Wrinkles form for a variety of reasons including sun exposure, cigarette smoking and gravity. Many wrinkles are actually creases that have been worn into the skin by making the same expression thousands of times. These “expression lines” often called crow’s feet or frown lines, are due to the contraction of the muscles under the skin in that area. We have known for years that surgically cutting that muscle will improve the wrinkle.
1). What causes wrinkles?
2). What is Botox®?
Botox® (Boutlinum toxin type A) is a purified protein toxin produced by the clostridium botulinum bacteria. Although it is a toxin, there have been no serious side effects when used medically because it is used in extremely small amounts and does not spread throughout the body.
3). How is Botox® used?
A few drops are injected with a tiny needle into the muscle that creates the wrinkle. When Botox® is injected into a muscle, it blocks the nerve impulse from reaching that area, and as a results, the muscle weakens. As the muscle weakens, the skin overlying the muscle relaxes and the wrinkles in the skin gradually soften and often disappear. Over time, the nerve endings usually grow new connections to the muscle at the sites that have not been exposed to Botox®. This is why treatment needs to be repeated several months later.
4). Does Botox® injection hurt?
When Botox® is injected there is an initial minor discomfort for a few seconds.
5). Does Botox® affect other facial expressions or create numbness?
The effect of Botox® is only in the immediate area. The muscles related to other expressions are not affected. Botox® does not affect the nerve, so there is no numbness in the area of injection.
6). How long does a Botox® treatment last?
The effects of Botox® usually last 3-5 months, after which another injection is required. After several treatments, the effects of Botox® usually last longer, sometimes 6 months or more.
7). How safe is Botox®?
Botox® has been used safely and successfully in ophthalmology for about 15 years, and for wrinkle therapy for almost 10 years. There are no serious side effects associated with this treatment. There may be some bruising around the treated areas, but this disappears within a few days. Rarely, there is a slight drooping of the upper eyelid. Fortunately this corrects itself in 2-3 weeks.
1). What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is the latest scientific method using fine micro crystals to progressively resurface the skin and treat a range of skin abnormalities. With our microdermabrasion skin treatment program, which uses all natural products, you can see immediate improvements in your skin’s appearance. This unique technique removes dead skin cells and stimulates the production of fresh young skin cells and collagen.
2). What results can you expect?
You will notice improvement in your skin right away. Stretch marks and acne scars will be less obvious. Age spots and fine lines and reduced and many people report their skin seems softer, tighter, smoother, and younger-looking.
3). What are microdermabrasion treatments like?
Through a delicate hand piece held at a specific angle to the skin, the red algae and walnut shell micro-crystals are vacuumed. The procedure thus gives the skin a polishing peel. The pressure of the vacuum is adjusted to your level of comfort and our aesthetician uses techniques to improve blood flow and increase collagen formation in the skin. This abrasive technique is gentle, safe, non-invasive, and very effective in a short amount of time. Treatments are usually done biweekly from 6-18 weeks. Collagen production by microdermabrasion is remarkable and the results on the skin are sometimes comparable to surgical treatments for reducing signs of aging skin.
Laser Hair Removal
1). What is the Candela GentleYAG laser? why do we use it here at ABM?
Traditional hair removal techniques, such as shaving, plucking, waxing and depilatory creams provide only temporary relief. Lasers have been used for many years for a variety of medical and cosmetic procedures including treatment of facial and leg veins, age spots and rejuvenating the skin of the face. The uniqueness of the GentleYAG system lies in the fact that unlike, most other hair removal lasers; it can be used effectively on tanned or darker skin. The GentleYAG system removes unwanted body hair on ALL skin types and ALL skin colors without damaging the delicate pores and structures of the skin. We use GentleYAG for its safety, effectiveness and versatility.
2). How does the GentleYAG laser remove hair?
This laser targets the pigment in the hair follicle and shaft. The light is absorbed by the pigment and is converted to heat energy which damages the hair follicle. Most of the time the damage results in permanent destruction of the hair follicles or at least delay in hair re-growth. It does this in a safe and rapid manner for it does not disrupt the skin surface and it treats many follicles at one time – unlike electrolysis which kills only one hair follicle at a time and is a painful procedure.
3). Is the procedure safe? Is there any pain involved?
The Gentle YAG System, a revolutionary long-pulse high-energy ND:YAG laser, emits a gentle beam of light that passes through the skin to the hair follicle where it is absorbed. The laser energy is transformed into heat, which destroys the hair follicle leaving the surrounding skin unaffected. The skin is further protected during treatment by a Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD) where cryogen is sprayed onto the skin cooling the upper layers and providing patients with increased comfort. GentleYAG selectivity helps protect the skin, while effectively treating the unwanted hair. The high-energy ND:YAG laser technology has been FDA-approved for years. See http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/consumer/laserfacts.html#1 for further information.
Although pain thresholds vary in different people, most laser patients experience little discomfort because of the cooling effect of the DCD. The sensation described most often by those asked is one of “stinging” or “rubber-band snap” nature. A test patch can be done at your consultation visit where your comfort level is evaluated and addressed. Furthermore, we offer topical anesthetics to increase tolerability if you so choose.
4). Are the results permanent?
The technology used in the GentleYAG laser has been proven and FDA-approved for permanent hair reduction. Statistics show 88-92% hair root destruction by the fourth treatment.
5). How many treatments do I need?
Hair has four life cycles and most people need between 4-6 treatments to become completely hair-free. The active phase of hair is when the hair is actively growing and this is the phase the hair follicle must be in for the laser treatments to be most effective. There should be a 4-68 week interval between each treatment depending on the part of the body and the density of the hair in that area. An individualized plan is made for you depending on your needs during your complimentary consultation visit.
6). What happens after treatment?
After treatment, the skin may become pink, red and/or puffy for a short while. In 7-10 days after treatment, you may experience what seems to be re-growth of hair. This is not regrowth but actually hair being shed as a result of damage from the laser heat. Over the next few days, you will notice hair falling out easily. Do not wax or pluck these hairs. You can however shave the area safely.
7). Who is a good candidate for the GentleYAG laser?
The GentleYAG system is a revolutionary and unique laser in that it provides laser hair removal for everyone whether you’re fair-skinned, dark-skinned or tanned. The GentleYAG can eliminate the need for shaving, plucking or waxing for all hair and skin types.
1). What is Restylane?
Restylane® is a safe and natural cosmetic dermal filler that restores volume and fullness to the skin to correct facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds.
2). How is Restylane different than other dermal fillers?
Unlike other hyaluronic acids made of rooster combs and bovine collagen products, only Restylane® is non-animal-based. This quality virtually eliminates any risk of animal-based disease transmission or allergic reaction.
3). Can Restylane be used anywhere on the face?
Restylane® has been used in more than 1.5 million treatments in over 60 countries to correct a variety of wrinkles and to enhance the appearance and fullness of lips. It is currently approved in the U.S. for the treatment of facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds (laugh lines).
4). What should I do prior to treatment?
Restylane® requires NO pretesting, but you should take a few precautions before being treated. Avoid using aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, St. John's Wort, or high doses of Vitamin E supplements prior to treatment, because these may increase bruising or bleeding at the injection site. Also if you have previously suffered from facial cold sores, there is a risk that the needle punctures could contribute to another recurrence.
5). How long does Restylane last?
Studies have shown that the average treatment results last 6 months or longer. This is twice as long as collagen. Having touch-up treatments before the product has fully dissipated will enhance the lasting effect greatly.
6). Do the injections hurt?
Restylane® is injected directly into the skin in tiny amounts by an ultrafine needle, resulting in minimal discomfort. The procedure is simple and convenient and results are practically instantaneous. To optimize your comfort during the short procedure, we anesthesize the treatment area.
1). What is laser skin resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing, also called laser peel, is a technique that removes the upper layers of the skin using a laser. As the wounded area heals, new skin grows and appears smoother, tighter, and younger. It is a way of improving the look of the skin without having full cosmetic surgery. It can be effective for reducing mild scarring, or the effects of sun damage, such as fine wrinkles.
2). What can it do?
Laser skin resurfacing is most effective for removing superficial wrinkles, generally lightening the skin, evening out pigmentation (coloring), smoothing rough skin and improving the look of shallow acne scars. The laser can be focused on problem areas, for example wrinkles around the eyes, mouth or nose, or the whole surface of the face can be targeted. The procedure shouldn't be used on the neck and jaw, or to treat deep wrinkles, sagging skin and extra fat, which require a surgical facelift.
Laser resurfacing can cause changes in the pigmentation of the face, which means that surgeons do not normally use laser techniques on dark skin, and surgery may be advised instead.
3). How does it work?
A laser is a beam of light radiation, which delivers intense energy that destroys the upper layer (the epidermis) of targeted areas of skin, exposing the lower layer (the dermis, which is pink). For deeper wrinkles, parts of the dermis can also be removed. After the procedure, the skin heals, leaving a surface that should be softer and less wrinkled or scarred.
4). What's involved?
Laser resurfacing is almost always done as a day-case - where you leave the hospital on the same day as the treatment is performed. However, someone will still need to collect you and stay with you for the first 24 hours.
The procedure lasts from a few minutes to an hour or so, depending on the area of skin involved. Usually, a local anaesthetic is all that is necessary. This is given as either a cream rubbed onto the area to be treated or as an injection into the skin. If needed, the anaesthetist can also give a sedative, which causes relaxation and possibly drowsiness. If the whole face is being treated, or another cosmetic procedure, such as eyelid surgery (also called blepharoplasty), is being done at the same time, a general anaesthetic may well be necessary.
Before treatment begins, the face is cleaned thoroughly. Then the surgeon passes the laser beam over the treatment area, with precise control over how deep the laser penetrates. Under local anaesthetic this is said to feel something like an elastic band hitting the skin.
1). What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are a common condition resulting from decreased blood flow from the leg up to the heart. In your leg, the blood has to flow upward, against gravity. Normally, one-way valves prevent the blood from flowing backward. When these valves become weak and don't close properly, they allow the blood to flow backward which causes blood pooling, and the bulging, twisting characteristic of the blood vessels known as varicose veins.
Varicose veins affect 1 out of 2 people aged 50 and above and 15%-20% of all adults. Varicose veins can cause aching pain, easily tired legs, and leg heaviness, all of which worsen as the day goes on. Many people who have reduced blood flow in the legs experience these symptoms without the visible varicose veins.
2). Exactly how does a laser treat varicose veins?
A laser is a highly concentrated beam of light. Medical lasers work by delivering this light energy to the target tissue with extreme precision so they don’t affect the surrounding tissue. They’ve proven their safety and effectiveness through years of use in all kinds of medical procedures, from eye surgery to dermatology. In the hands of a skilled physician, lasers offer far less risk and complications than conventional surgery or injection procedures.
The technology of our laser fixes varicose veins at the source by delivering just the right wavelength of energy to just the right tissue, causing the incompetent vein to close while your body automatically routes the blood to other healthy veins.
3). How effective is laser treatment for removing varicose veins?
This non-invasive and safe procedure is quite effective (up to 90%) and the effect is usually permanent. You should experience no reoccurrence in the veins that have been treated. Sometimes, follow-up procedures may be desired to obtain optimal aesthetic results. There is minimal pain involved with this procedure and this may be prevented by using topical anesthetic creams available to you at our office.
4). What is sclerotherapy and how does it work?
Sclerotherapy, or injection therapy, is a non-surgical procedure to treat spider and varicose veins. In this procedure, a solution is injected via an ultrafine needle into the vein in order to cause its disappearance. Sclerotherapy works by irritating the lining of the vein such that the vein seals shut. The blood then re-routes through the normal veins and flow much more efficiently. The procedure takes 15-20 minutes and afterwards, you may have to wear a compression stocking for a short period. Repeat treatments may be necessary for best results.
5). Does the sclerotherapy procedure hurt?
Most patients find the discomfort of treatment to be minimal. No surgical incisions are made and anesthesia is not necessary. Although complications may occur with any medical treatment, sclerotherapy has an good safety record. You should always discuss the risks and treatment alternatives with your physician.