In an interview this week, I was asked, “Where is cosmetic dermatology headed in the next five years?” The focus of my response was the exciting new non-invasive technologies that are now available to help shape, firm and tone different parts of your body. And this technology keeps getting better every year.
By the way, by non-invasive, I mean there’s no cutting, no needles, no actual surgery, and therefore very limited recovery period, if any. And while non-invasive unfortunately doesn’t mean not uncomfortable, there’s not enough pain to have had any patient in my experience ask to stop the procedure.
The areas on your body where these non-invasive shaping and toning procedures can be performed are almost too numerous to mention, but starting from the top down, they’re used… to tighten sagging jaw lines and necks, hanging underarms, love handles, loose and rippled tummies, especially after multiple pregnancies, thighs, knees, buttocks, and so on…
The fundamental mechanism by which most of these procedures work consists of heating the skin in a controlled fashion to cause shrinkage of different levels of tissue inside without burning the skin. It’s sort of like cooking your steak too long causing it to shrivel up, but without burning it.
Some of the technology to reduce fat deposits also involves rupturing or purposely damaging fat cells so the fat leaks out and is reabsorbed into the lymph system from which it is ultimately excreted in your urine.
There are brand names for these treatments such as Skin Tite by Sciton which is IPL technology, also known as Intense Pulse Light, and radio frequency technology such as Exilis by BTL, Thermage by Solta Medical and Velashape by Syneron. Some of these machines accomplish tightening or fat reduction with one treatment, and others require multiple treatments, up to four or five times. Prices vary from several hundred to 2,000 dollars per treatment, depending on the type of machine.
But, the bottom line is that they all work, and they accomplish, to varying degrees, a tightening or firming of loose skin and/or a modest reduction in fat depending on which technique and which machine is being used. This stuff really is pretty amazing.
If you think you would be interested in a treatment like this, see a cosmetic dermatologist or a dermatologic laser surgeon for a consultation
God bless new technology!