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Fat is complicated. It's stubborn, demonized, praised, misunderstood. As the recent wave of body positive conversations has helped to scratch at, everyone's relationship with fat is different. One thing that has remained fairly consistent is a cultural obsession with mastering fat — whether that means embracing it or erasing it.
As far as the latter is concerned, plastic surgery has always had seemingly magical answers. First there was liposuction, which, according to the most recent data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), has declined in popularity by 30 percent since 2000 (though it still remained one of the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures performed in 2017).
Then came the advent of non-invasive fat-reducing procedures, such as CoolSculpting and SculpSure, which are designed to get rid of the spots that your devotion to Barry's Bootcamp hasn't managed to budge. Given these are pretty much the closest things you can get to a fat-erasing magic wand, it's not surprising the ASPS reported a 7 percent rise in these procedures last year. Here's what the hype is about and what you need to know if you're considering a non-invasive fat-reduction procedure.
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting — scientifically known as cryolipolysis — is essentially a procedure to freeze (and thereby kill), fat cells. Here's how the FDA-approved treatment works: An applicator (think of it sort of like a giant vacuum hose) applies suction to the area you want to target. "The applicator then applies carefully regulated cooling plates to bring fat cells down to a temperature at which they are irreversibly damaged," Darren Smith, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, tells Allure. For most areas, the process takes about 35 minutes [per attachment]. After the deep-freeze damage to the fat cells, they will eventually die and be eliminated by the body — a process which takes a little time. You'll start to see results after a few weeks with the final effects revealed in three months.
In theory, CoolSculpting can tackle just about any unwanted bulge — it's FDA-approved for the abdomen, "love handles," thighs, upper arms, "bra fat," back fat, "banana roll" underneath your butt, and "double chin" — but there is one big caveat: you have to have "enough fat for the applicator to adhere to," Stephen Greenberg, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York and Florida, tells Allure. In other words, there has to be enough fat to pinch for the treatment to work.
What Is SculpSure?
"SculpSure essentially tries to arrive at the same end as CoolSculpting but with the opposite approach," explains Smith. Instead of freezing fat cells, heat is used to kill fat cells. "During a SculpSure treatment, applicators are placed over the treatment area, and a laser is used to heat fat in the treatment area to the point of irreversible damage," he says. Once damaged, the fat cells are swept away by the body's lymphatic system. Just like CoolSculpting, it takes about three months to see full results. SculpSure is currently FDA-approved to treat the stomach, "love handles," back, thighs, and the "double chin."
Which One Should I Get?
CoolSculpting and SculpSure are approved to treat almost all the same areas where stubborn fat is common. But there are still a few things to consider when choosing between treatments. First, consider your pain sensitivity. "SculpSure must reach a fairly high temperature, and this can be quite uncomfortable," explains Smith. While the treatment is designed to be safe for skin (it has a cool cycle built in so you don't have to worry about any burns) it heats fat cells to about 107 degrees, according to the ASPS. It can be painful to sit through if you have sensitive skin. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is less uncomfortable, since the cooling action will have a numbing effect, Smith says. Secondly, consider how much fat you're hoping to erase. "For a candidate who has more fat to remove, CoolSculpting would be the better option," says Greenberg, since the treatment needs a solid pinch of fat to latch onto. One of the biggest perks associated with both procedures is that there's no downtime and the risks are minimal — you might expect some light bruising, swelling, or soreness afterwards, says Greenberg.
All things considered, "if someone is seeking a noninvasive body contouring option, I would recommend CoolSculpting over SculpSure," says Smith.
Do They Actually Work?
Neither treatment is a magic bullet. In a clinical trial published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology in 2014, CoolSculpting showed pretty impressive results — up to a 25 percent reduction in subcutaneous fat in the treatment area. However, the same study found that 14 percent of participants didn't see any improvements. There's less data available on SculpSure. One review of non-invasive body-contouring devices published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that the treatment reduced fat by about 11 percent.
The good news is, the results of both treatments are theoretically permanent. Bear with us for a brief anatomy lesson: When you lose weight by going to the gym or eating healthier, your fat cells shrink — when you gain weight, they expand. Either way, you maintain the same number. With CoolSculpting or SculpSure, fat cells are actually eliminated, which is a lasting change. That said, if you return to unhealthy habits post-procedure, gaining weight can eclipse the slimming effects. "I always recommend that my patients maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain the results," says Greenberg. Like any procedure, make sure you consult with a physician to weigh your options.
What's the Difference?
Microdermabrasion is one of the top 5 non-surgical procedures performed by medical providers. Using a mechanical device, the provider exfoliates the skin surface with an ablative material, like sodium bicarbonate crystals, to scrub off dead and dull surface skin cells. The device simultaneously uses suction to stimulate circulation in the skin. The result is smoother, brighter looking skin. There is little discomfort, treatments take about an hour, and there is no down-time afterwards. It is suitable for most skin types, but not all.
Microneedling, however, is different than a superficial Microdermabrasion treatment and provides much more benefit, because it reaches below the skin surface. The procedure creates many microscopic punctures in the skin's outer layers. This is sometimes called "collagen induction therapy," because the process stimulates the body's production of collagen and elastin during the wound healing response. It is used to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars and even stretch marks on the body. There are at-home devices called "dermal rollers," which have small surgical steel needles which are rolled over the skin. This is very superficial in nature, so it is not very effective; and it can be difficult to keep the device sanitary, so it is also potentially problematic.
The SkinPen Microneedling device used at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center has revolutionized microneedling, offering improved results compared to dermarollers and microdermabrasion. SkinPen is more sanitary because it uses disposable needle cartridges. Numbing cream is used to ensure comfort during the treatment session, and there is little down-time. Nothing should be put on the face (including products and makeup) for 48 hours post-treatment, until the micro-channels in the skin close. You may experience light peeling (like dry skin) a few days after your session, but nothing that should take you out of your normal routine.
SkinPen Microneedling is safe and effective for all skin types. If you desire a smoother, healthier, brighter complexion, you should consider Microneedling as one of your best treatment options!
Schedule a FREE Cosmetic Consultation with one of our Estheticians to find out which treatments would be best for you, and develop a customized treatment plan that fits with your lifestyle and budget. We are here to help! To learn more:
Call 540-341-1900, or go to https://WarrentonDermatology.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b51847402c05e65d5b84344c7&id=3598f161bd&e=864a15906e.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a professional esthetic treatment to reduce the signs of aging (like fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, texture irregularities) and acne scarring. Like the name implies, we use a device called the SkinPen to prick the skin with tiny surgical steel needles to a very specific, therapeutic depth in the skin. These micro-injuries stimulate the body’s natural healing process, and the renewed production of capillaries, collagen and elastin produce smoother, healthier, plumper-looking skin.
How is it different than the at-home dermarollers?
A dermaroller is a round tube with needles sticking out of it on a handle, which the user rolls back and forth across the skin repeatedly. It is designed for in-home use or superficial day spa treatments. Unfortunately, the needles eventually dull with continued use, and it is difficult to ensure that the needles are sterile each time they are used. Also, there is only one, superficial depth to which the skin is penetrated with one of these devices. The SkinPen is a medical device and SkinPen Microneedling is performed by a Licensed Esthetician with a fresh, sterile needle cartridge for each treatment. It is far more maneuverable, can be used anywhere on the body. It will not drag or tear at the skin, and needle length is adjustable, so procedures are custom tailored to each patient’s need - penetrating to a deeper more therapeutic depth.
What is the PRP add-on to microneedling?
Kim Kardashian made headlines when she posted pictures of herself receiving a “Vampire Facial®”, which is a microneedling service including Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) extracted from her own blood draw, which is applied topically to the freshly treated skin. At Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center, you can choose to add PRP therapy to your microneedling service, for delivery of your own human growth factors deep to the skin and maximum skin rejuvenation.
How much down-time after treatment?
Aside from some mild post-procedure pinkness for 2 to 4 days, there is no downtime associated with microneedling when a SkinPen device is used (some see their skin return to normal within 24 hours). Makeup should not be worn for 48 hours after treatment, until the tiny channels in the skin have had time to close. You will experience light peeling several days post-treatment, but nothing that is not totally manageable within your normal routine.
Does it hurt?
No. Before beginning the treatment, our Master Esthetician will cleanse your skin then apply a numbing agent to relieve any potential discomfort.
How long does it take?
Each session is approximately 1 hour long, depending on your skin condition and the size of the area being treated. Multiple sessions are most often recommended for best-case-scenario results, with the services being spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. We offer discounted treatment packages to encourage our patients to commit to the number of treatments they need to achieve their desired results.
If you would like to know more about microneedling, or think it might be just what your skin needs, take advantage of our introductory pricing and experience the skin rejuvenation trend that has swept the nation!
Call 540-341-1900 today to schedule a service or a FREE Consultation appointment to learn more.
Moisturizers, Luminosity & Skin Firmness Q & A
Q: How does a moisturizer increase skin firmness?
A: “Increased firmness” is commonly used by skincare companies to describe the beneficial effects of moisturizers.
You should know that the substance that naturally gives our skin firmness is collagen, while the substance that increases skin firmness from the use of a moisturizer is water. Moisturizers work by creating an environment for enhanced water content in the skin. Ingredients such as dimethicone, petrolatum, mineral oil, and hyaluronic acid reduce trans-epidermal water loss, thereby increasing the skin’s water content. When the skin is full of water, it becomes firmer – like a full water balloon, versus a half-full water balloon. Likewise, if you want your skin to be more luminous, it needs to be well hydrated.
Revision Skincare Hydrating Serum, an oil-free moisturizing serum with 2 kinds of Hyaluronic Acid for both short and long-term skin hydration.
Q: How does makeup enhance the luminosity of the skin?
A: Luminosity is a measure of the intensity of the light reflected from the skin’s surface as it bounces back into the observer’s eye. The amount of light reflected from the skin is dependent on how smooth the skin is. Many facial foundations also enhance light reflection by adding very small light reflective particles and pigments suspended within the liquid foundation. These small particles cannot be seen on the skin’s surface without magnifications, and they create a facial glow that is attractive and youthful, even though the skin beneath the foundation may not be perfectly smooth. This optical illusion is the magic of makeup!
If you want the skin to really be smoother (so you don’t need magic makeup), you should be using a physician-grade Retinol product (topical Vitamin A). Drugstore products will not have a high enough concentration of the active ingredients necessary to affect change to the skin. Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center has a variety of pharmaceutical-grade products, like prescription Obagi NuDerm Tretinoin (Retin-A) and non-prescription Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 1.0.
Ask our skin-care specialists for a personalized recommendation, or Call (540) 341-1900 to schedule a FREE Cosmetic Consultation appointment for a customized skincare plan.
Also called “dermatitis,” eczema refers to several different rash-like conditions where the skin is inflamed, red and irritated. The most severe and long-lasting type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. During a flare-up, the skin becomes extremely red, itchy and scaly. This skin condition can be widespread, or may be confined to only a few areas on the body. Eczema is not contagious, although if you have a family history of eczema, your risk for the disease increases. Generally, atopic dermatitis affects infants or young children and may last until the child reaches adulthood.
The appearance and symptoms for atopic dermatitis will vary for each person. Intense itching is the most common symptom, which can lead to severe discomfort and/or loss of sleep. Other common symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry, red and extremely itchy patches of skin
- Cracked, inflamed and scaly skin
- Small bumps or blisters that ooze and weep
- In infants, the rash generally appears on the cheeks and around the mouth
Eczema outbreaks are caused by an over-reaction of your skin’s immune system to environmental and emotional triggers, such as temperature, chemicals, dust, mold or stress. While there is currently no cure, eczema sufferers can practice self-care at home to help reduce flare-ups. Lifestyle adjustments are the best line of defense in controlling all types of eczema. Goals of treatment include reducing inflammation, decreasing risk of infection and alleviating the itch. To minimize symptoms and outbreaks:
- Moisturize every day to prevent dryness and cracking
- Limit contact with irritants, such as soaps, jewelry, and detergents
- Avoid sudden changes in temperatures, as over-heating and sweating are common triggers of flare-ups
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Minimize exposure to mold, pollens and animal dander
- Opt for cotton, loose-fitting clothes and avoid wool and other rough materials
Treatment for eczema begins with a proper diagnosis from a board certified dermatologist. If you are diagnosed with eczema, the dermatologist can explain your type of eczema and can work with you to tailor a treatment plan that meets your individual needs to effectively manage the symptoms. If you or a loved one are struggling with eczema, contact Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center at (540) 341-1900 to schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Dermatology Specialists for help.