Scott McLennan

Cutting through today’s aesthetic world

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Honestly it can be very confusing out there today. There are literally hundereds of cosmetic procedures, treatments and solutions available to anyone and everyone, in what would seem to be anywhere. Ranging from at-home treatments and procedures, to some beauty therapy room procedures, to the more medical clinic treatments and procedures that should only should be performed or overseen by appropriately trained and experienced medical professionals.  

There are risks involved with all procedures – at home and in clinic – and often these risks are exacerbated when different combinations and different technologies are used simulataneously by the unsuspecting, inexperieenced or unaware. Here are some simple thoughts to consider when choosing what may be a good procedure for you and where to have them done. 

At-home treatments

  • Many of the at-home cosmetic treatments such as microdermabrasion kits and chemical peel solutions can be purchased over the internet or over the counter can be safe when they have been thoroughly tested for this type of self-use. 
  • Generally the concentration of the active ingredients in these products is much lower than those prescribed and used within clinics. Therefore, most at-home treatments do not produce results that are as dramatic or as long-lasting as the cosmetic procedures performed in medical aesthetic practices.
  • There still are safety concerns if these at-home treatments are used improperly or if any of the active ingredients cause an unforeseen skin reaction. That is why it is important that you consider any at-home cosmetic treatments to discuss these products with his or her clinical specialist.
    • For example, a person who is using a retinoid could be at risk for an adverse skin reaction from a chemical that is used in an at-home product that probably should not be used simultaneously.
  • There are now Do-it-yourself laser hair removal devices available and are becoming popular as an alternative to visiting a clinic to have unwanted hair permanently reduced. However, they can pose a safety concern for people who have a tan or who have darker skin.
    • The concern for people who use a home laser hair removal device or for those who opt to receive cosmetic treatments outside of an experienced medical practice, is that many factors can adversely affect the outcome of the procedure and these can have unforeseen long lasting side effects.
    • For example, the improper use of a laser hair-removal device on an individual who has darker skin or who has a tan could result in scarring or hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. Incidences of these are reported daily and are increasing.

 In-office cosmetic procedures 

  • There are new technologies, products, procedures and clinical applications entering the the relm cosmetic procedures that are always enhancing clinicians abilities to fine-tune treatments.
  • Advances in the use of lasers, wrinkle fillers and wrinkle relaxers, volumisers and collagen stimulators are allowing clinicians to refine and customise treatments based on each patient’s specific cosmetic needs.
    • Fractional resurfacing is one of the newer laser technologies that gives clinicians the option to safely treat patients with more extensive skin damage with less down time. The main benefits of this procedure are increased collagen production that creates more dramatic results to improve the appearance of skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars — with considerably less downtime than other invasive laser technologies.
    • Laser technologies used to treat vascular lesions — such as port-wine stains and other birthmarks — have greatly improved over the years. This has allowed more patients to benefit from treatment, especially infants, without injuring the surrounding skin.
    • A number of new injectable products have been introduced in recent years to replace lost skin texture, skin volume, deeper volume, contour and shape, and when used together can produce more natural results that are longer lasting.
  • New developments in wrinkle fillers allow clinicians to correct signs of ageing, from sunken cheeks to fine lines around the eyes and lips.
    • Botulinum toxin’s, most widely known for its ability to diminish wrinkles and other facial lines, is being used and further studied across many medical applications to help patients lead lives free of pain, inconvenience for use in an array of conditions. New manufacturers have introduced some different botulinum toxin formulations in recent years, helping to make accessability and pricing more competitive and affordable.

So when choosing your topical products, your laser/IPL/Light based therapy or your injectable products – talk to someone that understands the technologies, keeps abreast of the current trends and uses, and then work with them to work out what method may be best for you.

Be open and honest about what you are using at home, and then work with your specialist to devise a holisitic plan to address your individual needs.

Oh and beware – if it sounds too good to be true – it often is! 




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