Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beyond mesotherapy for skin tightening

Body sculpturing with non-surgical approaches was one of the most exciting topics of the ASDS meeting. The development of minimally invasive skin tightening and fat removal technology has always been an equal source of fascination and frustration for the media (see traditional mesotherapy), but there are procedures coming up that could advance far past what is currently possible.

To me, the current king of skin tightening and cellulite reduction is the Accent. It's a deeply penetrating unipolar radiofrequency device. The main difference between unipolar and older bipolar RF devices is it doesn't need to use electrical current in the tissue; rather, it uses high-frequency electromagnetic radiation, which causes the water molecules of the skin to rapidly oscillate, thus producing heat, which dissipates deep into the surrounding tissue.

I authored a study in the Journal of Dermatologic Study on this that you can find here.

Newer research have focused on ultrasound (UltraShape, as Dr. Pozner told you about below), or cryolipolysis (Zeltiq) and injectable substances such as deoxychoate.

This is the latest that may allow patients to lessen fat and improve their body shapes without surgery, pending FDA approval. I am one of the investigators on this new material manufactured by Kythera. The stuff literally melts fat. It’s development follows some of the pioneering work on a scientific approach to mesotherapy by California dermatologist, Dr. Adam Rotunda.

A common problem in the past has been poor standardization of mesotherapy injections. This has led to a lot of bad results due to some inexperienced practitioners. Once again, patients should never skimp on qualifications when it comes to cosmetic medicine. Kythera may someday make mesotherapy a widespread option for skin tightening.

Dr. David Goldberg
Skin and Lasers


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