Plastic Surgery Blog
San francisco - East bay
If you have found yourself wanting to make some subtle tweaks to your appearance you aren’t alone. Thanks to advances in quantum mechanics, laser technology, and nanoscience, it is now possible to significantly improve your aesthetic health and appearance, enabling you to enhance your own natural beauty without the inconvenience and downtime that comes with traditional surgical procedures.
Minimally invasive procedures are now so popular, the number of them being performed has grown nearly 200% and is becoming an increasing important part of our aesthetics arsenal. With greater accessibility, less discomfort and downtime and faster results, it is easy to see why.
Nevertheless, some cosmetic treatments are set to be more popular than others.
Here are four of the top non-invasive plastic surgery trends for 2021. Check back with us frequently, as Dr. Chin is always in the process of investigating the best and newest technologies and aesthetic products at our plastic and reconstructive surgery office in the East Bay.
Botox and Fillers
Dermal fillers (e.g., Juvederm) and neurotoxins (e.g., Botox and Juveau) and are two of the most popular non-invasive plastic surgery trends of the last decade and will be just as highly demanded in 2021. Both are often referred to as injectables, denoting the method with which they are administered. Dr. Chin has undergone extensive plastic surgical training, which has imbued him with a precise surgical understanding of the three-dimensional anatomy of the face. This knowledge of surgical anatomy is invaluable when placing injectable products into the face since these must be delivered with surgical precision at very specific depths in order to achieve the best results and prevent unwanted side-effects.
Neurotoxins (Botox, Dysport, and Juveau/Newtox)
Botox, Dysport, and Juveau are all derived from “neurotoxins” that are used to relax specific muscles beneath the skin so that they can no longer produce frown lines, “crows feet,” wrinkles and other undesirable lines. When it comes to enhancing the natural beauty of your face through Botox, Dr. Chin specifically aims to avoid paralyzing the facial muscles as is so commonly seen after some procedures. Instead, he very selectively weakens certain muscles in order to remove lines and wrinkles, but without eliminating your ability to make facial expressions.
According to Dr. Chin, “There’s a lot of bad Botox out there! I see a lot of doctors who completely paralyze facial muscles so that their patients don’t have any facial expressions. You can even see this in a lot of magazines and even when watching the Oscars. The goal is not to paralyze facial muscles, but to rebalance them, selectively and precisely weakening them to restore proper facial balance and expression. To do that you absolutely need to know the three- dimensional anatomy of the facial muscles, and a lot of doctors don’t appreciate that.”
Neurotoxins can also be used to reduce headaches, prevent tooth-grinding (“trismus”), and remove unwanted bands in the neck.
Each neurotoxin—Botox, Dysport, or Juveau—has its own personality and nuance. Ask Dr. Chin which neurotoxin is best for you.
Fillers are also used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, and they can also be used to restore volume to areas of the face where it has been lost, such as the cheeks, jaws, and eyes. Fillers can also be used to plump the lips.
There are a number of different fillers available, each with its own texture, viscosity, firmness, and other mechanical properties. Each possesses a unique personality and “feel” that will be useful for one particular part of the body or other.
The most common varieties of fillers consist primarily of the ingredient hyaluronic acid or HA. HA is a natural molecule but diminishes with age. It binds to water in the body to rehydrate and plump the skin, reducing the effects of lines and wrinkles and helping individuals to look younger, more balances, rejuvenated and more refreshed. In the lips, fillers add volume and create a full, plump pout. Filler material differs in the size and density of the hyaluronic acid molecules, how they are “crosslinked” to one another, their viscosity, and other mechanical properties. Different HA products also have different affinities for water, which will determine how much water they inflate with (and how much they expand) after they are injected in or under the skin.
Dr. Chin works with a variety of hyaluronic acid products. Each is like a friend or helper with his or her particular personality. A patient’s skin type, skeletal structure, and facial geometry, along with Dr. Chin’s experience with the “personality” of each product, will determine which filler materials are right for you.
Microneedling is a very popular cosmetic procedure that can safely and effectively address a range of skin concerns. Radiofrequency or RF microneedling is an extension of the original technique that combines it with radiofrequency energy to take skin rejuvenation to the next level.
Microneedling involves the use of a handheld device which creates hundreds of tiny micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating the body to produce collagen and elastin to heal them, while also having the effect of tightening and smoothing the skin, reducing the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and other blemishes. In RF microneedling, radiofrequency energy is delivered deep into the dermis, heating the underlying layers of skin and further boosting collagen and elastin production and skin tightening. Since the radiofrequency energy can be delivered more deeply than the wounds of regular microneedling penetrate, it can produce faster and significantly more dramatic results.
RF microneedling is typically recommended for patients who have:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Volume loss
- Sagging skin and facial tissues
- Acne and/or chickenpox scarring
- Irregular skin tone and texture
- Mild to moderate skin laxity
Dr. Chin has developed techniques that make this treatment applicable for virtually all skin types and tones.
New Laser Technology – “Fraxel”, Fractionated resurfacing
The goal with cosmetic laser (and other energy delivery technologies) has always been to stimulate a particular group of cells deep within the skin that produces collagen, elastin, and other molecules that give skin its elasticity, firmness, youth, and healthy texture and complexion. These are the molecules that lose their form, loosen with time, or stop being produced altogether. Scientists have discovered that delivering certain types of energy to these cells and molecules actually regenerates them and stimulates them to produce healthier forms and amounts of collagen, elastin, and other molecules.
The problem is that to target these rejuvenating skin cells, the energy needs to be at a particular frequency and depth so that the surrounding cells are not damaged and the skin is not burned.
Enter quantum mechanics! Quantum mechanics teaches us that energy is neither simply a waveform nor a particle – but both. Yes, energy is actually made of tiny particles that interact with other matter. By delivering these tiny packets of energy at very precise frequencies and wavelengths, we can actually control which molecules and cells that energy interacts with and stimulates.
That is where lasers come in. Unlike the rainbow mixture of sunlight or ambient light, lasers deliver light energy and particles at a very specific wavelength—CO2 lasers at exactly 10,600 nm and thulium lasers at exactly 1,940 nm.
By employing a variety of different lasers, Dr. Chin is able to precisely target whatever particular molecules and cells that need to be destroyed or regenerated in a particular patient.
There are several different types of lasers used for this treatment, and Dr. Chin will be able to advise you which is most appropriate based on your individual needs, ethnicity, and skin type.
Laser resurfacing is typically recommended for patients who have:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Uneven skin tone
- Scarring, including acne and other types of scars
- Sagging skin
- Enlarged oil glands
- Sun damage
Laser for All Ethnicities!
One of the problems with traditional laser technologies has been that they are designed and optimized for Northern European skin types. The problem is that many individuals with any other genetic contributions—Latin American, Southern European, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Asian, etc—will behave differently from purely Northern European skin.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, one of the most racially and ethnically diverse communities in the world, Dr. Chin has built his practice with racial, biological, and aesthetic diversity in mind. He devotes his practice to providing medical and aesthetic services centered around this diversity of skin types and body types.
Dr. Chin currently has a wide arsenal of laser technologies used in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, where skin types present the same special challenges posed by Bay Area skin types.
Like the plethora of neurotoxins and injectable fillers available, each laser has its own particular personality. Dr. Chin will determine which laser(s) are right for you based on your aesthetic needs, biological skin type, and facial geometry.
Radiofrequency Microneedling - “Genius” and Vampire Lifts
Minimally invasive treatments are largely aimed at stimulating particular molecules and cells located in the deep layer of the skin.
One of the challenges in laser technologies is that to reach that deep layer of skin, lasers would have to travel through the more superficial layers of skin above them, causing collateral damage and even burns.
Thanks to advances in radiofrequency technology, we are now able to deliver precise packets of energy to precise depths beneath the surface of the skin where the skin tightening cells and molecular can be targeted and stimulated. Essentially, an array of the very tiny needle penetrates the skin. Only after arriving at a certain depth, the very tips of the needle “inject” a very precise dose of radiofrequency energy, leaving the layers of skin above essentially untouched.
Both lasers resurfacing and RF microneedling can be combined into what is known as a Genius Lift, whereby the deep layers of skin and even muscle can be rejuvenated and tightened, allowing wrinkled to be reduced and sagging skin to be lifted. The superficial layer of skin is then resurfaced using a high tech fractionated thulium laser, delivering light particles at exactly 1,940 nm. Genius!
In a ‘vampire lift,” the above microneedling and energy treatment can be followed by the applications of a biological product – platelet-enriched plasma – which is introduced into the skin to stimulate the body’s natural regenerative processes.
We are delighted to be able to offer a comprehensive list of the latest minimally-invasive cosmetic enhancement techniques here at our East Bay Plastic Surgery center, including the following:
- Thulium fractionated laser resurfacing
- Fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing
- Genius lift
- RF microneedling
- LaseMD thulium laser resurfacing
- Vampire facial
- DFresh™ nonsurgical eyelid lift
- Dermal fillers
- Juvéderm® products including Voluma™, Volbella™, and Volure™
- Chemical peels
- Dermal Subcision (for acne scarring)
- Nonsurgical hypertrophic scar treatments
- Nonsurgical fat removal
If you would like to find out more about any of the cosmetic procedures discussed here, please don’t hesitate to call us for your confidential consultation.