Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine
Advances in the Technology of Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine
As a species, humans have always sought to modify their true appearance to comply with their particular concept of beauty. This has involved everything from the simple application of coloured dyes to various parts of the body, to the use of metal rings to lengthen the neck and hobbling the feet to make them appear daintier. Over time, however, most cultures have moved to focusing more upon disguising or enhancing their naturel features, rather than distorting them, as well as on ways to reverse the visible signs of aging. The result is that aesthetic and anti-aging medicine has evolved beyond recognition since the milk and honey baths of Ancient Egypt, and is now a global, multi-billion-dollar industry.
While, in its early stages, this was an industry dominated by the plastic surgeons and cosmetic companies, there has been a succession of advances in technology that have made the development of alternative procedures possible. More significantly, these newer treatment options are less invasive and far less costly than undergoing surgery, while they also produce results that will persist for much longer than even the most skilfully applied, high-quality cosmetic products.
The launch of modern aesthetic and anti-aging medicine probably took place during the late ‘90s, a time marked by the appearance of the first medical spas to employ FDA-approved laser technology for the removal of unwanted facial hair and the reduction of wrinkles. Still in its infancy, the use of lasers was only minimally effective, and in the hands of untrained technicians, often caused skin discolouration, scarring, and even severe burns. Since then, not only have lasers become safer and more effective, but patients undergoing modern laser treatments generally require little or no downtime.
With the approval of longer wavelengths that were later combined with the use of RF energy, laser depilation has become more effective and is now suitable for subjects of all skin types. In addition, the more penetrative, non-ablative lasers now employed for wrinkle reduction, one of the cornerstones of aesthetic and anti-aging medicine, are able to stimulate healthy collagen production deep in the dermal layer which, in turn, promotes superficial smoothing, but without the previous risk of accidental damage to the epidermal layer.
Alongside the use of the injectables, Botox, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and others, the technologies employed have expanded to include the use of infra-red radiation and ultrasound in procedures designed to reverse wrinkling, as well as to reduce subcutaneous fat deposits and cellulite.
In parallel with the many advances in aesthetic and anti-aging medicine, the need for its practitioners to undergo thorough training, both in the performance and the applicability of these new treatments, has become more important than ever before. The policy in South Africa, although not adhered to by all countries, has been to introduce legislation that restricts the use of these treatments to suitably trained practitioners who hold a recognised medical degree.
For those doctors who choose to pursue a career in aesthetic and anti-aging medicine, or simply to extend the scope of their existing practice by offering some of these treatments, the growing demand from patients should more than justify their decision. The extent of their success, however, is likely to be contingent upon the quality of their training in these effective but exacting techniques, and so the choice of a suitable training centre could prove to be crucial. Given that the success of a practice will be determined by the testimonies of its patients, it makes sense to trust the training to those who have already demonstrated their success.
At Medskills Training Academy, the theory and practice of the treatments employed in modern aesthetic and anti-aging medicine are covered by established experts, with an emphasis on the importance of one-on-one supervision. Instruction in a wide range of techniques is offered at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels.