The sheer number of different treatments now available for non surgical aesthetic rejuvenation can be bewildering for anyone starting to do a bit of research and find out what is best for them. In this article I’ll explain the main treatments available for various concerns, and hopefully make things a bit easier.
Before we even start to discuss the treatments though, you should remember one really important thing. This is not a process that should be commoditised. In aesthetic practice we are not retailing products or aesthetic medical services in the first instance. We are offering a consultation to give our patients the information they need about the treatment choices that would be best for them.
Here’s an example. Patient x has abdominal pain, does a bit of research and thinks he has appendicitis. Patient x doesn’t go to his surgeon saying “Doc, you need to take my appendix out” He says “Doc I have abdominal pain, can you tell me what it is?” Doc then takes a thorough history, undertakes an examination and on the basis of his knowledge and experience provides a differential diagnosis (possible causes) and a list investigations required to find the definitive diagnosis (actual cause). The Doc presents patient x with the available treatment options, explains the pros and cons of each treatment option, including no treatment at all, and together with this information the patient makes an informed decision about his or her treatment.
It’s similar in aesthetic medicine. A patient with sagging skin may have read about a thread lifting procedure and present to the clinic requesting the same, but often the patient has the diagnosis slightly wrong, and often has requested an inappropriate treatment. We prefer you come to us and say “This concerns me about my appearance, what do you think?” To be fair this is becoming more commonplace in our clinic and it means our patients are leaving happier, with better advice and more appropriate treatments.
Anyway, back to the list of things you may wish to consider. Starting with the worlds number one requested aesthetic procedure, Botox.
Botox is a brand name of a medicine called Botulinum Toxin type A which is also available as Bocouture or Azzalure in the UK. It is a potent medicine that is injected into muscles to cause a temporary weakness that lasts for about 4 months. This can result in a reduction in lines and wrinkles associated with facial expression in the upper part of the face. Commonly used to treat glabella lines (verticle frown lines between the eyes) as well as horizontal forehead lines and crows feet. It is not particularly useful for treating lines around the mouth although it can be used in this area to smooth out the chin and prevent excessive movement of some muscles in this area. It can also be used to reduce the bulk of a master muscle resulting in narrowing of a wide jaw, and it can be used in the neck to reduce vertical tension bands and help in defining a jawline.
The second most common requested non surgical procedure is Dermal Fillers.
Dermal fillers are gel like implants that can be placed within the skin itself, or into the tissues beneath the skin to smooth lines, create contour and reshape a face. The most common area for treatment with dermal fillers in the UK is the lip (Lip Fillers) Typically this is to increase the size of the lips but in expert hands the treatments is used not for enlargement, but for rejuvenation. This means using the fillers carefully to recreate the structure of the lip without making it look larger than it should! A real expert will be able to use dermal fillers together with botulinum toxin to replace lost facial volume, restore lip structure, lift eyebrows, jawlines and temples to create outstanding rejuvenation results that look completely natural.
Chemical peels or skin peels are a treatment to improve the quality of the skin and address fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, textural concerns and lack of lustre. They are often misunderstood and in Clinetix we frequently find our patients are put off by the description of acid peeling the skin off! However it is important to understand that chemical peels are safe and effective treatments for skin improvement. If you forget the term “acid” then a peel is simply a solution that is applied to the skin for a set period of time, before being removed or neutralised. There are a number of different solutions that will have different sorts of effect and are used for different types of skin concern. For example we have a number of very superficial chemical peels that are not painful and have no actual “peeling” of the skin that are incredibly useful in the treatment of acne and rosacea. For skin rejuvenation, treatment of fine lines, and pigmentation we have some solutions that may induce some dryness or flaking for a few days but again no actual peeling or pain.
Okay that’s the three commonest treatments we perform at our clinic. Most patients attend with a variety of concerns relating to an ageing appearance as well as skin concerns and it is usual for a treatment plan to be created that involves addressing all concerns with combinations of the above three treatments.
Next time I’ll talk about other rejuvenation treatments including PRP, Thread Lifts, Laser treatments, Large Volume Treatments and how we use them all in combination to achieve amazing results.