Ethnic skin is a term used to indicate a person with olive or darker skin who tans easily. Patients with dark skin often display fewer signs of aging than similarly sun-exposed whites and, therefore, may require a different approach. Medical advances in dermatology have made it possible for people with darker skin types to benefit from many cosmetic procedures that were formerly only available to lighter-skinned patients.Some of available procedures that can be done for ethnic skin are as follows:Botulinum toxin injection (Botox®) Microdermabrasion Chemical peels Injectable fillers Many laser treatments (eg, laser hair removal)
Aging gracefully is not desirable to some people when there are many effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can temporarily reduce a very prominent sign of aging: wrinkles. One such procedure involves the use of botulinum toxin injections. Botulinum toxin is produced by the fermentation of a type of bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. The most widely used form of botulinum toxin is Type A (Botox® Cosmetic, Allergan, Inc). Botulinum toxin, what we will now refer to simply as Botox, used cosmetically, works by temporarily preventing the nerve from activating the muscle responsible for wrinkling the skin.
Q: Where should I go to have laser procedures performed? A: Patients who want to look younger have a confusing array of options, including where to go for cosmetic procedures. I talk about this topic at greater length here, but, essentially, this is what I recommend evaluating prior to undergoing a cosmetic laser procedure.
Considering cosmetic dermatology? Take your time in learning about and evaluating procedures, especially those that make permanent changes. For example, I see many people who get permanent eyeliner-type tattoos and want to know how to get them removed 3 or 4 years later. Although some are delighted with permanent cosmetic procedures, ideally you should consider something that lasts at most 2 years. Most treatments that we offer last 6–12 months.
Q: I’ve been thinking about trying Botox, but I’m afraid. A: When we evaluate elective cosmetic procedures like Botox treatments, we should carefully consider the pros and cons. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a physician-provided treatment derived from a bacterial toxin, Clostridium botulinum, which paralyzes muscles. It has been used for decades to treat spastic muscle conditions (such as cerebral palsy), following trauma and injury, and even the symptoms associated with cluster headaches.
It happens on a regular basis. I walk into the room and I see a miserable-looking patient who went somewhere they shouldn’t have for a laser treatment and paid the price. The person who wanted to look better now has burns, scars, and deep embarrassment. The lesson here is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The success of injectable cosmetic Botox® in erasing furrowed brows, crow’s feet, and wrinkled lip lines has prompted growing interest in other subcutaneous therapies to achieve new kinds of cosmetic results.
That’s right, I said it! This year – this decade – I want you to focus on beauty. Being beautiful means being healthy, and I want you to do everything in your power to make yourself more beautiful. Sound vain, trivial, and superfluous? Well, not really. While I’m not suggesting you get plastic surgery or injectable fillers, Botox®, or laser, I am suggesting that you look at your skin as a reflection of your overall health and that you make smart choices to protect your beautiful skin and take action to make your skin and body healthy.
Because skin is the largest, most visible indicator of aging, patients increasingly turn to dermatologists for advice and information about keeping skin looking healthy, supple, and firm as they age. Even as recently as 10 years ago, that meant plastic surgery – expensive, deeply invasive procedures with extensive risk and recovery time, and sometimes rather unnatural results. But now, more people first consider nonsurgical, noninvasive methods that help skin more naturally retain moisture, elasticity, and firmness – a younger appearance without going under the knife.
The development of new laser technologies is encouraging, especially the introduction of gentler tools that provide excellent results with less damage and downtime than original ablative lasers. While safe and effective, ablative lasers are harsh and indiscriminately remove layers of skin. The resulting wounds were at greater risk of infection and required a couple weeks of healing followed by months of redness. While these lasers generated good results for wrinkles, I searched for alternatives, as I would feel hesitant to undergo these types of procedures myself.
Exposure to the sun, genetics, and time itself all play a part in the aging process of your skin. Simply accepting this aging process is no longer the only option, as there are effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can reduce many of the prominent signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sunspots, and spider and varicose veins.