May 2009

The Aging Face, Part 2: the jawline

Posted on May 1, 2009 in Facial Skincare, The Aging Face

JowlsAs the years pass, a combination of laxity and gravity causes the facial underpinnings to weaken and the skin to sag. Contributing to the aging appearance is the loss of facial volume provided by underlying fat and connective tissues (collagen and elastin). Nowhere is this more visible than around the jawline, where the loss of volume and downwards movement of cheek fat cause jowling and sagging.

Many Afterglow clients have been thrilled by the “reversal” of these signs of aging, following the placement of injectable filler—usually Radiesse— in the jawline area. Radiesse has a firm quality that greatly enhances the contours of the jaw while adding needed volume.

If you think your jaw needs a little contouring, simply make an appointment to see Dr. Ebrahim. She will explain how she can lift the years from your jawline and keep it looking firm and taut, with regularly scheduled treatments.

A tip: Lightly apply a powder shadow in taupe or brown underneath the jawline to give the illusion of contour. Be sure to blend well!

Aging Hands

Posted on April 12, 2009 in Hand/Foot Rejuvenation

Hands_BAIs it true that you can always tell a woman’s age by her hands? Thanks to modern tools and techniques, this old adage is no longer the case. While your hands will never again look as young as when you were in your 20s, they can look a lot better— and more youthful — with the anti-aging treatments available at Afterglow.

Let’s take a look at what makes hands appear old: As our hormones wane in middle age, the skin and its underlying fat undergoes changes. On the face, arms and hands the skin becomes noticeably thinner, and much of the underlying fat is lost. These changes mean the skin no longer drapes tautly over the fat, and becomes looser and more wrinkled in appearance. With thinner skin and less fat, the underlying structures – bones, tendons and veins – become more obvious.

Another common change is the development of age spots (solar lentigines).

Many women respond to the aging of their hands by having the veins injected, and using makeup or a skin bleaching agent to temporarily disguise the age spots. These methods are usually ineffective as other veins of the hand tend to grow larger to ensure continuity of blood flow, and the age spots return as soon as the bleaching treatments are discontinued, or makeup worn off.

A better solution is to take advantage of our anti-aging program for hands, which will permanently remove existing age spots, and fill in the spaces between the bones, so that the bones and veins lose their prominence. We also recommend the use of retinoic acid to thicken the skin and restore some of the collagen that has been lost over time. (Using retinoic acid along with a sunscreen every day is also a good preventive measure for younger hands, or to help maintain a new, more youthful look.)

To fill in the spaces between the bones of the hands, Dr. Ebrahim carefully injects Radiesse dermal filler under the skin. Approximately one syringe is used per hand, and the results can last for over a year, making this treatment very cost-effective. The two pictures above are the before and after images of hands that have undergone treatment with Radiesse. Note the veins, tendons and bones are considerably less noticeable. The tiny calcium-based microspheres of Radiesse form a “scaffold” to support and stimulate the growth of your own collagen. (We do not recommend fat injection as experience has shown the fat is broken down and resorbed by the body in as little as a couple of months.)

Age spots are treated with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) using Sciton BBL broadband light, which addresses melanin pigmentation. This light treatment also helps to regenerate collagen for a healthier, tauter and more youthful skin.

After your treatments, be sure to protect your younger-looking hands with sunscreen every day and a nightly application of a retinoic acid product. (Please ask Dr. Ebrahim for advice on the best product for your specific needs.)

All about fillers

Posted on January 8, 2009 in Dermal Fillers, Facial Skincare

skd260337sdc_4Injectable fillers, as the name suggests, fill in the indentations and folds that develop as the face ages. They may also be used to fill in scars caused by acne, or to enhance the shape of the chin, jawline, cheekbones, or nose. So effective are fillers in rejuvenating the face, that their use is sometimes referred to as a “liquid face lift.”

The most common places where fillers are injected are the nasolabial folds (the folds that develop from the nose to the sides of the mouth when the cheek fat decends under the effect of gravity), the marionette lines (folds that run from the outer lips down to the jawline), and in the tear troughs at the inner corners of the eyes, to reduce the appearance of dark circles. These fillers are also injected into the lips to restore the fullness of youth or enhance the appearance of naturally thin lips.

There are three categories of injectable filler: temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent. Dr. Ebrahim uses both temporary and semi-permanent fillers to enhance the features and/or restore a youthful appearance to the face.

Temporary fillers last on average from three to six months, and include Belotero,  Juvéderm and Emervel. They consist of non animal-based hyaluronic acid that is completely compatible with the skin’s own hyaluronic acid. Using a very fine needle, Dr. Ebrahim carefully injects the filler into the skin, causing it to plump up. The effect is immediate. Prior to treatment, a numbing cream will be appplied to your face, minimizing or eliminating discomfort during the procedure but, if you are sensitive, a topical anaesthetic may be injected to numb area being treated. This is more common with lips, which are more sensitive than other areas of the face. Dermal fillers are available with an anaesthetic, ensuring comfort during the procedure.

A Semi-permanent filler may remain in the skin for a year or more.  Radiesse® contains hyaluronic acid and calcium-based microparticles which have the added benefit of stimulating the skin’s production of collagen.

One of the advantages of dermal fillers is the “lunchtime treatment” aspect, meaning there is no downtime and no one need ever know what you have done to make yourself look – and feel – so much better!

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