Plastic surgeons are perhaps the most "polished" of physicians. They are typically the best dressed, have the most effervescent personalities, the perkiest nurses, and offices ripped from the pages of Architectural Digest in addition to buxom spouses. But what lies beneath the perfect facade? Are there trade secrets these plastic surgeons don't dare even whisper among their colleagues at plastic surgery conferences for fear of tarnishing their golden veneer even among peers? Dr. Lyle Back is a Philadelphia area board certified plastic surgeon who is not afraid to pull back the proverbial surgical curtain to give lay people the real reality of cosmetic surgery.
You will have "some discomfort"
Those might be words that will have you cursing at your surgeon under your breath post-surgery. There's a general perception in society that cosmetic surgery is somehow less physically taxing than regular surgery, since it's elective and aesthetic in nature. Some patients might be surprised that work during a tummy tuck extends from the rib cage all the way down to the pubic bone, for example. Dr. Back explains that some surgeons not only minimize the level of pain, but the length of time needed for recovery as well. This leads to patients not being adequately prepared for child care and work issues which is not fair to patients or the important people/responsibilities in their lives. Since pain and recovery time do vary Dr. Back suggests talking to several people who have had the exact procedure to get an average.
When it comes to scars from big procedures like tummy tucks and breast lifts, many believe it's a surgeon's skill that determines how badly you'll scar post-surgery. However, Dr. Back says it really comes down to a patient's genetic factors. A skilled plastic surgeon, "can do the same exact closure on two different people, and one heals with imperceptible scars and one doesn't," he says. This is important to keep in mind before going under the knife, especially if you've got a darker complexion and high skin pigmentation, which Back says put you in the high risk category for scarring.
Secret weapon we can use when things go wrong: Leeches
By restoring blood flow and secreting a chemical that prevents blood clots, leeches can help salvage complex reconstructive procedures (e.g., a reconstruction flap for breast cancer or a reattached finger) that are struggling to heal properly. It sounds a bit scary, but reconstructive plastic surgeons will use them when needed.
Sorry, there's no good surgical fix for cellulite
There are a wealth of options available today, each claiming to treat cellulite effectively. Cellulaze, a highly promoted treatment, is an actual surgical procedure using an invasive laser that must be threaded under the skin. Scarring, infection, and other healing problems are real risks, even with small incision, minimally invasive procedures. "The risks are very low, says Dr. Back, "but they're still there—and you have to weigh the price, too. The treatment is invasive, costly and the results are so-so; I'm not a fan." The Verju' green laser is a completely nonsurgical noninvasive office treatment for cellulite that patients are raving about. To date, the Verju' green laser is still the only non-surgical treatment for cellulite cleared by the FDA!
You look amazing… for now
Even the most skilled surgeon cannot produce a facelift with "permanent" results unless the patient being operated on has figured out how to stop aging! The average "shelf life" of a facelift is about 10 years and that depends on a patient's skin elasticity, if they maintain a stable weight, how much time they spend in the sun and if they smoke. The lower quadrant of the face will always age faster because the skin is fleshier and has less bone. "People should usually expect that the jowls will be the first to return." says Dr. Back. This is not to say that men and women should not get facelifts! "You will still look better after a few years than you would have looked if the facelift weren't done. But a facelift at 60 is not going to block the aging process. Don't expect that facelift to look the same 35 years later!"
Trade a brow lift for a brow wax or Botox
As we age, our eyebrows droop, causing us to look tired. Years ago, this might have been improved with an expensive surgical brow lift. While effective, many people who consider this costly surgery could look almost as good with a $30 or less brow wax. The key is to instruct your aesthetician to remove the hairs on the undersurface of the eyebrow. This opens up the space above your eyelids, making you look more alert and refreshed. Just make sure she doesn't remove too much. Sometimes eyebrows don't grow back! And a single 5 minute special Botox treatment by an experienced plastic surgeon can get your eyebrows lifted, restore a nice feminine arch to them and make your eyes look rested and refreshed for 4 or 5 months. According to Dr. Back, with "no incisions, no scars, no downtime, and minimal cost – Botox is the clear winner for lifting eyebrows!"
It's the anesthesia you need to worry about
With so much focus placed on the surgeon performing your procedure, the person performing the really dangerous part — administering anesthesia — is often overlooked. Ask your surgeon directly about the anesthesia – will it be a nurse-anesthetist or a board-certified anesthesiologist? "An anesthesiologist is a fully trained physician professional who is dedicated to the anesthetic needs of the patient and doesn't have to be supervised," Dr. Back says. But in most states, nurse-anesthetists do require supervision. Consider this - your plastic surgeon may be the one doing the supervising! That's not to say nurse-anesthetists aren't competent, but it does mean you should ask additional questions — like what the anesthetist's experience is with outpatient aesthetic surgery. If your physician uses nurse-anesthetists and you would prefer a board-certified anesthesiologist, ask if it's possible to have one.
Ask About Their Complication Rate
"If a plastic surgeon tells you that they've never had any complications, they're either lying or haven't operated enough to have seen any." The more experience a surgeon has the better. Complications happen – it's a fact of life. "But that's one of the ways a surgeon gains experience and can then build upon to hone his skills to an even higher level" says Dr. Back.
Celebrate National Lipstick Day in nothing but the best of the best. Red is the hot color of the season, so be bold and sexy in this classic color for the day. Enjoy my tips on application, to luscious glossy reds and matte wine finishes!
BABOR Cosmetics, the world leader in luxury professional skin care, has announced that it is relocating its North American headquarters to Delray Beach, Florida (430 South Congress Avenue). The announcement follows a strong performance for the company in the last 24 months, resulting in the need for an expanded center of operations.
The expansive 12,000 square foot headquarters, will house the Executive Offices, Customer Service, Training and Education Academy as well as a state-of-the-art Distribution Center. The space combines form, function and cutting-edge design in a fitting nod to the iconic German label's affinity for luxury and innovation.
Highlights include a reinterpretation of traditional offices spaces with ergonomic work systems including flex desks, numerous open collaboration "environments" for team members to converse, debate and exchange ideas, a BABOR showroom that mirrors the innovative BABOR BEAUTY SPA Concept, and an exciting artistic installation that was created using BABOR's signature product – the beauty ampoule.
"BABOR's steady growth and increasing footprint in North America is a real tribute to the talent of our people, as well as the quality of our products and services," said BABOR North America CEO Brian Brazeau. "This new, modern building celebrates both our heritage and evolution and was designed to allow BABOR North America to serve its partners more effectively and efficiently than ever."
A subsidiary of Dr. Babor GmbH & Co. KG in Aachen, Germany, BABOR North America its well positioned to outpace major competitors within the luxury skincare space as it continues to secure new hotel and destination spa business as well as further develop its branded BABOR BEAUTY SPA concept with new locations planned in key markets.
This winter has proven to be one of the worst in years. From relentless snow to icy roads, many people are feeling frigid temps for warmer climates. However, traveling puts additional stress on you and your skin. Regardless of whether you are traveling by car or plane, for business or pleasure, New York & New Jersey board certified dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt's must-know skin travel tips will help make your time away more relaxing and leave your skin rosy on arrival.
For Frequent Flyers
The re-circulated air on planes is five times drier than the desert and the lack of humidity causes loss of moisturizer. The air inside the cabin of a plane usually has a humidity level of 10 to 20 percent — much lower than a comfortable typical indoor humidity of 30 to 65 percent. All of which combines to equal skin desperately in need of moisture.
"Most people realize that flying can cause skin to dry out and breakout, but they may not know why," says Dr. Baxt. "Whenever the environment is moisture-free such as with recirculated air in a plane cabin - the air actually draws moisture from wherever it can, including the skin. Dry skin will tend to get drier and oily skin will get even oilier to compensate for dehydration."
Dr. Baxt recommends the following travel itinerary for your skin whether you're taking a quick weekend getaway or going for the long haul.
Don't Drink Alcohol on the Plane. "Alcohol is very dehydrating. While it may help to relax you if you're nervous about flying, the effect of alcohol will be dry skin," says Dr. Baxt. "Drink water, and read a magazine or book or bring along your iPod. Having something to distract you will help you as much, if not more than a glass of wine. If you just can't pass it up, drink lots of water afterward."
Bring a Hydrating Mist for In-Flight Treatment
A hydrating mist is perfect for in flight application. Dr. Baxt recommends spraying a couple of pumps onto your face for instant hydration. It also feels great and helps cool you down if you're on a warm airplane.
Skip the Salty Snacks
Airport food is not very skin-friendly. "While peanuts and pretzels may look delicious, salt can cause swelling," warns Dr. Baxt. "Instead, snack on fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples, which are filled with water."
It's Time to Takeoff...Your Makeup!
If you wear makeup, keep it to a minimum on the flight. "Airplane air is dry and can exacerbate your makeup's drying-out effects on your skin can which can lead to breakouts and your pores becoming clogged on the flight," says Dr. Baxt. "Opt for tinted moisturizer if you cannot bear not having any make-up on; and use lip balm in lieu of lipstick as the cabin air is dry lips tends to feel a little dryer while on the flight."
Jet lag always shows through your skin but mostly in the eyes. Lack of sleep due to possible time changes can have you looking sleepy and puffy. Don't forget to stash an eye cream that contains caffeine for that quick "pick-me-up" if needed. Another option? "Carry green tea bags with you on the plane," says Dr. Baxt. "A half hour before landing, ask the flight attendant for hot water and soak a few minutes. Add ice to cool down the bags, and apply cool green tea bags to your eyelids before landing. The green tea has antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to decrease puffiness so you'll look your best when you land."
Your Travel Beauty Bag
What to Pack With the ever-changing airline baggage regulations and costly baggage fees, it's important to have a checklist of the essential skincare products you need when traveling. "If you're headed on a trip, you can't bring every makeup, skincare and hair care product from your bathroom," says Dr. Baxt. "Plan ahead and pack smart when traveling."