There were many “hot topics” at the annual meeting. Here’s a summary of what is new in the area of cosmetic treatments:
- Body contouring with lasers that “cool” fat cells or devices that heat fat cells. There is not a lot of good research showing the effectiveness of these devices. The before and after pictures are not all impressive. At best, patients can lose a few inches with these treatments. Diet and exercise may be a better option.
- New laser for tattoo removal: there is a new laser with shorter pulse duration “pico seconds” which removes tattoos safely in 3-4 treatments vs up to 10 treatments for standard tattoo removal lasers. The treatment will likely be available initially at university medical centers. This is a breakthrough and results are impressive.
- Wrinkle treatments:
- The newest approach to treatment of wrinkles with “filler” agents is to treat volume loss in the face rather than just specific lines or wrinkles. Deep frown lines, for example, improve best when volume loss in the cheeks and chin area treated instead of just treating the wrinkle. All of the agents Restylane, Juvederm, Botero, Radiesse and Sculptra can be used in this manner. The choice of agent depends on the patient’s needs and doctor preference.
- There are now 3 brands of “Botox”. All 3 are equivalent in benefit when dosed correctly. Botox, and its competitors can be used with fillers or lasers to enhance results. Some new approaches to Botox treatment were reported.