I don’t usually watch Dancing on Ice. I’m more a fan of The Voice, particularly since Kylie is a judge/mentor (or whatever they call themselves), this year. I caught both of them over the weekend just gone though.
Two faces on DOI struck me. One, a mature lady. The other a young and really pretty lady. Both had foreheads as frozen as the ice being skated upon. In neither case did this improve these ladies appearance, in my opinion. The mature lady had a smooth forehead which did not match the rest of her face which had been neglected from an aesthetic point of view. The younger lady actually looked older and lacked the ability to display any emotion. Kylie, on the other hand looked fantastic. She looked fresh, younger than her years but natural.
So what is my point? It is simply that cosmetic medicine is more than injections. It is more than frozen faces and ‘pillow faces’. My philosophy is that we should look good for where we are, age wise and avoid the temptation to over treat. Don’t get me wrong, dermal fillers and the like are the backbone of my practice. However, ubiquitous as they are, they aren’t the ONLY treatments available. The issue is, that to provide a full range of anti ageing treatments requires a significant investment in terms of both training and money.
I also believe that treatments should have actual evidence that they work. This may sound obvious but unfortunately it is not difficult to market a treatment in the UK without proper clinical study. Case in point for me is the so called ‘Vampire Facelift’ or PRP. Take your blood, spin in down and reintroduce the clear platelet rich plasma into your skin and hey presto you look younger. Sounds great. The problem I have is that there is no consensus on how it should be reintroduced and every manufacturer has a different opinion, with no great evidence to back up their claims!
Lasers, lights and radio frequency have massive evidence behind them. Of course not all machines are equal but they are becoming increasingly essential as part of any anti aging prescription, in my opinion. I have personally used the Lumenis One Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), as a doctor and as a patient for the last three years. IPL energy is turned into heat, preferentially, in targets known as chromophores within the skin. The main targets for IPL are brown (melanin) and red (deoxyhaemoglobin). It is particularly effective for thread veins, rosacea, brown spots and sun damage. It also tends to improve skin quality, as it generates significant heat in the dermis of the skin.
Radiofrequency uses electrical energy, which generates heat in the skin because of resistance to this electricity. It can be applied in a number of ways. It can be used to heat the deep dermis and thus tighten. This is mainly useful on the jawline and neck. A really interesting recent development is using radio frequency to resurface the skin, in order to improve the appearance of scars as well as fine lines . This so called ‘sublative’ rejuvenation is less aggressive and thus has less downtime than some of the more traditional laser treatments. It is also safer on darker skin types. The Candela Etwo is a good example of a platform that can provide both of these treatments. I’m really excited to be adding this to our menu of treatments
Cosmetic medicine is exciting and constantly evolving. There are new treatments and improvements always appearing. The importance of proper research both by doctor and by patient can not be stressed enough.