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Facial Treatments

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Apr
26
2007

WEB EXCLUSIVE: The New Face of Beautiful Aging

By Nancy Jefferies

Science, philosophy and evolution have ushered in a new and long overdue perspective on aging.

Mar
20
2007

ASAPS Reports Cosmetic Procedures on the Rise

Nearly 11.5 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2006, according to statistics released today by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Compared to 2005, cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical increased 1%. The Aesthetic Society, which has been collecting multispecialty procedural statistics since 1997, says the overall number of cosmetic procedures has increased 446% since the collection of the statistics first began. The most frequently performed procedure was injectable fillers and the most popular surgical procedure was liposuction.

The top nonsurgical cosmetic procedures include injectable fillers, hyaluronic acid, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and laser skin resurfacing.

Click here for more information.

Feb
27
2007

Poorly Executed Cosmetic Procedures Can Leave Lasting Damage

A visit to a skin treatment clinic in a Florida suburban mall in late 2004 changed 52-year-old Jordan Miles' life forever.

She had responded to an ad from the clinic that promised help for her teenage son's acne. He didn't get the treatment, but Miles made an appointment for herself for laser treatments to remove sunspots on her arms, back and chest.

Two women ended up performing the procedure -- neither, Miles later found out, had the necessary training.

"They started with the laser on my chest, and when they got to my back, they decided the sunspots were worse, and so they upped the laser, further intensifying the procedure," Miles recalled.

The outpatient procedure left Miles, a mental health counselor, in such excruciating pain that she vomited on her way home. Getting no helpful response from the clinic, she consulted a dermatologist, who confirmed that she was covered in red, stripe-like second- and third-degree burns that would leave lasting scars.

The redness subsided, but each burn drained the pigment from her skin, leaving Miles open to further skin problems should she ever expose the affected areas to the sun.

"I now have what looks like zebra stripes everywhere," Miles said. "I'm restricted from a lot of activities and types of clothing. It's terrible."

Miles' experience is hardly unique. In the past few years, reports of fraudulent or shoddy cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures have grabbed headlines:

  • In 2003, New York City financial analyst Maria Cruz died after a fatal reaction to lidocaine, delivered by Dean Faiello, a 46-year-old from Newark, N.J., who had been posing as a cosmetic surgeon. Faiello fled to Costa Rica but was apprehended by U.S. authorities in 2006 and is now in prison.
  • In 2004, four people in Florida became paralyzed after Bach McComb, an osteopath with a suspended license, administered lab-strength botulism toxin -- not the much weaker Botox -- to himself, his girlfriend and two others. McComb was later sent to prison for three years.
  • In 2005, a 46-year-old California woman died of multiple organ failure after receiving a buttock injection of what had been billed as a "French polymer" but was actually cooking oil. The beautician who delivered the shot, 39-year-old Martha Mata Vasquez, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in January.

It's tough to tell how often these types of dangerous procedures are being performed in the United States, experts said.

"I think that, especially in big cities, it's more common than you think, because I see lots of patients with problems who have been treated in hotel rooms, for example," said Dr. Rhoda Narins, past president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) and a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center.

"Sometimes, when I ask patient what it is that they have had, they really have no idea," she said. In many cases, procedures are performed in non-medical settings -- hotel rooms, private homes, beauty clinics and spas, Narins said. "I've seen several patients who had spa treatments and got comfortable there, and then they were offered non-medical-grade silicone. They ended up having horrendous reactions."

Dr. John W. Canady, vice president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), said that the underground nature of these sub-par procedures makes them especially hard to track.

He and Narins said consumers should watch out for the following "red flags" when seeking out cosmetic injections or surgeries:

  • Check for credentials. It's not enough that your "doctor" is wearing a white lab coat and has a certificate on the wall. A number of organizations -- the ASDS, the ASPS, the American Board of Plastic Surgery and state medical boards -- have online resources that people can check to verify credentials and experience.
  • Be wary of cheap deals. "If a procedure has an unbelievable price that nobody else is offering, then you really have to slow down and examine why it's so cheap -- why is it so out of line with the rest of the market?" said Canady, who is also professor of plastic surgery at the University of Iowa.
  • Look for nearby medical support. Even procedures conducted by the best-qualified staff can go awry, so make sure your practitioner has equipment and qualified personnel on hand to deal with allergic reactions, clotting and other events. Most reputable clinics will have hospital affiliations. "As a patient, you want to know what things are available if things don't go right," Canady said.

Most of all, the experts said, ask questions.

"It's important to be a responsible consumer, to do your homework, to not be afraid to ask the tough questions," Canady said. "If you ask people legitimate questions in a non-offensive way, and they get angry or hostile with you, then you need to go find somebody else."

Narins agreed that an educated, proactive consumer is the best defense against fraud and abuse in her industry.

"People shouldn't take chances with their health. When you inject something into your body, this is not the same as getting a massage," she said. "This is something that can seriously affect you, and for a long time."

That's a lesson Miles said she learned the hard way, but she's hopeful that her story can at least help others. The clinic she received her laser treatment from has since closed down, and Florida state law was recently toughened to mandate that all laser procedures be done under a doctor's supervision.

But Miles said her scars are a daily reminder that patients remain vulnerable.

"Make no assumptions, and don't be afraid to ask questions," she advised. "The mistake I made was that I never asked these women if they were a nurse practitioner, or if they had any experience doing this before, or how many times they had done it before. All of those were major mistakes."

HealthDay News, 2/26/2007, By E.J. Mundell

Jan
31
2007

FDA Approves YAZ Birth Control Pill Can to Treat Acne

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled that the oral contraceptive YAZ can also be used by women to control moderate acne, the Associated Press reported..

The decision means that YAZ, made by Bayer Schering Pharma AG, is the first oral contraceptive to be approved by the FDA for three distinct uses, the drug maker said in a statement released Monday.

Along with birth control and acne treatment, YAZ is also approved in the United States to treat the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the AP reported.

HealthDay News, January 30, 2007

Jan
04
2007

FDA Approves Radiesse

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Radiesse, a cosmetic dermal filler, for the long-lasting correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds such as nasolabial folds.

Radiesse is composed of calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres in a water-based gel carrier. The product provides immediate improvement so a patient looks better the moment the product is injected. The calcium microsphere technology also enables the body to generate new collagen. Further, Radiesse provides physicians a high level of control, predictability and finesse for facial applications.

FDA approval of Radiesse for treatment of facial wrinkles and folds was based on the results of a clinical trial supporting Radiesse’s safety and effectiveness. In this study, conducted at four medical centers in the United States, 117 patients with nasolabial folds were treated with Radiesse on one side of the face and a control agent (Cosmoplast, a human collagen product) on the other. Results based on the ratings of three blinded evaluators showed that six months after treatment, Radiesse was more effective than the control on every comparative efficacy outcome (p<0.0001).

Key clinical findings include:

· 82 percent of nasolabial folds treated with Radiesse showed improvement after six months. This was significantly higher than the control, which showed improvement in only 27 percent of treated folds (p<0.0001).

· After six months, the fold treated with Radiesse was more improved in 79 percent of patients compared to the control-treated fold. The folds treated with the control rated more improved in only 5 percent of patients.

· The nasolabial folds treated with Radiesse required approximately half as much volume (1.22cc) than the folds treated with the control (2.35cc).

· Both products were safe and well tolerated, with no serious adverse events reported. In the 117 patients treated, Radiesse had zero granulomas and the same low rate of nodules as the control.

Dec
29
2006

Cosmetic Wrinkle Filler Approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for moderate-to-severe frown lines, medically called nasolabial folds.

BioForm Medical issued a statement describing its Radiesse as a longer-lasting alternative to existing wrinkle fillers. The company said its calcium-based microsphere technology not only fills in facial folds and depressions, but also stimulates the body to produce collagen, the fibrous protein that gives the face its structure and fullness.

The drug was also newly approved to improve the appearance of people with AIDS-causing HIV who have significant facial fat loss (lipoatrophy), the San Mateo, Calif.-based company said.

Radiesse was first FDA approved in 2002 for use in facial reconstructive surgery.

HealthDay News, December 28, 2006

Dec
08
2006

Tea Extracts Repair Radiotherapy Skin Damage

Findings from a new study confirm that tea extracts applied to the skin promote the repair of damage from radiotherapy, and shed light on the mechanisms involved in the injury...

Nov
14
2006

Murad Treatment Wins Shape Award

Murad's Lighten and Brighten Eye Treatment was the top pick for “Best Dermatologist Brand” in the annual Shape of Beauty Awards.

Oct
27
2006

New Study Finds Allergy-Like Reaction May Trigger Rosacea Bumps and Pimples

The bumps (papules) and pimples (pustules) of rosacea, a poorly-understood facial disorder affecting an estimated 14 million Americans, may be the result of an allergy-like reaction to environmental and emotional triggers, according to new study results presented at the National Rosacea Society (NRS) research workshop during the annual meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology and reported in Rosacea Review.

"We are very excited about these findings because they may provide the basis for improving the treatment and management of this condition," said Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of the division of dermatology at the University of California-San Diego and lead investigator of the NRS-funded study. "By defining the process leading to the inflammation, new medications might be developed to block these effects."

Dr. Gallo explained that when the normal immune system is faced with any of a broad range of potential dangers—such as sun exposure, emotional stress, heat and spicy foods, among many others—receptors recognize potential threats and protect the body by prompting the production of protective substances that isolate and neutralize any harmful effects. With rosacea, however, these protective substances turn the body on itself like overzealous guards, leading to inflammation.

Using advanced mass spectrometry technology to analyze the biochemical composition of proteins in rosacea patients, the researchers discovered an abnormality in the production of protective molecules known as cathelicidins, Dr. Gallo said. In normal patients, the cathelicidins are found in a form that is inactive and would not lead to bumps and pimples. In rosacea patients, the forms of cathelicidins are different and lead to skin inflammation. The cause of this abnormality in cathelicidins seems to be due to an equally important problem in rosacea—an overabundance of yet another substance, called kallikrein, which can spur dormant cathelicidins into action.

"It appears that the combination of these two substances at abnormally high levels is a double whammy for rosacea patients," Dr. Gallo noted.

The researchers recently completed the picture when they were able to demonstrate that this process is linked to the actual formation of rosacea signs and symptoms. The skin of mice injected with the cathelicidins found in rosacea patients showed a dramatic inflammatory response—including bumps and pimples—while mice injected with normal cathelicidins showed no inflammation, either visually or under a microscope.

"The next step is to test these findings in human subjects through various therapeutic interventions," Dr. Gallo said. "As we gain a thorough understanding in humans, we can look for new medications that block this process in order to treat or prevent the inflammation associated with rosacea."

Rosacea is a chronic disorder that primarily affects the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, and is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. It typically begins as a flushing or redness that comes and goes, and visible blood vessels may also appear. Inflammatory bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases, the nose may become swollen and enlarged from excess tissue.

In addition to long-term medical therapy to bring the condition under control and maintain remission, patients are advised to keep a diary to identify and avoid lifestyle and environmental factors that may affect their individual cases. Some of the most common rosacea triggers include sun exposure, emotional stress, hot or cold weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol, hot baths and spicy foods.

Oct
24
2006

Ethnic Skin Care

By: Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD

Discover the unique skin care challenges of various ethnic skin types and about some treatment options.