January 3, 2019

Putting Your Best Face Forward

What are the latest trends in medical aesthetics?

In multiple reports, including the most recent report from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, non-surgical facial aesthetic procedures have increased exponentially,” says Dr Sylvia Ramirez, medical and scientific director of Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore. “In fact, they reported a 44 per cent increase in demand for non-surgical procedures in the past five years.”

She adds that this trend is set to increase in 2019 and beyond because of increased awareness regarding the safety and effectiveness of noninvasive procedures; greater demands on both men and women for self-improvement; and the stronger emphasis on overall health and well-being where being “fit” also includes “looking as good as you feel”.

Part of being successful in our careers and in the business environment not only includes looking vigorous and fit, but also fresh, youthful and less stressed,” she explains

What are patients looking for in 2019?

Apart from taking preventive measures, Dr. Ramirez says patients want to look as natural as possible.

A recent analysis that we’ve done in our clinic database suggests that patients are looking for ‘rejuvenation’ and not ‘correction’ of a specific concern,” she reveals. “In addition, a recent global survey suggests that women in their 50s prefer to look ‘great for their age’ and not younger.”

Further, since facial aging is a result of changes in various layers of the facial tissues, which together, reposition the skin downwards, she predicts that the trend is towards combination treatments that yield the most “balanced” results. “Because every layer of the skin and its underlying supportive structures goes through changes over time, each aspect needs to be addressed with a combination of treatments,” she says.

Looking fresh, not fake

As we age, we lose collagen in our skin and deeper parts of facial tissues over time, says Dr Ramirez. “For instance, it has been shown that we make 1 percent less collagen per year starting in our 20s, and by our 40s, we lose more collagen than we build, resulting in progressive changes in the skin.

Once a woman hits menopause, a whole range of more visible and sudden changes may occur, such as up to 30 percent collagen loss and thinning of the dermis and epidermis, drying of the skin, hyperpigmentation and hair growth changes. This collagen loss contributes to laxity and sagging skin showing as loss of definition of the jawline, formation of lines around the nose and mouth, making us look tired and older.”

In general, collagen building procedures are of benefit to most patients, explains Dr Ramirez. “Ultherapy reaches the dermis and the underlying fibrous tissue (known as SMAS or superficial muscular aponeurotic system). The SMAS is an important structure that holds the skin in place, and is the target of some types of partial surgical facelifts.

With Ultherapy, collagen building occurs in the deeper layer of the skin as well as in this SMAS layer. This happens without needles, cutting or disturbing the surface of the skin, there is minimal to no downtime needed, and the procedure is well-tolerated by patients.

Ultherapy is a US-FDA cleared treatment whereby the safety and efficacy have been established through many clinical trials. As Ultherapy allows direct visualization of the tissue that is being treated, doctors can see what layer of the skin is being treated and can precisely target the particular tissue to be tightened.

Dr Ramirez adds that there are many “copies” of Ultherapy, and these are not necessarily backed by clinical studies and may not be effective or safe.

When should patients start with aesthetic treatments?

Dr Ramirez says that for lasers and other medical devices, always ask about the origin and quality of the equipment. This can be judged by the existence (or lack) of robust clinical trial data that have been reviewed by expert doctors, as well as US FDA clearances.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sylvia Ramirez, our US Board Certified Doctor and skin specialist, contact our Cutis Laser Clinics today.