Non-surgical treatments are becoming increasingly popular and despite the fact that I am a surgeon, I am happy to see this development. There is no longer any doubt that medical aesthetics has a very relevant and important place in the aesthetics industry.
But it is important to stress that surgery cannot be replaced by the various Injectables and lasers. Similarly, the knife cannot achieve what Injectables and lasers can.
While the Injectables, mainly Botox and Fillers remain popular treatments (as they produce great results in the right hands), technologies are ever evolving and there are now a wide range of other treatments available.
Like any market involving technologies, new products are being launched all the time and the challenge for practitioners is to look beyond the glitzy marketing and separate the good science from the bad.
I am naturally inclined to be cautious and hence by default often not the first on the bandwagon. Perhaps being financially risk averse partly shapes that too. We have acquired a small number of aesthetics equipments following careful research and I have been very pleased with the results so far.
The Fractional CO2 Laser is my favourite. It is great for skin rejuvenation: in addition to reducing fine lines and wrinkles, it gets rid of pigmentation changes, tightens the skin and generally improves the complexion.
I have seen broken veins improved after a single treatment which is a pleasant surprise since this capability was not even mentioned in any of the marketing materials (which generally tend to be overly optimistic and aspirational!).
It is excellent for the eyelids and the American Plastic Surgeon who first described this has coined the term, the Madonna Lift, for this.
But the most exciting recent experience has been the use of the Fractional CO2 laser for stretch marks. The laser drills holes into the areas with stretch marks without damaging the overlying skin. The heat created by the laser stimulates new collagen and elastic fibres to form, thickening the dermis (deeper layer) of the skin which improves the appearance of the stretchmarks. Watch this video for an example of the treatment.
This is very exciting indeed as stretchmarks are a very common problem and to date there has been no truly effective solution. For this and all of the above reasons, the Fractional C02 laser remains my favourite non-surgical treatment – to date.