Dr Neal Hamilton

SHINING LIGHT ON BETTER-LOOKING SKIN

Our 3rd post in this blog series for better skin focusses on facials . . . “So our skin looks the same or better in 10 years time“.

Traditional Facials - Feel Fantastic Do OK

Laser Facials - Feel OK Do Fantastic

The first 2 blogs in this series concerned skin care and anti wrinkle injections.

This post continues the theme of medical grade skin maintenance with a discussion of “Laser Facials”.

Like anti-wrinkle injections, they can be done just when you want a “buff and polish”. They also can be part of a regular maintenance regime every 6-12 weeks, often in conjunction with a low dose, anti-wrinkle injection top up.

The term “Laser Facial” is a generic one and can mean different things to different practitioners, and different clinics.

Here at Concept Cosmetic Medicine, we use the term “Laser Facial” to describe a process that:

HAS:
- NO PAIN
- NO DOWNTIME

IS:
- WALK-IN, WALK-OUT
- LOW COST
. . . And
- OK to do in parallel with TRADITIONAL FACIALS which feel so good - Albeit at different times.

All 3 Skin layers – Epidermis, Dermis and Subcutis are treated with various laser and topical treatments.

By doing this, people not only feel a “wow” that lasts for weeks/months after, but little by little changes the architecture of the skin to be more youthful.

The regular use of “Laser Facials” also allows to go on regular ‘Blemish Hunts’ where a ‘real life photoshopping’ of capillaries, pigments and barnacles means they don’t ever get out of control.

I recently spoke with Ada Nicodemou, of Channel 7’s Home and Away amongst other TV and movie fame. We talk about the importance of laser facials in the world of HD TV, as well as discuss a more general cosmetic industry overview.

Dr Neal

Anti-Wrinkle Injections, Not Naming Any Names But . . .

The 2nd of this blog series concerns anti-wrinkle injections.

Soft and natural rules!!!

“Stiff and stupid” is just that!

Cranky Lines, Forehead lines, Wolf Lines, Smokers Lines, Brow Lifting, Neck Bands, Jowl Line refining and Face Shaping are some, but by no means all, the domain of Anti-Wrinkle injections.

Together with home skin care (the subject of the last blog), they represent THE 2 KEY things we can do so that our skin looks its’ best both now and over the years ahead.

Highly purified Botulinum Toxin is what is used and there are 3 brands available in Australia.

Doctor’s aren’t allowed to name them by federal TGA laws (but journalists can – go figure!), so suffice to say I will use “BTX” to signify all the 3 brands from Galderma, Merz and Allergan. All three are produced by multinational and highly reputable companies.

At Concept Cosmetic Medicine we have all 3 brands but, all of our Dr’s feel a preference for the Galderma product.

It’s what we use on ourselves and our families. It’s not uncommon to receive feedback saying it works quicker and it lasts longer but also our Doctors feel it gives the best value for money at the moment.

Now while I’ve performed literally thousands of anti-wrinkle injections my key message has always remained the same - LESS IS MORE!

Soft and natural rules!!!

“Stiff and stupid” is just that!

Apart from the “#11” cranky lines between the eyebrows, ALL other areas of the face should be respected and left with enough movement to look and be natural. Any lines in the area treated will progressively soften and over time, will mostly fade anyway.

Think of this as SAME DOSE/SAME COST BUT SPREAD OVER A YEAR.  

The amount of $$$ dependent on you’re your personal budget and skin maintenance goals and desires, but spread over more clinic visits.

No obvious ‘ups and downs’ of too heavy a result followed by too too much of a wear off. Just a smooth consistent result with analogous to hair colouring, never left to leave “GT stripes”.

Scheduled maintenance is the key to deliver a far better and more natural result.

If you don’t have a Medical Practitioner and we are too far away to discuss this more nuanced approach to Anti-Wrinkle injections, the list of Fellows and Members of the The Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia is a good place to start. 

Next week I’ll discuss “next level” skin maintenance. When and why some may consider, the LASER FACIAL

Dr Neal

WHICH MOISTURISER SHOULD I USE DOC?

This a question I get asked a lot (skincare is a vexed topic for Cosmetic Doctors) and the short answer is is ‘anything that suits you!’

If it feels good - it does good! BUT… we still want more for our patients.

Let me explain it like this:-

Even as an Associate Professor of Clinical Aesthetics I still have NO BUSINESS getting between you and your favourite Beauty Counter or Advisor.

If you have a liking, or maybe a need, for vast quantities of what the ‘ground floor cosmetic counters’ have to offer, then go for it!

All good!

If, however, you are a minimalist and want what works best, the following might help:

 

A.M.

 

Sunscreen (Of your choice)
+

Makeup (Of your choice)

 
 

P.M.

 

Cleanser (Of your choice)
+
Moisturiser* (Consider Professional Advice)

*Why? 

Because the night time use of “Medical” moisturisers represent a higher standard (sometimes they are called Cosmeceuticals).       

Best choice deserves professional discussion but may include:

  • Fruit acids known as AHA’s (Glycolic, Lactic, Salicylic)
  • Vit A’s Retinol (Retinaldehyde is best here)
  • etinyl Palmitate Retinyl Aceteate (usually a bit weak for my liking)

OR

If you have access to a Cosmetic Doctor and practice for Medical Skin Maintenance,
Ask them about:

  1.         Prescription Vit A-  Retinoic acid 
  2.         Prescription Estriol(if post-menopausal)
  3.         Prescription Hydroquinone (if pigmented)

These “Medical Moisturisers” change, repair and preserve the skin’s architecture, especially sun damaged Aussie skin, for the better and not just conceal and cover.

If you don't have an expert cosmetic Doctor, then the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australia’s website, it's a good place to start.

In my next blog I'll discuss anti-wrinkle injections and the different types available.

Dr Neal Hamilton           

How much do lip augmentations usually cost?

Lip augmentations, also called plumped-up lips or lip fillers are a popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment these days. You only have to look at the celebrity pages in your local mag to see that. But it’s not only celebrities availing of this treatment. Everyday people who feel their lips are a little on the thin side find a lip augmentation to be a relatively inexpensive way to increase the fullness of their lips, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and boost confidence.

Now we don’t suggest you go wild with this treatment; you still want to look natural.

Most people agree that beautiful, voluptuous, kissable, full lips are nice! Now we don’t suggest you go wild with this treatment; you still want to look natural. Some clients, though, do insist on a heavier treatment. This in itself can push the price of the treatment up due to the extra volume of filler required. The more filler required, the higher the treatment cost.

There are a few factors that determine how much filler we will use and thus the treatment cost. Of course, the first is the advice of the practitioner and then, as we said, what you as a client ultimately decide after that advice. Your practitioner may prescribe the use of a filler or a fat transfer or even some of the more permanent agents we can use. All these have different costings.

The most common way of augmenting or plumping lips is with the dermal filler products. These tend to come in half vials and full vials, so this is the costing point for price determination. Most people start with a full vial with ⅔ on the bottom and ⅓ on top. With some it will be ¼ on top and ¾ on the bottom and 50ml ½ - ½. The cost of the product from the suppliers varies between $605 and $770 for one vial.

How often do I have to have my lip augmentation treatment?

If it’s done in the appropriate manner, you should get at least 12 months out of the first injection. After that you’ll probably get 18 months to 2 years out of your next treatment. You see, the more you do this procedure, the less often you need to do it. Because while the fillers are temporary, they create an architecture or scaffolding where a permanent collagen lay-down happens and you’re getting a permanent result out of a temporary agent.

Do be aware that there is an immense difference between the practitioners around the country. So for some clinics that aren’t following the appropriate optimum procedures, the fillers may not last as long and you’ll have to have it done more often. In the long run, you’ll be paying for more. In your consultation, we will discuss openly all the options with you.

Dr Neal

Fraxel, Chemical Peel or Microdermabrasion - Which One For Me?

Which is better?

When we talk about microdermabrasion, we’re referring to a skin-exfoliating treatment used to improve the condition of acne scars and fine wrinkles. It removes portions of the epidermis and/or dermis, allowing for the regeneration of fresh, new, healthy-looking skin. This is a big treatment but it will last the next decade or so – it’s a big deal and has big results. We'll ask you for one to two weeks of your time for this particular treatment.

On a yearly or eighteen month basis, it’s the best buff and polish we can do.

When you come just for laser (or Fraxel) peeling we only ask you to give us three to four days of your time – most people can just go back to work and look a bit silly for a short time. On a yearly or eighteen month basis, it’s the best buff and polish we can do. It absolutely keeps you in your best condition. A laser peel doesn’t necessarily turn the clock back by a decade, but it keeps you in a time capsule so that in 10 years’ time your skin is looking better than it does now.  If you do this every year or eighteen months and do nothing else for your skin except look after it each night with whatever product you use, you can’t look after your skin any better.

Fraxel Laser

Only the top-of-the-range Fraxel Repair System will do.

Why do we use a Fraxel System? Because we know it’s the best. But there’s a bit of confusion out there because there are various models of Fraxel. The company hasn’t given them names to differentiate the models!

When we talk about cars - Like Toyota (the brand), the company differentiates each model with names like Corolla, Camry, Lexus etc. When it comes to skin repair systems, there is little or no way to differentiate the machine to the untrained eye. It just says "Fraxel" on the machines.

The names of the Fraxel machines could be something like:

  • Fraxel Restore
  • Fraxel Refine
  • Fraxel Dual
  • Fraxel Repair

 . . . those are the terms we choose to use at CCM.

These four different types of Fraxel laser each do different things and understandably, most consumers are none-the-wiser of their power and purpose.

Let me explain:
Fraxel Restore was the first, that’s the ‘6-cylinder’.
They then brought out the Refine, this would be the 4 –cylinder. Not very powerful but very common - Like 1998 Corolla.
The Dual is bit more serious and is the ‘8-cylinder’ model.
However the Repair is the ’12-cylinder’ and would be the Formula 1 race car. Only to be driven by skilled professionals with a lot of experience - if you want to think of it that way.

Now, you can go to your local "shopping centre beautician" and have a Fraxel laser facial, sure. But they're using (and only allowed to use) the base model, ‘4-cylinder’ machines and in our opinion, it’s a waste of your money and won’t bring the results you need.

When we speak of using a Fraxel Laser at Concept Cosmetic Medicine, we’re talking the Formula 1 - V12! The Fraxel Repair - We wouldn’t use any other.

The Fraxel Repair can do everything that the other three machines before them can do, plus more. Sure, the Dual can do everything the other machines underneath can do, but it can’t do anything the V12 – Repair – can do above it.

We think you and your skin are worth the best, most long-lasting treatments and we invest heavily in providing you the latest and up-to-date in skincare technology and training.

If you have any more questions on Fraxel Laser Treatments please feel free to contact us, even just for a chat. There's absolutely no obligation to book in and we love "talking shop".

Dr Neal.

Liposuction / Tummy Tuck - What's the difference?

When most people are talking about the need for tummy tucks, they’re probably referring to the mummy-tummies – women who have had their ‘bubs’ and would really like to get that tummy back into shape. Women, whose tummies are way down near their knees, need a tummy tuck, for sure. Tummy tucks are also required if you have lots of loose skin from significant weight loss – say, 20, 30 or 50 kg. In this case the tummy tuck is the only choice to get rid of that skin.

A tummy tuck is a formal cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure called abdominoplasty. It comes with all of the usual hospital-based dangers and all of the hospital-based expense. In fact, it is one of the most complicated of all surgeries. In other words, it’s going to be big deal for you.

A little liposuction works wonders for most women

Liposuction, as you can guess from its name, is the removal of local fat deposits through a suction process. Liposuction can form part of the tummy tuck procedure, but the tummy tuck also involves having skin cut away, and muscle as well.

A little liposuction works wonders for most women, especially for those who haven’t had babies yet and just want to get back into skirts and shorts and skinny jeans again – to wear tighter clothes that make you feel good.

Now, liposuction is especially good when it’s combined with a skin tightening procedure. In fact, that’s the only process we recommend for ultimate results. This type of liposuction is more accurately called ‘liposculpture’. You see, it’s not just about sucking out fat, it’s also about tightening the skin and contouring.

Liposculpture is a non-hospital, non-dangerous procedure. It’s a walk-in–walk-out job, with minimal discomfort. You can usually go back to work the next day, unlike tummy tucks that are a major form of surgery and have you off work in recovery for quite a while. The other good news is liposculpture is relatively inexpensive

Here at Concept Cosmetic Medicine we are experts in liposculpture that targets the tummy (abdomen), inner and outer thighs, ‘love handles’, arms, chin, neck and jawline. In a relatively short space of time, and with minimal discomfort, you can regain that figure that you lost somewhere along the way, probably for good reasons!

Dr Neal.

How much do anti-wrinkle injections cost?

How much anti wrinkle injections cost is often a factor in deciding whether to go ahead with a treatment. But you have to be careful in choosing a anti wrinkle injections based on price alone, as it’s likely that a cheap anti wrinkle injections service is an inferior treatment.

In our clinic, how much a anti-wrinkle injections costs depends on how much we’re going to use. We operate with the principle that the more anti-wrinkle injections you purchase from us, the less you will pay per unit. We do this so that you can afford the very best treatments we can give that will last a longer time. Our aim is to be the least expensive of all the reputable clinics in town.

Now why do we consider ourselves a reputable clinic? Because we only have qualified doctors who do these treatments. We use doctors so that we are confident you are getting the best treatments that will last as long as they can.

You certainly may be able to get cheap treatments elsewhere, but cheap treatments probably mean that you are not actually having enough of the material in the right place. The best analogy is filling your car up with petrol. You don’t just go in to buy $50 worth of petrol – you want to know how many litres of petrol have gone in.

We only provide doctors qualified to administer this treatment.

You should not have nurses injecting these products in an unsupervised and unauthorised way.
Ultimately, this is illegal.

In comparing anti-wrinkle injections, you need to consider whether it is a qualified doctor that is doing the anti wrinkle injections or if it is just a technician or nurse. If it is a nurse, which doctor is prescribing the anti-wrinkle injections? Who is going to be on the premises while the treatment is being done? Who is going to fix it if it doesn’t go right? And how much anti-wrinkle injection is going to be used and where is it going to be applied? These are all questions to ask when considering the price of anti-wrinkle injections.

If price is the only thing that matters, you can probably get it cheaper. But we’re of the opinion that cut-price cosmetic medicine is not a good idea. And this is one reason why at Concept Cosmetic Medicine we have qualified doctors on hand to prescribe, administer and supervise anti-wrinkle injections.

If it is a nurse injecting this prescribable drug without the direct contact of the medical practitioner at the time of prescribing it and overseeing it, it is both illegal and inappropriate. You should not have nurses injecting these products in an unsupervised and unauthorised way. Ultimately, this is illegal. It is no different to allowing someone without the appropriate ‘ticket to play’ (qualifications) to prescribe your blood pressure or diabetes medication or narcotics.

So how much do anti wrinkle injections cost? In a reputable clinic like ours, most people coming through for a anti wrinkle injections are paying $10 per unit. And the more that has to be used, the cheaper it will get. Rest assured, at Concept Cosmetic Medicine you will be receiving your treatments in a professional, safe manner by medical practitioners and you will receive the amount of anti wrinkle injections that will give you maximum results. This is your body you’re talking about – it deserves the best treatment. And remember, our pricing structure is fair.

Dr Neal.