10 days to Spring Break! #7

lslDay 7 post: Laser hair removal
As snow birds, we like to groom our feathers (or remove them) before heading down south. Shaving can be an annoyance everyday and waxing can leave you with ingrown hairs, not to mention stubbly growth between sessions. A more permanent solution like laser hair removal avoids all that stress and fuss. For over a decade, Cosmedica has been performing safe and effective laser hair removal in a medical environment. Over the years, the LightSheer laser, the recognized “Gold Standard” in laser hair removal, has improved its technology consistently which now allows for much faster and less painful treatments. Only 4 to 6 treatments are needed to achieve 70 to 95% permanent hair reduction. From your first session, you will enjoy the freedom of hairlessness and smooth skin. Receiving a laser treatment a few days before a trip will ensure much less hair growth while you are gone. Just make sure to wear sunscreen.

Here are a few more important tips:
1. Exfoliate the area well before your first treatment as light will penetrate better when excess layers of dead skin cells are removed.
2. Keep your skin moisturized before and after the treatment to avoid dry itchy skin.
3. Don’t exfoliate until a week post treatment as the skin may be sensitive. Exfoliation is most important when the hairs start growing out again. If there is a lot of hard dead skin cells obstructing the hair follicles, then new hairs can curl back up under the skin to form ingrown hairs.
4. Wear sunscreen immediately after your treatment and every day until all your treatments are complete. This is still important in the winter or on cloudy days as harmful U.V rays can still cause damage.
5. If you are going on vacation and still tan after wearing sunscreen, that’s ok. For your subsequent treatment, book it as far as possible within the appropriate time frame to give your skin enough time to pale out a bit more.
6. If you have skin that gets very dark in the sun and stays dark for a long time, other precautions should be taken and can be discussed during your consultation.

If you are running around preparing for your trip, don’t bother packing the razors. Instead book a free laser hair removal consultation at Cosmedica. No more checking and adjusting when sitting crossed legged in the sand with your kids!

Tomorrow we will talk about what to bring along with you on your trip for your skin!
Until then, be safe, wear sunscreen.

Nadine Harvey
Medical Esthetician

10 Days to Spring Break! #6

botox-postDay 6 post: Injectables to help your face match your mood!

Did you ever notice candid pictures taken of people frowning in the sun? We don’t realize how we look when we frown or squint until we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the rearview mirror or in a photo. Let’s just say it’s not a picture you would accept tagging on Facebook. It’s important to understand what exactly is going on inside our face when we squint in the sun. To help us, we have Valerie, one of our injection nurses explain to us the mechanism of a wrinkle.

Let’s talk about the very common frown lines between the brows. This is called the glabella area, where is a group of muscles push your brows together and create a frown, called an “active wrinkle”. These muscles can be blocked with Botox, so the frown is “stopped” and the skin on top smoothes out. The effect is a relaxed, stress-free look, like after a vacation. Your friends will tell you “you look good” but won’t know exactly why.

What happens when a deep fold exists in the skin and is apparent even while not frowning? This is called a “passive wrinkle”. After the area has been relaxed with Botox, dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvederm can be used to fill in the crease.

The fastest way to treat wrinkles with the least amount of downtime is with injectables. These take only a few minutes and most people can go right back to work or their usual activities. As our nurse Valerie says,”Botox is prevention, like a vaccine against wrinkles”.

Tomorrow we will talk about getting rid of unsightly hair!
Until then, be safe, wear sunscreen.

Nadine Harvey
Medical Esthetician

10 Days to Spring Break! #5

Brunette-flowerDay 5 post: SilkPeel / Chemical peels to smooth skin
Every one dreams of that smooth sun kissed skin against a backdrop of turquoise ocean. The only thing shiny is the sunlight bouncing from the pool onto your flawless skin, not your t-zone. The question I’m always asked is; “how early before leaving on vacation do I start treating my skin and when is the cutoff time before stopping?” A lot of skin treatments can make the skin sensitive to U.V light. My answer is always, it depends on how aggressive the treatment is and how good you are with sun protection. After all, Floridian ladies receive skin peels all year round and it’s always sunny down there. Skin and the way it responds to specific combinations of treatment is very complex, but also very interesting. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to effective skin treatments, including SilkPeel , chemical peels and laser peels. This is why an initial skin consultation at Cosmedica is very important before choosing any treatment. During this informative meeting your ideal treatment plan will be mapped out for you, including hygiene and home care tips. One of the mildest peels we offer at Cosmedica is the SilkPeel. Done on the face and body, it can be tailored to any skin type and is a great preparation for any event. This procedure is like a spring cleaning for your skin; your pores are vacuumed out, dead skin cells are removed to reveal a fresh, clean and smooth complexion. The permeability of the skin is increased following this deep exfoliation so it will better absorb topical treatments as well. Anywhere bumps and black heads are seen, SilkPeel will go, like the back and arms. Now your skin is ready to face the sun, sea and that gentle touch…

Tomorrow we will talk about Injectables to help your face match your mood.
Until then, be safe, wear sunscreen.

Nadine Harvey
Medical Esthetician

10 Days to Spring Break #4

Thermage-armsDay 4 post: Thermage for tightening skin under armsAfter talking about cellulite[N1] and fat reduction[N2] , today we are moving up the body to target the arms.
Wearing a shawl over a strapless dress may work well at hiding loose skin of the upper arms; but many women seek to be liberated of that cover up. Toning up the biceps, triceps and shoulders may help improve the overall appearance of the arms, but you will have to bulk up quite a bit to fill up and stretch out that loose skin. Losing weight will reduce the size, but will also remove that structural support that fat gives the arms. Ultimately, you are still left with a drape of loose skin on top of all your hard work.

Brachiaplasty (upper arm “tuck” surgery) may not be possible at such short notice before leaving on a trip. There is a non-invasive solution called Thermage CPT that uses radiofrequency technology to tighten the skin. One single treatment works in two very important ways inside the dermis and subcutaneous tissue. The first is an immediate “shrinking” of the collagen within the skin. The result is a firmer and less wrinkly upper arm. The second is a more long term reaction that takes place inside the dermal structure of the skin; the creation of new collagen and elastin. This “shrink-wrapping” of the skin can be captured on camera immediately after the treatment. If you are planning for spaghetti straps or strapless dresses soon, you will love this reaction end rejoice in knowing the end result will only get better over the next 3 to 6 months. The final after pictures are taken at 6 months and the results last 1 to 2 years before another treatment is needed. Call Cosmedica now and book your free Thermage consultation.
Tomorrow we will move up the body and talk about the face.
Until then, be safe, wear sunscreen.

Nadine Harvey
Medical Esthetician

10 Days to Spring Break! #3

US-before-afterDay 3 post: Ultrashape for those stubborn lumps and bulges

We’ve tackled cellulite in “Velashape for cellulite”. [N1] Now that the ripples and dimples are gone, you still want more, reduction that is.

2 weeks left before departure to the warm countries and you still haven’t figured out how to minimize the excess luggage you don’t like on your mid-section. Preparing months ahead of time of working out and dieting may still not get you the results in body shaping you are looking for. Don’t get me wrong, diet and exercise are crucial to lead a healthy life; but losing weight will only turn a big pear-shaped body into a small pear-shaped body. There is no such thing as spot reduction in a gym or diet book; only spot toning and overall reduction. Unfortunately, fat distribution is largely regulated by hormones. This is why men and women complain of “that spot right here” that just won’t go.

You may still have time for a little liposuction, or you may be looking for a non-invasive alternative like Ultrashape[N2] . As with treating cellulite, it is possible to see results as early as 2 weeks after an UltraShape treatment to reduce fatty deposits in areas such as the abdomen, “love handles” or “saddlebags” (thighs) . Ultrashape is pulsed, focused ultrasound that delivers selective and permanent fat cell destruction. This simple, safe and painless “walk-in,walk-out” procedure has been used at Cosmedica by over 600 patients since 2007. In 2010 we were the first clinic in the world to receive the new UltraShape V3, the latest version of this device that allows a patient to achieve even more reduction in one single session. There is no downtime, no bruising, just homogenous and controlled fat destruction throughout the entire targeted treatment area.

If you haven’t purchase a bikini cover up yet, don’t worry yourself with it and come to Cosmedica for a free Ultrashape consultation.

If you’re thinking now of buying a shawl for your shoulders instead, wait! Read tomorrow’s post on tightening flabby under arms.

Till then, be safe; wear sunscreen.

Nadine Harvey
Medical Esthetician


It always amazes me when I’m at an event and I hear over and over again “I would NEVER do that”. In fact, 9 times out of 10, the same person who made this statement inevitably corners me later on in the evening and asks which rejuvenating procedures I would recommend for them.

Dermal fillers (wrinkle and lip “plumpers”) have been available in Canada for almost 30 years. Originally, collagen was injected which required skin testing prior to being injected as animal collagen was used in the composition of the product. Nowadays, most companies are making fillers containing Hyaluronic Acid. These do not require skin testing as Hyaluronic Acid is a natural product that already exists in great quantity in human skin, cartilage and other tissues.

Hyaluronic acid injections are a safe and effective treatment, and a patient can expect that any concerns about the procedure, recovery, and continuing treatment plan will be addressed before it takes place. Hyaluronic acid can be used as an injectable filler to help shape and plump contours of the face (and can even be used to repair arthritic joints!).The use of these fillers results in smoother, firmer skin that looks and feels younger. Hyaluronic acid injections can bring about significant improvements in wrinkling, facial contours and lip volume with results that can last from 6 – 18 months.

Quite often, during the consultation with patients, I will ask them to bring a picture of themselves from at least 10 years ago. By doing this, it provides both the patient and myself with an excellent idea of where the volume replacement is needed. Once both of us agree, we proceed with the actual injection. All the fillers used at Cosmedica contain an ingredient called Lidocaine, which freezes the skin while injecting rendering the treatment virtually pain free. Risks post injection are very minimal. Slight bruising is possible, redness and some sensitivity to the area injected. You would be surprised at how affordable these small and subtle improvements with fillers actually are. If you would like to learn more about these procedures and how they can help you, it would be my pleasure to meet with you for a free consultation. You can reach me at 514-695-7450.

Isabelle Jubert RN

10 days to Spring Break #2

Day 2 post: Velashape for cellulite

Shopping for a bikini can be a daunting task when you are not fully satisfied with the way your skin looks uncovered. Many patients come to our clinic looking for solutions to improve the appearance of cellulite, especially when planning for a trip to the sun.
If you are getting ready to go down south very soon, you may think that it’s too late to start treatment now. While a couple of treatments won’t give you the full improvement of the recommended 6 to 8 treatments, it is still possible to see significant lessening of the dimpled appearance of the skin. Many patients find they notice circumferential reduction and smoother and firmer skin after one or two Velashape treatments. Velashape uses RF (radiofrequency) and Infra-Red energy to diminish water retention, stimulate fat metabolism and depolarize clustered fat nodules deep to the skin. The treatments are quick and feel like a warm massage.

Treating cellulite is now easier than it used to be!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on tackling stubborn fat pockets.

Until then, be safe; wear sunscreen.

Nadine Harvey
Medical Esthetician

10 days to Spring Break! #1

Day 1: Getting “bikini ready” for your vacation
If you are American, chances are that you are getting ready for spring break. If you are Canadian, than March break is soon around the corner, unless you live in Nunavut and enjoy “professional improvement week” instead. Yes, ‘tis the week in March when school’s out and parents of young children either scramble to book day camps or resignedly take time off.

If you are a college student, you might be looking forward to fun in the sun.

No matter who you are, chances are that you’re excited yet a bit nervous about the prospect of baring your sun-starved self in a bikini.
The next 9 posts will cover popular concerns patients have this time of year. Stay tuned for very important advice that will help you prevent future skin problems while traveling and keep you looking your best. If you are looking for more personalized information, than a free consultation at Cosmedica with a medical esthetician or nurse is what you need. Embark on this little journey with us and count this day as the first day of the rest of your life. At Cosmedica, we usually celebrate by taking a before picture.

The first topic will cover a concern shared by 99% of women: Cellulite.

Until tomorrow, be safe; wear sunscreen.

Nadine Harvey
Medical Esthetician

Who loses weight after tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and why?

Most Overweight Patients Show Lasting Weight Loss One Year after Abdominoplasty

For Immediate Release: 01/29/2013

Arlington Heights, Ill. – Undergoing abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) may lead to significant and lasting weight loss for many patients-especially those who were overweight or obese before surgery, reports a pilot study in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Long-term weight loss after abdominoplasty may be related to increased satiety-feeling full after eating-according to the study by ASPS Member Surgeon Dr. Rex Edward Moulton-Barrett of Alameda Hospital and colleagues. The researchers discuss possible “neuroendocrine mechanisms” that may promote weight loss after abdominoplasty.

High Rate of Sustained Weight Loss after ‘Tummy Tuck’
The researchers evaluated short- and long-term weight loss after abdominoplasty in 20 women. Popularly known as “tummy tuck,” abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure to eliminate excess abdominal fat and skin. For the 20 women, the average amount of abdominal tissue resected was approximately five pounds.

One year later, 14 of the women had sustained weight loss-greater than the weight of the tissue resected. Patients with a preoperative BMI greater than or equal to 24.5 maintained long-term weight loss at one year. They decreased in weight by an average of 4.5 percent of their original BMI one year later. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25, overweight is between 25 and 30, and obese is 30 or higher.

The other six women also had some degree of weight loss after abdominoplasty. However, one year later, they had regained weight and increased BMI.

Long-term weight loss was more likely for women whose initial BMI was 24.5 or greater, just under the borderline for overweight. Of the 14 women with sustained weight loss, just one had an initial BMI of less than 24.5.

Sustained weight loss was also more likely for women with a greater amount of excess abdominal tissue removed at abdominoplasty. Twelve of the 14 women with long-term weight loss had more than 4.5 pounds of tissue resected.

Can a ‘Cosmetic’ Procedure Help Patients Lose Weight?
Increased satiety seemed to be an important contributor to long-term weight loss. Three-fourths of women reported an increased feeling of satiety, either after eating or throughout the day, after undergoing abdominoplasty.

As obesity rates continue to increase in the United States, new treatments are needed to achieve and maintain weight loss. Gastric bypass and other bariatric surgical procedures are among the few treatments to produce permanent weight loss, but are generally limited to patients with morbid obesity-BMI 40 or greater.

In contrast, abdominoplasty is available to a wider range of patients seeking to reduce the size and improve the appearance of their abdomen. “Whether or not long-term weight reduction is associated with abdominoplasty has been little investigated and remained controversial,” according to Dr. Moulton-Barrett and colleagues.

The new study provides preliminary evidence that many patients have lasting weight loss after abdominoplasty-especially those who are overweight or obese before abdominoplasty. “Satiety appears to be a prominent contributing factor, as does the amount of fat resected,” the researchers conclude.

“We hypothesize that the increased satiety seen in our patients is related to changes in the neuroendocrine system,” Dr. Moulton-Barrett and coauthors add. Removing fat cells from the abdomen may lead to reduced levels of hormones affecting appetite, which are secreted by fatty tissues. However, further studies would be needed to confirm this hypothesis.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Younger clientele pursuing lip perfection

by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist DAVID GARDNER Posted on February 11, 2013 at 6:27 PM

AUSTIN — It’s a treatment designed to produce the perfect lips. While the treatment isn’t new, one Austin plastic surgeon says he’s seeing a significantly younger clientele than what he did when the product was first introduced years ago.

Gertie Murray of Austin is a makeup artist and a lobbyist. To do her job she says she has to keep up appearances.

“It’s absolutely key,” she said. “Working in the lobby field and also in the beauty industry, it’s extremely important.”

Murray has come to the Piazza Center for Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skin Care in Southwest Austin to correct what she says is an imperfection in her lips.

“I really just wanted to even out my lips,” said Murray. “My bottom lip is a little fuller, so I’m just wanting a little evenness. I don’t want that duck-billed look.”

Murray has opted for a treatment involving injectable fillers.

“It’s about placing volume back in tissues, like lips that are missing volume and may even have a volume deficit,” said Rocco Piazza, M.D., a board certified plastic surgeon. “We can increase the volume of that envelope and help the patient achieve the lip fullness that they desire.”

Piazza will inject about half a syringe or more into the patients lips. The injectable filler is hyaluronic acid that is a naturally occurring complex sugar molecule. Similar to a sponge, its primary function is to bind and absorb water molecules which creates volume in the face. Hyaluronic acid fillers work by replacing the hyaluronic acid in the body that has depleted over time.

Murray is just 28. She’s part of a much younger demographic Piazza says is opting for the procedure.

“That’s very different from what I saw three years ago,” said Piazza. “(In the past) I was having an older patient population really interested in lip augmentation, and now it seems to have moved to a much younger population.”

Murray likes the fact that the fillers are supposed to last up to a year.

“It’s not permanent,” she said. “I’m not implanting anything unnatural into my body, so it’s just simpler. It’s just an injection. It’s not forever.”

The treatment takes just a few minutes and costs about $500 per full syringe. Piazza recommends all his patients use sunscreen to keep their skin looking young and thus avoiding further damage from UV light.

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