I use Skin Tech products, which have been developed by a Spanish-based company founded 30 years ago and specialising in chemical peels and aftercare products. Skin Tech is now used in more than 50 countries worldwide.
What is a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels are used to remove dead cells from the skin's surface to reveal a smoother, more youthful complexion. Dead skin cells accumulate on the surface of the skin which can result in a dull, rough, dry and aged complexion. It is possible to remove these cells to make way for healthier, vibrant skin. More effective than exfoliation, chemical peels act to remove the outer layers of skin.
How does a Chemical Peel work?
A peel is the application of a chemical to remove several layers of the skin. Once the treatment has been applied to the skin, acid radicals penetrate the skin and exert their effect. There are varying strengths of chemical peels which work at different levels in the skin to produce a superficial, medium deep or deep peel on the outer layer of the dermis. I use two main types:
· EASY PHYTIC (Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHA Chemical Peel)
· EASY TCA (Trichloracetic Acids or TCA Chemical Peel)
AHA Chemical Peel
Alpha hydroxyl acids are found in plants and food such as citrus fruits, apples, grapes, and sugar cane and sour milk. The acid breaks the intracellular bonds of the epidermis and accelerates the sloughing of the superficial dead skin cells of the epidermis. Lactic acid and glycolic acid are the two most commonly used AHAs in skin care products and as a stand-alone peel. This peel is considered a light peel and patient will require multiple treatments to see results.
TCA Chemical Peel
Trichloroacetic acid can be used in many concentrations, but it is most commonly used for medium-depth peeling. Fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems are commonly treated with TCA. The result of TCA peel produces more dramatic results than AHA peels. Clients may require more than one peel to achieve the desired results.
What skin concerns can be treated with a Chemical Peel?
Superficial chemical peels are very effective at treating hyper-pigmentation, improving skin tone and texture and working to reduce the appearance of very fine lines. It can also be useful for the treatment of acne if it has not responded to a previous treatment course.
A chemical peel will not replace loss of volume, cure sagging skin, eradicate deep lines and wrinkles, or reduce pore size.
Sculptra is produced by Sanofi-aventis, the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company and the leader in Europe. Now called the ‘liquid facelift’, I am very excited by this product, as it can be used in conjunction with other treatments to help lift and smooth sagging skin, tackle severe wrinkles, creases and restore facial contours.
Skin volume replacement
Over time, our skin loses its full, firm, youthful appearance. This is the result of a natural ageing process: our skin is damaged, becomes thinner, or loses its natural elasticity. As a result, it becomes loose and starts to wrinkle. Fat tissue, which also helps to fill out the face, is lost, causing skin to sag and further wrinkle. This reduction in skin volume can make your face look thin and narrow; often making you appear older than you are. Sculptra can help by restoring skin volume you may have naturally lost.
What is Sculptra?
Sculptra is a synthetic injectable material known as poly-L-lactic acid. Poly-L-lactic acid is biocompatible (a material that does not harm the body) and biodegradable (able to be broken down by the body). Poly-L-lactic acid has been widely used for many years in dissolvable stitches, soft tissue implants, and other types of implants.
How does Sculptra work?
Sculptra is injected below the surface of the skin in the area of fat loss, where it provides a gradual increase in skin thickness. It does this by stimulating a natural build-up of connective tissue which smoothes out wrinkles and contour defects. Visible results appear within the first few treatment sessions. Sculptra will not correct the underlying cause of the facial fat loss, but will help improve the appearance by increasing skin thickness in the treated area.
Do I need a skin test before being treated with Sculptra?
No skin testing is required prior to use.
Does the treatment hurt?
As with all injections you will feel some discomfort. It may be that you notice a brief burning sensation at the injection site. An ice packed applied after the treatment will help to calm your skin. I always like to use a local anaesthetic mixed with the Sculptra and numbing cream for your comfort.
What must I bear in mind after the treatment?
I’ll give you special aftercare instructions. These include massaging the treated areas of your face in the first few days after the treatment. All you need is a few minutes twice a day.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effect with the use of Sculptra includes injection-related side effects at the site of injection such as bleeding, tenderness or pain, redness, bruising, or swelling. These effects generally resolve in 2-6 days.
Are the results from Sculptra immediate?
No. At your first treatment, it may appear that Sculptra worked immediately because of the swelling from the injections and the water used to dilute Sculptra. In a few days, when the swelling goes down and the water is absorbed by your body you may look as you did before the treatment. Sculptra takes time to work – results should be noticeable after approximately 6 weeks.
Although there are some cheaper alternatives on the market, I still prefer the results I get with Restylane, which is regarded as one of the safest and most popular dermal fillers in the UK.
Restylane offers a natural and safe solution for the treatment of facial lines, wrinkles and lip augmentation. The result is instantaneous and produces a long-lasting, natural enhancement, gentle and safe to your skin.
How does Restylane work?
Restylane is a crystal-clear, non-animal, biodegradable gel based on a natural substance called hyaluronic acid. The gel is injected into the skin in tiny amounts with a very fine needle. When injected into the skin, Restylane produces volume that smoothes the wrinkle or fold, shapes the facial contour or enhances the lips in a natural way.
What areas can be treated with Restylane?
The most common areas that are treated with Restylane include peri-oral lines around the mouth (lipstick lines), nasolabial lines (these run from the base of the nose to the corners of the mouth) and oral commissures (marionette lines).
Thin or uneven lips benefit from the extra fullness Restylane fillers can provide.
Peri-orbital, forehead and glabella lines can be treated with Restylane, but I usually recommend that these are treated in the first instance with wrinkle relaxing injections (Botox Cosmetic).
How long does the Restylane injection take?
The Restylane treatment itself is very short, generally taking no longer then 30 minutes to administer.
How many treatments of Restylane are required?
The temporary filler normally lasts 6 – 12 months depending on the individual and the area which has been treated. Restylane for lips will last 6 months but again this depends on the individual and how your body degrades the product. Regular top-up treatments of Restylane are normally recommended to maintain the effect, but you may have a one-off treatment specifically for a special event.
This device allows me to safely microwave the tiny blood vessels just under the surface of the skin called thread or spider veins. I can also tackle other types of skin blemishes and unsightly skin tags. Called thermo-coagulation, the clever bit is that the energy is delivered in such a way that the skin above the vessel remains intact. The (single use) sterile needle is covered with an insulating sheath which protects the skin, enabling a targeted action without any side effect. This unique method is effective and relatively painless – even on men! I have obtained especially good results on removing melia, but now prefer to use my laser for most other treatments.
Some people get confused over the terminology used to describe BOTOX injections. I use BOTOX® Cosmetic, which is produced by Allegan and is available only on prescription. Public advertising of prescribed medication is not permitted, which is why you’ll see me and other responsible practitioners refer to the product as a wrinkle or muscle relaxing injection. This drug has been used successfully for more than twenty years to treat eye muscle spasms and conditions such as cerebral palsy in which muscular hyperactivity features.
When applied as a cosmetic technique, small quantities of Clostridium Botulinum are injected into specific facial muscles causing them to relax. The muscles are no longer able to flex – stopping the formation of frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet. Existing lines are much less pronounced too because the underlying muscles are totally relaxed. Wrinkle relaxing injections are administered using very fine sterile disposable syringes.
The patient will experience very mild discomfort lasting for only a few seconds as each area is treated. Although this treatment is not generally considered to merit the use of a topical local anaesthetic, patients may opt for this if they wish.
How long does a treatment take?
A typical treatment of the whole forehead and crow’s feet area takes less than ten minutes.
Are there any side effects?
The vast majority of patients experience no side-effects whatsoever. Occasionally, a small bruise at the injection site may occur which will disappear after a few days and mild headaches lasting a few hours have been reported in a very few instances. In extremely rare cases an easily reversible condition known as ptosis, heaviness of the eyelids, may occur due to the technique being inexpertly administered by someone without proper training.
Are wrinkle relaxing injections safe?
Provided that wrinkle relaxing injections are administered by a practitioner with medical training, there are no serious risks. Any side-effects are minor and temporary, as discussed above. Although research to date has not shown any risk to the developing foetus caused by exposure to muscle relaxing injections, in the interests of best practice I advise that injections are best avoided in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Dermatologists and ophthalmologists have been using BOTOX® since 1980. It has an excellent record of efficacy and safety and was first used in infants to correct overactive eye muscles. Although there have been recent news articles about the safety of BOTOX®, problems have occurred only in children with cerebral palsy who were receiving large doses BOTOX® into their neck muscles to treat spasticity (hyperactivity of the muscles). This is a stronger form of BOTOX® than is used in Aesthetic Medicine.
BOTOX® Cosmetic does not affect the nerves transmitting sensation, so there is no numbness associated with BOTOX® administration. There have been no long-term side effects, allergic reactions or health hazards related to BOTOX® Cosmetic use thus far. I have personally used the product for over five years, with no problems.
How long does it last?
You will begin to see noticeable effects within two or three days. Two weeks after the initial injection the beneficial effects become really clear. I like to see all my patients two weeks after injections to ensure that the desired effect has been achieved. The effect lasts for 3-6 months in the first instance when the procedure will need to be repeated.
If muscle relaxing injections are given regularly, subsequent injection intervals are increased. It is not uncommon to find that after the first year, patients may need muscle relaxing injections for maintenance only once every six months. If you should stop If you should stop BOTOX® Cosmetic, your appearance will gradually revert to the appearance you would have had if you had never been treated with BOTOX.