October commemorates Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This disease affects both young and old, male and female. Fortunately, science has advanced so much that being diagnosed with cancer need not be a death sentence. With screening mammograms and breast self-examinations we can detect disease early, which hugely improves outcomes. Don’t wait until it’s too late – make a date with yourself, to have your screening test.

And moving from the chest up to the face, this week we talk about lifting procedures. We have all stood in front of the mirror pulling our skin up towards our ears, lamenting: “If only I could do this, or that…” Well, now you can – and it’s a lot less invasive than you imagined.

Thread lifting has come so far and many bespoke treatments are available today. We have threads originating from all over the world including Europe, Russia and Korea. These are the leaders in thread technology. And not all threads are equal but each has its place. Korean threads are small threads that provide a little lift, but when you insert several they can give an amazing result on skin tightening and lifting. They are quickly and easily inserted, requiring just a dash of anaesthetic injected into the skin. Extremely cost effective at R500 per thread, one can really budget and insert as many as you want per session. Results last about a year.

My firm favourite is still the Silhouette Soft ‘One Stitch Mini Lift’. Silhouette Soft was originally developed in France and still provides phenomenal lifting through a cone-on-thread method. Both fat and skin are lifted in this procedure. The company only guarantees the thread’s presence for 18 months. However, because your own collagen thread forms around the thread, the lifting result can last years.

Lastly, the Russians, or rather the Georgians, to be more exact, brought us the Aptos thread. This thread, although much tougher and involving a little more local anaesthetic and procedure time, will last at least two years. Again, this treatment stimulates your own collagen thread to form. I reserve this procedure for the fuller face, or extreme sagging in the neck. We really have come a long way and can now offer tailor-made treatments to fit every face shape and size. After years of doing thread lifting, I can happily say it is an extremely safe, effective and relatively affordable way of lifting sagging skin and repositioning fat to where it belongs!

A relatively new treatment to take Hermanus by storm is the HIFU, which stands for high intensity focused ultrasound. The ultrasound causes tissues to heat up quickly, resulting in controlled damage to cells. Although this doesn’t sound good, it is in fact the way we stimulate cells to produce lots of collagen. The increase in collagen results in a firmer, tighter skin with fewer wrinkles. HIFU has been approved by the FDA for brow lifting and the reduction of facial wrinkles, tightening of sagging skin, lifting of cheeks and eyelids, enhancing jawline definition, tightening of décolleté and general smoothing of the skin.

In addition, the HIFU we have can actually dissolve fat below the surface of the skin. So say goodbye to those saggy jowls! Severe sagging may require a second treatment, but results are long lasting and our patients have been very happy with their results.

People ask about downtime and pain. There may be a little redness when you have the procedure done, and while some people may bruise slightly, it won’t be anything that can’t be covered with foundation. The procedure itself is generally well tolerated. You may feel tiny electric pulses or prickling but nothing unbearable. This really is a ground-breaking treatment and we are fortunate to have it available right here in Hermanus.

There are many options for skin-tightening, but for true lifting and contouring of fat the real trump cards are thread lifting and HIFU. The one does not replace the other, but rather work hand in hand to complement each other. We may also choose one or the other according to your particular face shape and body fat content. Contact us directly for your bespoke treatment plan and see how we can lift your spirits as well as your face.

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