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Treatment: Instant Youth Intensive Anti-ageing Programme
Where: EstheClinic, 424 Joo Chiat Road. T: 6344 0121. www.estheclinic.com.sg
Objective: Boost the skin's buoyancy and youthfulness
Time: 45-75 minutes each day, for three consecutive days
Price: S$990 for 3 days' treatment on the face, inclusive of the Eladerm cosmeceutical skincare regimen (CosmeLED Le Sérum, CosmeLED La Crème and Le Dermabooster); $S1,160 for the full face-and-neck package inclusive of products.
Hi-tech protocol: Thermo-controlled Radiofrequency which heats the skin and stimulates collagen.
A gel is applied to the face, followed by a heated applicator that should immediately shrink the skin as the radiofrequency waves go into the subdermal and inner dermis layers.
This is followed by gentle micro-needling which can feel alternately ticklish and slightly painful in some areas. This is to allow the topical proprietary serum (Eladerm CosmeLED Le Serum) to penetrate into the skin, to enhance the regenerating and brightening effect.
The third step sees LED photomodulation panels placed over your face, using cold light to activate new collagen formulation. Because of the intensity, the effect is double that of a one-off treatment and can continue for up to four months, the clinic says. The programme may be repeated every two to six months, depending on the skin condition.
EstheClinic was founded in France, and the company also manufactures and distributes aesthetic treatment machines and cosmeceuticals.
Freezing Fats Off
Treatment: Zeltiq CoolSculpting
Where: Freia Medical, #19-03, Wisma Atria Office Tower. T: 6735 8180. www.Freia.sg
Objective: Fat loss in abdomen, thighs, arms and even chins
Time: About 30 minutes for the actual procedure
Price: The recommended retail price per treatment is S$700, and may vary from clinic to clinic.
Hi-tech protocol: Zeltiq's CoolSculpting is the only FDA-approved cryolipolisis machine to "freeze" fats.
It's now the go-to method for inch loss, where fat cells rather than just fat, are removed by non-invasive freezing.
When it was first introduced, cryolipolisis was available only for bigger areas of the body like the abdomen and thighs. Five years ago, if you wanted to freeze away the fat in your arms or your chin, it was impossible. Apparently, it's all got to do with the applicator rather than the machine. Now that Zeltiq has launched its Coolmini applicator, cases of double chins and 'bra fat' can be treated.
Consulting doctor Harold Ma takes the patient through a quick consult and "before" photographs of the treatment area are taken. After he marks out where the Coolmini applicator should go, his nurses position them so they'll be able to stay still comfortably for half an hour. Acting like a vacuum device, the applicator pinches and suctions up the area to be exposed to freezing temperature.
The pinch-and-suction process is a bit uncomfortable, and then you feel cool air reaching the area. Within seconds, the air gets very much colder until the area is numbed. This is where it gets a bit intense, as you can feel pressure building at the back of your head as well, and there's the stress of staying still so the applicators don't fall out. It's quite a relief when it's over.
Cryolipolysis is not an instant treatment as after the freezing, the body has to naturally remove the crystallised fat cells over at least six weeks - which is when you'll see results. There might be soreness in some areas for about 10 days after treatment, so it's advised to massage the treated area the way one does a bruise, to reduce the tenderness.
Treatment PicoToning Laser
Where: Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, #05-11 Wheelock Place. T: 6732 4981. www.drcalvinchan.com
Objective: To treat pigmentation, skin irregularities and signs of ageing
Time: Less than 20 minutes for the laser treatment itself
Price: S$300 per session, recommended every four weeks.
Hi-tech protocol: The Picoway is the laser with the shortest laser pulses - measured in picoseconds which are trillionths of a second. That means it generates less heat so there is a lower risk of worsening melanin issues.
Picoway doesn't have very deep heat concentration, but instead feels like sparklers are being lit near the face. You'll still smell some hair burning though - but overall, it's like little lights bouncing off your skin.
With the use of the 8mm focus optic instead of standard optic, the clinic says pigmentation, superficial skin texture and pore size can be improved over a series of three to five treatments. There can also be up to 40 per cent lightening in a single treatment. "The 8mm focus optic is great for wrinkles, pore and old acne scars," says aesthetic doctor Calvin Chan.
The Case for Coolsculpting Over Liposuction
Jennifer Harrington, a surgeon and director of plastic and microvascular surgery at North Memorial Hospital, Minnesota, United States, believes that CoolSculpting cryolipolysis (fat freezing) technology is not only a safer alternative to surgical liposuction for some patients, but it is also a more suitable and effective treatment for many.
"Liposuction is still the gold standard for overweight patients wishing to remove four or five pounds (roughly 2 kg) of body fat or even more. But many of the patients we see today are not even seriously overweight and only wish to remove small pockets of fat from problem areas such as double chins or the backs of the arms," says Dr Harrington, who was in Singapore recently to talk to doctors about cryolipolysis. Liposuction is quite aggressive and increasingly, patients are veering away from it, she says, adding that this is why she sought a step-down method from surgery. "People want it easier and faster with quick recovery, so it's good to have multi-modality," she notes.
Cryolipolysis works because fat freezes faster than other cells and doesn't damage other tissues. The targeted area gets "frozen" from 35-45 minutes, after which there will be some bruising and swelling to the area which goes down in two weeks.
Once fat is crystallised inside the cell, they then poke at the membrane of the cell and it disintegrates, and the body metabolises the fat over seven weeks.
Fat-freezing takes away 7 to 22 per cent of fat in the treatment area, and even if you treat the same area twice, there's still 50 per cent of fat cells left in the area. "The body will still need its layers of fat. You don't want to be just skin and bones," she says. Fat by itself is not bad, and you want a certain amount in the right spots. Once the fat cells are removed, she explains, you won't get new cells. "After the age of eight, the body doesn't make any more fat cells. So after fat-freezing, when and if patients gain weight, the fat just gets redistributed to the existing fat cells throughout the body, proportionately."
Zeltiq's CoolSculpting machine is classed as a medical device, so it can be administered only by clinics, Dr Harrington says. And risks are so low that out of the hundreds of cases she's done, she has come across only one case of hyperplascia - where the fat cells get bigger instead of smaller. For that patient, she was reimbursed and ended up having liposuction instead.