If you wish your skin felt a bit firmer or have begun to see this sign of loss of collagen and elasticity, you have more options than ever! Many people who might have gotten a facelift in the past are now opting for dermatological treatments instead, or at least forestalling the need for one. Today, dermatologists and plastic surgeons can tighten lax, sagging skin on the face and body—often without using a scalpel. 

We’ve sat down with Dr. Kate Jameson, Cosmetic Physician and the Medical Director of Youth Lab, Australia’s premier medical aesthetics clinic, to find out the new treatments that actually work.


BEAUTY BREAKTHROUGH: THE THREAD LIFT

 

What Is A Thread Lift?

A thread lift is a non-surgical skin lifting technique utilising fine thread material (sutures) with small anchors to gently lift and contour the face. Thread lifts have been used in cosmetic medicine for over 20 years, but we are seeing a huge advancement in technology and much more impressive results. 

Who is a Good Candidate for a Thread Lift? 

Although thread lifts are a safe and effective procedure they may not be suitable for everybody. Thread lifts are not an alternative to a surgical facelift in those with significant facial skin laxity or loss of volume. A thread lift can be thought of as an option for those who may consider surgery at a later date but are simply not ready. 

What Are the Different Threads Available?

Silhouette Soft threads are made of a biodegradable material called Poly-L-Lactic Acid, which is what medical grade surgical sutures are made of. Each suture has two series of cones which face in opposite directions offering a lift in both directions. The entire surface of the cones is smooth meaning patients don’t experience any discomfort then they are being anchored into the skin. 

PDO threads are made of Polydiaxanone (PDO) and there are many variations which can be placed in different layers of the skin to a produce different effect such as instant lifting, collagen stimulation and skin tightening. PDO threads come in different sizes, thickness and length which can be tailored to your individual concerns. 

How Does A Thread Lift the Skin?

A thread lift procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes and is done under local anaesthetic in sterile conditions. Small incisions are made in the skin with needles, then the threads and cones are gently inserted and pulled, which lifts and smooths the skin in the desired direction. The cones within the threads work to insert into the dermis of the skin and are anchored into position. Once the threads have been inserted the doctor will ensure symmetry and correct the position if required. 

How Long Can Does a Thread Lift Last?

Results are immediate with thread lifts and typically last for 12-24 months (up to 3 years in some cases). In addition, the results will continue to improve in the months following the procedure with the ongoing collagen stimulation. As the results are natural with a gradual reabsorption of the treads, maintenance treatments can be performed by adding more threads as needed over time. 

What Do I Have to Consider Before Choosing a Doctor to Perform a Thread Lift?

Although thread lifts are gaining popularity and more doctors are training in the procedure, it is still very important to select a practitioner who is experienced. As I mentioned, not everybody is a candidate for thread lifts and doing the procedure in the wrong patient can lead to low satisfaction levels and poor outcomes. A doctor who is experienced and can predict the results from a thread lift will be honest in explaining the options and offer alternatives as needed. Like with any procedure, trust and communication is key, select a doctor who ticks those boxes. 


BEAUTY BREAKTHROUGH: FAT DISSOLVING INJECTIONS

 

What are Fat Dissolving Injections?

In February 2017 an amazing new treatment was approved for use in Australia designed to dissolve fat underneath the chin, known as submental fat. The fat dissolving treatment is made up of an acid (deoxycholic acid) which occurs naturally in our bodies and is released by the gallbladder to help digest fat when we eat. The acid has been specifically formulated into an injectable which, when injected directly into fat cells, works to break down and assist in the reabsorption of fat. The newer fat dissolving injections (known as Kybella in the US and Belkyra in Australia) have been rigorously studied and have gone through the strict approval process to be sold to Australian doctors to be prescribed to patients. 

Who Should Consider Fat Dissolving Injections?

The procedure is suitable for anyone with stubborn pockets of fat that are non-responsive to diet and exercise. The product is a prescription only medicine which is safe and effective in the removal of moderate to severe fat below the chin. The treatment aims to improve the appearance and profile of patients and to help contour the jawline. We are also seeing good results in the removal of fat in other stubborn areas such as under the arms/bra line (bra fat), above the knees and in areas that have previously been treated with liposuction. 

How Long Does the Procedure Take?

Following consultation, the actual procedure time is minimal, taking only 15 minutes. The doctor will sterilise and mark up the treatment area with a special grid to enable precise injection and to ensure the dose is spread evenly. I personally inject local anaesthetic to the treatment area to ensure complete patient comfort. 

Is it Painful?

As with any cosmetic injectable procedure there are expected side effects which may include pain and discomfort, bruising, swelling and redness. Immediately after the treatment the area can feel warm and prickly, but discomfort is minimal. 

What is the Recovery Time?

The swelling may persist for up to 4-6 weeks after the treatment while the acid is working to dissolve the fat, most people report the swelling to only be significant for a week or so. In the case of this treatment swelling is a good thing as it means the fat dissolving treatment is working. 

Are Results Permanent?

Yes, once a treatment course has been completed and the desired aesthetic result has been reached, the results are expected to be permanent. Once a fat cell has been destroyed they are unable to store fat anymore thus reducing the total amount of fatty tissue in an area. 

How Many Treatments Are Needed?

Initially a treatment will be performed every 6 to 8 weeks, by this stage all the swelling from the previous treatment will be resolved. No more than 6 treatments are usually required, with the average number of treatments being 4. Most will start to notice significant results after 2 treatments. Each patient is individual and the amount of Belkyra used may also vary.

How Long Does it Take to See Results? 

Most patients see a visible improvement in the treated area after their second treatment. With results continuing to improve as the treatment course progresses.

For more, visit youthlab.com.au! 


ANTI-AGING SKIN SOLUTIONS

Without a good home care regime your in-clinic treatment will not deliver optimal nor long-lasting results. Dr. Kate shares her favorite go-to products.