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Injection perfection

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spot treat wrinkles with these non-surgical treatments
The past decade has seen significant advancements in non-surgical anti-ageing techniques. “Newer technologies are less aggressive and give good results with minimal pain or down time.” says facial plastic surgeon, Dr George Marcells. The arrival of several new materials for cosmetic injections now means even better results. Here are the latest on offer:

Muscle relaxants
The work by paralysing muscles that cause us to frown or raise our eyebrows.

  • Botox
    Made from botulinum toxin A, this is the best-known relaxant.

    Best for: Dynamic wrinkles or lines that are caused by repetitive facial movement, such as frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet. Also used for neck lines, and to ‘lift’ the brows.
    Costs: From $350.

  • Dysport
    This is another brand of botulinum toxin A. Some doctors say it lasts longer.

    Costs: from $350.

Light Waves and Gases
The use of laser and various forms of light for skin renewal are booming, with radio-frequency waves and gas now being used as well

  • IPL (intense pulsed light)
    Varying wavelengths of light are used to zap imperfections such as pigmentation and broken capillaries, and also to generate collagen. The treatment’s been around for several years and is still popular. Mild redness or some bruising may be experienced at first but this usually subsides in a couple of days.
  • Best for: Mild to moderate sun damage.
    Costs: From around $330 a treatment, depending on the size of the area.

  • Plasma skin resurfacing
    Uses a high-energy gas to stimulate collagen production. Skin turns bronze and begins to peel four days after treatment, taking two to four weeks to heal. Best results are seen in six to 12 months.

    Best for: Mild to moderate sun damage.
    Costs: From $1500.

  • Photodynamic therapy
    A special cream is applied to highlight sun-damaged areas of the skin, so that the light energy can be directed to the area where it’s needed. The skin is usually red and/or a little puffy for a day or two after the treatment.

    Best for: Surface skin irregularities such as sun damage and pigmentation, and broken capillaries.
    Costs: From $600.

  • Thermage
    Firms the skin using radio-frequency waves. Slight redness may be experienced and results are seen four to six months after treatment.

    Best for: Firming and improving skin texture.
    Costs: From $3000.

  • Fraxel laser
    This stimulates skin regeneration with hundreds of pin-prick wounds to the skin. Several treatments are needed and skin may be red for a couple of days.

    Best for:Pigmentation, wrinkles and sun damage.
    Costs: From $800.

Combined Approach
Good results can be seen from using more than one ‘soft option’.

“We are finding that if we use combinations of modalities, we can achieve better results,” says cosmetic surgeon Dr John Flynn of Cosmedic & Skin Clinic on The Gold Coast (www.cosmedic.com.au), who has developed the Soft Skin Program.

Three basic steps
It starts with a series of microdermabrasions, followed by a peel, taken one to two weeks apart. “The microdermabrasion lets the peel penetrate better and more evenly,” explains Dr Flynn. “Then we follow with two to three photorejuvenation treatments using an appropriate laser to target uneven skin tone and broken capillaries.”

Costs: the Soft Skin Program costs $1800 to $2500.


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