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Is aesthetic medicine the future of cosmetics? 2 October 2017                                                                        Dr Alistair McAlpine           Patients seeking medical aesthetics procedures should aim for a natural and rejuvenated appearance and avoid the kind of gross alteration that results in a ‘botched look’. So said Dr Alistair McAlpine, head of medical aesthetics at Lightsculpt Aesthetic Clinic during an event hosted by Genop Healthcare in Hyde Park Johannesburg on 21 September. “I believe that aesthetic medicine is the future of cosmetics. In terms of beauty, clients today want ‘get up and go’ convenience with none or minimal make-up. If you look at the cost of a dermal filler treatment, it’s comparable to that of good quality skincare products. The environment has a negative effect on our skin so we want treatments with a regenerative effect, such as those provided by fillers and threads.” McAlpine, who is a dual qualified medical doctor and dentist, stressed that aesthetic doctors are not, as some people believe, beauticians with medical degrees. “It’s essential to do an in-depth consultation and diagnosis of the patient, including their medical history and to meticulously analyse their facial structure before you perform any procedures,” he continued. “The most common complaints our patients have are loss of volume, sagging skin, poor tissue quality and a tired appearance. As you grow older – you lose volume in your face and so your skin begins to sag. “I believe that combination therapy comprising fillers, threads, toxins, chemical peels and home care is the best way to address ageing skin. It’s vital to inform clients that maintenance post treatment is very important.” McAlpine maintained that we are now in the era of designer fillers and designer botox. “In terms of our filler treatments, performed with Ellansé (distributed by Genop Healthcare), we use small amounts of filler to support the ligaments, using the anatomy of the face. This is in contrast to old school filler methodology, which was to fill lines and folds. I believe such treatments need to be broken up into stages to create a subtly rejuvenated look.” He noted that Ellansé works by not only correcting the wrinkles and folds in the skin, but also by stimulating the body’s own collagen for a long-lasting, natural result. It is also fully reabsorbed by the body and offers a sustained duration of 12 months up to four years. McAlpine went on to explain how Silhouette Soft suspension threads (also distributed by Genop Healthcare) create a subtle face lift look. Made of Poly L-Lactic Acid, the threads are bioabsorable and will also stimulate collagen. “The threads are inserted under the skin using a fine needle and the effects can last from 18 months to three years. They create a sculpted look of the face, as well as reshape existing tissues thus creating a natural result, while providing an immediate lifting. In addition they stimulate collagen. However, Silhouette Soft is all about patient selection – you need to choose the right patient and manage their expectations,” he concluded. (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)
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