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The Smoking Effect (and How to Reclaim Your Skin!)

For the most part, smoking has become passé. But that wasn’t the case 20 years ago. The fact is, a good percentage of us in our 30s and 40s today enjoyed a good nicotine fix in years past. We were young. We were invincible. Of course, since then, we’ve gotten smarter and swapped that bad habit for a healthier lifestyle. While we may be healthier, however, chances are the damage to your skin has already been done and is showing up on your face as wrinkles, skin spots, and loose skin. That’s according to a recent study that compared pictures of identical smoking and non-smoking twins.

The Smoking Study

How much damage can we really attribute to smoking? A lot, according to the study “Facial Changes Caused by Smoking: A Comparison Between Smoking and Nonsmoking Identical Twins,” which appeared in the November 2013 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

In the study, researchers recruited 79 sets of twins as study participants at the annual  Twins Day Festival over the course of four years (from 2007 to 2010). To be included in the study one twin was required to have a history of smoking for at least 5 years more than the other. The researchers gathered data through questionnaires and professional standardized photographs taken onsite at the festival. Three judges evaluated faces, using a scale of 0 to 5 to grade wrinkles and other signs of aging. They found that smokers demonstrated heavier signs of premature aging across the board compared with their non-smoking siblings. Facial features that showed a difference included the upper and lower eyelids, cheeks, the lines around the mouth (nasolabial folds), jowls, and lips. The researchers attribute excess aging characteristics to the overall loss of elasticity in the skin and suggest that signs of aging are also the result of cigarette toxicity.

Your Skin Solutions

So what’s a former smoker to do to wipe away that toxic past? Thankfully there are solutions for every skin flaw.

Wrinkles Away. If you’ve got smokers lines around the mouth or crow’s feet, don’t fret! Moderate lines and wrinkles can be filled in an instant with one of the FDA-approved hyaluronic acid fillers on the market today. If those lines and wrinkles run deep, adding a laser or chemical peel treatment will give you the full treatment needed for gold standard rejuvenation.

Skin Support. If your skin is showing signs of losing its elasticity, there are plenty of pick-me-up solutions. On the minimal side, dermal skin needling and acupuncture can provide modest firming results with minimal downtime. Nee a little more lift? Try the ultrasound power of Ultherapy. For extreme skin sagging and maximum results, a surgical facelift may be your best bet.

Feature Fix. Whether it’s your eyes, your cheeks, or both that have lost volume and are showing signs of premature aging, a variety of technologies and techniques can make your profile pretty again. The eyes can be rejuvenated using lasers, injectables, and surgical treatments, where necessary. The cheeks (midface) can benefit from fillers, surgery or both.

What’s Right for You?

Your course of treatment is best determined in a collaborative effort with your cosmetic doctor who will be able to effectively create an individualized plan that meets your expectations and budget. Are you ready? Find a doctor today!

The New Face of Botox

Ten years ago, Botox brought to mind the 40-something blond bombshell who couldn’t move a muscle on her face. Since then Botox has earned a decidedly different image. Not only are younger women actively anti-aging with injections, but the trend has expanded to include our male counterparts.

Today Botox is one of several neurotoxins available on the market, including Dysport (Medicis) and Xeomin (Merz). Aesthetic neurotoxins are used to safely and selectively weaken facial muscles that cause wrinkles on the forehead, between the brows and in the crow’s feet area. As a result of anatomical research and technique advancements, treatment with neurotoxins today provides natural-looking results with subtle movement.  The general consensus is that patients are overwhelmingly happy to say goodbye to the frozen faces of the previous decade.

Under 30

In a recent News Channel 5 story, Dr. Greg DeLange told reporter Katie Johnson that it’s not uncommon for younger women to have wrinkles before they hit their third decade of life. “They will form frown lines, they’ll form little crow’s feet and little forehead lines. Some women have a lot and some women don’t have any. The ones that are bothered by it come in early,” he told the news source.

But it’s broader in scope than even that. Beyond those who may be prone to forming early wrinkles, the trend today is to prevent those lines before they have a chance to set in permanently. Relaxing the frown lines, brow or crow’s feet can stave off those otherwise inevitable wrinkles that most of us can expect to show up otherwise in our 30s and 40s.

Taming the Tough Guy

The year has generated a lot of buzz around “Brotox” or “Boytox,” with the Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting a 258% increase since 2001 in men who get neurotoxin injections. Motivating the trend is the general knowledge that a more youthful and rested appearance is associated with revenue generation, whether that’s getting a job or being promoted to a higher level. Fast and effective, it’s no surprise that this non-surgical method for turning back the clock is on the uptake, as men generally have little patience for downtime and any tell-tale signs of having work done. Bruising is rare, but to avoid the risk of injection site bruising, experts advise patients not to use fish oil, Gingko Biloba, alcohol, or Aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Motrin and Ibuprofen for 10 days before your scheduled treatment.

US Soldiers Using Liposuction as Career Solution

Would you get liposuction if it increased your chances of keeping your job? It may come as a surprise, but US soldiers would—and do! That’s according to recent media headlines that reveal a little about how our service members are evaluated on their ability to perform.

While the general public relies on the standard body mass index calculation to provide a general idea of healthy size by measuring height and weight, it turns out military standards require our active duty men and women to pass a different kind of body fat test, the “tape test,” which measures the neck and waist to determine fitness. When these two measurements are disproportionate, service members are said to turn to one of a handful of solutions: crash diet or liposuction to reduce the circumference of the waist or regimental use of weights to try and increase the neck size. Seem extreme? Not so much to soldiers who know that if they don’t pass the test, they may not be promoted. Even worse, multiple failures can lead to discharge from the service.

Military Standards 

According to the recent article “Military members turn to liposuction to pass disputed body fat tape test” in the Daily News, the Pentagon says this test is the best, most efficient way they can have a broad-scope indicator of combat readiness, pointing out that most active duty men and women who do not pass the tape test also do not successfully pass physical fitness tests. And while they don’t recommend liposuction, it is not off limits.

As for the number of soldiers discharged for not passing body fat and physical fitness tests, the article states that the numbers have increased significantly, by more than 10 times since 2008 in the Army. Marines saw numbers doubled from 2010 to 2011, with improvements in 2012. Although Air Force and Navy branches don’t track these numbers, according to the Daily News, the Air Force has recently made some progress by garnering permission from the Pentagon to use body mass index measurements for airmen who do not pass the tape test but pass fitness tests.

Accurate or Not?

Critics say the Department of Defense’s use of the tape test is outdated. It may help to identify overweight and out-of-shape men and women, but on paper it fails when it comes to those with bigger, more muscular frames.

The Daily News adds one fitness expert’s opinion on the issue of effectively measuring body fat. Jordan Moon’s opinion? There isn’t a good one. Moon, a PhD in exercise physiology, believes evaluating actual performance is more important than passing judgement based on 2 simple measurements. He also points out the most football players would fail this test because they’re bigger than the general population.

Despite the fact that liposuction can come with a multi-thousand dollar price tag, Dr. Michael Pasquale, a plastic surgeon in Honolulu, HI, told the Daily News, “I’ve actually had commanders recommend it to their troops. They’ll deny that if you ask them. But they know some people are in really good shape and unfortunately are just built wrong.”

The Right Doctor

Military or not, when you’re ready to commit to liposuction, it’s time to commit to doing the homework too. Trust the guidance and experts at Are you ready to begin?

5 Simple Ways to Anti-Age

Let’s face it. No one wants to get old, but it’s a fact of life. While we may be unwilling participants in the forward progression of time, there is good news: we can look good while we’re doing it! And, no, it doesn’t require a heavy hit on the pocketbook nor weeks in hiding to turn back the hands of time. We know you’re excited to hear about our secrets to looking forever young, so without further ado, here are 5 simple ways every woman can anti-age!

1. Get Cheeky!

One sure-fire way to decrease your facial age is with a little pick-me-up in the midface. As we age, we lose fat in key youth-defining areas, especially the cheeks. Revolumizing yours will fill out your cheek contours while picking up lax skin that causes those dreaded nasolabial folds and prejowls.

2. Eye Openers

If eyes are the windows to the soul, how can you expect to communicate your inner beauty when the lids become heavy with aging? A falling brow and drooping eyelid skin can also miscommunicate how you feel, sending signals of anger and unhappiness when you’re anything but. An easy eye opener to treat most early signs of aging is a little lift with a few well-placed neurotoxin injections. Whether it’s Botox, Dysport or Xeomin, never fear—a simple eye-opener is as near as your local cosmetic doctor’s office! For more advanced drooping, a brow lift or blepharoplasty may be necessary.

3. Pucker Up!

Do you look in the mirror and wonder when your lips decided to deflate? Unfortunately, it’s the same story for most of us. The lips are yet another facial feature that lose volume as we age, a gradual change that can sneak up on even the most conscientious of us. Fortunately, it takes just a little well-placed filler to bring you back to your beauty best in an instant.

4. Fill Ins

Just because some treatments address the so-called less obvious signs of aging doesn’t mean they’re any less important. For an overall refresh with the most natural-looking results, it’s time to let your cosmetic doctor treat those facial details that sometimes fall under the radar. Using FDA-approved fillers to correct the hollows under the eyes, the temples, and the jawline can make a lovely face even more beautiful.

5. Smooth Skin

If injectables fill and lift, it’s skin treatments that refine the wrapping on the overall package. From laser treatments that even out skin tone and smooth out texture, to chemical or manual exfoliating treatments that remove old, dead skin layers and minimize scarring, smooth, radiant skin can be yours once again! Try a series of non-fractional laser treatments to stimulate collagen and improve the overall aesthetics of your skin or a SilkPeel treatment that infuses skin-specific serum treatments to power up your skin rejuvenation efforts.

Whether it’s one or all of these 5 simple ways you can anti-age, one thing is sure: The right doctor can help you achieve the natural, youthful results you’re looking for. Are you ready? Let the experts at help guide your way!