By Jana Soeldner Danger
City & Shore Magazine
The holidays are just ahead, and with them comes the always perplexing question: What will be a memorable gift for that special someone?
Something that will make him or her look better or feel better may be the answer. Here are a few suggestions for cosmetic procedures that might fulfill some holiday wishes.
Micro-needling can improve skin tone, remove mild discolorations, minimize acne scars and soften the appearance of fine lines, says Dr. Jordana Herschthal, a dermatologist with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton.
The doctor uses a medical device with very short needles to make tiny punctures in the skin. “The punctures signal the skin to heal, and in the process you make new collagen,” Dr. Herschthal says. “It can be used on any skin tone, and you can use it anywhere on the body — face, neck, chest and the crepey skin on arms. It’s also good for stretch marks.”
Three to six sessions done a month apart are usually required for best results, which can last up to a year.
Tired of forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet and smile lines? Botox injections can be a simple, nonsurgical solution, says Dr. Gregory Lakin, a plastic surgeon in Fort Lauderdale.
Botox is the brand name for a toxin that, when injected in small, diluted amounts, blocks signals from nerves to muscles so they no longer contract, thereby reducing or eliminating wrinkles. “It takes two or three days for the effects to start, and a week for the full effect,” Dr. Lakin says.
When the procedure is done for crow’s feet, it raises the lateral outer part of the eyebrow, Dr. Lakin says. “So it gives you a little eyebrow lift.”
Botox can correct an asymmetrical smile or relax the corners of a down-turned mouth, eliminating the look of a perpetual frown. It can also help the appearance of neck bands, the vertical muscles that begin to look more prominent as a person ages, Dr. Lakin says. “It softens them and makes them look smoother.” Results last about three months.
Dr. Jacob Steiger, a facial plastic surgeon in Boca Raton, has developed a chemical peel formula that he says can provide the effects of a medium-depth peel with the shorter healing time of a light peel. “There’s minimal downtime,” he says. “Just a couple days of redness.”
A chemical peel can improve the skin’s tone and texture and reduce the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, brown spots and rosacea. The doctor applies an acidic solution to the skin, which creates a controlled wound. Old skin then gradually scales off, and new skin forms.
The painless procedure is done in the office and takes 15 to 30 minutes. A series of two peels done three or four weeks apart are usually required for best results, which can last six months to a year.
Photo Facial and Laser Resurfacing
Another way to rejuvenate skin is with a photo facial combined with laser resurfacing. Each can also be done as a stand-alone procedure, says Dr. Andrew Styperek, a dermatologist in Fort Lauderdale.
A photo facial evens skin color by delivering intense pulsing light energy. “The energy is absorbed by the reds and browns in the skin, and shuts down the blood vessels that cause the discolorations,” Dr. Styperek says.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes and works best for individuals with light skin tones.
Laser resurfacing, which Dr. Styperek often combines with the photo facial, improves skin texture, reduces the appearance of fine lines and is available for all skin types. “The laser delivers energy into the water of the skin, which heats collagen and causes a controlled injury,” Dr. Styperek says. “The body then heals better than it was.”
Synthetic fillers can add volume to the face and fill wrinkles, but they are temporary. A transfer of a patient’s own fat can be much more permanent, says Dr. Jonathan Weiser, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with Memorial Healthcare.
The doctor uses a cannula to harvest small amounts of fat from the abdomen or hip. Fibers, blood and serum are separated from the fat, which is then injected under the skin in areas such as the cheeks and nasolabial folds. “A certain portion will be reabsorbed, so we typically put in more than we think is needed,” Dr. Weiser says. “Fat can also sometimes be used to augment the chin and make the jawline stronger, and it can correct deep scars.”
Dr. Weiser adds, “Unlike other fillers, this is your own living tissue, and it should stay with you for a long time. There’s also some evidence that it may rejuvenate the skin.”
For many people, stress is high during the holidays. While it’s not a medical procedure, a spa package can help body and mind relax, which may promote better health.
At Spa Atlantic in Fort Lauderdale, the experience begins with a full body exfoliation followed by a clay body wrap and scalp massage. “You detoxify while you’re cocooned in warm clay,” says spa manager Jasmine Muniz.
After the wrap comes a full body massage. “It soothes sore muscles and helps you hydrate,” Muniz says. One rule: cell phones should be turned off.
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 33304, 954-567-8020