Does the no!no! actually work?

Disclaimer: I have no actual personal experience with the no!no! The information in this blog is based on my knowledge of laser hair removal, the no!no! website, and the articles published in peer-reviewed journals regarding the no!no!.

nono

We perform quite a bit of laser hair removal in my office, and I have to admit that those ads for the no!no! have piqued my curiosity.  So I went to their website and did a little research.  The no!no! actually works very differently from laser hair removal. Laser hair removal uses a specific wavelength of light which is picked up by the pigment in hair. This heats the hair follicle and damages it, preventing it from growing a new hair in the future. In contrast, no!no! uses a filament to heat the hair directly, in essence burning it off. As I mentioned before, I haven’t tried the no!no! myself, but from this description it probably is fairly effective in the short term. But the studies done on no!no! did not determine whether this hair removal is permanent.  Based on the website description, hair may regrow if you stop treatment. You have to do the treatments twice a week for the first two months, then once a week for another month, then as needed. This sounds fairly time intensive compared to laser hair removal, which generally only requires 6-12 treatments total.  I was skeptical before reading about the no!no! Afterwards, I think it could be worth a try, but you may find it to be more trouble than it’s worth.

 

Do you have any personal experience with the no!no!? We’d love to hear about it!

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

How to Get Rid of Spider Veins Around the Nose

Spider veins, known as telangiestasias, are small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. they are more common in women, and frequently appear around the nose, cheeks, and chin. Spider veins often appear spontaneously, but may also be associated with trauma to the skin, or conditions such as rosacea.

Photo Credit: WebMD.com

Photo Credit: WebMD.com

Spider veins do not cause any symptoms, but they are unsightly, making the skin appear flushed or sunburned. There are no medications to treat spider veins, but a simple in-office procedure can effectively reduce their appearance.

In this procedure, a laser is used to heat the veins up, essentially scarring them shut. In our office we apply numbing cream prior to the procedure and use a special fan that blows super cooled air to minimize any discomfort during the procedure. Afterward there is frequently some bruising that takes up to two weeks to fade, so you should avoid scheduling a treatment right before any special events.  Most people need two or three treatments for maximum improvement, but you will see a noticeable difference after the first treatment.

In addition to bruising, other risks of laser treatment for spider veins include scabbing and scarring. Seeing a practitioner who is experienced with the laser treatment of spider veins can help minimize this risk.

Unfortunately laser treatment of spider veins is not covered by insurance; the charge varies by physician, but is usually $300-400 for a half hour treatment session.

 

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

Can Surgery Give Me a Thigh Gap?

The thigh gap has entered the news again this week, after Urban Outfitters was ordered by a British advertising standards group to remove a lingerie ad featuring a model that was described as “unhealthily thin“.

Urban Outfitters ad showing a thigh gap

Urban Outfitters ad showing a thigh gap

If you have been out of touch with this issue, a thigh gap is defined as “a space between the inner thighs when standing upright with knees touching” (Wikipedia.com).  It is considered a marker for female attractiveness by some, and searching for “thigh gap” on the internet will result in numerous links to pages giving advice on how to obtain those elusive thin thighs.

Our question today: can surgery give you a thigh gap?  But the more important question: should you even care about the thigh gap?

We’ll tackle the first question quickly, since this is, after all, a blog about Plastic Surgery.  The inner thigh is an area that tends to have a significant amount of fat under the skin, especially in women. Liposuction in this area may result in a space between the thighs in some individuals. And that last part is key: some individuals. Which leads us back around to the second question. Thigh gaps are really just a result of the way you’re built. Sure, losing weight may help if you’re overweight. But there are plenty of women out there who are at a healthy weight according to their BMI, and who will never have a thigh gap. See the photo below for a great example of this: this woman is fit and healthy, but she doesn’t have a thigh gap.

shutterstock.com

shutterstock.com

Unless your body is built in a very specific way (wide-set hips and thin thighs), wishing to have a thigh gap is about as helpful as wishing to be taller. Rather than focusing on one specific body area, focus on how you feel as a whole. You’ll get more out of life being fit, healthy and active than the small and temporary satisfaction you may glean from having thighs that don’t touch.

 

 

What do you think about the thigh gap obesssion? We’d love to hear from you in our comments!

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

Bags Under Eyes – Causes and Solutions

The lower eyelids are a common problem area; bags and dark circles can make you appear chronically tired regardless of how much rest you’ve had.  There are several different causes for both bags under the eyes and dark circles, and each has a different treatment.

“Bags” under the eyes stem from two causes: protruding fat and excess skin.

  • There is a thin layer of connective tissue that stretches from the cheekbone to the lower eyelid.  Behind this connective tissue is fat which protects the eyeball.  This connective tissue weakens and stretches as we age, allowing the fat to “pooch out”, resulting in bags under the eyes. The diagram below is a cross section of the eye. The big circle on top is the actual eyeball, or globe.  The cheekbone is highlighted in orange, and the lower eyelid is highlighted in green (this is actually the tarsal plate, a firm supportive layer of the lower eyelid, but for our purposes calling it the lower eyelid is close enough).  The blue line highlights this connective tissue layer, the orbital septum.  You can see the fat behind it, highlighted in light yellow.
lower blepharoplsaty

Original photo from emedicine.com

  • Skin stretches as we age, and the excess skin contributes to bags under the eyes as well.  The solution for both excess skin and protruding fat is a lower eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty.  The excess skin and a small amount of fat are removed, smoothing the contour of the lower eyelid.

 

Dark circles also have several potential causes:

  • The lower eyelid skin is very thin, so the capillaries and blood vessels show through, causing a purplish shadow.  Sleeping with your head elevated on several pillows and using cold compresses can help constrict these capillaries and improve the appearance of dark circles.
  • In darker skinned individuals the dark circles may be caused by excess skin pigmentation over the lower eyelid.  If this is the case, laser treatments may help even out the pigmentation.

Increasing the amount of collagen in lower eyelid skin may help alleviate dark circles as well.  Topical treatments such as RetinA will help increase levels of collagen.  And laser treatments such as Profractional or Fraxel can also increase the amount of collagen.  Dark circles can be fairly resistant to treatment, however, so you still may find that a good undereye concealer gives you the best improvement.

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

Can I save money on Botox if my doctor buys it from Canada?

Our practice receives at least one unsolicited fax a week offering cheap Botox® and fillers.  The companies often describe themselves as “outlet” or “online” sources.  And they all have one thing in common: their products are imported from outside the country.

Neurotoxins such as Botox® Cosmetic and Xeomin®, botox bottle and soft tissue fillers such as Juvederm® and Restylane® are a high profit industry.  There is significant competition among practitioners for patients, and offering a lower price will usually bring in more patients.  But the cost of the product itself limits just how low a physician can drop the price and still be profitable.

Medications cost more in the U.S. than in other countries- up to twice as much.   There are a couple reasons for this.  In countries with a public healthcare system, such as Canada and the U.K., the government determines how much it will reimburse for a medication. Private insurance companies just don’t have this type of bargaining power. Another reason is advertising- companies in the U.S. market directly to the consumer, and we pay the cost for this additional marketing.

Foreign companies capitalize on this problem by offering neurotoxins and fillers at huge discounts.  This is not only illegal, however, it is also dangerous.  According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy:

Many websites selling prescription drugs are unlicensed, operating illegally, or operating from foreign countries where medicines shipped to the United States are unregulated. Thus, there is no way of knowing whether the medicine you receive is contaminated, sub-potent, super-potent, expired, or counterfeit, or whether it has been stored and shipped under proper conditions to maintain its effectiveness. And that Canadian online pharmacy with the cheaper prices? It may be calling itself a “Canadian pharmacy,” but it may actually obtain its medications from countries in Asia, South America, or Eastern Europe, where quality standards are more lax and counterfeit medications more widespread. 

 

The FDA has sent warnings to as many as 350 medical practices to warn them they may have purchased counterfeit Botox,  so this practice is relatively widespread.  If you are considering treatment with neurotoxins or fillers, I strongly recommend asking your practitioner where he or she purchase medications.  The answer should be: directly from the company, within the United States.

 

What has the biggest impact on your decision making when it comes to cosmetic procedures- is safety most important to you, or are you always looking for the lowest price?

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.