Ultra Effects with Ultherapy

The chest: the new frontier in anti-aging! I used to joke that the vertical lines and wrinkles on the chest and between the breasts were good; they meant you had generous cleavage! Flat-chested girls don’t have that problem (until they get their implants). It is always good to not take things too seriously, especially if you can’t do anything about it. But now my tune has changed, because you can do something.

Ultherapy has been around for several years for lifting and firming. It was first FDA approved for the brow, and then the lower face, followed by clearance for the neck. The chest was just recently approved, and we are seeing very nice improvement in those really annoying lines. An extra bonus…studies have shown a mini-breast lift phenomenon in some ladies!

As with everything I do, Ultherapy is noninvasive. It utilizes ultrasound to spot and treat the sagging skin and underlying tissues. Tiny bursts of ultrasound energy create just enough heat in the right spots to give a shrink-wrap effect. The change is detectable immediately, but it takes a few months of the newly triggered collagen formation to get maximum results. There are minimal after effects, such as some temporary soreness, and rarely, temporary numbness. That’s why I love noninvasive treatments.

Combining great resurfacing with the Ultherapy treatment gives even nicer results. Lasers like Fraxel Dual remove brown spots, precancers and surface sun damage (fine lines, rough texture, even some scars respond well), while Ultherapy works on the deeper damage and aging.

But the skin does not live on ultrasound/lasers alone. It’s important to feed your fibroblasts (the cells that make the all-important collagen). All tissues have specific growth factors that keep them going. Skin is no exception. Skin-growth factors are natural skin components (there are hundreds that work in unison) that influence the skin to act like skin. Skin-growth factors will not bulk you up like growth hormones. One thing skin does well when we are young, but not so well later in life, is make collagen. Natural collagen is made all the time, just less so after the age of 30. Without it, wounds would never heal.

The best source of skin-growth factors that I know is Tissue Nutrient Solution (TNS). It was originally identified in cell cultures. The cells were essentially making their own protein shakes to keep each other going and growing. It seems that if we can apply to the skin a high enough concentration of these factors we can, in fact, produce a result, and that is what we do!!

Here is a great prescription for your chest: one Ultherapy, one Fraxel and one bottle of TNS. Repeat as needed.

Aging Gracefully & Filling in the Blanks

As we embark into a new season, we continue on Doc’s Journey with her as she enters a milestone in life: her 60th birthday! Read along as she shares tips for how you can look as good as you feel at any age, aging as gracefully as possible.

Fall is upon us, although in AZ it never really seems that way. Fall is falling upon me as well (if you think your life has seasons) as I am staring 60 in the face. Honestly, this year of renewal has been great. I started the year deciding I was going to follow the advice I give to my patients. That advice: be the best you can be for where you are at in life! It’s ok to make the outsides fit the way you feel inside. And at this stage in my life I do not feel old, 60 is the new 30, right? No, I don’t need to look 30 but I do need to feel good about my appearance. I color my hair, I iron my clothes, bathe, shower and do my make-up, not out of vanity but out of respect for myself. It makes me feel good.

How does all of this introspection relate to what I do for my patients (and me)? We live in a world where, with little or no risk, we can slow down physical and cosmetic aging and restore some of what we have lost due to time, environment and life style choices. When I was 35 I had 4 little boys all under the age of 6, a full time practice and was a single mom. Not a lot of sleep, exercise or healthy eating going on then. It takes its toll. Others may have worked or played outdoors suffering the consequences of sun wind and temperature on the skin. Many work hard at home and in the work force to provide for their families.

Maybe it is our time to take care of ourselves. Maybe we are older and wiser, child rearing is done, or we have a more secure income. We look in the mirror and say: I’d like to see an earlier model of me!
So here are some things we can do about it:
Resurfacing: removes signs of sun damage and reduces risks of skin cancer, evens out pigment, texture and fine lines and wrinkles. There are 4 levels of resurfacing so one size does not have to fit all.
Skin Tightening: short of a face lift there was nothing one could do about sagging and laxity of the skin until the last decade. Two state of the art technologies (radio frequency and ultrasound) are well tested and non-invasive to give some of the firmness and lift back to our skin.
Volume Replacement: we finally figured out that as we age we lose fat, muscle and bone. This is SO true in the face. Replacing some of that lost volume with fillers (soft, injectable jello like, natural and biodegradable) is easily done and lasts up to 2 years. It can be amazing how uplifting and replenishing even some volume can be.
Fat Reduction: yes, exercise and diet are very important but let’s acknowledge that we are not perfect and even if we were there can be areas of fat that just still hang on (love handle, bra fat, lower belly: what Kathy Lee Gifford calls the “menopot”). Two non-surgical methods are FDA approved and are permanent. We can freeze or we can melt fat in targeted areas, and sometimes we do both!
Sweat: I find the sweat thing very annoying and I am tired of it. Lucky for us the FDA approved a treatment to dramatically reduce under arm sweat, non-surgical and very long lasting – we think permanent, as sweat glands like fat cells don’t come back once they are gone. Side effects: odor and hair reduction in the arm pits ☺
Skin Care: Even I am overwhelmed with all the choices! What we need is scientifically researched, simple, safe, effective, and cosmetically pleasing products that restore healthy (and therefore attractive) skin. As a dermatologist, I can tell you it’s possible. Gotta love your skin care (you brush your teeth don’t you? Skin hygiene is just as important).

Aging Gracefully, the theme for a seminar I am giving, is what it is about for me. I talk about the procedures (all non-invasive cosmetic dermatologic) and products (all physician grade with real science behind them) that I have found allow us to age gracefully. And us, includes me. I don’t mind sharing my before and after photos. I don’t mind being questioned on what it was like to have one procedure or another. I really don’t mind that people who have not seen me in years tell me that I look better than I did a decade ago!

What’s a Little Filler, Between Friends!

Last month I had a great trip to see my family back east.  Dad, step mom and brother are still in New Jersey, while one of my sons (#3 out of 4) is in Indianapolis.  His name is Geoff and he’s a doctor ☺ doing two residencies, Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Indiana University.  I tried to talk him into Dermatology, but he just loves saving lives, particularly small lives.  I like to say he saves lives and I make life worth living.  He will understand when he is older.

Whenever I head back east I take a few days for myself in NYC.  I run in Central Park, see a few shows and eat like crazy.  This time I did something a little different.  I visited my friend Heidi.

Heidi Waldorf, MD:  Mt. Sinai Medical Center, world-renowned cosmetic dermatologist and expert injector.  I didn’t go just for the lunch!

I went for me.  Being just a breath away from 60, I wanted to see what she could do for me.  As a physician, cosmetic dermatologist and international speaker/trainer for lasers and injectable myself you would think getting things done for myself would be easy.  And it is, but as you know making time for yourself is never simple.

I arrived at Mt. Sinai Department of Dermatology on the upper east side of

Manhattan.  You definitely know you are in a big hospital system.  The required paperwork was completed in a big, busy waiting area.  Dr. Waldorf’s assistant of many years, a wonderful warm woman with an endearing eastern European accent escorted me to a treatment room.  Up on the exam table, the room was WHITE, very clinical and sparse (this is a serious medical center).  In walks my friend Heidi, warm hugs, quick catch up and then she transforms to the very professional Dr Waldorf.  She assessed my face; we discussed shape, volume and balance.  I hate my profile I tell her.  I have always had a small chin and the jawline has never been strong and well defined.  I am thin, and my face is even thinner.  I have had some filler to lift my cheeks but could still use something.  I put my face in Dr. Waldorf’s hands, literally!

The procedure itself was an injection, with a very small needle, of Voluma and Juvederm (a Jell-O like substances called hyaluronic acid).  Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of skin and therefore is readily accepted into the body, and it acts by taking up space and filling out areas of volume loss and wrinkling (also depressed scars).  There are various brand names: Belotero, Restylane, Perlane, Voluma, Juvederm and more around the world.  The results can last anywhere from a few months to up to 2 years (Voluma).  I was treated in the cheek area (FDA approved area for Voluma) and in the jaw and chin area (considered “off label”, meaning the FDA has not given an opinion on treatment in that area). Juvederm was also used for some small areas around my mouth.

An hour later we were having lunch at a street side café.  I had a small bruise on my left cheek and my face felt numb slowly evolving to sore, a small price to pay for looking great.  And I was happy ☺!

 

Fat and Sweat!

drDoc’s Journey continues this month as she takes the patient’s seat and shares her experience as she receives the latest in cosmetic dermatology treatments. This month Dr. Van Dyke is discussing the latest options for a couple of embarrassing problems – pesky packets of body fat and sweat!

Two things we need more of, right?? In the age of fitness an extra bulge signals that you are not trying hard enough. A little sweat on that cute silk blouse or a white smudge on the little black dress means your hygiene is less than acceptable. I want to look my best, not perfect but darn good for where I am in life. So for August I’m tackling fat and sweat.

Fat first: I’m pretty fit, but since menopause excess bra fat has been driving me crazy!! I know others, both men and women of all ages, who have pockets of fat here and there (lower abdomen, upper abdomen, outer and inner thighs, muffin tops, love handles and more) that need sculpting.  Liposuction works great for these areas but there are problems. It’s surgery (!) with the attendant anesthesia, risks and recovery. Happily I have a plan B.

As part of my “I am turning 60 this year” campaign, I’ve decided to get rid of the back fat. So I had CoolSculpting. It took an hour on each side and I got a lot of paperwork done while I was being treated. Recovery time was zero – no pain, no numbness, no problem (individual experiences may vary).

I also hate the fat and cellulite on my thighs. Liposonix is perfect for this (although this is considered an “off label” area by the FDA, which means that they have not approved its safety and efficacy. However, studies that we participated in have been done and submitted to establish this). This is different than CoolSculpting, but is also non invasive with no downtime. The treatments are usually faster and can be less expensive; it depends on the specific areas and needs of an individual patient. Actually, sometimes we even combine the two technologies in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Now for sweat: No, I am not a person who sweats so much that I need to change my shirt three times a day. I just got tired of using chemicals daily and still having to deal with clothing marks and stains. We have been treating hyper-sweaters for years with major surgery, and more recently with Botox. And while these have produced good results, the side effects of surgery and the temporary nature of Botox have restricted these options to the really motivated patient.

For sweat-bothered people, like me, there is now a great answer!! miraDry was approved a couple of years ago but has not had much publicity until now. Just two non invasive treatments and 90% of patients reduce their armpit sweat dramatically for years (we think it’s permanent since it works by killing off a large percentage of sweat glands in the armpit, and sweat glands do not regrow). I had my first treatment 6 weeks ago and haven’t used deodorant since! My second and final treatment is due in another 6 weeks (it’s rare, but a patient may need a third treatment). No more clothing problems and I am very pleased!

Our next patient seminar event will explore all of these procedures. Join me and I will share my story with you!

 

Fillers: Sculpt the face

drvandykeAs I continue on my journey to the big “6-0”, I have taken a good hard look at the shape of my face. Aging declares itself with subtle changes starting with a decrease in volume of the upper face followed by an increase in width of the lower face. The overall effect is a loss of the youthful oval replaced with the more masculine square. No one wants to be a square. If you want to see your future face there is a fascinating website, aprilage.com, that lets you age yourself (or have fun with it – age someone else!)

Everything descends, darn that gravity! Folds form from excess skin folding on itself. Lines and wrinkles form when facial movements are repeated countless times over a lifetime. Very much like flexing a piece of leather, over time wrinkles set in. My dad used to say, “don’t give me that look, your face will freeze like that”, and he was right!

Solutions? Well one would be to grow out your hair and wear it a la Goldie Hawn. Has anyone seen her face? Most photos I find feature large sunglasses and the “face frame” do. Don’t get me wrong though, hair styling can enhance and hide all kinds of features and I support that! But for a little longer lasting solution, and one that looks good rolling out of bed in the morning, we can do wonders with fillers. Fillers are like Jell-O, they work by filling a space. They are great for replacing volume in the upper face, for that we use Voluma. It is made by Allergan, the Botox people, and lasts as long as 2 years! It is injected with a tiny needle and gives instant gratification. I had my first taste of Voluma recently and voilà! Cheeks were lifted.

For the wrinkle side of things the more traditional fillers (Restylane and Juvederm) and a newer option (Belotero) serve as the spackle once the volume is enhanced. Even the finest lines can be improved with very small amounts of filler. I had Belotero for my lip lines after some well-meaning (?!) doctor asked me why I didn’t treat my “smokers lines”….I don’t smoke!

What is the difference between the popular fillers? Well they are all basically the same: hyaluronic acid, which is composed of strings of sugar molecules. Each company has a proprietary method of making their fillers which can influence how thick they are and how long they last. Generally the thicker the filler is, the more lift and the greater longevity. For fine lines we need a very thin product which correlates with less longevity.

We need all our fillers to undo what nature is doing to us. And a new hairdo doesn’t hurt, either! Check out our events page and RSVP to our next patient seminar where we will discuss sculpting and framing your face with injectables and the perfect do!

Turning 60 Is No Sweat!

drvandykeThis month is something different: I am doing something BRAND NEW and I am not sweating it one bit. My new toy, gadget, highly technical piece of equipment is miraDry. MiraDry gives you practically sweat free armpits after one or two treatments.

I had my first treatment yesterday. No, I do not have a serious sweating problem. I have a serious wardrobe problem, namely: I can’t keep a white shirt for more than a half dozen wearings! Icky, yellowish marks come from nowhere and increase progressively until my only option is to donate to Goodwill (they probably don’t want them either) or walk around with my arms plastered to my sides hoping no one notices the tell-tale sign that, yes, I do indeed sweat. Light colored silk can be an issue too with small dark crescents forming under my arms just when I want to look fabulous. Again, the solution: keep my arms by my side.

So I have decided to sweat like a lady!

MiraDry is an FDA cleared noninvasive procedure that provides long lasting results by destroying sweat glands under the surface of the skin. Kind of like laser hair removal where hair follicles are targeted and destroyed. Sweat glands don’t regrow (and by the way, only 2% of your sweat glands live in your armpits so you will never miss them). More than 90% of people treated had dramatic decreases in sweating immediately after one or two treatments, and miraDry has an incredible 95% satisfaction rating on RealSelf.com.

Of course Botox is also approved to treat underarm sweating and I have treated many patients with Botox injections with great results. Unfortunately Botox has to be repeated at least once a year. From a cost and time commitment point of view, miraDry is a much better value!

If you are a really heavy sweater (change your shirt multiple times a day) this treatment is life changing. This condition is referred to as hyperhidrosis and can be devastating to one’s social and professional life.

If you are like me and are simply bothered by sweat you will get great benefits, too. You can be pretty confident that you will never have to check for sweat stains again (and save tons on deodorants, dry cleaning and new white shirts). Did I mention two of the side effects are actually benefits: odor is reduced and so is under arm hair!

Back to me: I had miraDry last night. My nurse numbed my armpits with a local anesthetic (I felt a few pinches). The applicator was placed on my skin and a warm pulse of energy was delivered. This was repeated multiple times. I felt no pain during the treatment and it took about 20 minutes for each side.   After treatment I applied ice to each side to reduce the swelling and soreness that are expected when the anesthesia wears off. When I woke up this morning I honestly had forgotten that I had had anything done. I had no pain at all. I did see some local swelling under each arm (about golf ball size) and have had some mild soreness and tenderness which should disappear in a couple of days.

So far I haven’t sweated a drop. If in 3 months there is still some sweat I can have miraDry done again for even better result. In the meantime, I think I will go buy a new white blouse!

Mommy Makeovers The Easy Way

Yes I am a mommy, and yes I had a mommy makeover back in the day. My four boys (all with birth weights over 9 lbs., by the way!) now range in age from 25 to 31 years old, so “the day” was quite a while ago. That meant my options were pretty much limited to a tummy tuck, the most invasive, painful and slow recovering plastic surgery there is. That’s not my opinion, that’s what the surgeon told me at my consult 20 years ago … and he was right.

The subject of this month’s blog is: what would my mommy makeover consist of today? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret the surgery and some women still truly benefit from it even today, but let’s discuss the latest alternatives.

Post baby we can be left with sagging, stretch marks (which are like thin scars in the skin) and some excess “baby fat”. As hard as we try, we may not be able to overcome this even with the perfect diet and a million sit-ups. Your mom may tell you: “Face it. You had a baby and your body will never be the same”. While this is true, it doesn’t mean you can’t make some positive improvements.

Skin sagging: Radiofrequency has long been used to tighten and firm the skin. Thermage was the first, and I still believe is the best at triggering your body to make new collagen, increasing elastin that helps to restore skin turgor. Best of all, Thermage is a non-invasive procedure so there is no downtime and the results after a single treatment can be very impressive as they continue to evolve, improving over several months.

Stretch marks (also known as stria): Not all of us suffer from this, but if you do you hate them. Fraxel Dual is a resurfacing laser that we use on the face, but can also use on other parts of the body to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. In recent years, much research has been done on the treatment of atrophic scars (thin white scars similar to stria) with great success. We have seen nice improvements with one to three Fraxel treatments, and treatments may be done as close together as 4 weeks. Expect to see redness and mild irritation to the stretch marks for a few days, and avoid the sun for a couple of weeks after each treatment.

Baby fat: If you have that little roll below the belly button or need the entire abdomen and love handles reduced, but don’t want liposuction surgery – you are in luck! Thanks to treatments such as CoolSculpting (fat freezing) and Liposonix (ultrasound fat melting), the era of effective, non-invasive fat reduction is here. Each procedure is equally effective after one treatment, and you can always repeat either if you wish. We can also combine the two treatments or customize the treatment to best fit you.

There you have it, saggy skin, stretch marks, and unwanted fat can all be treated at the same time. It just depends on what works best for you. For example, I did two separate treatments, Thermage and Liposonix, to treat my cellulite a couple of months ago. Customizing a treatment plan that fits your comfort level and target your trouble areas is key to a successful modern day mommy makeover.

Van Dyke Laser & Skin is holding free seminars on Wednesday, May 21st if you want to learn more. Join us for either lunch or happy hour, enjoy some refreshment and get your questions answered. RSVP please.

Getting Great Legs Without Surgery

drvandykeI hate my saggy thighs. Despite that I am a fairly fit runner and my BMI is within normal, the lumps of fat always seem to migrate to my thighs in the form of dreaded cellulite. It’s especially obvious when performing a “downward dog,” the semi-inverted yoga pose that leaves you no choice but to stare at your imperfect thighs.

So my latest move in “the year of turning 60” project – where I share my experiences as I personally try out the latest cosmetic procedures offered here at Van Dyke Laser & Skin – is to tackle the impossible: great legs without surgery, starvation diets or 8 hours a day at the gym. I know some people feel that diet and exercise are the only acceptable ways to improve your appearance, but I beg to differ. I think non-surgical cosmetic procedures can be a great complement to any fitness routine.

One of my favorite combination treatments is Liposonix & Thermage. Liposonix is a fat reduction treatment and Thermage a skin tightening treatment, a winning combo. While I was focused on my thighs, this same procedure can also be used on the tummy, bra fat and flanks. Learn more about Liposonix, Thermage and Fraxel (a skin resurfacing treatment) at our upcoming Non-Invasive Mommy Makeover event. Join us on Wednesday, May 21 for either a Lunch & Learn Seminar: (1 – 2:30 PM) or a Happy Hour Seminar: (5:30 – 7 PM) and find out how Liposonix, Thermage, and Fraxel can work together to restore your natural pre-pregnancy body shape, while reducing the appearance of stretch marks at the same time. But in the meantime, back to my experience with both Liposonix & Thermage.

Because my nearly 60-year-old legs show some laxity and sagging as well as extra fat, I opted to combine my Liposonix with a Thermage treatment. While you can see firming and lifting with Liposinix fat reduction I wanted to specifically target skin laxity which is where Thermage shines. Thermage uses radiofrequency energy to generate heat deep within the skin itself triggering collagen tightening, stimulating new fibroblasts and resulting in new collagen formation. Collagen is the magic material that makes younger skin smoother, firmer and less crepe-like.

Day of: To be honest, Liposonix is an uncomfortable, even painful procedure for some. Most patients chose a pain pill such as Percocet or Vicodan combined with a mild sedative like valium for the treatment, about 5% go for twilight sleep. Various other options include prescription and over the counter anti inflammatories. Comfort management is entirely customizable to the procedure that the patient. Notably, discomfort following the procedure is minimal and does not require pain medications. Because I have decided to have several treatments done at the same time (I will review Ultherapy for facial laxity in a future blog but this was also done at the same sitting) I chose to have twilight sleep. My favorite anesthesiologist (board certified of course and his nurse) arrived at the office to do a quick medical check in, start an IV and I drifted into a lovely slumber.

The Procedure: I was photographed, measured and weighed for base line. Then the areas to be treated were meticulously marked off according to the plan developed at my consultation. We discussed again what areas were of concern. The front of the thighs, inner thighs and the area under the buttock were “grided” (a blueprint for the treatment). Liposonix would be applied precisely to the areas of need. Since I also chose to do Thermage over the same areas on the same day this area was also marked off and included the cellulite/laxity zones of my anterior thighs.

Liposonix was done first and with 40 sites treated took just about 1.5 hours. Immediately after Liposonix was completed the fronts of my thighs were treated with Thermage (about 45 minutes) to further firm and tighten.

After the procedure I felt pretty sore, like I had run a marathon (which I am proud to say I have actually done). I slid into some long leg SPANX for the comfort and compression that reduces soreness, bruising and swelling. And yes I did bruise, Arnica was applied to hasten the resolution and reduce soreness. I must say it did not slow me down one bit. We treat with a high-energy protocol when patients are sedated and the result can be bruising. When patients (95% patients) do not have twilight sleep we use a lower energy protocol that is more comfortable and causes less soreness and bruising but delivers the same results although the treatment time is about 75% longer.

I am now excited to see my results but as I tell my patients: patience! It takes weeks to months for the ultimate result.

Voluma: the greatest thing since the Fountain of Youth!

Doc’s Journey continues this month as she takes the patient’s seat and shares her experience as she receives the latest in cosmetic dermatology treatments. This month features the hottest treatment currently at Van Dyke Laser & Skin – Voluma!

Of course we all know the Fountain of Youth is not real. But, Voluma is and I must say I’m truly wowed by this new filler. Not only does it last twice as long as its’ cousins (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Perlane) but it can do something that we haven’t been able to do before: LIFT!!

This March I’m continuing on my mission to improve myself in the year that I turn 60. In previous months I’ve written about my Ulthera and Thermage experience (and the results are starting to really show!) My latest adventure is with Voluma.

The goal: to “lift the face” without the “facelift”. Have you ever stood in front of the mirror and pulled up on the skin of your face? The results are great, right? The cheeks elevate, the folds from the corners of the mouth to the nose smooth out, along with positive improvement in the marionette lines from the corners to the chin (together known as parentheses). Even the crinkles, bags and dark circles under the eyes look better!! So you ask the plastic surgeon “can’t you just do a little tuck…like this (as you pull upward on your cheeks)?” His/her response, “well, little lady, that is a facelift, general anesthesia, incisions up and down your face, weeks of recovery and months of swelling and oh by the way, well into 5 figures financially.” So you get a face-lift or go home dejected.

Enter: Voluma, FDA approved in November 2013, and widely used in Canada and around the world for years. Voluma’s magic is in its ability to restore facial volume in the cheeks to better support sagging skin of middle age and later. Instant gratification, no down time, a fraction of the cost of surgery (and no surgery) and a natural, not surgical look that lasts for 2 years. PS: you don’t have to be middle aged to benefit; we are now able to enhance cheeks and deliver high cheekbones that maybe you did not get from mom.

Voluma: 2 to 4 syringes (I had 2), a few practically painless injections to the cheekbone area (don’t worry, you won’t get swollen or fat cheeks) and my face is more lifted and youthful. Seriously, it is the easiest thing I have done so far. You should try it.

Note: Dr. Van Dyke is a national trainer and lecturer for Allergan, makers of Voluma, Botox and Juvederm. She has trained hundreds of medical providers and physicians in the use of Voluma and was the first in Arizona to use the product upon FDA approval.

Treatment #1 for the New Year and my renewal

After years of assessing, advising and treating patients I am taking my own advice! Why wait until it has gotten to the point that you “just have to do something!” My advice is to embrace the low risk, non-invasive, treatments that really work; FDA approved for safety and efficacy. Look at this way, we are preserving youth, not just recapturing it. Now at 59, going on 60, I can’t pretend to be preserving youth; but I can look as good as I can by recapturing “youthful,” if not outright young. So here we go…Ways to firm and tighten sagging skin on the face and neck!

Thermage and Ultherapy are two phenomenal non-invasive (read: no down time, minimal risks) procedures for “shrink wrapping” your skin. Thermage has been around for more than a decade and we have done thousands of procedures on the face, neck and eyes to firm and tighten (What’s better, it’s good for other areas of the body, but that’s for another blog!). Ultherapy is a bit newer and penetrates deeper into the skin with Ultrasound generated pinpoints of heat. It precisely targets the SMAS layer below the skin of the face and triggers the generation of new, younger, tighter tissue to actually lift the brow, the cheeks, the jawline and the neck. SMAS is that sheet of connective tissue that fights gravity to keep the face from sagging; it gets lax as aging occurs. Not just a lifting procedure, Ultherapy also firms and tightens the skin itself.

The procedure I had was a combination of Ultherapy for the face and neck and Thermage for the eyelids – kind of a non-surgical eye job! Immediately after I felt some mild soreness and my face was a little pink but looked great, maybe a little early tightening. I wasn’t expecting much since I know it takes at least 1 month for new collagen to form and as long as 3 or 4 months for true results. The morning after, I was one of the few who get some swelling. I noticed it (I am pretty self-critical) but unless you know me you wouldn’t think anything was amiss. After a couple of days a subtle yellowish bruise appeared on my jawline, easily covered with makeup. Now, 3 weeks later, my jawline and neck feel delightfully tighter and people are telling me I don’t look my age. I love that! But this is still very early. I will post some photos in a blog after a little more time passes.

I am so excited to see my results!

Happy New Year,

Susan Van Dyke, MD

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