The Hamptons summer season has come and gone. Beach days are behind us, our tans are fading and the fundraisers are shifting to Manhattan. That said, we all know that the Hamptons are no longer a seasonal destination, as many of us spend every weekend on the East End walking the beaches, playing tennis, bike riding and getting in as many rounds of golf as possible along with our neighbors that are full-time year-round residents.
We still go to dinner parties, attend gallery openings and all the other cultural events that the Hamptons are known for both in season and out. Of course, we all still want to look our best and by looking our best, we inevitably feel our best.
There are many options for improving our looks beyond the obvious of a healthy lifestyle, eating well and getting proper exercise. Many people look into cosmetic surgical procedures in the off-season, but are not always sure what procedures are best for them or what to ask when researching their options. Here are some facts and fictions regarding exposure to the sun and some medical cosmetic procedures that are sometimes misunderstood.
There is no need to wear sunscreen when you are not actively venturing into the sunshine directly or during the winter
Sun exposure is an everyday occurrence and many studies document the cumulative effect of sunshine on the skin. Most concur that the damage to our skin from sun exposure happens prior to the age of 18, hence a huge push for protection of our children. The DNA damage in the cells of our skin is forever modified and in our 50s and 60s, the results of this damage become evident in precancerous and cancer lesions. This is in no way to suggest that exposure throughout our life does not contribute to the damage done and the suggestion by all skin health care professionals is to wear some form of sun protection (sun screen, make up, baseball cap, wide brimmed hat) every day. In addition, the sun screen choice is being increasingly scrutinized as to safety and prevention. The recent studies are proponents for titanium and zinc oxide as physical blocks and the avoidance of Oxybenzones or other chemical blockers until more information and consensus is achieved. Most agree that the sun screen product should contain no retinol (Vitamin A) products at all. Regardless of the sunscreen debate protect yourself every day – regardless of active vs passive exposure. The car window is not a protector of your skin but a good sunscreen everyday is!
Injectible treatments are real medical procedures that can lessen wrinkles and change volume and consumers should really take the procedure seriously researching the credentials and questioning the knowledge and skill of the injector
The injection of a non-body produced substance is serious business. The FDA does an amazing job in the scheme of things to protect consumers from harmful products – we in America wait longer for new product approvals than others and products are tested more aggressively than in any other country. This being said, the FDA does not regulate those that administer the products through injections – if you have a medical license or are under the guide of a licensed practitioner you may inject whatever you wish. As a Facial Plastic Surgeon I see many who had the "cheap" injection and were very disappointed by the results. Most are simply inconvenienced while others have significant medical issues as a result. Learning to effectively choose those that can deliver the products to soften wrinkles, and fill folds and lines is an on going process. The injector does matter and we in this business encourage you to do your homework, avoid those injectors who use cosmetic injections as a side business or an ancillary source of income.
Lasers to the face will help with the fullness under eyes and the fullness in the neck and jowl area
Laser surgery is not a new tool in the surgical arena. LASER or "light amplification by stimulated electron radiation," is a tool to accomplish incisions with little bleeding or skin/tissue injury, and to ablate or destroy the top layer of skin or membranes which results in healing with smoother structure or erasure
of skin or membrane lesions. To address the statement above, the laser is a device which has reconstructive and cosmetic implications. It's big slant is for improvement in the quality of the skin of the face. Quality of skin includes texture (lines and wrinkles and rough patches), pigment (freckles, liver or age spots, dark spots after acne or injury) and minor laxity. Quality issues do not include bags under the eyes or the jowl or loose jaw line. These are all quantity of skin issues, either an excess (the fat under the eyes) or a change in volume (fall of the jawline creating a jowl) and are specifically addressed with surgery to either remove extra tissue or reposition fallen structures. Care is to be exercised when considering laser work and understanding the purpose of the device and expected outcome.
Plastic or cosmetic surgery is an anti-aging option for the rich and famous, and for the average American is out of their financial reach
Cosmetic surgery is an amazing tool to improve or modify structures that although God given are self perceived as inconsistent with ones own image or goal. We don't judge others decisions to modify or create more consistency between inner self and outer appearance. Interestingly enough, research has suggested that "middle class mom's" are the biggest connoisseurs of such surgery and many new and convenient finance options are available to make this more a reality. While in my practice I preach financial responsibility and encourage use of non-lender funds to cover elective plastic surgery all should know that the options are available. Your doctor will surely have suggestions for payment, explore the options and be comfortable with implications and risks.
Dr. Kelly, MD is a facial plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Kelley currently practices with ENT Allergy Associates. www.peconic-faces.com