Cosmetic Dermatology

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Cosmetic dermatology, also termed aesthetic dermatology, is a branch of dermatology that mainly deals with skin conditions of an aesthetic nature. Acne, birthmarks, wrinkles, spider / thread veins (vascular lesions) and photoaging symptoms such as liver or age spots, are just some of the problems that can be overcome through cosmetic dermatology. Patients often visit cosmetic dermatologists to get rid of unsightly blemishes, uneven skin, wrinkles etc.

One of the most popular non-invasive methods to deal with skin conditions of a cosmetic nature is the application of laser to restore and reconstruct the skin. It is frequently used to combat acne as well as many of the previously mentioned conditions. In addition, it can be used to permanently remove unwanted hair from any part of the body.

The following is a brief description of the cosmetic therapies that are offered in our clinic.

Embedded Threading

Embedded threading is an effective technique that lifts and tightens sagging skin on the face and neck area. The treatment involves the use of PDO (polydioxanone) sutures that are injected into the hypodermis of the skin and dissolve naturally in a matter of months, providing a lifting and smoothing effect. The various thread lengths give the dermatologist a wide range of treatment options to stimulate new collagen production in the treated area. This method allows the skin to become smooth and bright  by enhancing skin tone and tightening pores, resulting in fewer wrinkles, thus improving the skin’s overall texture and youthfulness.

Threading treatment is painless thanks to the anaesthic cream which is applied to the area requiring treatment. This therapy is a very safe procedure and complications are extremely rare. Minor complications may include temporary swelling and bruising. Patients may feel slight tightness or a pulling sensation following the treatment; however, this subsides over a few weeks.The benefits of this simple fast procedure last between 1 and 1.5 years.

Botox for Wrinkles

BOTOX, ( botulinum toxin), is a substance produced by a bacterium that has been used in the field of medicine for over 20 years. This purified toxin is perfectly harmless when administered by an experienced doctor and is totally eliminated from the organism after a certain amount of time. For many years, it was used to alleviate facial muscle spasms and to correct double vision due to an unbalance of the related muscles.

Nowadays, it is more commonly used to remove facial wrinkles. To rejuvenate the skin, micro drops of botox are injected with a very fine needle into the muscle that has a wrinkle. Once injected, the toxin temporarily blocks the nerve impulse, preventing it from reaching a specific area.  As a result, it leads to muscular relaxation, causing the wrinkle to relax gradually and subsequently disappear. The first results are generally observed within a few days.The toxin only affects the area where the injection is applied, therefore the muscles related to expressions are not affected.

Associated pain upon injection is minimal and the majority of patients compare the sensation to nothing more than an insect bite. An anaesthetic cream is applied to the skin prior to the procedure to minimize any discomfort. The procedure is fast, so the patient can return to regular activities immediately but should avoid any physical exercise or sudden movements of the head for a number of hours. It is a simple, safe and effective method to reduce facial expression lines without the need for plastic surgery. Any possible adverse reactions are temporary and located in the area of application. Bruising occasionally occurs at the site of injection but fades quickly.

The most common areas for the use of botox are between the eyebrows, around the eyes – especially on wrinkles on the outer corner of the eyes commonly referred to as crow’s feet, the horizontal expression lines on the forehead,  around the mouth and along the muscular bands on the front of the neck. The need for treatment does not depend on age, but the appearance of your skin. In some people wrinkles can even appear before the age of 30. It is advisable to commence treatment before wrinkles become permanent.

The results of  botox treatment usually last between four and  six months. Therefore, this procedure is usually carried out  twice a year. Clinical studies have shown that after the second treatment the length of benefit can often  be extended.

Botox for Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition in which a person unpredictably sweats in excess of the amount required for normal thermoregulation. This is due to the fact that sweat glands of the individual are over active. Although any site on the body can be affected by hyperhidrosis, the sites most commonly affected are the palms, soles, and armpits (axillae).There are 2 types of hyperhidrosis: Primary Focal and Secondary Generalized.

Primary Focal hyperhidrosis is when regular excessive sweating affects hands, feet, armpits etc. In most cases, no cause can be found and does not usually occur at night. it commonly begins in childhood or adolescence and tends to run in family.

Secondary Generalized hyperhidrosis is sweating which occurs as a result of another medical condition or medication. The sweating may be all over the body or in one particular area of it. This type of sweating often happens at night and usually starts in adulthood.

Botox can be used to treat the symptoms of severe underarm sweating in cases of primary focal hyperhidrosis when topical treatment is unsuccessful. During the procedure, a very fine needle is used to inject tiny amounts of Botox just under the skin intermittently throughout the area of excessive sweating. Results start to be noticeable approximately 2 to 4 days after treatment with the full effects usually noted within 2 weeks. The results typically lasts 4 to 12 months but some studies have found that it can be up to 14 months. A reduction in sweating means a patient will see a clear improvement in their quality of life on a daily basis.

Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a non-surgical cosmetic dermatology treatment to treat various skin problems, especially on the face. This method combats the effects of aging by retaining moisture under the skin to keep it hydrated and restore a youthful glow.  It employs multiple injections of substances such as hyaluronic acid, vitamins, antioxidants, inorganic matter, peruvic acid and glucose under the skin.

It is a brief and simple form of therapy lasting 20-30 minutes that can be used on many parts of the body, particularly the face, to fight skin aging, photoaging due to over exposure to the sun, dehydration, loss of firmness etc.This method has no side effects and is relatively pain free. Patients can return to their normal daily activities immediately after the  sessions.

Skin Reconstruction

Skin reconstruction can be achieved by utilizing various techniques to regain a youthful appearance and erase the signs of aging. One of the most popular methods that our clinic is able to offer is the laser induced stimulation of collagen stems of the skin in order to trigger the production of new collagen, which in turn will give a patient’s face a rejuvenated appearance. The laser can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, leaving the epidermis intact, and remove wrinkles and spots, shrink the pores, eliminate acne scars and substantially tighten the skin without the need for peeling. The best result can be achieved on patients aged between 40 and 60 and the maximum effect is clearly visible after 3 – 4 sessions.

Stretch Mark, Scar and Keloid Treatment 

Stretch marks, or striae distensae, as they are clinically termed, are a form of skin scarring seen in both males and females and are mainly associated with pregnancy, obesity, puberty, and rapid changes in weight. They form when the dermis – the middle layer of the skin that maintains shape and elasticity – is stretched more than it can tolerate. Connective fibres in the skin eventually break, disrupting collagen production and causing scarring. This appearance of such scarring can be considerably improved by the application of laser, which, unlike moisturizing creams and gel, can reach the necessary depth to be effective. The best results are achieved when the formation of stretch marks is rather recent, less that 2 years, and are still light red in colour.

Scars that are clearly visible are not only aesthetically displeasing, but often result in low self-esteem and embarrassment, especially when present on the face, neck, arms and hands. Studies have shown that the presence of scar tissue can have strong psychological effects on an individual and even hamper movement.

Scars are formed during the healing process of skin tissue after an injury, a burn or surgery. They are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin; in the beginning scars look red and hard then gradually in a few months they become a lighter colour and softer to the touch. If the skin at the edges of the wound has come together neatly, the scar will usually heal as a thin, pale line. In wider wounds, where more surface skin is missing and more scar tissue is needed to bridge the gap between the edges of damaged skin, the scar may be less neat and may take longer to heal. This process can take up to two years, and there will always be some visible evidence of the original wound. These scars are not usually painful, although they may be itchy for a few months. They can also be quite dark in colour and unsightly.

Some wounds can form a keloid scar, which is an overgrowth of tissue that occurs when too much collagen is produced at the site of the wound and the scar keeps growing, even after the wound has healed. Keloids are shiny hairless scars raised above the  skin and can be painful, itchy and often cause a burning sensation. They can appear much larger than the original wound and may restrict movement if they are tight and near a joint. In most cases they feel hard and have a “rubbery” texture, although some keloids can form soft lumps (such as on the ear lobe after piercings). A newly-formed keloid scar is red or purple, becoming paler with time The areas of the body where keloid scars are more likely to form include: the area around the breastbone (sternum),  the upper arms and shoulders (deltoids), the upper back and the ear lobes.

Scars caused by skin conditions such as severe acne or chickenpox can have a sunken or pitted appearance.They can also be the result of an injury, which may have included the loss of underlying fat.

One way to lessen the negative feelings associated with scars is to reduce the visible scarring on the body. This can help the patient to heal both emotionally and physically. Laser therapy can reduce the redness in a scar by targeting the blood vessels in the excess scar tissue. For some scars, laser re-surfacing is used to make the scar flatter. This involves using a laser to remove the top layers of skin, which stimulates collagen production in the deeper layers.

In our clinic we are able to provide all the appropriate combinations of treatment techniques as well as laser supported forms of therapy in order to maximize the results on the damaged skin, help reduce the size of the scar and change its appearance. Treatment can create new scar lines that blend into skin creases more effectively, look flatter and have a straighter line, which is less noticeable. This allows the patient to feel less self-conscious and overcome feelings of embarrassment, anxiety and sadness.

Peeling

Chemical peeling is one of the oldest cosmetic procedures in the world, and was performed in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to help people achieve smoother, more beautiful skin. Today, chemical facial peels are still popular because they offer nearly immediate results and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. An acid solution is used to remove the damaged outer layers of dead skin to allow the skin to glow with health. In performing chemical peels, dermatologists apply a mixture of different natural acids to deeply cleanse the pores and remove impurities, resulting in a clear and bright complexion with firmed and toned contours. By exfoliating the outer layers of dead skin a new skin layer is revealed with enhanced tone, texture, and colour.

Chemical peels are normally carried out on the face, neck, décolletage, hands and back. It is a simple procedure that lasts no more than 15 minutes. Depending on the chemicals used you may experience a mild tingling or stinging sensation when the peel is applied to your skin. This is normal and subsides very quickly depending on skin sensitivity. In the days following the treatment the amount of flaking skin varies depending on the type of chemical peeling applied.

Chemical peeling can be applied in the following cases:

Treatment of photo-aging
Reduction of wrinkles and fine lines
Elimination of pigmentation abnormalities, spots, liver spots, melasma
Treatment of active acne
Treatment of acne scars
Treatment of eyelid xanthelasma (a yellowish deposit of fat and cholesterol under the skin around or on the eyelids)
Treatment of actinic hyperkeratosis, mild precancerous skin lesions

Hyaluronic Acid Wrinkle Fillers

As we age, our faces naturally lose subcutaneous fat, resulting in fat muscles being closer to the skin surface and smile lines and crow’s feet becoming more apparent. Injectable wrinkle fillers can give you a non-surgical face lift, leading to a more youthful look almost instantly, without all the expense and time required  for a traditional face lift.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are a good choice as a dermal filler because of their compatibility with the human body. In fact, this substance is found in almost every single living thing. In humans, it is a natural substance that acts as a network that transfers essential nutrients from the bloodstream to skin cells. High concentrations are found in soft connective tissues and in the fluid surrounding your eyes. It also exists  in some cartilage and joint fluids, as well as skin tissue. When hyaluronic acid is injected in the skin, it acts like an inflated cushion to support facial structures and tissues that may have lost volume or elasticity due to normal aging. It also brings water to the surface of skin to keep it looking fresh and supple.

Injectable wrinkle fillers, unlike botox injections that relax the muscle under a wrinkle, fill the line, crease, or area requiring treatment. As a result, signs of aging almost disappear and you are left feeling more confident.These injections can be carried out in less than 30 minutes, with results lasting from several months to more than a year.

PRP SkinTreatment

Autologous Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment, also known as PRP or APRP Treatment, is one of the latest and most advanced non-surgical treatments used by dermatologists today. This method can be employed for both reconstructive and cosmetic purposes to solve a wide range of problems in cases where more invasive methods are not suitable or desired.The skin is encouraged to heal itself, softening fine wrinkles and leading to a more radiant and youthful appearance. It is particularly useful in treating common skin  problems, such as hollows under the eyes, and it ensures excellent results in dehydrated and tired skin because it achieves deep hydration and improves the vitality and the tone of the skin, while simultaneously nourishing and rejuvenating it. Treatment can be carried out anywhere on the face, neck, décolletage and hands where there are signs of aging, wrinkles or hollows. Furthermore, it helps reduce the damage caused by over exposure to the sun as well as greatly improving scarring from acne. The plasma may also be mixed with other filler products for an enhanced effect.

This technique uses the body’s own blood plasma and concentrated platelets to regenerate damaged skin and subcutaneous tissues just under the skin. This form of therapy is gaining ground in the aesthetic field as it relies on a safe technique that utilizes the natural regenerative and healing properties of platelets to give spectacular results. Platelets have the ability to locally release autologous growth factors, which are naturally occurring small proteins that act as messengers to initiate the process of skin regeneration.

A sample of a patient’s own blood is drawn and immediately spun in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the plasma, platelets and other components. The platelet rich portion of the plasma can then be removed and used for any aesthetic treatment required. This plasma also contains growth factors needed to generate new skin cells, as well as having a variety of proteins, enzymes, albumen, fibrinogen and many of the essential amino acids that optimise skin health. After topical anaesthetic cream has been applied to the problem area, your own plasma is injected and acts as a catalyst, releasing its protein-rich healing factors, the white cells and platelets. The cascade effect of the natural healing processes causes the gradual regeneration of the skin and the subcutaneous structures. This treatment gradually increases the skin’s production of collagen, improving skin thickness and the overall texture, tone and health of skin.

PRP Therapy is a very straightforward treatment that is quick to administer. The entire treatment from drawing blood to completion is usually less than an hour. It is a very safe treatment because the plasma used is from your own body, which makes it 100% biocompatible and therefore eliminates any risk of allergic reaction, rejection or other side effects. PRP Therapy is usually administered in two or three treatment sessions 3 to 4 months apart. The frequency of treatment and maintenance will depend on the initial condition of your skin, taking into account your age, the effects of sun damage, alcohol consumption and smoking, as well as your desired treatment outcomes.

This treatment is not suitable for patients with a  history of heavy smoking, drug or alcohol use or those with certain medical conditions. Your dermatologist will be able to advise you further.

PRP Therapy for Hair Loss

PRP Hair Restoration is a state-of-the-art, non surgical medical procedure for the treatment of hair loss or hair thinning, which is suitable for both men and women. This alternative form of hair loss therapy is a very natural, innovative method of choice for quality hair restoration to help sufferers regain confidence in their appearance. Having been used for more than two decades, PRP therapy has established itself as an effective form of treatment in many fields of medicine. It has also made significant progress in the treatment of hair loss.

It is a straight forward injectable treatment which uses the patient’s own blood to stimulate new growth in the stem cells of inactive hair follicles. Human blood contains mesenchymal stem cells and autologous blood products that contain essential and specific growth factors which assist in tissue regeneration and healing.

The process involves taking a little blood, which is then treated in a centrifuge so that only the enriched cells or platelets (PRP) remain after it has been spun down to a high concentration. The Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is then injected into the scalp or areas to be treated using a special micro needle. Following this, the growth factors in your blood cells set to work stimulating the bulb cells at the base of each individual hair improving microcirculation in the surrounding area. This means hair growth is naturally stimulated and the vitality, colour and brightness of the hair is enhanced, while hair loss is slowed. The end result is a fuller, healthier looking head of natural hair, which helps restore confidence.