While we cannot reverse the aging process, we can slow it down and control the visible signs of aging. Botox is one such therapy that can keep us looking younger. It's mainly used for the facial lines and wrinkles that age, stress, worry, and environmental factors may produce, even on a younger person’s face. Botox is a drug made from the bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. While Botox is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedure. This unique treatment is also used along with facial plastic surgery procedures such as a facelift or eyelid lift to maximize its cosmetic benefit. Botox treatments can lift the brow making which will make your face look less tired, giving you a more youthful appearance.
It can also be used to treat misaligned eyes, severe sweating of the underarm region, cervical dystonia, migraines and uncontrollable blinking. It can also be used to treat an overactive bladder. In terms of cosmetic enhancements, Botox can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, prevent new wrinkles from developing. Botox is commonly injected into the forehead, glabella or space between eyebrows, outer corners of the eyes, chin and neck.
Botox is used only in small concentrated dosage under the guidance of a doctor, as it can have severe side effects, if used incorrectly. The Botox procedure is as simple as getting an injection. It is administered by injecting a readymade Botox solution into the muscles. This paralyses the muscles by blocking nerve signals to the area and preventing the release of acetylcholine, which is responsible for the contraction of muscles. Usually the results of a Botox injection can be seen within 24-72 hours. In rare cases, it may take upto 5 days for the results to become visible.
Botox is performed as an outpatient procedure and is considered a safe cosmetic procedure. Pregnant women are advised not to undergo Botox treatment until they stop breastfeeding the baby after delivary. However, as with any other procedures, it does have a few risks associated with it. These include:
Slight pain at the injection site
- Temporary weakening of the eye and neck muscles
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Rashes and inflammation
The effects of Botox may be influenced by other medications that you are taking and hence before undergoing the procedure, ensure your doctor knows what medication you are on. Avoid alcohol and strenuous activities for a few days after the injection.
The results of a Botox injection are not permanent and hence they may need to be repeated. Doctors advise maintaining an interval of at least 3 months between Botox injections. However, every time a Botox injection is repeated, the time taken for the lines and wrinkles to reappear reduces. In some cases, the body may also develop antibodies to the Botox injection. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon.
With the current self-obsession of the need to look good all the time, acne is seen as a major problem by the teenagers and adolescents. It is related to the hormonal changes but also aggravated by food habits. During their active phase, acne causes a lot of pain and burning. There is a constant tendency to pick at them to get rid of the pain and the itching.
They dry over a period of time and leave scars which are not as painful but are esthetically a major concern. For someone with oily skin who are more prone for developing acne, these scar marks could be very traumatic emotionally.
There is good news for these people as cosmetic advancements give multiple options for getting rid of these scars. Read on to know some of the most effective ones.
- Laser: A beam of light is aimed at the scar tissue, which does not affect the surrounding tissue but gets rid of the scar tissue. In addition to acne, laser is used in multiple skin ailments (whiteheads, cysts, blackheads, etc.) There is an intense bacterial presence in the acne, and when the laser beam is aimed at the acne, the bacteria are killed. This also reduces further incidence of acne and amount of sebum produced. The number of sittings required would depend on the severity of acne, and most people would require 2 to 3 sittings for complete removal of the scars.
- Photofacials: The outer layer of the skin (epidermis) is cooled and the inner layer (dermis) is heated. This stimulates the production of collagen and fibrous tissue, which replaces the acne tissue, giving a fresher, youthful look.
In both cases, remember to:
- Avoid use of irritants like perfumes and deodorants in the affected area
- Avoid waxing or shaving for at least 10 days before the procedure
- Avoid exposure to harsh sun for about a week prior to the procedure
- Avoid medicines which increase the risk of bleeding, aspirin for instance
Post treatment: In both treatments, the skin may appear red, swollen, and inflamed for the first day. There also may be a prickly sensation, similar to a sunburn. Cool packs or moist cloths and a good moisturizer can be used to soothe the skin. Avoid makeup until the skin is back to normal appearance. Depending on the type of skin and acne, the appearance will take about weeks to months after the procedure.
- Minimally invasive
- Reduced pain
- Completed in one appointment
- Reduced recovery time
- Can be clubbed with other acne therapy modes
- Good results with reduced recurrence and sebum production
With so many advancements, acne marks are sure to go away! If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cosmetic-plastic-surgeon.
Body hair are typically seen as a manly attribution. For this reason, both men and women are constantly trying to keep their body hair free. Common ways of removing body hair includes shaving, waxing and the use of Depilatories. However, none of these techniques can permanently remove hair and hence need to be repeated regularly. The only way to permanently remove body hair is through laser hair removal therapy.
Laser hair removal can be used to address and remove hair on almost any part of the body including the face, arms, legs and bikini line. This procedure involves focusing intense light on the hair follicle pigments known as melanin without affecting the surrounding skin. The melanin absorbs this light energy and converts it to heat energy which in turn stops the stem cells in the hair roots from regenerating. This weakens the hair follicles to the point of falling off.
Hair removal is considered permanent when the hair follicles do not grow back. After the first session, new hair growth is often lighter and less dense than before. On an average, complete hair removal may require 5 to 6 laser sessions. Since laser therapy can be used to address only those follicles that are in the growing stage, these sessions are usually spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. During this time the hair follicles that were in the resting phase can grow out. The number of sessions required also depends on the quality and number of hair follicles, individual’s hormone levels, and metabolism. In some cases where hair growth is very dense, maintenance treatment may be required once in six months or annually.
The procedure is relatively pain free. During the treatment, the patient may experience a faint prick or sensation of warmth. When treating sensitive areas, topical anesthesia may also be used. However, this is rarely needed. This form of laser therapy can take anywhere between 5 to 45 minutes for a single session depending on the amount of area being addressed.
Laser hair removal is considered a safe procedure and has minimal side effects. In some cases, it may cause a temporary change in the color of the skin of the treated area, but this usually resolves itself without medication. This can be prevented by using a good sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and avoiding exposure to sunlight. In rare cases, people with a dark complexion may develop blisters and experience swelling and redness of the skin. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cosmetic physician.
Favorite pastime of most of the people would be to look at the mirror and analyze the skin. While acne is the most common problem, next in line would be pigmentation. One could have light patches or dark patches on the skin. The color of the skin is due to a pigment known as melanin. Greater the amount of melanin in the skin, darker the complexion. Skin color depends on the following:
- Degree of sun exposure
- Skin care routine
- Stress levels
- Hormonal levels (related to menstruation, pregnancy, breast feeding, menopause, etc.)
- Food habits
Hypopigmentation is less common and it is better to seek medical advice to rule out other medical conditions. Hyperpigmentation where there are increased amounts of melanin on the skin. This is quite common and happens with increased sun exposure and age. The most common types are as below:
- Melesma: Caused by hormonal changes, is very commonly seen during pregnancy.
- Lentigo: Multiple black spots or freckles. This could be caused by ageing or due to sun exposure.
- Management of hyperpigmentation: This involves two-fold approach with preventing and treatment
Tips for preventing hyperpigmentation:
Reducing sun damage and using optimal sun protection is the best way to prevent hyperpigmentation. The sunscreen should have at least an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15. A common misbelief is that sun damage happens during the bright days. However, even sun during cloudy weather causes damage, so avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible if you have are at risk of pigmentation.
Regularly scrub and exfoliate the skin to remove the dead cells from the top layers. Dry or sensitive skin can be exfoliated 1 to 2 times weekly, and oily skin can be exfoliated 2 to 3 times weekly. This helps constantly remove the top dead layers and fresh skin cells to come to the top, giving a fresher, more youthful look.
Treatment for Hyperpigmentation Pigmentation is hereditary, and so improved skin care routine is useful in improving appearance. When buying skin care products, check whether the SPF is greater than 15 at the minimum, and there are other essential ingredients like alpha hydroxyl acids, glycolic acid, and lactic acid.
These help in skin regeneration and producing a clearer skin with reduced discoloration. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and kojic acid are also useful in treating hyperpigmentation. Dietary changes like egg white mask, citrus fruit application, potato peel can help in reducing pigmentation.
Other dietary changes to adhere to include a diet that is less in oil and refined sugars. A fresh fruit and vegetable loaded diet, adequate hydration, good skin care, and proper sun protection can go a long way in reducing pigmentation. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cosmetic-plastic surgeon.
With age, fat under the skin dissolves and causes significant volume loss. This can lead to the development of wrinkles, lines and other signs of aging on your face. Modern medicine has however, found a way to hide these signs of aging. A non-surgical facelift can fill these empty spaces under your skin to add volume to your face and help regain your youthfulness.
As the name suggests, a non-surgical facelift is non-invasive. It involves the injecting of dermal fillers into the affected area. This procedure should not take more than half an hour and shows almost instantaneous results. The most common areas where the filler is injected are the temporal hollows, cheek, submalar, nose, naso labial folds, marionette lines, oral commisure and chin and jaw line. This procedure has no major side effects. However, to be on the safe side, minimize touching the injection site for upto 2 weeks after the procedure.
There are three types of dermal fillers used for non surgical face lifts.
- Hyaluronic acid is the standard dermal filler used for such procedures. The affect lasts for 6 months to a year depending on the area it is injected into. The more the area covered, the shorter will be the duration of the benefit. Once the effects of the facelift begin to fade, the procedure will have to be repeated to maintain the youthful look. Hyaluronic acid is also said to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin.
- Synthetic fillers can also be used for a non surgical facelift. The effects of these fillers are more long-lasting and can maintain facial volume for up to 18 months. However, synthetic fillers can trigger the formation of lumps under the skin that will need to be surgically removed. The structure of the skin can also change with age, leaving odd shapes at the sites where synthetic fillers have been injected.
- The third type of dermal filler used is the patient’s own fat. Fat from another part of the body is extracted and then injected into the face to increase its volume. While the effects of this type of dermal filler can last for 5 to 10 years, there is also a possibility of the fat being reabsorbed into the body within a few months of the procedure. Fat transfer dermal fillers are also the most expensive type of fillers. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cosmetic physician.