be in Your Genes
People go to great lengths to keep their skin smooth and wrinkle-free for as long as possible. But a new study has discovered that wrinkles may be predetermined by your genes, no matter what you do. Based within the code of your DNA, certain genes play a part in how your skin ages.
"Scientists used data generated by the human genome project (the international effort to decode human DNA) and found 1,500 separate genes that determine how long people's skin will stay smooth" reports Daily News.
The study also pointed out that lifestyle can speed up or slow down the aging process as well. Even if your genes predict how quickly your skin ages, antioxidants in your skin can help fight off the wrinkles. Antioxidants from food or beauty products help boost your skin's natural defense system. The skin is then stronger in the fight against free radicals in the atmosphere as well as your own genetic predisposition.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Laser Hair Removal
For men and women, unwanted hair becomes a hassle needing constant upkeep. Whether it is facial hair or body hair, tweezing and shaving may not be the best solution. Laser hair removal helps effectively removes the hair to help solve the problem and make life easier for patients.
The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed one such doctor. "Ninety percent of my clients are women. When women have a hormonal imbalance and start to grow hair suddenly, it's usually on their face. But I've had people with body hair. Breast hair. Tummy hair. Sternum. Buttocks. Arms. It's pretty common, really."
Laser hair removal uses an electric current to kill the hair follicle so hair is easily removed. Patients may need multiple rounds of therapy depending on their skin type, amount of hair, ethnicity, and age.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Causes of Cellulite
Shorts and skirts are a staple of a summer wardrobe. But not everyone feels comfortable with their legs and thighs to show them off. The reason is cellulite, the fat cells and fibrous tissue that can accumulate on thighs, butts, and hips. The Examiner reports that 90% of women deal with issues of cellulite at least once in their life.
Cellulite is an issue that affects all women, overweight or thin. Age also plays a factor in the formation of cellulite. Older women not only see an increase of cellulite formation, but also have a more difficulty in removing cellulite naturally. Fluctuations in hormones also affect cellulite changes. Women should be aware of changes in their bodies when going through puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or menstruation.
Although there is no perfect cure for cellulite, there are activities women can do to stop the "cottage cheese." Increasing your cardiovascular health is important to keeping your body healthy and the cellulite off. Women should exercise up to 60 minutes a day, use strength training on their leg muscles, keep hydrated, and watch their diet intake. Laser cellulite removal is also an option for women looking for a quicker result.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
New Technique to Stimulate Collagen
A new procedure called Percutaneous Collagen Induction (PCI) or needling is being used by med spas nationwide to increase facial collagen. A derma roller is covered with tiny needles that pierce lightly into the skin when rolled across the face. The skin is stimulated to produce excess collagen to repair the needle marks, leading to a smoother facial appearance.
The process can be quite painful but the swelling subsides in less than a day. The main concern many patients may have is sanitation. "Since the rollers penetrate the skin, the problem of infection is always a possibility. You must be cautious that everything is sterilized clean" stated a dermatologist to the LA Times.
Derma rollers are to be sanitized often or replaced after every use. This procedure is conducted in many medical spas, but kits are also sold to consumers. Consumers should take caution before performing this technique themselves. The packages warn to not apply too much pressure, or needling will cause more harm to the face
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sake and Your Skin
There are many home remedies on the market to help improve the quality of your skin. One alternative remedy is found in an unlikely place, and you have probably been exposed to this substance if you have ever been out to eat sushi. Sake, a Japanese rice wine, contains acids that actually help improve your complexion and act as a skin lightener.
The Examiner explains that "the kojic acids in rice wine (sake) decrease your skin's ability to form the type of melanin found in age spots and freckles. If you put sake on your face or use skincare products containing sake or kojic acid, you'll also find the rice wine keeps moisture in your skin."
The kojic acid is recommended for those with hypersensitive skin, as the side effects are limited and it will not irritate most skin types. Those with freckles or age spots need to simply apply the sake, or products containing kojic acid, on their skin for results. The process will take a few weeks but should help lighten skin's complexion over time.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Alternative procedures for cosmetic surgery are growing in popularity as the concern of recession grows. Acupuncture has often been used to help alleviate stress and certain body ailments. Now the procedure is also available as an alternative to a facelift.
"Although it is not a replacement for surgery, cosmetic acupuncture is a safe, painless, and less costly alternative for a traditional facelift" reports the Examiner.
Cosmetic acupuncture involves a series of needle treatments to the face, ears, neck, hands, and legs along meridians. This allows the "chi" to flow through the body and up the meridians to your face. The results help improve complexion, soften fine lines, enhance muscle tone, soften wrinkles, and allows your face to have a more relaxed look. A complete acupuncture facelift program involves 10 to 15 sessions. Acupuncture will not provide the same results as a traditional surgical facelift, but will help relax the muscles in your face and provide you a more youthful appearance.
Monday, July 13, 2009
A New Nose Job
The recession has affected the economy many arenas, including plastic surgeons' offices. However, one plastic surgeon is doing better than ever due to a Non Surgical Nose Job procedure he originally created as an alternative to traditional rhinoplasty. Artefill, the permanent filler approved by the FDA, is used as an injection into the nose to help form desired structure.
"With Artefill, the cosmetic result of the Non-Surgical Nose Job will persist just as long as the result of surgical Rhinoplasty. We are presently seeing many more patients who were considering surgery. Now that we can offer a permanent non-surgical solution, patients are eager to avoid the pain, downtime, risk and cost, associated with surgery" says Dr. Alexander Rivkin, the creator of the Non-Surgical Nose Job.
Minimally invasive procedures have increased in popularity, as women and men look for quicker and less expensive ways to beautify themselves in this economy. Artefill effectively camouflages bumps, helps define nose bridges, and can also help redefine the tip of the nose. Dr. Rivkin is excited offer his patients a non-invasive option that may prove to redefine cosmetic enhancement.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Facts about Sunscreen
I was walking in the store today and picked up a bottle of SPF 100 sunscreen. Only ten years ago I remember when SPF 15 was all the protection anyone needed. It seems that times are changing, but what does SPF 100 really protect us any better than a lower grade SPF?
SPF (sun protection factor) ratings are meant to show how well the sunscreen will protect you from the UVB rays of the sun. If you wear a sunscreen with SPF 2, you will be doubling the time it takes for your skin to burn. An SPF of 15 extends the time for skin damage by 15. According to the Times Herald-Record, the following describes the relationship between SPF and sun protection:
â€¢ Sunscreen with an SPF of 2 screens 50 % of UVB rays.
â€¢ Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 screens 93 % of UVB rays.
â€¢ Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 screens 97 % of UVB rays.
â€¢ Sunscreen with an SPF of 50 blocks 98 % of UVB rays.
â€¢ Sunscreen with an SPF of 100+ blocks 99 % of UVB rays.
It is very important to re-apply sunscreen often in order to maximize your coverage. Unprotected skin will burn, and may lead to skin cancer later in life. Although dermatologists recommend different minimum SPF ratings, it is important to wear a at least SPF 15 everyday to protect from daily sun exposure.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The Skinny on SmartLipo
When I woke up this morning, I knew only the basics about SmartLipo. But today I was fortunate enough to watch this procedure and get a first hand look at how new technology is being used. I accompanied a new friend of mine to his plastic surgeon to remove unwanted fat around his chin. The procedure he was to undergo was called SmartLipo, a non-invasive cosmetic procedure which uses lasers to dissolve fat cells.
Unlike traditional liposuction which is requires anesthesia, SmartLipo is out-patient and only requires a local anesthetic. In the hours prior to the surgery, he was able to eat and drink without worry. We even stopped at McDonalds.
Once we arrived at the plastic surgeon's office in Torrance, California, he was only given a few pain pills and prepped for the procedure. To begin, the area under his chin was injected with a substance of idocaine and epinephrine to numb the flesh and to prevent excess bleeding. Then the surgeon made three small incisions around his jaw line to insert the SmartLipo lasers. The lasers were used to melt away the unwanted fat cells under his chin. He told me that he felt no pain, only a warm sensation from the heat of the lasers. Once the cells were dissolved, the plastic surgeon removed all excess fat with a long thin tube inserted in the same incisions.
The surgery was completed in less than an hour. My friend was awake during the entire procedure and even cracked jokes with the staff during his SmartLipo. The swelling of his face would subside in about a week, with full results in a month once the skin has healed. A great benefit of SmartLipo is the minimal downtime required. Most patients are able to return to a normal lifestyle after only one day. He commented that he even felt fine to go out to dinner that night.
New technology has made cosmetic procedures easier and safer than ever. Within one hour, he was able to remove unwanted fat around his face with little pain and virtually no scarring. Ten years ago, this would not have been possible. Laser technology is on the cutting edge of science and SmartLipo has proven to be an effective and safe procedure favored by many physicians.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Green Tea Spray
With summer upon us, the sun can prove to be very harmful to your skin. In serious cases, skin cancer can arise from prolonged exposure to the suns UV rays. In addition to traditional sunscreen, green tea has recently been proven to help protect skin from the effects of the sun.
Fox News reported, "Green tea is high in disease-fighting chemicals called polyphenols, which scientists say help protect against cancer-related cell damage by boosting the skin's immune system."
At this time, sunscreen is still the best preventative measure for sun exposure. But a green tea spray may also give your skin the immune boosting chemicals it needs to prevent damage on a cellular level.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Botox.. the new miracle drug?
Botox, the cosmetic toxin best known to help relieve wrinkles, is being used
in studies to cure a variety of new ailments as well. The FDA has already
approved Botox for fixing cross-eyes, eyelid spasms, neck-muscle disorder,
and excessive sweating. Now, researchers are studying the positive effects
of Botox on overactive bladder, acid reflux, and back pain, to name a few.
A representative from Allergan, Botox manufacturer, told the Union-Tribune
that "if you understand that Botox relieves spasms of any over-contracting
muscles, and you look at all the medical symptoms (that involve)
over-contracting and spasm, then you understand that the applicability of
Botox is enormous."
Doctors are warned to treat limited number of patients with these
"off-label" uses for Botox until the FDA approves the use. Allergan expects
Botox to be approved for chronic migraine relief, treatment of enlarged
prostate, overactive bladder, and muscle spasms in the next year or two.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Wrinkles and Unemployment
Due to the recession and lay-offs, many older members of society have found themselves unemployed and back on the job market. Many feel that age may play a role in finding a new job. Competition is very high for available positions, and some believe that employers are overlooking older job applicants due to age discrimination.
The Associated Press reports that "such concerns suggest age discrimination might be playing a role. There is certainly evidence that suggests that employers are reluctant to hire older workers."
Those on the job hunt are updating their resumes, as well as their looks. Some workers have undergone cosmetic procedures, such as Botox, to remove years from their face and improve their chances of employment. One unemployed woman was quoted in saying she "looked refreshed" after removing the line between her eyebrows to help in her job search.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Skin Cancer on the Rise in Canada
According to CBS News, Canadians born in the 1990s are three times as likely as their elderly counterparts to get skin cancer in their lifetimes. An estimated 75,000 new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year alone in Canada.
But as these new cases of malignant and non-malignant skin cancer are estimated to rise, the number of available dermatologists is decreasing in Canada The Canadian Dermatology Association released a statement saying "twenty-two per cent of dermatologists will retire in the next five years, and 45 per cent of dermatologists are expected to retire in the next 10 years."
As more dermatologists retire, the problem that current dermatologists will face will be sheer number of patients. The wait times for patients has continued to increase in past years, and will continue to do so. Canadians are encouraged to start practicing healthy skin policies in order to stop the number of diagnosed cases from increasing any further.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Acne and the Sun
For many, this upcoming holiday weekend involves fun in the sun. However, for those who suffer from acne, the sun can end up doing more damage to your skin. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications for acne warn against sun exposure.
Reporters on the examiner.com warns that "many acne sufferers falsely believe that sun exposure can be beneficial for their condition. This misconception is not entirely based on myth -- minimal amounts of sun exposure may initially improve the appearance of acne. However, this exposure over time can actually make acne worse by increasing oil production, damaging follicular walls and clogging pores, resulting in exacerbations that may not surface for several weeks after sun exposure."
So if you are going to be having fun in the sun this weekend, be careful! Remember to take extra care of your skin to prevent further damage.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Licorice for Skin Cancer
Childhood candy licorice may have beneficial factors for protecting against skin cancer. The National Cancer Institute in the US has noted that licorice extract may aid in healing UV damaged skin. Licorice extracts are currently used in many sun protection and sunscreens; it is known to dramatically improve sunburned skin.
The UK Daily Mail said, "Similar research at Hamdard University, New Delhi, revealed that licorice helped skin cells recover after being damaged by UV light.'When we applied glycyrrhizin topically, there was an increase in enzymes that help restore cells to their optimal function after being damaged,' explains Dr Sahar Rahman. "
For those of you prepping and bronzing for bikini season, take caution this summer and use products like the licorice extracts to protect your skin from the sun's rays.