Aesthetic Medicine Today and Tomorrow (part 2)

Fillers, From Animals to Sugar

The fastest growing segment of cosmetic science has been in the area of fillers. Bovine collagen, porcine collagen, and synthetic versions of calciums and sugars in humans are the favored methods for plumping up lips and cheeks, as well as filling in wrinkles and facial folds.

“I’m not one to say no one should ever get a facelift, “ Dr. Ourian states, “but with the technology available now I do think it should be the final option, not the first. With dermal fillers we can plump up areas of the face that have sunken with age. The results look natural rather than pulled.”

Bovine collagen was the most popular filler two decades ago, but patients lost interest due to potential side effects and allergy problems. Fillers using synthetic versions of hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar in the body, and calcium hydroxyapatite, or bone particles, were created to replace bovine collagen. Radiesse, Juvéderm, and Restylane are all examples of these types of fillers, and patients love them.

Dr. Ourian’s preference is the calcium hydroxyapatite filler Radiesse. This is because the bone particle fillers trigger the body to surround the material with naturally made collagen. Chin and cheek implants, once a fixture before fillers, tended to look unnatural. Fat transplants were also a method of filling in sags and wrinkles, but since natural fat is absorbed back into the body, more was needed for the injection than looked appropriate. Also, the fat would not necessarily dissolve evenly. As a result, some patients would suffer through uneven lumps at the site of injection after it started to break down.

Nose Jobs On the Run

Got a less than a perfect nose bridge? If you’ve always wanted to get rid of that little bump or indentation, it can be done in minutes by a doctor. A filler injection is made and smoothed out around the area. You’ll even have time to grab a little food before heading back to work. Touch-ups may be required for the next couple of years, and by then, science may have evolved to the point that the next one is permanent.

Waxing? Not Any More…

How do you get rid of unwanted body hair? Depilatory creams came out first, but they only kept the hair away for a day or so. Waxing was more popular, but that lasted for two weeks and could be very uncomfortable. Electrolysis was permanent, but was just as painful as waxing, and required more than one lengthy session. This is partly because each hair had to be burned out with an electric current.

Fortunately, we have moved to the next stage in hair removal. Laser hair treatments get rid of hair without burning the skin or using harsh chemicals. The laser targets the dark pigment in the hair and destroys the hair at the root. Touchups may be needed, but long term hair reduction is possible.

In the Future, I See…

Because of the speed at which technology and medicine evolve, changes can happen in months, as opposed to years. In five years, Dr. Ourian feels, patients will be less likely to get a full scale surgical procedure and be much more interested in total body approaches to regaining the appearance of youth. Many practices have already started to include a holistic approach, with skin care, med-spa and non-invasive treatments available.

Fat and blood stem cells will be used to stimulate rejuvenation of the face over the next five years, according to Dr. Ourian. The fat can be harvested from anywhere, while the blood stem cells can be taken from near the belly button. The idea is to turn the body into a self healing organism. Dr. Ourian is also looking forward to great advances in treating cellulite using non-invasive procedures to treat the unsightly affliction that is said to impact 90% of all females.