AGING SKIN, NECK, DECOLLETE, HANDS
As we age naturally our skins also manifest signs of intrinsic ageing. Some people’s skins however, look more aged then they should for their chronological age. This is largely due to the influence of extrinsic (external) factors, which can promote premature skin ageing. Those factors include sun damage and an unhealthy life style (smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, etc).
Excessive sun exposure and smoking have the highest negative impact on the skin due to the formation of free radicals. Free radicals represent especially reactive atoms or group of atoms that have one or more unpaired electrons and are capable of independent existence. Free radicals of oxygen are composed of oxygen with an unpaired electron (also known as reactive oxygen species -ROS) and are created by UV exposure, smoking, stress, pollution and normal metabolic processes. ROS cause premature ageing of the skin by inducing changes in gene expression pathways that lead to degradation of collagen and accumulation of amorphous elastin (photo damaged elastin fibres). Excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun also promotes direct damage of collagen in the skin by dramatically up regulating collagen- degrading enzymes. Rough, dry skin with hyperpigmentation and wrinkling is characteristic of photo-aged skin. Severe photo damage can also be a precursor to skin cancer.
Unlike the skin on the face, the neck, décolleté and the back of the hands are often neglected as far as routine home care and aesthetic anti-ageing procedures are concerned. However, these areas can be a big “age give away” if not taken care of in time. Most aesthetic procedures that are usually performed on the face are also effective for treating the skin on the neck, décolleté and hands. At Aesthetic Essentials medical aesthetics we can assist with the following treatments:
- Photo damage (hyper pigmentation, redness, skin laxity and wrinkles) on the neck, décolleté and the back of the hands may be treated with skin tightening (ReFirm™), Mesotherapy for skin rejuvenation, dermal needling, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and Cosmelan
Some of these procedures can be combined to obtained best results. Treatment programmes are usually tailor made for each client based on her/his individual indications.
To treat ageing skin on the neck the following procedures are recommended:
- Wrinkle treatment with botulinum toxin A (to improve the appearance of the lines/wrinkles running across the neck)
- Injectable fillers
- Mesotherapy for skin rejuvenation
- Dermal needling
- For reduction of excessive fat and simultaneous skin tightening on the “double chin” area VelaShape treatments are highly effective. Skin tightening effect of VelaShape assists in preventing the formation of excessive loose skin (the so called “turkey neck”) when subcutaneous fat tissue gets reduced.
- The loss of volume and skin laxity on the back of the hands is successfully treated with Injectable fillers and/or Mesotherapy (often with prior Microdermabrasion or Chemical peels).
BODY AFTER BABY
It is generally accepted that most women experience post birth body image concerns at least to some extent. Most commonly these concerns are related to weight gain and formation of stretch marks, cellulite and skin laxity especially in “problem” areas such as the stomach, buttocks and thighs. Recent surveys report the following key findings:
- 71 % of new moms feel less physically attractive after they had their baby
- 88% of women said that they couldn’t get back their pre-pregnancy stomach even after losing weight
It is often difficult to get back into the pre-pregnancy shape with diet and exercise alone. Modern aesthetic medicine offers science based additional solutions to this problem, one of the most popular being VelaShape cellulite and body shaping procedures. In the past couple of years over 3.5 million VelaShape treatments have been performed worldwide, remaining the leading choice by physicians as an effective treatment for cellulite reduction and non-invasive body contouring.
The VelaShape instrument employs 4 different modes of treatment:
- Infrared light (IR) heats the tissue up to 3 mm depth
- Radio frequency (RF) heats tissue from 2 to ~20 mm depth
- Vacuum suction
- Roller massage mechanisms enable precise targeting of both energies (IR and RF) to the tissue (skin and subcutaneous fat layer) and dramatically improves blood circulation and lymph drainage
The combination of all 4 techniques employed in the VelaShape platform allows for the reduction of the fat content in the fat cells, and initiation of collagen synthesis in the skin, thus leading to improved body shape in the treated areas (e.g. post pregnancy stomach pouch, saddlebags, upper thighs and buttocks) and much smoother and more tightened skin.
Recent studies focused on post-pregnancy moms show an average circumference reduction of 7 cm on the abdomen, 5.5 cm on the buttocks and 2.5 cm on each thigh.
To read more on VelaShape treatment please follow the link.
At Aesthetic Essentials, we offer a combination of VelaShape treatments with other procedures to assist in body shaping and cellulite reduction post- pregnancy. Individualised treatment programmes usually include the combination of VelaShape treatments with Muscle Toning and/or Presotherapy.
In cases when the condition of the skin on the stomach is a major concern (skin laxity and stretch marks), the following treatments or combination of treatments may be advised:
- triniti™ procedure (combined laser/light therapy)
- Mesotherapy for skin rejuvenation
- Dermal Needling
Cellulite is characterised by cosmetically unpleasant dimpled skin surface – the so called “orange peel” or “matrass – like” appearance. Cellulite is much more common in women than in men, approximately 85 to 98% of women over the age of 20 years are affected. The reason for this being the differences in the histology of the subcutaneous fat tissue (i.e. the most superficial fat layer positioned right under the skin). The subcutaneous fat cells are grouped together and form fat clusters. Fat clusters are located in chambers, which in women are separated by vertical and horizontal Connective Tissue Septae (figure 1). The Septae are anchored rigid fibres that do not stretch with the skin as the volume within the walls of the fat chamber increases. When the fat chamber becomes too distended by enlarged fat cells and by retained intercellular fluids, it protrudes beyond the length of the vertical septae, pushing up the skin’s surface and resulting in a dimpled skin appearance (i.e. orange peel, matrass, cottage cheese like appearance). Weight gain and the enlargement of fat cells/chambers cause compression of blood and lymph vessels and affects blood and lymph circulation, thus contributing to accumulation of intercellular fluids and physiological waist. This also promotes formation of cellulite.
There are 3 classes of cellulite:
- Class 1 – when no spontaneous dimpling is observed, and the “orange peel” skin appearance is only seen when the skin is pinched
- Class 2 – spontaneous dimpling of the skin is present while standing and disappears while lying.
- Class 3 – spontaneous dimpling of the skin is present while standing and lying.
Most women are genetically and hormonally predisposed to cellulite. Some other factors like smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet and physiological status may also contribute to induction and/or worsening of cellulite.
Subcutaneous fat tissue
To read about treatments recommended for cellulite and body contouring see below:
- VelaShape II
- Muscle toning
Stretch marks (striae distensae) are a common cosmetic condition associated with stretching of the skin. They are usually caused by excessive and rapid weight gain (e.g. in pregnant women, body builders, etc). Stretch marks manifest as atrophic linear bands of the skin. Initially, they appear as purple or pink linear marks (initial stage called striae rubra) that fade over time into paler white (striae alba) marks. The exact pathogenesis of striae distensae is unknown however, histological finding suggest that quantitative and qualitative changes in the skins elastic and fibrillin fibres takes place.
There is no complete cure for stretch marks; however some improvement in the appearance of these unsightly marks can be achieved. The degree of improvement in the appearance (length and width) of stretch marks is greater when they are treated at an early stage (striae rubra). Although, there is no specific treatment for stretch marks, research studies show that methods like resurfacing (e.g. microdermabrasion, chemical peels) and/or laser and light therapies that promote collagen and elastin synthesis through the wound healing mechanism can improve the striae. Amongst treatments that we offer at Aesthetic Essentials, the following can be useful for treating stretch marks:
- Dermal needling
- VelaShape body contouring and cellulite treatment
It is important to book an initial consultation appointment to assess the stretch marks and choose the most appropriate treatment or combination of treatments for each individual.
Cnr Athol Oaklands Road and Fort Street