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I was honored to be invited as moderator for the Annual Meeting of the 9th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Cosmetic Physicians. It was held on October 22-26, 2014 in Scottsdale, AZ. I am a medical advisor and embrace this society because it promotes cosmetic education without boundaries. I met cosmetic physicians from the United States, Canada, and Mexico and as far away as Australia. This international flair led to a healthy exchange of ideas.

Highlights of the Non-Surgical Aesthetics were:
1. Nonsurgical skin tightening with lasers.
2. Optimizing the use of fillers.
3. Collagen Induction Therapy with Micro-needling and growth factors.

There was a reemphasis on patient demand to avoid surgical facelifts. Laser resurfacing appeared to be the favored treatment modality to minimize facial wrinkles and tighten the skin without surgery. The laser energy removes area of damaged skin and allows the growth of new collagen to improve the appearance of the face with healthier, more youthful skin. The degree of skin improvement and tightening is proportional to the type of laser, laser energy delivered and the depth of penetration of the laser. There is strong physician preference for fractional lasers that treat 20-30% of the face at one treatment session thereby minimizing patient downtime. It does require sequential treatment sessions.

At both our Napa and Santa Rosa centers Fraxel offers non-ablative fractional laser resurfacing (https://www.drtomcosmetic.com/services/fraxel/ ). It is effective for softening fine lines, wrinkles and acne scarring. For more enhance tightening combination therapy is always best. The addition of radiofrequency Thermage has a synergistic skin tightening effect (https://www.drtomcosmetic.com/services/thermage/).

More aggressive laser resurfacing was presented as required for significant sun-damaged and lax facial skin.
Fractional lasers were still recommended but with stronger, more deeply penetrating lasers called ablative fractional lasers. We offer at the Santa Rosa office our CO2 (brand name EXELO2) laser to more effectively tighten facial skin. Improved skin tightening is associated with some downtime (up to 6 days) with more aggressive treatments. (https://www.drtomcosmetic.com/cosmetic-laser-evolution-great-news-for-the-patient-introducing-the-exelo2-laser/ and http://www.almalasers.com/sites/default/files/downloads/exelo2.pdf )

The use of fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane have been the mainstays of rejuvenating the face. The cosmetic trend has been towards reestablishing the lost facial fat volume due to aging with fillers as opposed to direct injection of fillers into wrinkles.

The latest introduction of Voluma that offers up to 2 years duration and an increased lift over traditional fillers has been well received by cosmetic physicians to enhance the cheek area. Sculptra has been reintroduced in the cosmetic field that gives long lasting fill (2 + years) of soft facial areas such as the temples, the area of the cheeks below to the jawline as well as the marionette lines.

I was asked to give a lecture on the Global Strategies for Advanced Filler Injections during the Non-Surgical Aesthetics session. It was well received and I hope to give this same lecture at other cosmetic forums.

An exciting new treatment modality to rejuvenate the skin with our own healing factors was a “hot topic”. The use of micro-needling a process of creating small very superficial tunnels within our skin stimulates collagen growth.

Micro-needling also creates pathways for topical serums to penetrate more deeply. A simple blood draw sample is separated by a centrifuge. One’s own blood serum rich in platelets (Platelet Rich Plasma – PRP) is recovered. This PRP serum contains growth factors, healing factors as well as the potential to stimulate stem cells. Applying PRP serum results in significant skin rejuvenation postulated to be due to enhanced collagen induction. We are very excited to now offer Collagen Induction Therapy with micro-needling and PRP.

It was a thought provoking meeting of the American Society of Cosmetic Physicians. I will report on the Surgical Aesthetics session in my next blog.

In beauty and health,
Dr. Tom