Dr. Nedic sums up the latest developments in non-invasive beauty procedures…
This year’s beauty breakthroughs
Aesthetic and anti-ageing practitioner Dr Sly Nedic sums up the latest developments in non-invasive beauty procedures
Recently, I was privileged enough to attend one of the world’s biggest gatherings in aesthetic medicine: the 16th International Master Course in Antiaging (IMCAS), 2014, held in Paris. It was my 10th IMCAS, but this year’s event was more exciting than any before. The motto of the congress was “feed your science craving”, and that’s exactly what it did! The event attracted 4 500 delegates from 80 countries, with more than 300 international speakers and 166 exhibitors.
Spotlight on lasers and fillers
The most popular sessions were those dealing with new laser devices and innovations in laser treatments. I was impressed with the newly introduced Laser-Assisted Skin Healing (LASH) technique, which can be used for scar reduction, especially when initiated within the first few weeks after injury. Laser treatment for vulvovaginal rejuvenation is also gaining in popularity. There was huge controversy concerning facial ageing and how this should be evaluated to determine the best treatment protocol. The debate centred on which fat compartments of the face are more prone to sagging and how this could best be addressed with nonsurgical techniques such as volumising fillers. It was also interesting to see trends in aesthetics in different countries like Japan, Korea and China, where treatments are primarily aimed at Westernisation of Asian features, rather than for facial rejuvenation and antiageing purposes, which is common in South Africa.
Allergan Inc. (a company that manufactures products such as Botox and dermal fillers) presented innovative facial 3D makeovers using Vycross technology fillers, which are safe, long-lasting and widely used in South Africa. Medical rhinoplasty (nose correction with fillers) was discussed by one of Hollywood’s most famous plastic surgeons, Dr Raj Kanodia – contrary to my expectations, he recommended a conservative approach to deliver natural-looking results. Rejuvenation of the temples using fillers is another procedure growing in popularity and this was extensively discussed, due to the high incidence of potentially serious complications such as blindness. While techniques for achieving the most precise injection were discussed, it was concluded that this procedure shouldn’t be performed by newly qualified aesthetic physicians, which patients should be made aware of. Emerging trends in the application of hyaluronic acid fillers mean that the 60s may soon become the new 40s. And a new unique filler, Vivacy Desiral (not yet available in South Africa), can be used for rejuvenation of the vulva and for injection into the labium to restore youthfulness.
For an anti-ageing and integrative medicine practitioner such as myself, the discovery of an emerging medical use for Botox was a highlight of my trip – besides the 70% off winter sales, of course! As explained by a neurologist, Botox, which is already used for treating migraine and some types of joint pain, may soon be used for the treatment of fibromyalgia (a condition characterised by pain, fatigue, and memory and mood problems). And the mechanism of action is phenomenal, working through the lymphatic system to achieve pain relief within a few minutes. Results of the first official study on this indication are set to be released at the end of the year, and it’s hoped that by helping millions of fibromyalgia sufferers, the negative stigma around Botox will finally be removed.
Body contouring update
The IMCAS congress was a great platform for discussing which techniques are most suitable for removing stubborn body fat and improving body sagging and cellulite. These are the fastest-growing applications in aesthetics, which was evident by the large number of new devices being shown by exhibitors. Many of these were based largely on existing principles of action, but were more modern and user-friendly. The cornerstones of body contouring remain ultrasound cavitations (non-surgical fat removal) for stubborn fat and combination radiofrequency and infrared light treatment for cellulite.
The latest on eye care
The topic of eye rejuvenation also received lots of attention at this year’s conference, with much discussion on the difficulty of treating this area effectively once the damage has been done. Prevention was therefore emphasised as being highly important, and a panel of plastic surgeons, aesthetic physicians and dermatologists concluded that eye rejuvenation requires a multimodal approach for best results. This may include superficial chemical peels, radiofrequency treatment for tightening, Botox for crow’s feet and wrinkles, mesotherapy, volume replacement, LED phototherapy for rejuvenation and even blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) for severe sagging.
Aesthetic procedures on the rise
Despite the worldwide economic crisis, which was highlighted repeatedly throughout IMCAS 2014, there continues to be a steady rise in the number of aesthetic facial and body procedures being performed. The world market for aesthetics (fillers, Botox, body contouring and cosmeceuticals) was valued at €460 million in 2013, which represents a 7.3% increase from 2012 – Asia showed 12% growth; Latin America, 9%; and the US, 7%. By 2018, the market total is estimated to rise to €670 million. The top 10 countries for medical aesthetics are the US, Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Italy, South Korea, India, France and Germany. And South Africa isn’t far behind, being one of the fastestgrowing markets in aesthetic medicin.