What’s new?

Angela Forgeron reports on what’s new in the science of beauty

Doctors’ Note
Angela Forgeron reports on what’s new in the science of beauty

Focus On: Eyes

If you’re looking to revive your peepers and surgery is out of the question, a new mini-lift is an option. Already in use to tighten the forehead, cheeks and jawline, Thermage, a radio-frequency procedure that uses heat to tighten collagen fibres and stimulate the production of new ones, can now be used to treat that telltale area around the eyes. “It tightens the droopy skin and crêpiness of the eyelid to create a lift,” says Dr. Martie Gidon, a Toronto cosmetic dermatologist. A mild oral analgesic is given and an eye shield is inserted under the eyelids for protection. In exchange for some immediate tightening and no downtime, you’ll have some puffiness for 2–3 days. New collagen will continue to form for 6–8 months, which is when you will see the total tightening effect. There’s also Thermage for the body to treat specific areas such as post-pregnancy jelly belly or that loose arm skin that seems to defy weight training.


Thermage • BotoxFraxelThreadLift

Fill ’Er Up

Botox is now approved by Health Canada to treat upper facial lines, including crow’s feet and horizontal forehead lines. In clinical trials using Botox, horizontal forehead lines were lessened for up to 24 weeks, with 75–80 percent of patients citing an improvement after two weeks. Those involved in the Botox study for reducing crow’s feet said it worked for up to 16 weeks. After four weeks, 60–80 percent of the patients thought the treatment was a success. Thirty days after being injected with Botox a second time, 90 percent of patients thought they had better improvement, compared to none of the placebo-treated patients.


Thermage • Botox • FraxelThreadLift

Zap and Glow

Just when you’re supposed to be basking in the spotlight with your baby bump, melasma (aka the mask of pregnancy) can take over, transforming your face from a rosy glow to brown and patchy. “Pigmentation disorders can be one of the most difficult conditions we treat,” says Dr. Rob Miller, a Halifax dermatologist. Unlike freckles and age spots, which only affect the top layer of skin, melasma may affect both the top and middle layers, making it harder to destroy. Enter Fraxel, a laser also used to smooth wrinkles and acne scarring, which can now be used to reach the cells that store these discolouring pigments. It creates microscopic pixels, or holes, in the skin to reach and loosen up the pigmentation so it comes to the surface and disappears. The remaining cells in the dermis are stimulated and left to generate more collagen, essentially producing new, smoother skin with better texture. The results are gradual, but expect redness, similar to that of a moderate sunburn, and swelling for 4–5 days. Since only 15–20 percent of the skin is treated at one time, four treatments are recommended.


ThermageBotox • Fraxel • ThreadLift

Lift Light

“If you don’t want to go under a knife, ThreadLift is the simplest, most effective procedure someone can do in less than 60 minutes to reposition soft tissue,” says Dr. Stephen Mulholland, the Toronto-based cosmetic plastic surgeon who developed the procedure. Fine sutures are inserted through hidden locations, such as in the scalp, and are fed under the facial skin and lassoed onto a deep support structure such as facial muscles. Barbed threads—like porcupine quills—are inserted to hook on to fat, and the overlying skin is sculpted for an instant lift. The procedure—which takes 60 minutes for an entire face, and less time for an eyebrow or neck zone—touts fast results that can last up to five years with a huge perk: less downtime. “There are no scars or cuts, but you may need up to a week off because of bruising,” says Dr. Mulholland.


ThermageBotoxFraxel • ThreadLift