Archive for May 2011
May 25th, 2011
Adonis may disagree but we find the average human form to be perfectly imperfect; we all have an area or two (or three) we wish we could resolve with the ease of Photoshop – a brush stroke here and an eraser there. In Victoria, BC, patients often seek alternatives to surgical liposuction preferring less invasive treatments so as not to take time away from their active lives and families. As such, Cosmedica has evolved a comprehensive body contouring division to target the most common body concerns: unwanted fat, cellulite, lax skin and weight management.
We are all born with a finite number of fat cells that grow and shrink with the onset or loss of body mass. Diet, activity and certain metabolic or physiological conditions may all contribute to the gaining or losing of weight (common knowledge). Lifestyle is generally the first to be overhauled when one desires to improve their BMI and shape up but, still, localized fat like that common around tummies, thighs and bottoms can resist your best efforts. At the point of a <30 BMI, most patients qualify for non-invasive body contouring at Cosmedica in Victoria, BC.
Cosmedica takes a comprehensive look at non-invasive body contouring. We tailor effective technologies and products for a unique, individualized program. Patients may benefit from high intensity focused ultrasound systems like LipoSonix™ or UltraShape™ for fat reduction around the abdomen, flanks, buttocks and thighs as well as for gentle skin tightening. Thermage® is indicated for cellulite and lax skin on the arms, tummy, buttocks or even the legs. Cosmedica offers the latest Thermage® technology, Thermage® CPT, with an integrated vibrating treatment head for maximum patient comfort and increased power. The result: over 90% patient satisfaction. While these non-invasive, no-downtime procedures are not quite competitors to the results of surgical options, they are highly effective alternatives for those who desire noticeable improvement without the inherent risks of surgery or anesthesia.
Patients may maximize results of body contouring procedures and manage weight in the long term with GliSODin Skin Nutrients – a revolutionary, all natural and Canadian-made line of supplements for detoxification and slimming. The Advanced Detoxification formula eliminates toxins and cleanses and protects the liver to effectively prepare the body for weight loss. Potent concentrations of primary antioxidants also neutralize free-radicals and promote total body wellness as well as clearer, smoother skin. The Advanced Slimming Formula assists with healthy weight management by promoting lean muscle mass and balanced blood sugars. With integrated digestion aids, appetite is satisfied longer and bloating is minimized. The Advanced Slimming Formula may be taken as an ongoing weight management supplement safely, without the risks associated with diet/energy pills to maximize overall health.
May 4th, 2011
Canadian dermatologists have had one more therapeutic option available for use in their rosacea patients, following the approval last summer of azelaic acid 15%.
"It seems to be working well," says Dr. Lyn Guenther, a professor in the department of medicine at the University of Western Ontario and a dermatologist in private practice in London, Ont.
"There is not one therapy that works in 100 per cent of patients 100 per cent of the time. For some people, a treatment like metronidazole may not be sufficient. It is nice to have another option."
Dr. Guenther notes some patients are very loath to taking oral antibiotics and want to try all possible topical agents before resorting to oral antibiotics.
Azelaic acid gel (15%), is a topical therapy designed to address the inflammatory papules, pustules and flushing or redness that characterize papulopustular rosacea. Two randomized, placebo-controlled trials of the azelaic acid gel conducted in the U.S. demonstrated a reduction in redness and swelling in rosacea patients and demonstrated that the topical therapy was well-tolerated.
Finacea can be used as monotherapy to treat the papules, pustules, and redness associated with rosacea or it can be used in combination with therapies such as metronidazole, which is available as a gel or cream, according to Dr. Guenther.
Patients with rosacea typically have sensitive skin, and it is recommended that they use mild skin cleansers that do not sting, adds Dr. Guenther.
There are about two million Canadians living with rosacea, with the disorder being more prevalent among Caucasian women aged 30-50 years. It typically affects those affected with fair skin.
Rosacea triggers can't always be avoided
One of the keys to preventing rosacea flares or exacerbating rosacea symptoms is to avoid the numerous recognized triggers such as spicy foods, alcohol, wind, sun, and strenuous activity, but patients can't insulate themselves from all of the triggers all of the time, notes Dr. Lisa Kellett, a Toronto dermatologist and medical director at DLK on Avenue Inc.
"People have to be reasonable," says Dr. Kellett. "You have to live. You just have to use your judgement. Don't have a glass of wine before you are having your picture taken."
While rosacea is a chronic condition and represents a spectrum of disease, Dr. Kellett notes it can be treated.
"It cannot be cured, but it can be controlled," says Dr. Kellett, who advises that topical treatments represent first-line therapy and that physicians then seek oral antibiotics like minocycline, tetracycline, and doxycycline if patients do not see satisfying results with topical treatments. "You really do need maintenance treatment whether you are using a topical antibiotic, a systemic antibiotic, or a laser."
Light therapies, such as intense pulsed light, and lasers, such as the pulsed-dye laser, are used to treat the telangiectasia, erythema, and visible blood vessels that are present in patients with rosacea, says Dr. Kellett.
Pulsed-dye laser treatments can be more aggressive or less aggressive depending on the practitioner, notes Dr. Chris Keeling, a dermatologist in Edmonton and a clinical associate at the University of Alberta.
"You usually get the most improvement after the first treatment, but can continue to see decreased vessel numbers with succssive visits," says Dr. Keeling.
The use of the pulsed-dye laser or IPL permits patients to return to their regular activities immediately, according to Dr. Keeling.
"You can get rid of the patient's [blood] vessels without downtime," he says. "You can have laser treatment and go back to work in the afternoon."
The downside of pulsed-dye laser treatment is that there is some discomfort with the treatment that turns off some patients after one treatment, and for many patients, seeking broadband light therapy or laser treatment is a cost that they will have to pay for themselves.
"The sensation is like a rubber band snapping against the skin," says Dr. Keeling. "It is uncomfortable, but most patients tolerate it."
Low self esteem common
Patients may return for as many as 10 treatments if they want to rid themselves of almost every visible vessel, but some may be satisfied with the resutls after a couple of treatments. A series of pulsed-dye laser treatments will keep the blood vessels away for about four years, says Dr. Keeling. It is recommended that patients undergo one or two pulsed-dye laser treatments per year as maintenance therapy.
Treating the papules and pustules or the telangiectasia and flushing that can accompany rosacea can improve quality of life for patients, some of whom experience low self esteem and frustration.
The unique aspect of azelaic acid 15% is that it is a natural product, says Dr. Keeling.
"It is derived from wheat, barley, and rye," explains Dr. Keeling. "It reduces skin cell proliferation, and it can be used in acne as well. Some dermatologists use it to treat melasma."
One of the potential limitations of azelaic acid 15% is that it can increase facial hairs, warns Dr. Mark Lupin, a dermatologist in Victoria, director and founder of Cosmedica Laser Centre, a clinical instructor in the department of dermatology in the faculty of medicine at the University of British Columbia, and a fellow of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.
"That [possible side effect] may be a concern for women," says Dr. Lupin.
Ocular rosacea occurs in up to 50 per cent of rosacea petients, and some patients may not be aware that their eyes are affected, stresses Dr. Lupin.
"Patients may not know it," says Dr. Lupin. "You may wake up with dry eyes and not think of it as a skin condition. If they present with minor symptoms, a topical opthalmic lubricant should treat it."
If an ophthalmic lubricant is appropriate, Dr. Lupin refers patients with ocular rosacea to an ophthalmologist for treatment, but more severe ocular rosacea may be better treated with oral therapies.
"If they present with red eyelids, something more than just topical therapy may be required," explains Dr. Lupin. "The advantage of a systemic therapy is that if we see someone with inflammation and ocular rosacea, the inflammation and their eyes will both improve [with systemic therapy]."
Some oral agents such as doxycycline are more photosensitive than other agents, and are not a judicious treatment choice in the summer months for rosacea patients, says Dr. Lupin. In addition, IPL should not be applied to treat rosacea symptoms when patients are tanned, noted Dr. Lupin. Sulfa drugs are also part of the pool of therapies that can be used to treat rosacea, but clinicians need to be aware that patients may have a sulfa allergy, which excludes them as candidates for sulfa drugs.
Amiodorone may cause rosacea symptoms
Flushing and redness can also be alleviated with newer anti-oxidant products, notes Dr. Lupin.
"They are designed to strengthen the collagen, and they do seem to help with diminishing the blood vessels," says Dr. Lupin.
Physicians should be aware that some pharmacotherapies contribute to the symptoms of rosacea, says Dr. Guenther. A drug like amiodarone, an antiarrhythmic agent, is commonly prescribed, but can act as a rosacea trigger.
"You can prescribe alternatives [to amiodarone], and the rosacea will disappear," says Dr. Guenther. "Often, we will speak to the cardiologist, and they then will switch the patient to another drug. There are usually a few different choices."
Other therapies such as epidermal growth factor inhibitors, designed to treat particular cancers, can also worsen rosacea symptoms, adds Dr. Guenther.
Rosacea may be induced by steroid use, and therapies such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus can be effective in those instances, Dr. Guenther added in conclusion.