THIRD QUARTER 2000, VOLUME 14, NO 3

Ask the Surgeon | What’s New | Health Tip

IN THIS ISSUE

Fun in the sun with protection and care

Various procedures for skin rejuvenation and which one is best for you

Ask the surgeon

Lip augmentation found to be a trendy new procedure

Ask the Surgeon
I have heard that exfoliation can improve the look and feel of my face. Are there drawbacks to using an over-the-counter exfoliant?

Exfoliation can improve your skin by eliminating small wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and smoothing out rough, dry skin or mild acne. Exfoliants work by stripping away worn-out surface skin cells by softening the glue that holds them together, thus giving a youthful rosy glow and stimulating the production of new collagen. The disadvantage to using an over-the-counter exfoliant is that products are not required to disclose the concentration of the active ingredient, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). The concentration may range from two percent to 10 percent. The degree of acidity (the pH) of the product is also an important factor and may cause skin irritation. Products should have a pH of 3.5 or higher; the higher the pH the lower the acidity. It is best to consult with your facial plastic surgeon regarding what method and product will be most appropriate for your skin type.

Whats New
Artecollâ is an implantable material recently introduced in a study in the United States. It is a suspension of synthetic particles mixed with collagen. It is believed to be a lasting correction for wrinkles and other skin defects.

The skin is anesthetized by a topical anesthetic cream in the area to be treated. Artecollâ is injected with a very small needle under the skin.

Three or four injections are often required to achieve the desired result. After approximately three months, Artecollâ becomes surrounded by your own natural collagen and provides permanent tissue augmentation.

Although over 100,000 patients have benefited from Artecollâ outside of the U.S. it is still waiting for FDA approval. Currently, a select group of qualified physicians are participating in a study to determine the safety and effectiveness of the material. Check with your facial plastic surgeon to find out more information about this new, potential treatment.

Health Tip
If you are scheduling cosmetic or reconstructive surgery this summer there are certain precautions to consider as you recover. Avoid direct sunlight; your skin will be extra sensitive and irritated if exposed for any length of time. To provide protection, wear sunscreen when you are outdoors with preferably sun protection factor (SPF) 25, or no less than SPF 15. Wear light, tightly woven clothes, a wide-brimmed hat, and protective sunglasses. Summer conditions also contribute to over-drying the skin with the sun and heat; keep your skin moisturized. Avoid rigorous activity or any activity that may risk injury. Remember that your body is recovering from surgery, so you might want to plan that summer getaway for comfort, convenience, and at least four weeks after surgery. Healing varies with each person, however, with proper planning and care you can enjoy your summer.