September 1st, 2014
September 1st, 2014
August 18th, 2014
by Sarah Z. Wexler
By now, you probably know that you should use sunscreen every day both to help reduce your risk of skin cancer and to prevent pesky wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of premature aging. Yet even people who do slather it on religiously make potentially dangerous mistakes. Here are the most common ways you’re messing up with sunscreen—and how to truly protect yourself from UV rays.
How many people have you seen get to the beach, spread out their blankets, strip down to their swimsuits, and then start slathering away? “You actually want to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes prior to exposure,” says Jeannette Graf, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. That way, it has time to get absorbed and start working—and so you don’t get UV exposure for those first few minutes when your skin is vulnerable
Skin cancer can strike anywhere, so it’s best to apply sunscreen when you’re buck naked. Otherwise, “if you already have a swimsuit or clothing on, you’re likely to apply it gingerly so you don’t get it on your clothes, which makes you likely to miss a spot or not apply liberally enough,” says Noelle Sherber, MD, a consulting dermatologist for the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center. Strip down in front of a full-length mirror, she says, which “helps ensure you entirely cover tricky spots like the mid-back and backs of the legs.” (And you should apply before going outside anyway, right?)
Just like the rest of your skin, lips are vulnerable to UV rays, so it’s extremely important to use sunscreen on your mouth, Dr. Graf says. But don’t use the same stuff you use on the rest of your body—it tastes weird and won’t last that long on your lips anyway. So try a lip balm with SPF, which is thicker so it stays on longer. “Then reapply even more frequently than you do body sunscreen, since talking, eating, and drinking removes the sunscreen on your lips faster,” she says.
Think you can smear sunscreen on your nose like a 1950s lifeguard and be covered? Unfortunately, there are lot of less-obvious areas people tend to forget—and they’re just as important to protect, Dr. Graf says. “The most commonly missed areas are toes and feet, including the bottoms of your feet; underarms; back of the neck under the hairline; ears, especially the tops and back of your ears; eyelids; and inner upper arms.” Put that stuff everywhere
The small print on your sunscreen label matters, so make sure you’re choosing the right sunscreen for your activity, especially if that activity involves sweat, a pool, or the ocean. “Make sure you get a water-resistant formulation for swimming or activities where you’ll perspire, because non-water-resistant formulas can slide right off,” says Dr. Sherber. “Plus, they tend to mention migrate into eyes and sting, whereas water-resistant ones won’t.”
It’s not just a marketing gimmick: There is a difference between face- and body-specific sunscreens. “Facial skin is generally more sensitive to irritation than body skin, so face formulations have been tested to cause less irritation and not trigger acne,” says Dr. Sherber. “If you’re acne-prone or sensitive, avoid the body versions for your face, especially the dry-touch sprays—they’re absolutely full of alcohol, which is very drying and irritating for facial skin.”
Danger! It may seem counterintuitive to slather on sunscreen on a gray or drizzly day, but you can get UV exposure without ever seeing the sun in the sky, says Dr. Graf. Eighty percent of UV rays still come through on cloudy days, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, so don’t let the weather affect your sunscreen use.
The old rule about using a shot glass worth of sunscreen every time you apply still holds up, says Dr. Graf. (That’s about 1.5 ounces.) But now that more of us are opting for continuous spray formulas, it can be hard to tell if we’re really getting enough coverage. To make sure you’re using sprays correctly, she suggests holding the can six inches from skin and spraying nonstop, so you can see the moisture covering the entire area. “Then rub it in—yes, even if the bottle says you don’t have to—so you don’t miss spots,” Dr. Graf says. “And repeat the spray a second time.”
Unless you choose to spend your time in a windowless bunker, you’re not protected from UV rays when you’re inside. “Driving can be a major source of incidental exposure,” says Dr. Sherber. “The windows and windshield block UVB rays so you don’t see a sunburn, but UVA seeps right in, and that’s the spectrum that causes most skin aging and skin cancer.” Your best bet: apply sunscreen every morning, then feel free to sit by a window or take a drive! At the very least, try a moisturizer with SPF so you’re not adding a step to your daily routine
It used to be that many sunscreens only blocked UVB rays, the high-energy kind responsible for sunburns. But shielding against UVA rays is just as important, says Dr. Graf, because they “penetrate the skin more deeply, are constant throughout the year, and cause premature aging.” Umm, no thanks! To be fully covered, look for sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum,” which means they thwart both types of rays. And good news: these formulas are increasingly becoming the norm.
Yes, tanning oil with SPF 8 technically is sunscreen, but it’s just not enough protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15. But should you go higher? Some say the often-pricier high-SPF sunscreens are a waste of money, since they don’t provide much more protection—SPF 30 blocks 97% of rays, while SPF 50 blocks just 1% more. However, they do have some benefit.
“They absorb more free radical-producing energy, so I recommend them for the summer,” Dr. Graf says. One caveat before you reach for the SPF 100: “The super-high SPFs can provide a false sense of security, like you’re protected for longer, but you need to reapply just as often as you would an SPF 30.”
It may feel like you did your due diligence by applying sunscreen once, but it’s not a day-long cloak of immunity. Reapplying it just as important as putting it on in the first place. How often? “Every 80 minutes, even if it’s water-resistant,” says Dr. Graf.
If you’re using enough sunscreen when applying—remember that shot glass-worth, or those two coats of spray?—then having bottles leftover from years past shouldn’t be much of an issue. But if you happen to have sunscreen that’s been lingering for two years or more, Dr. Graf says to chuck it, since it can lose its effectiveness over time.
Seeking solace under a beach umbrella or an awning near the pool doesn’t mean you’re getting adequate protection from the sun. Why? Sand and water both reflect damaging rays, and 34% of UV radiation gets through when you’re under a beach umbrella, “so you still have to apply sunscreen if you’re sitting under cover,” says Dr. Graf. Even if you don’t get a sunburn, you’re still getting UV exposure.
Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement—they’re critical to keeping your eyes safe from UV rays. Make sure your sunglasses offer UV protection, because some inexpensive styles don’t have the protective coating. “Without it, the dark lenses actually allow your pupils to dilate, allowing even more UV rays in, which can play a big role in cataract development,” says Dr. Sherber. Finally, a health reason to buy a pair of nice shades!
August 4th, 2014
As she aged, Sandi Bachom, 69, a filmmaker and producer in Manhattan, tried Botox to keep the inevitable wrinkles away, but she was wary of anything more invasive. She wanted, as she explained recently, to avoid “going under the knife.”
So a couple of years ago, at the suggestion of her dermatologist, Dr. David Colbert, she first tried Ultherapy, in which ultrasound waves are shot through a gel into the skin. She had the treatment on her face and neck, particularly the tricky jowls.
“I call it my ‘way-back machine,’ ” Ms. Bachom said. “It has effective, fast results, and it’s natural enough so you don’t look like ‘Brazil’ the movie.”
The session took about 15 minutes and included some pain: Ms. Bachom was offered a squeeze ball and Valium. The treatment provided a noticeable lift to her face that lasted nearly two years, she said; she repeated it last November.
“It was worth the money,” Ms. Bachom said. (Dr. Colbert said his Ultherapy prices start at $5,000, depending on the area addressed.)
At Townhouse Spa in Manhattan, an aesthetician uses ultrasound waves on skin.Credit Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times
Across New York City, women young and old are riding the ultrasound wave. Doctors rave about Ultherapy because it leaves no evidence.
“There’s no needle marks, no peeling and no bruising,” said Dr. Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist in New York who performs Ultherapy in her office. And, Dr. Fusco pointed out, patients are comfortable with the new technology because they associate ultrasound with the test many women have during pregnancy. “It’s something they have heard of before, and if you can do it on pregnant women, they feel it’s safe,” she said.
Dr. Fusco added that while the therapy is actually “very safe,” she warned that it’s not appropriate for patients who have a history of cold sores, a pacemaker or a cheek or chin implant. Additionally, any kind of skin disease can be worsened by the treatment, and when operating the Ultherapy machine, she avoids pressing it near the thyroid gland in the neck or at the middle of the forehead or chin, where “nerves course superficially,” she said.
Dr. Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist, also uses ultrasound.Credit Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times
With bikini season on the horizon, it’s not just necks that may be getting the treatments. A high-intensity focused ultrasound, Liposonix, can zap fat on the back (hello, this season’s crop tops!) and slim waistlines, said Dr. Cheryl Karcher, a Manhattan dermatologist who gives the treatment. A 45-minute appointment starts at $1,000, she said.
The way it works: The ultrasound waves are so strong (and painful — some patients pop a couple of Percocets beforehand) that they actually kill fat cells, although it takes about eight weeks for results to show, Dr. Karcher said. Slim ladies with minor quibbles need not apply. Dr. Karcher said she turns away patients who have less than an inch of fat. The Liposonix “goes deep,” she said. “You don’t want to damage a nerve.”
Several spas also offer ultrasound services. (Aestheticians deploy ultrasound waves at lower energy levels, and thus show less noticeable results than a dermatologist’s treatment, Dr. Fusco said.)
Products for at-home use.Credit
About a year ago, at the Townhouse Spa in Midtown, Caroline McBride, 34, the director of public relations and business development at the Serafina Restaurant Group, tried ultrasound therapy on her thighs and tummy. She had been going to Townhouse for four years for “facials, massages and mani-pedis,” she said, but was combating bloat from her hectic work travel schedule.
“I try to stay in shape,” said Ms. McBride, who added that she was on the thin side. “But I eat a lot of pasta and pizza on the road. It’s tough to fit in those tight dresses for events after one of those trips. In New York, it’s beautiful but competitive. Everybody looks fabulous, but no one will tell you how they squeezed into that Alaïa dress.”
She described the 45-minute service as “not uncomfortable,” adding that “when I have a baby, I guess that’s what this would feel like.” More important, the treatment tackled bloat and even improved the appearance of cellulite, she said. Now Ms. McBride buys a package of six sessions for $750 and goes regularly, about every two months. If there’s an important event, however, she’ll go twice in a week before the big night. She’s recommended the service to a couple of her friends, who reported good results.
Credit :Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Of course, it wasn’t long before companies that sell devices for at-home use saw potential dollar signs. Last June, JeNu, a $249 wand that claims to decrease wrinkles and increase hydration by using ultrasound waves to propel the company’s serums deep into the skin, hit department-store counters to a flurry of attention (Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar have all featured the device).
Perhaps more novel, Emmi-dent, an ultrasound toothbrush from Europe that uses frictionless cleaning technology (you hold it in front of your teeth as the waves explode the nanobubbles in the proprietary tooth gel), has been pushing into the American market.
According to its chief executive, Peer Blumenschein, the technology originally came from cleaning techniques used for jet and Formula One car engines. It is “harmless for the body but lethal for bacteria,” he said. The device ($189 at retailers like Amazon) is gentle enough (no actual brushing) for sensitive gums and teeth, he said.
And it seems the family dog can even be in on the trend. The company released Emmi-pet last year.
“People love it for their dogs because so many people just love their dogs so much,” said Mr. Blumenschein, who owns two Dalmatians he has tried the product on. “There’s a bit of pent-up demand, actually, in Germany and the U.S. because we’ve had customers request it for their dogs and horses.”
But cats, he said, don’t qualify: “Cats are unfortunately too small to have it work.”
July 21st, 2014
Are you aging too quickly? Get expert tips on common mistakes and learn how to reverse the process.
by Linda Melone
Are you aging faster than your years? If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, it may be time to evaluate some of your daily routines. The foods you eat and even the way you sleep can add years to your face and may shorten your lifespan. Here, experts discuss the most common age-accelerating habits and ways to reverse the process.
If your to-do list never seems to get any shorter, the stress from your hectic life may be taxing your body. “People think multitasking is good, but you don’t actually get anything done—you just create more stress,” says Raymond Casciari, MD, chief medical officer of St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. Several studies show that chronic stress triggers the release of free radicals, the unstable molecules that damage cells and are responsible for aging. Instead of trying to do it all, Dr. Casciari suggests concentrating on one task at a time and only moving on once you finish it.
Aside from adding excess pounds to your body, your sweet tooth may also be adding years to your face. “Internally, sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibers in each of our cells,” says Susan Stuart, MD, a San Diego, Calif. board-certified dermatologist. This damaging process, known as glycation, can result in a loss of radiance, dark circles under the eyes, loss of tone, puffiness, an increase in fine lines and wrinkles and a loss of facial contours and increased pore size. Pass on the sugary treats if you want to preserve your youthful glow.
Skimping on sleep not only results in dark bags under the eyes—it has also been linked to a shorter lifespan, says Dr. Casciari, who founded a sleep laboratory at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “Sleeping within the seven-hour range is optimal,” he says. Get to bed earlier if you have the symptoms of sleep deprivation, which include a lack of daytime energy, mental sluggishness, attention problems, or weight gain, Dr. Casciari says. Here are seven tips for the best sleep ever.
Binge-watching the latest season of House of Cards is one thing; regularly gluing yourself to the TV is another. In a British Journal of Sports Medicine study of about 11,000 Australians ages 25 and older, researchers found that for every hour of television watched, adults cut their life expectancy by 22 minutes. What’s more, people who spent an average of six hours a day watching TV lived five years less than their non-viewing counterparts. “This effect is more about sitting and being inactive than the TV watching,” says Dr. Casciari. “When you sit for more than 30 minutes your body begins to deposit sugar into your cells, which makes it much more likely you’ll be overweight as well.” Whether you’re watching TV or at your desk, get up every 30 minutes to walk around, says Dr. Casciari.
The dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are well-documented: People who spend most of their days parked in a chair are at increased risk for kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, not to mention obesity.
Naturally, exercising regularly helps to prevent these health issues and keeps you living longer, according to a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Study participants who exercised 150 minutes or more a week lived 10 to 13 years longer than the inactive bunch
Even a no-fuss skincare routine needs to include a good eye cream to keep aging wrinkles at bay. Skin around the eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face and shows age faster, says Dr. Stuart. Keeping the eye area moisturized can take years off your face. “Eye creams that are most effective contain Retin A, a form of vitamin A,” says Dr. Stuart. Other important factors include emollients and moisturizers that trap moisture, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. “These promote formation of collagen and elastin to tighten the skin and reduce fine lines around the eyes,” Dr. Stuart says.
Running errands, driving, and walking back and forth to the mailbox may do more damage to your skin than spending a day at the beach if you do it sans sunblock, says Sarah L. Taylor, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “The number-one cause of nearly every sign of premature aging on the human face is ultraviolet exposure,” Dr. Taylor says. “UV light is present even when it’s cloudy or raining.” Protect your skin by wearing sunblock any time you go outdoors. Dr. Taylor recommends an SPF between 30 and 50 for daily use. You should also follow these golden rules of sun protection.
Metallic blue eye shadow aside, excess makeup can age you in less obvious ways, too, says Dr. Stuart. “Wearing excessive amounts of makeup, especially oil based products, can clog your skin pores and cause outbreaks.” In addition, overusing skin products with fragrances, irritating chemicals, and alcohol agents may dry out the skin by removing its natural oils, which causes premature lines and wrinkles. Consult with your dermatologist for guidance, and avoid these 18 beauty mistakes that age you.
Sleeping on your stomach or on your side with your face smashed into the pillow can create wrinkles and accelerate aging. “The connective tissue and collagen in your face becomes weaker and less supportive with age,” says James C. Marotta, MD, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon and skincare expert. “So when you sleep on the same side of your face night after night, your skin won’t smooth out or spring back as quickly as it did when you were young.” Those crease lines from your pillow can become permanent. Sleep on your back or invest in a satin pillowcase to keep skin smooth
When it’s a snowy mess outside, it’s tempting to crank up the heat indoors. But whether you light up the fireplace or turn up the thermostat, both suck moisture out of the air, says Dr. Marotta. “This can lead to dry, inflamed skin, which over time has aging effects.” Investing in a humidifier helps counteract the dry air (40 to 60% humidity is optimal) and can free your skin from itching, scratching, and flaking. Alternatively, Dr. Marotta recommends placing a wet towel over a radiator or a bowl of cold water in the room as a way to add back some of the lost moisture.
Drinking dark-colored beverages through a straw can prevent stains on your teeth, but just as squinting can eventually cause wrinkles to form around your eyes, pursing your lips can also bring about premature wrinkles around the mouth. “This also occurs when smoking cigarettes,” says Janet Prystowsky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York. Pour your bottled beverages into a drinking glass to avoid puckering up.
Some fat is necessary for maintaining a youthful feeling and appearance, says Franci Cohen, a certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist from Brooklyn, NY. “Heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel) and certain nuts (such as walnuts and flax seeds) keep skin supple and plump, thereby preventing wrinkles, and they boost both heart and brain health as well,” she says. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends including fish in your meals at least twice a week.
Slumping in front of a keyboard for hours on end can cause your spine to form an unattractive and potentially harmful hunched posture over time, says Jeremy Smith, MD, orthopedic spine surgeon at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, Calif. “The spine has a well-balanced S-shaped curvature in order to stabilize and support us,” Dr. Smith says. “Poor posture or slouching deviates the spine from this normal alignment, and as a result, the muscles, disks and bones become abnormally stressed.” Pain and fatigue often follow, and possibly spinal degeneration and a permanent deformity. Practice good posture by checking it throughout the day: ear, shoulder, and hip should form a straight line when seated
July 7th, 2014
Imagine that an insurance underwriter comes to your house and, along with noting your weight and blood pressure, snaps a photo of your face. And that those wrinkles, mottled spots and saggy parts, when fed into a computer, could estimate how long you will live.
June 25th, 2014
We all have varying degrees of fat in our faces and a multitude of factors can cause changes to these fatty compartments. “Volume loss occurs because of gradual changes in the appearance of the fat,” says Littleton, CO, facial plastic surgeon Brent Smith, MD. “There is a loss both superficially and at a deeper level that comes along with aging.”
1. Yo-Yo Dieting And Extreme Exercising
Keeping fat off your body is no easy task since the body can’t be told where to lose weight from and where to keep it. So even if you want to “spot-treat” a specific part of the body, you may end up reducing the amount of fat in your face as well. “The ups and downs of recurrent dieting cause a stretching of the ligaments that support the tissues of the face. This can result in a loss of elasticity and volume, which promotes an aging effect,” says Dr. Smith. A lack of facial fullness is often seen in avid exercisers and runners because they are consistently burning off a high number of calories—volume loss is often evident even if they are at a healthy weight. “They may feel healthy, but they often look older than they really are,” says La Jolla, CA, plastic surgeon Robert Singer, MD.
2. Excessive Sun Exposure
Although fat loss is not directly dependent on UV rays, it is important to protect your skin from the sun. “If you don’t wear SPF daily, the sun will accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin. When collagen and elastin levels are of poor quality, the condition of the skin is affected and the loss of fat can be accentuated,” says New York plastic surgeon Alan Matarasso, MD.
3. Hormonal Changes
Female hormones, namely estrogen, are partially responsible for changes in the amount and quality of fat. As hormone levels begin to dip, fat can start to thin out.
4. Too Thin Of A Frame
It is possible to be too skinny. When that’s the case, the aging process will become even more of your foe than your friend. The reason: A naturally thin face has little natural fat to begin with and over time the inherent amounts of fat begin to diminish, causing an extremely haggard look.
5. Receding Bones
With age, we naturally lose bone mass in the face. The muscles also begin to atrophy to some degree. These changes alter the underlying structure of the face and can cause the cheekbones and midface to look collapsed (the effects usually don’t take hold until later in life). “It’s noticeable in the 70- to 80-year-old patient and while it’s highly variable, the majority of resorption happens around the nose and in the central face,” says Chicago plastic surgeon Julius Few, MD.
June 13th, 2014
Men may not be as open about their bodies as women, but it’s no secret that guys can have their own set of insecurities about physical appearance, especially as they enter middle age. That’s why doctors have seen an increase in the number of men seeking plastic surgery to treat their body woes over the years. Here are some of the most common complaints among men when it comes to body image, and what surgeries are available to help improve them.
The dreaded man boob
As men age, it typically becomes more difficult for them to maintain a svelte physique, even if they continue to diet and exercise. Many men develop fat around their chest, which results in the appearance of male breasts, medically known as gynecomastia. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of men suffer from this issue, which may explain why male breast reduction was one of the top five plastic surgery procedures for men in 2011, the organization reports.
This fat can be removed via liposuction or by cutting out excess glandular tissue. This procedure can take around two hours, and is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Minimal scarring around the nipple will fade over time, as will any swelling or bruising that appears in the days after surgery.
The bothersome beer belly
It’s called a beer belly because it can be caused by an intake of too many calories from alcohol, but some men develop a gut simply because of genetics. Guys who find that diet and exercise aren’t working to shrink their stomachs may want to consider liposuction to remove the excess fat.
This was the most common procedure for men last year, ASAPS reports, so it should be relatively simple to find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with male patients seeking liposuction. This surgery is often combined with a tummy tuck to remove any excess, sagging skin left over following removal of fat.
The aging face
The face is another area of concern for middle-aged men, as lines and wrinkles here are impossible to hide. For men, the two most popular options to treat this issue are Botox injections and facelifts, according to ASAPS. Botox is a non-invasive treatment, but it requires multiple injections over time, as the effects are not permanent. Facelifts, on the other hand, offer permanent results, but involve more intensive surgery.
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
June 5th, 2014
May 28th, 2014
April 4th, 2014
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR AESTHETIC PLASTIC SURGERY REPORTS
AMERICANS SPENT LARGEST AMOUNT ON COSMETIC SURGERY SINCE THE GREAT RECESSION OF
More Than 12 Billion Dollars Spent on Surgical and Nonsurgical Procedures in 2013
NEW YORK, NY (March 20, 2014) – The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) today released its complete 17th annual multi-specialty statistical data indicating a 12% overall increase in cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2013. More than 11 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, dermatologists and otolaryngologists in the United States, totaling more than 12 billion dollars for the first time since the Great Recession began in 2008. Of that total, more than 7 billion was spent on surgical procedures and more than 5 billion was spent on nonsurgical procedures.
This year, liposuction replaced breast augmentation as the most frequently performed surgical
procedure with a 16% increase and more than one billion was spent on the procedure nationwide.
Statistics Quick Facts
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