Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Non-surgical Facelift - What are the Options ?

Over the past few years, we have seen the tide turning against invasive procedures such as the traditional facelift surgery. Knife-based treatments are commonly perceived to be excessive with results that can look too obvious. Haven't we all seen what happens when operations go wrong and been disturbed by pictures of celebrities with overstretched faces ?

Photo : Getty Image
Comedian & TV host Joan Rivers was open about her multiple cosmetic surgeries and often made fun of the frequency with which she went under the knife. She quipped "I wish I had a twin so I could know what I'd look like without plastic surgery."

A visit to the plastic surgeon isn't the only way to improve our looks or turn back the years. Many non-surgical options are available for people who want to look younger and fresher without much recovery time. But does a Non-surgical Facelift provide an actual “lift” ?

The good news is : cutting edge technology now enables a combination of non-surgical procedures using Threads Lifts, Dermal Fillers and Neurotoxins to produce natural skin lifting and in a milder form matches the effects of a lower face and neck lift.

So, how does a Non-surgical Facelift works ?

As we age, our facial support structure weakens, and we lose facial fat. Our face begins to sag and wrinkle. Understanding that our face ages first by volume loss and then by gravity means that both these parameters must be addressed.The effects of tightening the skin alone without correcting underlying soft tissue deficit may result in an unnatural, flat facial appearance.

 We can compare the aging face to a beach ball : time causes the ball to deflate and descend unevenly. Similarly, our face loses volume and develops folds and creases with age. Facial aging generally starts with volume loss - or loss of fatty tissues beginning in the late 30s, followed by the effects of gravity years later.

Combining the benefits of Korean Thread Lift and injectables such as natural Hyaluronic Acid Fillers and Neurotoxins, the Non-surgical Facelift works in two ways - on the skin surface to addresses skin laxity as well as targets deeper tissues to treat facial volume loss.

The Non-surgical Facelift combines a few procedures to addresses multiple signs of aging :

1. Lifting
Small barbs on the threads lift and support the skin which gives the treated area a firmer and tighter appearance with improvement in skin tone as well. In addition, there will be increased local blood circulation, activation of skin repair process and stimulation of collagen formation around the threads, thus prolonging the lifting results. Traditionally made of Polydioxanone (PDO) - the same material used for surgical sutures, most types of threads used in Thread Lifting can be gradually absorbed by the skin.

Close up of a suture used in Thread Lift procedure showing the barbs, which are cut into the thread itself. Thread Lift is a non-surgical treatment that offers instant lifting results with minimal recovery time.

2. Volume Replacement
Natural Hyaluronic Acid Fillers subtly fill up deflated cheeks, sunken eyes and deep wrinkles. 
Adding volume and focusing attention to the cheeks and midface enhances the perception of the
 "Beauty Triangle" - an inverted triangle representing a youthful, attractive face characterized by a narrow lower face compared to the upper part of face. 

3. Skin Tightening & Softening of Wrinkles
To further address wrinkles and skin laxity, neurotoxins which be marketed under a variety of names including Botox® or Dysport® may be added according to the condition. When administered by a fully trained physician, neurotoxins in very small quantities can produce consistent, natural and subtle anti-aging results. Neurotoxins relax the muscles it is injected into, causing the overlying skin to smoothen and look more youthful. Its precise effect means that the proceure can be customised to suit each individual personally.

It's important to know that nothing takes the place of a true surgical face-lift if the person has totally lost elasticity in their skin. Non-surgical facelifts emerged recently because many people would like to have facelift-like results, but are either not medically fit to undergo general anaesthesia, afraid of the side effects or unable to afford the long recovery time associated with the standard facelift. The Non-surgical facelift is, perhaps, better considered as a lesser, or preliminary procedure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Adult Acne - Causes & Remedy

"You can say acne is a small thing, but if you have it, it's not. It's humiliating. It changes you. You want to retreat and hide out." - Jessica Simpson, singer & actress.

It is so true that acne can be a frustrating problem to those affected by the condition. Many of us think of pimples as the bane of adolescence that will vanish once we grow older, but in reality, many adults are still plagued by acne way into their thirties or even forties. For some adults, they may even start seeing big red spots which they never even had to deal with during their teens. These conditions can be largely grouped as "Adult Acne" or "Adult Onset Acne"

What Causes Adult Acne ?

Hormones. As more than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women, it is thought that changes in female hormone levels, such as around the time of menses, menopause and switching or stopping birth control pills are contributing factors. Hormonal fluctuations will stimulate oil glands to pump out extra sebum, providing food for P. acnes bacteria and clogging up pores, resulting in adult acne.

Lifestyle. It is also not uncommon to get acne flare-ups during times of stress, such as when chasing a deadline or sitting for an exam. In response to stress, our body produces cortisol and DHEA hormones which are key players in exacerbating acne.

Diet. The current status of the relationship of diet and acne is still under debate. But recent studies have suggested that high-glycemic index foods and dairy products may worsen acne.

Image : Diagnosis diet
Simple carbohydrates and sugar are reported to trigger an inflammatory response and provoke breakouts.
Medical Illness & Medications. In some cases, adult acne can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Once the medical condition is diagnosed and treated, the acne often clears. Certain types of medication can also cause acne. If you suspect that an underlying medical condition or medication is triggering your acne or making it worse, do consult your doctor for advise. Further investigations may be recommended for females who have acne accompanied by excess facial or body hair and irregular  periods. 

How Does Adult Acne Differ From Teenage Acne ?
Adult acne differs markedly from the spots of your teenage years, both in how it appears and how it is treated. In adults, acne is more likely to appear on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth and jawline, called the "U-zone" while teenage acne consist of whiteheads and blackheads scattered all over the forehead, nose and cheeks. Adult acne are likely to be hard, stubborn nodules, and resolve much more slowly compared to teenage acne.
Image : Shutterstock
In adults, acne is more likely to appear on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth and jawline.

Drier, less resilient mature skin also makes adult acne trickier to treat. Some topical acne medications such as Benzoyl Peroxide may cause skin irritation.

How To Fight Adult Acne

Acne should be treated early and effectively to mitigate adverse psychosocial impact and risk of scarring.

The Right Skincare. So how do we fight adult acne without making our skin feel dry or irritated ? As acne isn't caused by dirt, scrubbing our face with harsh cleansers will only makes things worse. Do avoid products with a high concentrations of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as grown-up skin is thinner and more prone to irritation. Choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer and always use sunscreen.

Healthy Diet. Avoiding refined sugars, highly processed carbohydrates and dairy products may improve acne in certain individuals. Do balance your diet with low GI eats -think whole grains and veggies.

Lifestyle Modifications. We recommend getting adequate sleep and make time for stress-relieving activities such as yoga or exercise to reduce excess cortisol and let your skin regenerate.

Seek Treatment Early. If adult acne is still bothering you, do consult your doctor for advise. It is important to be aware that very effective treatments are available and you don't have to live with adult acne.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

PDO Thread Lift – the Non-Surgical Facelift

Hailed by many of the top news stations and celebrities such as Oprah as a “cutting edge procedure with no cutting edges”, Thread Lift is a non-surgical procedure that achieves face-lift-like results.

 PDO Threads was developed in Korea and soon gained popularity all over the world
What is PDO Thread Lift ?

“PDO” stands for Polydioxanone, a synthetic absorbable material commonly used in surgical sutures. These super-fine threads are certified by the Korea Food and Drug Administration. PDO Thread Lift is an effective technique to lift and tighten sagging skin, re-define facial contours and induce collagen production, all at the same time.

How does PDO Thread Lift works ?
As we age, our facial support structure weakens, and we lose facial fat. PDO Thread Lift counter these aging effects with a double lift and collagen regeneration effect.
1. An immediate lifting action - when inserted underneath the skin, the threads act as a "scaffold" to "hold" the skin against the effects of gravity. The "mesh" of threads also shapes the face by lifting and supporting sagging structures, creating a V-shape silhouette.

  A recent development in thread lift is the introduction of barbed PDO threads. The barbs literally grab on to skin tissues for additional support. As a result, patients achieve longer lasting and more visible lifting results.
2. A regeneration action for gradual and natural improvement – PDO threads restore lost collagen through the process of skin healing and suture reabsorption.

When our body surrounds the PDO threads with collagen, facial volume is maintained and fine lines reduced.

 Who are suitable candidates for PDO Thread Lift ?
Ideal candidates for PDO Thread Lift are patients who have not started to suffer from deep wrinkles and excessive sagging skin. They are usually people aged from late twenties to early fifties. PDO Thread Lift is indicated because these patients have begun to see more prominence jowls, droopy cheeks, sagging brows or deeper laugh lines. PDO Thread Lift is a also good alternative for people who would like a facelift, but can't afford it or don't want the risk or long recovery time associated with the traditional surgical facelift.
PDO threads can be applied to flabby cheeks, droopy eyebrows, sagging neck skin, jowls and laugh lines.
How long does the results of PDO Thread Lift last ?
An immediate improvement is seen after PDO Thread Lift. The results generally last up to 24 months.
Photo source : Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
Figure (e) Before - sagging cheeks and jowls. Figure (f) After - cheek lift and jowl lift resulting in reduction of laugh lines, higher cheek bone effect and slimmer lower face

What are the benefits of PDO Thread Lift ?
  • Immediate lifting effect
  • Progressive restoration of lost collagen
  • Natural looking results without the stretched look that accompanies surgical facelift
  • Safe procedure, can be performed under local anaesthetic
  • Entirely re-absorbable thread component
  • Quick 30-minute procedure
  • Short recovery time of less then a week
  • No incision needed, no scars
  • Long lasting effects up to 24 months

What are the possible side effects of PDO Thread Lift ?
PDO Thread Lift is a very safe procedure when performed by an experienced medical practitioner in a registered clinic. Localized pain, swelling and bruising are expected for a few days after treatment. Occasionally, sutures may became visible on the skin surface. These adverse effects are temporary or can be corrected upon follow-up.

Kindly note that PDO Thread Lift results may vary from person to person. Your doctor should be able to advise you as to the best treatment approach and the expected results.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Laser Tattoo Removal : How Many Treatments Are Required ?

This remains one of the most popular question when discussing laser tattoo removal with our patients. Although laser tattoo removal is considered the current treatment of choice given its safety and efficacy, it is difficult to quantify the exact number of treatments required as multiple factors affect the treatment outcome.

Firstly, let's understand how laser tattoo removal works

Laser energy penetrates skin to break up tattoo ink particles which will be eliminated by our body's immune system over time. Multiple sessions are required as not all ink particles can be broken up in a single treatment.

6 Factors that Influence the Number of Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments Required :

Skin Type

Lighter skin types have a higher success rate for laser tattoo removal. It is also safe to treat patients with darker skin tones but more treatment sessions are required to minimize unwanted side effects.

Tattoo Location

Tattoos on anatomic regions with more blood and lymphatic supply such as the head and neck require less number of treatments compared to tattoos on fingers and toes. Close proximity to blood and lymphatic drainage facilitates our immune system to clear the tattoo ink particles.

Tattoo Colour

Black pigments are the easiest to remove followed by red. Other colors, such as green, yellow, and orange are more difficult to remove.

Amount of Tattoo Ink

The difference in the amount of ink lies within the type of tattoo - professional or amateur and the complexity of tattoo design. A professional tattoo with a complex design will contain more ink and thus requires more laser tattoo removal treatments.
Photo source : NCBI
Small and simple amateur tattoos are the easiest to treat as they contain relatively little ink.


Tattoo placement can sometimes lead to scarring. Tattoo pigments within a scar is more difficult to remove as our immune system cells cannot penetrate the area. A significant amount of scarring at the tattoo area causes more difficulty in laser tattoo removal and requires more treatment sessions compared to minimal or no scarring.

Tattoo Layering

Patients sometimes choose to cover up an undesirable tattoo with another tattoo. The new tattoo is usually larger and darker, hiding the previous tattoo in new contours and colours. Tattoo layering is expected to warrant additional treatments compared with normal tattoos.
So, while it is possible to have a tattoo removed, the process is not easy. In general, it may require from 3 to 15 treatments to achieve satisfactory results. Do seek advice from a licensed medical practitioner if you intend to get your tattoos removed.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Non-Surgical Mommy Makeovers - Part 5

While everyone expects pregnancy to bring an expanding waistline, many are surprised by other body changes such as spider veins, hair loss and post-Caesarean Section scars. Many symptoms eventually fade over time but some changes may be permanent. Do consult your doctor about the range of effective medical aesthetic treatments available to help you improve these conditions.
Hair Loss After Childbirth

Many new moms are surprised to find themselves shedding more hair than usual in the first few months after giving birth. During pregnancy, elevated levels of oestrogen causes more hair to stay on the scalp by prolonging it's growing stage, thus resulting in thicker, more luxuriant tresses. After giving birth, estrogen levels take a tumble and increased hair loss occurs as the hairs in the growing stage enter a resting stage and shed.

Photo source : Daily Mail/ACLA/Broadimage
Kim Kardhasian was photographed with her hair in a high bun, showing visible hair loss, which the reality star attempts to cover up with weaves and hair extensions. It was reported that her rapid weight loss have accelerated the hair loss after childbirth.

What Can I do About it ?

The good news is that hair loss after childbirth usually resolves spontaneously within a year. Meanwhile, the use of volumizing shampoos and conditioners or a change of hairstyle that makes hair appear fuller brings temporary relief. For those who choose to take a proactive approach, there is topical Minoxydil, which is an FDA-approved medication to reduce hair loss and Hair Restoration Programme, which consist of a series non-surgical treatments to replace vitamins and nutrients
directly to the scalp.

Spider Veins or Varicose Veins

Spider veins and varicose veins may first develop or get worse during pregnancy. A combination of factors contribute to  veins by applying more pressure on the circulatory system. Higher levels of progesterone may cause dilatation of blood vessel wall. An increase in circulating blood volume together with a ballooning uterus also puts pressure on the leg veins.

What Can I do About it ?

Spider veins or varicose veins tend to improve after giving birth, particularly if you didn't have any before pregnancy. And if they don't get better, there are a variety of ways to treat them. Patients are encouraged to wear support stockings, exercise regularly, avoid prolonged sitting or standing and elevate their legs whenever possible. Sclerotherapy and laser treatments are non-invasive procedures to correct spider veins or varicose veins.

Post Caesarean Section Scars

Undergoing a Caesarean section (C-section), whether planned or not will lead to scar formation on the lower belly. While some people scar minimally, with nothing more than a thin line, others may develop dark coloured, lumpy scar tissues extending beyond the wound.

What Can I do About it ?

Does your C-section scar bothers you ? Depending on the type of scars, a variety of different treatments may help make them less visible, such as silicone gel or sheets, pressure dressings, corticosteroid injections and laser treatments. Very often, a combination of treatments can be used to improve the cosmetic outcome of post C-section scars.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Non-surgical Mommy Makeovers – Part 4

Pregnancy is rumoured to bring glowing skin. But not everyone is fortunate enough to enjoy blemish-free skin during and after pregnancy. Dark patches or spots are common cosmetic complaints. There may be darkening of skin and existing spots but new pigmentation changes may also occur. Melasma, which describes a patchy darker facial pigmentation is a common skin condition during pregnancy.

Melasma is present in almost 50% of pregnant women due to hormonal changes
Pregnancy related skin changes is triggered by hormonal changes, which stimulate an increase in the production of melanin, a pigment that gives color to our hair and skin. The pigmentation can sometimes get worse with sun exposure. Some skin pigmentation will fade away spontaneously months after delivery but some never completely disappear.
Treatments Targeting Facial Blemishes
Clothes can cover-up a post-baby belly but blemishes on your face is difficult to conceal. To combat the unsightly pigmentation, we recommend these Mommy Makeover treatments to help you achieve the glow you deserve.
1) Sunscreen and Skin Lightening Products
Regular use of a broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 25) can help prevent worsening of facial pigmentation. 
Skin lightening products may contain a range of anti-pigment ingredients including retinol, steroids, hydroquinone, vitamin C, arbutin, kojic acid and Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). Prescription grade lightening creams may deliver faster results because they contain more potent ingredients at a higher concentration. Nursing mothers should consult a doctor to ensure they are using a product that is safe for breastfeeding.
2) Laser Pigmentation Treatment
The Fotona QX MAX laser is an effective tool to treat a wide range of pigmented skin lesions 

Unlike topical creams, laser pigmentation treatment can target deeper within the skin, so stubborn pigmentation can be effectively treated. Pigment lasers such as the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser effectively breaks down excessive skin pigmentation to lighten skin blemishes such as Melasma, freckles and sun spots. The laser energy is selectively absorbed by melanin and heat is produced to damage the pigments. Laser pigmentation treatment can also reduce uneven skin tone in areas such as armpits and skin folds.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Non-surgical Mommy Makeovers – Part 3

Does it frustrate you when the media put too much pressure on new moms to bounce back into shape soon after giving birth ? Amidst chaotic diaper changes, breastfeeding woes and more, the thought of gaining back our pre-baby shape seems like a daunting idea that's far from happening. In reality, getting back into shape is possible but we may need to accept that our bodies may not return to exactly the same way it used to be. The following non-surgical Mommy makeover treatments may help to reverse or improve some undesired post-pregnancy changes.

Photo source : Getty Image
All eyes have been on the Duchess of Cambridge since the arrival of her royal baby. Here, Kate Middleton looked absolutely gorgeous as she made her post-baby debut just one day after welcoming a beautiful baby boy.
Treatments to Reverse a Post-baby Belly
The post-baby belly is a new mom's greatest concern. Hidden under baggy clothes are the battle scars of pregnancy : stretch marks, loose skin, C-section scars and a stomach that still looks pregnant months after childbirth.
Loose Skin
It is possible to tighten up crepey tummy skin non-surgically with technology such as radio-frequency, infrared or Nd-YAG laser. These treatments heat up the tummy skin, causing collagen contraction and remodelling. However full improvement is not usually seen until months later, as the tightening procedure requires new collagen formation.
Stretch Marks
While stretch marks are challenging to treat and are resistant to creams, laser treatments such as Fractional Carbon Dioxide and Erbium Glass lasers can help to fade them gradually. These lasers work by creating columns of heat within the affected tissue which kick-starts a natural healing process to stimulate growth of new collagen tissue. However, multiple treatments are necessary to obtain satisfactory results.
Belly Fat
To reduce stubborn belly fat which persist despite diet and exercise, the non-surgical alternatives include mesotherapy and cryolipolisis. Mesotherapy involves injecting medicines to effectively “melt” away localized fat and cellulite whereas cryolipolysis uses a targeted cooling process that kills the fat cells underneath the skin. Both treatments can also be used to treat other fatty areas such as love handles, upper thighs and muffin tops.