Solutions from David B. Brothers, MD
David B. Brothers, MD, FACS, is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Atlanta.
As travelgirls, we were born to travel. But let’s face it: Globetrotting can be tough on your skin, even if you travel celeb-style with a cadre of beauty specialists. Too much baking in the sun or freezing on the slopes can take the bloom off the dewiest complexion, while dry cabin air, lack of sleep, suspect water, foreign cooties and jet lag can leave you looking a little too much like your passport photo.
Fortunately, a new slew of “quick fix” cosmetic treatments can cure your travel-related skin damage problems pronto — and without grounding you for months. We asked a renowned plastic surgeon, Atlanta-based Dr. David B. Brothers, to weigh in on the most promising office procedures, all guaranteed to get you back on the road again looking better and younger than ever.
Problem #1: You hit the road and whee! You leave your troubles behind, right? Wrong. Even if you’re headed to a monastery for a month to meditate, the stress and frazzle of traveling from here to there in the era of cancelled flights and lost luggage can add light years to your trip. Factor in the endless minutiae of travel (OMG, did I remember to confirm my hotel room, call the babysitter, pack my meds, log off at work, turn off the oven…) and it’d be a miracle if you didn’t return home without at least a few “souvenir” frown and worry lines on your face.
The solution: Botox Cosmetic © may not be able to stop that screaming kid behind you from kicking your seat, but it can temporarily reduce the frown lines he gave you. Botox can also smooth forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet and leave you looking younger and more relaxed. How does it work? When injected, Botox weakens the muscles of facial expression. Once the resting tone of the treated muscle is weakened, the pull of the muscles relaxes and the overlying skin flattens. The tiny injections are not painful, and there is usually no bruising or complications. Effects typically last three to four months, and should be repeated three to four times per year to maintain results.
Problem #2: You came home from a trip to a foreign land looking so thin and ragged that friends wonder if you were embedded with the bad guys — or maybe just with bad food. Maybe Kate Moss could pull off that heroin chic look. But on you, those hollow, gaunt cheeks make you appear older than your years rather than ready to shoot a perfume ad.
The solution: Fortunately, there’s a quick fix that will have you looking as cheeky as a
cherub in no time flat. Juvederm Voluma XC, the newest FDA-approved filler, can be injected more deeply underneath the skin to correct “flat” or “hollowed” cheeks and give you a more youthful fullness. Juvederm Voluma XC also helps create a subtle lift to the cheeks that’s tough to achieve with other fillers. Because the shape and volume of your cheeks impacts the overall appearance of your face, refining the cheeks improves the look of your entire face — no surgery required. Treatments take about 15 minutes and deliver immediate results. Effects last for up to two years.
Globetrotting can be tough on your skin, even if you travel celeb-style with a cadre of beauty specialists.
Problem #3: You’ve been circling the globe for so long that jet lag’s become a constant companion. Cramped quarters, bone-dry cabin air, and trying to appear chipper at
4 AM after being awake for 13 straight hours have joined forces to give you dark circles under your eyes, wrinkles between your nose and lips, and deep smile lines.
The solution: Juvederm, Restylane and Belotero, a trio of high-tech dermal fillers, can make you look like you spent hours getting pampered at a spa instead of sitting on a crowded plane. All three fillers provide subtle results without disturbing the natural contours of your face and work instantly, plumping treated areas and rehydrating for a more youthful appearance. The fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, a volumizing, hydrating substance that occurs naturally in the skin. The injection process takes about 15 minutes and there’s no downtime. Effects last about a year. Juvederm and Restylane are particularly effective at smoothing “smile lines” that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth. Both can be used to diminish wrinkles around the corners of the mouth, lips and nose and to plump up lips. Belotero reduces the appearance of very fine facial wrinkles and folds, and is used to correct a host of facial problems. The effects last about nine months.
Problem #4: You took your pampered American skin on a rugged Himalayan trek, and the results weren’t pretty. After 30 days of dirt, grime and no outlets to plug in your Clarisonic, your skin erupted in protest. By the time you got back to civilization, your once-flawless skin looked like the surface of the moon.
The solution: The Skin Pen or “micro needling” uses revolutionary new technology to shrink large pores, reduce acne scarring, smooth fine lines of the face and neck, and tighten and thicken the skin. How does it work? The Skin Pen is a medical-grade, state-of-the-art precision tool that creates microscopic channels in the skin that stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin. The painless treatment takes about 30 minutes, is done in three to six monthly sessions, and there’s no downtime. Dr. Brothers will develop a maintenance plan to help maintain the rejuvenating effects.
Problem #5: You ate your way through France, Italy and the Czech Republic and came home with unwanted fatty deposits. Now you understand why there’s no such thing as a free lunch, especially one that revolves around croissants, pasta and spaetzle.
The solution: The good news is you really can get some curves back into your body and neck without going under the knife. A procedure called truSculpt, a non-invasive alternative to liposuction, uses state-of-the-art radiofrequency technology to re-contour your body and neck by targeting and disrupting specific pockets of fat cells. Once the fat is broken up, it dissolves and leaves your body through natural processes. In addition, truSculpt stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that promotes skin elasticity and structure. It also helps tighten skin and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. The procedure is ideal for women with small pockets of fat and takes less than an hour. There’s no pain, downtime or recovery, and most people have up to 25 percent permanent fat reduction with some skin tightening. Two to three treatments at three- to four-week intervals will maintain results.
Problem #6: South Beach! Cancun! The Riviera! As a dedicated sun worshipper, you never miss a chance to soak up the rays and perfect your Baywatch tan. But lately, a slew of new age spots and sun spots have made you look more haggard than healthy.
The solution: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are a series of broad-spectrum-light treatments that reduce the appearance of everything from sun spots and age spots to freckles and spider veins. Unlike laser resurfacing, chemical peels and dermabrasion, there are no blisters, burns or interminable recovery periods. Treatments are done in a series every four weeks. In conjunction with excellent skin care products like SkinMedica, Revision and IS Clinical, Intense Pulsed Light therapy can restore a youthful glow to your skin.