Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Varicose veins and spider veins– blood vessels that have grown abnormally large in size or number – are common and unsightly cosmetic conditions. Sclerotherapy eliminates these blemishes by destroying the problem vessels with a chemical agent. In the sclerotherapy procedure, a plastic surgeon uses a fine needle to inject a sclerosing agent, or sclerosant, into the blood vessels. This chemical solution is designed to make the blood vessels collapse. Since the amount of blood these problem vessels carry is very small, the blood flow is easily diverted elsewhere following sclerotherapy treatment. The sclerosed vessel is subsequently absorbed by the body, leaving the area blemish free. (more…)
Monday, March 11th, 2013
Let there be light: That’s what the demand for laser-based cosmetic procedures seems to be saying. The word “laser” is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” A laser uses one wavelength, or color of light, allowing the beam to be focused and concentrated on a very small area.
Lasers have altered the landscape of cosmetic procedures and treatments. They offer an effective, non-invasive solution that is not only simpler and quicker, but can also achieve results more invasive methods like a facelift can’t always match. A variety of lasers have been developed for cosmetic medicine but the different names and types can be confusing. Here’s a simple guide to common cosmetic lasers and some of the capabilities of each. (more…)
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
Botox injections remain the #1 cosmetic procedure performed by physicians specializing in cosmetic medical procedures, and the number one question these patients ask is how long will the effects of the Botox treatment last? The short answer the effects of Botox last three to four months for most first-time treatments. But a variety of factors determine the answer to the effectiveness of a Botox injection. The factors include the quality of the Botox preparation and its freshness, the individual patient’s responsiveness to Botox, and the amount injected. Another factor in the duration of the treatment’s effectiveness is the depth of the patient’s wrinkles and lines. Patients with heavier frown lines tend to have stronger underlying muscles between the eyebrows, whose contractions cause the lines. Stronger muscles tend to slough off the effects of Botox more quickly than less robust muscles. For such patients, the effect of treatments with Botox may last only two to three months. In fact, a touch up treatment may be recommended for some first time users about eight weeks after initial treatment.
Botox is a labile protein, sensitive to heat, the passage of time, and agitation during storage. It should be prepared fresh, and once reconstituted for a Botox injection, should be refrigerated until administered. The quality of the preparation has an impact on the effectiveness of the Botox treatment, as does the skill and knowledge of the physician. Plastic surgeons who perform facelifts have firsthand experience with these muscles and the anatomy of the treatment area, and are most adept at applying injections in areas that will have the most effectiveness. That applies to our team of plastic surgeons here at the Peer Group.
The good news is that the effects of Botox treatments last longer over time – as long as the patient doesn’t wait until lines reform before having a follow-up Botox treatment. Patients will notice movement in the treated muscles before lines reappear and furrows deepen. That’s the time for the next treatment. Once the muscles become habitually relaxed, less Botox may be needed with each treatment, and sometimes, treatments can be spaced farther apart.
Friday, June 29th, 2012
Injections of Botulinum Toxin Type A – known to the world as Botox and Dysport – have been proven effective by the FDA in reducing or eliminating wrinkles, so naturally many people who want a more youthful appearance – like our patients here at the Peer Group in Florham Park, New Jersey – want to know where Botox can be injected. The short answer is, a Botox injection can be performed wherever your cosmetic physician or plastic surgeon thinks it will help reduce or eliminate them. Botox Cosmetic has been approved by the FDA for injections between the eyebrows for treating the vertical glabellar lines – called “frown lines” by some and “the 11s” by others – between the eyes and on the forehead. In fact, this is the only place on the face approved by the FDA for cosmetic Botox treatments. However, volumes of before-and-after Botox photos, and feedback from patients themselves attest to the “off label” efficacy of Botox for wrinkles in other facial regions. Areas on the face where Botox is often injected include the outer corners of the eyes, where Botox can reduce or eliminate crow’s feet and lift the eyebrow, and in the lips and chin to reduce wrinkles. Botox is also often injected in the forehead to remove horizontal creases, and in the neck to reduce wrinkling. Laugh lines around the mouth and “bunny lines” on the nose are other common injection sites. In general, Botox works best on dynamic wrinkles – those that occur because of movement of facial muscles.
In addition to its cosmetic uses, Botox has been approved for several medical uses. For example, it is approved for use in treating excessive sweating, or hyperhydrosis, and is injected into the armpits in these treatments. Botox can also be injected around the cranium as a treatment for chronic migraine headaches in adults.
As you can see, Botox is suitable for injections in many areas, for many purposes. If you’re interested in Botox cosmetic procedures, make sure you work with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon or other cosmetic medicine specialist. Also keep in mind that there are other effective injectable treatments for wrinkles, such as the fillers including Juvederm, Restylane, and Radiesse.
Monday, March 19th, 2012
We think of acne as the bane of youth, but it commonly occurs in adulthood as well. About 25 percent of men and 50 percent of women develop acne at some point in their adult lives. One third of adults affected by facial acne have acne on other parts of their bodies, as well. Here at Peer Group in Florham Park, New Jersey, we see many cases of adult acne. Interestingly, an article that appeared in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science not long ago found “recent epidemiological studies show that there appears to be an increase in post-adolescent acne, and that the disease is lasting longer and requiring treatment well into the mid-forties.”
The root causes of adult acne are unknown, but hormones, cosmetics and stress are thought to play roles. An increase in bacteria strains resistant to antibiotics may also be a factor. Women often experience pre-menstrual flare-ups, often around the mouth and chin. In adults as in adolescents, acne can cause depression and social anxiety. But adult acne should not be treated the same way as adolescent acne. Treating adult acne can be a challenge, because many acne skin care products are geared for teens and the oily skin that often contributes to the formation of adolescent acne. But these skin care treatments are a poor choice for adults’ drier skin. Here are the basics of skin care for acne in adults:
Cleansers, Creams and lotions – Over-the-counter retinol products can clean pores and reduce fine lines. Products with salicylic acid and glycolic acid – natural acids – can prevent discoloration and reduce acne scars. Avoid cleansers with granules and abrasives. Benzoyl peroxide is an effective treatment for breakouts, as it can kill bacteria that cause acne.
Prescription acne medications – Antibiotic topical ointments including clindamycin, tetracycline taken orally – oral contraceptives and spironolactone, a blood pressure medication, can help stabilize hormones and often provide relief from adult acne. A gel containing the antibiotic dapsone can help fight infection and inflammation
Laser and intense pulsed light treatments – These treatments can help heal acne scars, and blue light lasers can kill bacteria that cause acne.
With the range of treatment options available, adult acne sufferers can get effective help for this condition. Just check the qualifications of the facility and physicians carefully to be sure they are qualified to offer the full spectrum of adult acne therapies.