Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Hidden Dangers of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is one of the most sought after non-invasive skincare treatments in doctor’s offices and medical spas. Microdermabrasion is often marketed safe way to treat acne, scarring, and uneven skin; however, conventional methods could be more harmful than they are helpful.

The popular treatment customarily blasts aluminum oxide crystals to resurface the skin.  Dead skin and aluminum crystals are then vacuumed off the skin. Once touted in the cosmetic industry, the older methods are now being condemned by medical professionals due to the negative effects of the aluminum oxide crystals.
An article by StyleList.com claims that traditional microdermabrasion treatments can have post-treatment reactions that incorporate intense redness, infections, streaking from pressure on the probe, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. When not administered by a trained professional, crystals can scatter into the hair, lashes and ears, which can lead to corneal scratches and abrasions.

Never fear, for there are newer technologies available for microdermabrasion treatments. At the California Institute for Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery, we offer the Dermasweep MD. Unlike conventional microdermabrasion, the Dermasweep does not use crystals and the wand has 9 different brush tips that offer the most flexible and customized treatments for your skin. The treatment can be infused with Vitamin C, Salicylic, Glycolic, and Hyaluronic Acids for maximum effect.

Even though microdermabrasion is classified as a non-surgical procedure, it is important to have your treatment performed under the supervision of highly skilled medical professional. Microdermabrasions in Bakersfield can be performed by licensed aestheticians. More aggressive microdermabrasion procedures, however, should be performed by the physician themselves.

The Next Trend for Male Cosmetic Services

Sclerotherapy, a popular treatment for varicose and spider veins, has been used since the 1930s. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a saline solution directly into the affected veins. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. The clotted blood vessels turn into scar tissue that fades away over time.

According to a recent article by NewBeauty Magazine, the treatment once common amongst women has seen an overwhelming boost in popularity among men. The number of men undergoing sclerotherapy over the past five years has risen over 200 percent! According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, more men are treating their unsightly leg veins instead of opting for once-popular hair transplants.

Mild side effects of sclerotherapy include itching and raised red areas at the injection site that should disappear within a few days. Bruising may also occur around the injection side and can last several days or weeks. As with any cosmetic treatment, it is important to have sclerotherapy performed an experienced physician.

To your health & beauty,

Dr. Dev

The Great Debate Over Silicone Implants and MRIs

A recent article by NewBeauty magazine explores the importance of MRI’s, and how they should be done, for women who have had breast augmentation with silicone implants. There is an ongoing debate as to whether women with silicone implants should have an MRI lying down or standing upright.

Doctors are currently studying upright MRIs to gauge whether or not they offer better screening results than the traditional recumbent position. Considering most implant leakage occurs at the bottom of the implant due to weight and gravity, some doctors argue that an MRI standing will be most accurate when recreating the natural position of the implants and any possible leaks. MRIs in the recumbent position could possibly miss minor leaks due to the redistribution of the weight of the implant.

Another factor to consider is that traditional MRIs have a 10% false positive rate. This means that 1 in 10 women with silicone implants who have an MRI done will be alerted of an implant leak that does not actually exist. This causes many women to undergo unnecessary, expensive procedures to fix a problem that does not exist.

While the debate is still in its infancy, it is recommended that women with silicone breast implants undergo an MRI three years after insertion and every year thereafter to screen for potential leaks or changes to the implant.

There’s No Simple Cure for Wrinkles

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. According to a study done by the Stanford School of Medicine, popular drug store adhesive pads meant to reduce wrinkles on the forehead and between-eye area may have no added benefit. During the study 30 women were observed over a 4 week period while using the adhesive pads in the forehead and glabella (between the eyes). Although believed to have noticeable wrinkle reduction, two independent facial plastic surgeons measured the before/after wrinkle severity scores as exactly the same.

These over-the-counter products often promote themselves as “alternatives to Botox®” and other popular wrinkle-reducing treatments. Unfortunately, these claims are often untested and are misleading to consumers.

For Bakersfield patients seeking wrinkle-reduction, keep in mind that Botox®, Dysport®, and other wrinkle-reducing treatments are FDA approved and have underwent intense clinical trials. Often times, Bakersfield patients will seek out a plastic surgeon that will pair Botox® with dermal fillers, such as Radiesse® or Juvederm®, for an optimum youthful appearance.

When it comes to anti-aging treatments, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is.

The Ugly Little Word Called Cellulite

Cellulite: it’s a word most women love to hate. While most of us are aware of what cellulite looks like, not everyone is aware of how it is caused or treated. Cellulite, or the dimpled appearance of the skin found on the hips, thighs, and buttocks, is found on 8 out of 10 women. Cellulite is a lot less common in men because of differences in the way fat, muscle and connective tissues are distributed in men and women’s skin.

Fibrous connective cords that join the skin to the underlying muscle cause cellulite. The cords secure the skin to deeper structures with the fat lying in between. As the fat cells accrue, they push up against the skin, while the long, tough cords are pulling down. This creates a bumpy or dimply surface.

Cellulite is at times described as skin with a cottage cheese or orange-peel texture. Cellulite ranges in severity. Mild cases can only be seen when the skin is pinched, while more severe cases make the skin resemble rumpled and bumpy with areas of peaks and valleys. Cellulite can be found around the thighs, buttocks, breasts, lower abdomen and upper arms.

While weight gain is not a direct cause of cellulite, persons with higher body fat can have a more pronounced appearance of cellulite. Not surprisingly, skinny people can have cellulite too (think celebrity Mischa Barton). Other factors that may increase your chances of having cellulite include stress, an inactive lifestyle, using hormonal contraceptives and aging.

Although surgical treatments are the most effective way to reduce cellulite appearance, there are different things one can do to help minimize the unsightly dimples:

  • Maintain a normal weight…a higher concentration of fat can increase the appearance of cellulite
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid unnecessary medications that may increase estrogen and in turn cellulite appearance
  • Reduce your intake of coffee, alcohol, salt, high-fat foods and highly processed foods
  • Eat plenty of fiber
  • Drink plenty of water and eat regular daily helpings of fresh fruit
  • Exercise regularly

For Bakersfield residents that are still not satisfied with the appearance of their cellulite, we recommend to contact a plastic surgeon to discuss the different treatment options.

Can Liposuction Decrease or Eliminate Metabolic Syndrome?

By now, everybody knows this for sure: fat isn’t good for us. You’ve undoubtedly heard that, in particular, belly fat, is linked to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes. It’s interesting to note that anybody who has these above problems and has lost a large amount of weight, often find that they have “reversed” their Type 2 diabetes and also lowered their BP, cholesterol and triglycerides, too, as a direct result of getting rid of all those pounds.

A condition associated directly with belly fat is called “metabolic syndrome.”  Researchers ad physicians have been trying to find out if there’s a link between elimination of belly fat through liposuction and a decrease in the risks for high blood pressure, high lipids and type 2 diabetes. The studies are going on all the time, and although some say liposuction won’t lower these problems, other studies suggest that they will.

This brings up the potential in the future that liposuction will not just be a cosmetic procedure, but a medical one! A recent study by Dr. RV Weber, an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his fellow researchers, proved that hamsters with metabolic syndrome had fewer symptoms after liposuction for their belly fat. Does this mean the same will be the case with humans? It’s unclear because, although humans and animals often do react in the same ways, they don’t always do so. You can read this report on liposuction’s effects in the professional journal, Modern Medicine.

In the meantime, whether or not liposuction in the belly area will decrease your risk of elevated blood pressure and lipids, and decrease your chances of type 2 diabetes, I can tell you this—when you feel better about yourself and the way you look, you’re much more likely to take good care of yourself, like going to the gym, watching what you eat and keeping fit. For my patients, the power-assisted liposuction method that I use, called Microaire, eliminates pockets of fat on the body, including the belly area, so that they feel younger and more attractive, which leads to them taking better care of themselves to maintain—and even improve further—their appearance.

And don’t forget–we have a comprehensive weight loss program here in our office. If you have too much fat for liposuction to help you, let’s get that weight off you and then finish up the smaller areas with liposuction once the bulk of the weight has been lost. You’ll feel–and look–years younger.

To your health and beauty,

Dr. Vip Dev

Be Careful of the Beds You Frequent

It has been recently reported by CNN that tanning beds are reported to increase a person’s chance of developing skin cancer by three fold.

The repeated warnings to patients that they face a risk of developing skin cancer from tanning haven’t been very effective–people are still laying out in the sun and tanning in the tanning beds.  So. cosmetologists and dermatologists have begun to focus on the other consequence of tanning: wrinkles.  It is a fact that both the sun and tanning beds can increase wrinkles. Teenagers, who choose to sunbathe, might not consider the damage to their skin. However, there is a strong likelihood that those who choose to tan in their teens will have an elevated risk of developing wrinkles before their mid 20s.

Here in Bakersfield, the sun shines bright and hot most of the year. Please do wear sunscreen and cover your eyes with sunglasses, even if you’re just running out for coffee or to get the mail. Skin cancer is no joke and can really disrupt your life.

To your health & wellness,

Vip Dev, MD