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Category : Cosmetic Surgery

Using Broadband Light to Banish Brown Spots

broadband light to banish brown spots

Wear sunscreen. “Sunspots” (gasp!), “age spots”, or even worse, “liver spots” are flat, non-raised, brown spots or freckles that develop on the skin after prolonged exposure to direct ultraviolet (or UV) rays. In med-speak, they’re called “solar lentigines”. Contrary to the common-speak, people of all ages are susceptible to these spots, and those with lighter skin tend to develop them more frequently. The most common areas to develop brown spots are those exposed to the sun most often, the face, chest, and hands.

How to Banish Brown Spots

The good news is that there is a fairly simple and relatively painless way to banish these brown spots. Summertime, when most people have their greatest sun exposure, is usually the time that we accumulate these brown spots, so I generally recommend that people wait until the fall (right around now) for removal. There are various topical treatment that have been recommended for these pigmented spots, but the quickest and most effective treatment is BBL (broadband light) treatment. BBL is FDA cleared for the treatment of benign pigmented lesions, among other conditions.

The light energy delivered by the BBL will be absorbed by the unwanted melanin responsible for pigmented lesions in the upper layers of the skin. Over the next few days to two weeks, the pigmented lesions will darken and fall off. Typically, three sessions, spaced two weeks apart are required for most effective removal of brown spots. The procedure takes about 15-20 minutes, and feels like the snapping of a rubber band on the skin. Most patients only find the treatment mildly uncomfortable. BBL treatment for brown spots requires no real downtime. There is occasionally slight redness of the skin, but when this occurs, it generally subsides in the few hours following your treatment. You can use moisturizer or cover-up on the face immediately following the procedure.

Anti-aging Anyone?

An added bonus of the treatment is that as the light energy of the BBL gently heats the upper layers of your skin, it stimulates your skin cells to regenerate new collagen, leading to increased skin firmness, smoother skin texture, and a more even color to your skin surface. Most patients can notice positive changes even after their very first session, though the results are cumulative. In my office, I offer a BBL treatment called “Forever Young BBL”, which is a special type of BBL treatment that can help you greatly improve your skin appearance and health. In fact, scientific evidence from a long-term Stanford University study demonstrates regular maintenance treatments using Forever Young BBL functionally rejuvenates skin and delays skin aging. Studies include patients treated 10+ years ago.

What Are Your Brown Spots Telling You?

Brown spots from the sun, or solar lentigines, are benign, but they do indicate excessive sun exposure, a risk factor for the development of skin cancers. Additionally, they will return with repeated sun exposure. So, ladies and gentlemen, wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, visit Dr. Liotta’s website or call (212) 288-2222.

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Selfies Drive An Increase In Plastic Surgery

selfies drive plastic surgery

What is a SELFIE?

This word, first used in an Australian internet forum on September 13, 2002, is used to describe an often unflattering photograph, typically taken by the subject either with a camera held at arm’s length or in a mirror, and often shared on social media. It was the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2013, and was added to Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary’s 11th edition.

Selfies Driving Increased Plastic Surgery

Believe it or not, according to a new study by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), the rise of the selfie is having a huge impact on the facial plastic surgery industry. The study showed that one in three facial plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for procedures as a direct result of patients being more self-aware of their appearance in social media selfies. In 2013, more than half of surveyed facial plastic surgeons (58 percent) saw an increase in cosmetic surgery or injectables in those under the age of 30, and this may be due in part to social media.

Is Social Media Making Us More Self-Conscious?

Many social media platforms, including Instagram, GroupMe, Snapchat and the iPhone app Selfie.im, are image-based. Our presence on these platforms forces us to see our own image repeatedly, and to look at our image with a more self-critical eye than ever before. Gone are the days of a morning farewell to ourselves in the mirror and a quick passing glance at our reflection in the Bergdorf Goodman window during the day. We are now forced to gaze at, and compare, our self-selfies and the selfies of others on a constant basis. We are more aware than ever that our photos are often the only first impressions available to prospective friends, colleagues, romantic interests and employers, and we want to put our best selfie-face forward.

In the article “Why Selfies Sometimes Look Weird to Their Subjects”, Nolan Feeney points out how the selfie can be a set up for disappointment.

Our Mirror Image Has Turned On Us

Whether or not a selfie is reversed after being shot is a major factor in how we perceive our photo. If you’ve used multiple mobile apps to take pictures of yourself, you’ve probably noticed that some, like Snapchat, show you the view of yourself that you would see in a mirror, and that others, like GroupMe, flip the image horizontally and save your selfie the way others would see you. We are used to seeing our image in the mirror, and we’ve grown accustomed to our mirror faces, and familiarity breeds liking. When our mirror image is flipped (this is what others see), it often looks strange and less attractive to us.

Our Faces Are Not Symmetrical Works of Art

Part of that is because everyone’s face is asymmetric. As photographer Julian Wolkenstein illustrates with his portraits, which duplicate each side of a face to create strikingly different versions of the same person, everyone’s left and right side is different.

Close Proximity Breeds Distortion

The close proximity of our faces to our smartphone lenses makes matters worse. Selfies exaggerate certain features, such as the nose. The parts of your face that are closer to the camera seem larger than other features in comparison to non-selfie photographs, where the distance from the camera to your face is longer and has more of a flattening effect on your face. Some people describe this as the “fisheye effect” of smartphone lenses. Bottom line? You don’t really look like that!

Do It for You, Not Your Selfie

I often have patients ask me, “What do I need?” with reference to Botox, facial fillers or plastic surgery. As I tell all my patients, you are the judge and jury as to what you “need” (and by “need” I mean “want”) in terms of cosmetic surgery. If you do decide to take the plunge, make sure to select a board-certified surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery of the face, head and neck, and make sure you’re doing it for yourself, and not just for your selfie.

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Expert Interview with Dr. Dara Liotta, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

dr liotta facial plastics nyc

Dr. Dara Liotta has recently joined Travel Beauty’s panel of experts.

About Dr. Liotta

An Ivy League-educated and fellowship-trained facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Liotta is dedicated not only to her own practice, but to continued education, research, and innovation in the field of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. In her offices on the upper east side of Manhattan, Dr. Liotta performs a wide variety of facial cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, including laser treatments, Botox, facial filler, and cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Dara Liotta is committed to helping her patients achieve beautiful, natural results that will last a lifetime. We can say first hand that her work and her bedside manner are top notch, which is why we asked her to join our esteemed panel of experts!

Travel Beauty sat down with Dr. Liotta for an exclusive Q & A session:

TB: What is the best/most rewarding part of what you do?

DL: I have an amazing job. I consider it an incredible privilege to be able to help my patients feel and look like the best possible versions of themselves.

TB: How does your background as an ENT surgeon inform and enhance your cosmetic practice?

DL: Having spent 5 years training in Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, before going on to complete fellowship training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, I’m intimately acquainted with, and comfortable manipulating, the delicate and complex anatomy of the face and neck from its most superficial to its deepest layers.

Four of our five senses are housed in this area, and I’ve been trained to appreciate and respect the vital structure and function of each. As a Board Certified ENT surgeon as well as a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, I believe that my job is not complete until everything looks good, functions well, and feels healthy.

TB: What are some common misconceptions you hear about injectables?

DL: With regards to facial fillers, patients tell me all the time that they are afraid of looking puffy, and having the pillowy, over-injected look of so many unfortunate celebrities. While everyone is different, the average patient may use 1 or 2 syringes of filler total. I like to point out that 5 syringes of filler like Juvederm are equal to only one teaspoon, so 1,2, or even 3 syringes can’t possibly make you look puffy. So don’t worry about that!

TB: Getting injectables and/or having plastic surgery is such a high stakes endeavor. What guidance can you give on picking a good surgeon? What should people steer clear of?

DL: It’s vital to be comfortable that you and your surgeon are on the same page in terms of the goals of surgery and what you consider to be a beautiful result- that you share the same idea of beauty. Assuming that you are comparing reputable, well-trained, talented surgeons, one of the most important things is choosing a surgeon whose aesthetic and opinion you trust. Cosmetic surgery is a little bit science and a little bit art.

Steer clear of physicians or surgeons who don’t have time to answer your questions, are hard to talk to, or are unavailable to you before your procedure.

TB: Any exciting new developments in your field that we can look forward to?

DL: Of course! The quest for beauty gets more high-tech, more minimally-invasive, and less painful every day. Stay tuned. . .

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