Lasers and ultrasound can make you look younger from head to toe

October 2, 2012

New technologies fight aging.
New technologies fight aging.

The power of lasers and ultrasound are being put to good use to rejuvenate your body from top to bottom. The September 2012 issue of Elle has gathered the latest and greatest new beauty technologies.

The hair. Starting from the top, there’s new intelligence about thinning hair. There is a protein, prostaglandin D2, that is said to be three times higher in the scalps of those suffering from alopecia, the most common kind of hair loss. A study found that this protein inhibits hair growth. There are two drugs currently in FDA trial, laropiprant (for facial flushing) and setipiprant (for nasal congestion) that have been found to block this protein and may be used in the future to combat thinning hair. For now, you can sprinkle your scalp with a powder shampoo – the gritty texture lifts your hair at the roots, giving it a thicker appearance.

The face.  A Nashville dermatologist uses lasers to deepen penetration of anti-aging topicals. He preps the face with fractional iPixel RF laser, which creates microscopic holes in the epidermis; he then fills the holes with a variety of topicals, including hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. Then he applies an ultrasound device, pushing the ingredients deeper into the skin. “The topical is absorbed much deeper than if just applied superficially, which provides a stronger therapeutic effect.”

The neck. A new procedure currently in FDA trials whittles double chins with a series of tiny injections (over six months) of a synthetic version of a chemical, sodium deoxycholate, naturally found in human bile. The active ingredient is said to cause fat cells to rupture and die while leaving the surrounding area unharmed. Results are not evident for a few months until the body slowly expels the dead cells. For lax jowls and necks, “Ultherapy,” an ultrasound device, treats the deep dermis by boosting the production of new collagen and elastin with a single treatment.

The torso. LipoSonix, approved by the FDA last year, is the latest noninvasive fat zapper. The high intensity ultrasound device heats fat cells to 55 degrees Celsius, causing the cells to die and be flushed out through the liver. The results, which take two to four months to see, are impressive. Most patients lose about 2.5 centimeters, dropping a pants size. In this treatment, during a 30 to 45 minute session, the doctor maneuvers a hand piece over the patient’s abdomen and flanks.
Crepey hands and elbows. One dermatologist takes a tiny piece of skin from the back of the neck and uses it to grow the patient’s own fibroblasts. After four to eight weeks in the lab, the cells can be reinjected into the skin of the donor. This cocktail is said to plump up those areas and soften crepiness better than hyaluronic acid (found in fillers such as Restylane.)

If you’re interested in any of these treatments, contact a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist to find out if the treatment is effective and, if so, whether or not you’re a good candidate.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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