Kim Kardashian’s Blood Facial

Celebrities place a high level of importance on appearance, and reality television star Kim Kardashian is no exception. Cosmetics can only do so much, but when a celebrity wants to make a long-lasting improvement, they turn to various procedures that many people might find rather odd. Maintaining a youthful look means that both male and female celebrities undergo different beauty treatments to keep a fresh face. Continue reading

Danielle Staub from the Real Housewives of New Jersey receives Botox treatment at Epione Beverly Hills

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Danielle Staub, formerly of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, now star of a new VH1 reality show, visits Epione Medical Corporation located in Beverly Hills, CA. Simon Ourian, M.D. treats Danielle’s wrinkles with a Botox treatment. Danielle indicates that there’s no discomfort and praises Dr. Ourian’s technique.

Epione Beverly Hills Helps Kick Off 2010 Teen Choice Awards’ Festivities with KIIS FM

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – To help kick off this year’s Teen Choice Awards, Epione Beverly Hills participated in the 2010 Teen Choice Gifting Suite, hosted by KIIS-FM, Los Angeles’ premiere hit music station. The event was held on Friday, August 6 at the W Hotel in Westwood and welcomed some of Hollywood’s hottest tween and teen stars for an afternoon of mixing, mingling and swag grabbing.
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Dr. Simon Ourian to Offer Industry Expertise to Medicis

Dr. Simon OurianLOS ANGELES, Calif. – Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, a leading independent specialty pharmaceutical company based in the U.S., recently invited Dr. Simon Ourian to participate in a meeting of the company’s advisory board. Ourian, medical director of Epione Medical Corporation in Beverly Hills, joins an elite group of the world’s top physicians selected based on their expertise and reputation as leading injectors.

First launched in 1988, Medicis is a leading manufacturer of branded prescription products in a number of therapeutic and aesthetic categories. The company’s products are widely used by physicians and patients and have earned a reputation for their clinical effectiveness, high quality and cosmetic elegance. Medicis’ products include Restylane, Dysport, Perlane, and Esoterica, among others.
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The Cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ Learns Safe Tanning Tips and Secrets from Epione Beverly Hills

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — What’s the cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” doing when they’re not partying, fist-pumping, or fighting? Getting a tan, of course.

This month, during the KIIS FM pool party at the Hollywood Tower, Dr. Ourian, Medical Director of Epione Beverly Hills, met up with Angelina, DJ Pauly D, JWOWW, Ronnie, Sammi, Snooki, Vinny and The Situation. Dr. Ourian’s staff provide spray tans for Jenni (J-WOWW), Vinny and Mike (The Situation). Later, the rest of the cast discussed proprietary spray tan formulation with Dr. Ourian and got spray tan tips from the Beverly Hills’ tan master.
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The Dangers of DIY Botox and Online Sources For Drugs

DIY Botox DangersMany people consider themselves do-it-yourselfers. They bake their own bread, make their own wine, sew their own clothes or repair their own equipment. But one thing that should never be done is do-it-yourself (DIY) plastic surgery.

According to the British newspaper the Metro, the rise in DIY plastic surgery has been apparent since 2007. Images of celebrities are everywhere, and their perfect faces and physiques have led to a rise in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD patients have a distorted view or his or her appearance, usually thinking of themselves as less attractive than they actually are.

DIY plastic surgery is not just a problem in the UK. It happens all over the world. In Korea, a beautiful young woman by the name of Hang Mioku got her first cosmetic procedure done at the tender age of 28. She developed an addiction that was so strong she was driven to find a doctor who could provide her with a syringe and silicone to do her own injections. To make matters worse, when she could no longer afford the silicone, she began using cooking oil instead. In order to fix the damage, doctors had to remove half a pound of foreign matter from her face and neck.

In the United States, we have the same problem. Botox parties” became popular in the early millennium. Botox kits and even instructional videos can be found on the internet. What many people may not remember is that Botox is made from botulinum toxin, the same bacteria that causes food poisoning. In the hands of a professional physician, Botox can smooth out wrinkles, eliminate muscle spasms, and even ease migraine headaches by temporarily paralyzing muscles. In the wrong hands, however, improper use can lead to infection and in some cases, death.

Dr. Simon Ourian of Epione in Beverly Hills warns about the dangers of DIY surgery and Botox injections. “Many people try to cut costs by doing things themselves, but I see bad work done by even good doctors, ” he says. “The new trend I am seeing now is horrible, in some cases irreversible, work by patients performed on themselves.”

Here are Dr. Ourian’s five steps to make sure you get good results:

  1. Go to a reputable doctor; do your homework; ask your friends in the know and find out who is the most experienced doctor in your area.
  2. Insist on seeing the packaging of the Botox or dermal filler that is injected into you and confirm that it is made in the United States.
  3. Check the expiration date on the package.
  4. Make sure the person who is injecting you is the licensed to do so.
  5. If you are OK with an RN injecting you, make sure at the very least you meet the doctor first. (In most states doctors MUST physically examine you before they prescribe a medication…and yes, Botox and Restylane are medications.)

In the quest to save money, plastic surgery candidates will often turn to online pharmacies and other websites. But not all of these sources are what they seem. Here’s how you can identify an illegal pharmacy or website:

  1. They are not licensed by any federal or state regulatory agencies or have no certification from the National Association Boards of Pharmacy’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site.
  2. They constantly spam their customers and promote the more illegal aspects of their business via search engines.
  3. They do not require a doctor’s visit for a prescription—and advertise this heavily on the site. Beware also of “free online doctor consultations.”
  4. Legitimate pharmacies will have a full inventory of medications, while disreputable ones will only carry the most popular ones. Examples are weight loss medications and painkillers.
  5. Last but not least, no physical address is listed. The site could be based anywhere, even if it claims to be in Canada.

When Your Teen Should Get Plastic Surgery (And When They Should Not)

Lisa Kudrow and Tori Spelling had nose jobs at 16. 17 year old Britney Spears, with mom’s permission, got breast implants. When teens see celebrity peers getting plastic surgery, they may decide that their own looks need improving. Some, like Ashley Tisdale and Soleil Moon Frye, may need surgery for medical reasons, but most teen surgery is cosmetic, not corrective in nature.

Teens only make up 2 percent of cosmetic surgery patients in the U.S., but according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number is getting larger. In 2008, 81, 885 invasive surgeries were done on teens, ages 13–19, while 219, 136 received minimally invasive treatment. Many people think that the average teen requesting this is probably spoiled, rich and overly obsessed with image, but not all fall into that category. The reasons for plastic surgery can vary depending on the circumstances.

Reasons to Avoid the Knife

Teens, being who they are, desire plastic surgery in order to fit in with their friends. They may feel that having bigger breasts or a more defined chin may finally give them the popularity they have always dreamed of. Of course, this is not always the case, and when it fails to change their social lives, they can be devastated.

Unfortunately, there are other surgeons who are perfectly willing to do surgery on a teen without screening them first. Parents, too, are occasionally to blame; they may want “the perfect child” and insist that the surgery be done.

Because of this, a good surgeon will carefully interview a candidate to make sure they are emotionally stable enough to handle the surgery. The surgeon must also be sure the teen’s expectations are realistic and their motives are correct. Teens with body dysmorphic disorder may not be good candidates; these patients will focus on a specific flaw or other defect (real or imagined), and convince themselves that surgery is the only way to treat it. This condition is best handled by a psychologist or other mental health care professional.

Procedures to Skip

There are a number of procedures that teenagers should avoid. Breast enhancement, in particular with saline implants, is one. This is because the body may not yet be done developing, and the general rule is that the patient must be at least 18. There are a few exceptions, such as birth defects, trauma or diseases that may require breast reconstruction. Silicone can be used for reconstruction purposes by women of all ages, but is limited to 22 and older for enhancement.

Since teens often lose baby fat with age, liposuction is not recommended. For teens that have a problem losing weight with just diet and exercise alone, however, it can be used for spot reduction purposes. It should not be used to treat obesity as a whole and is most definitely not a substitute for diet and exercise.

Procedures to Consider

Rhinoplasty can be a suitable procedure for certain candidates. Broken or deformed noses can be fixed by this procedure. Breast reductions are also popular; in Soleil Moon Frye’s case, her large breasts were causing her back and shoulder pain, as well as breathing problems. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels can help teens with severe acne and skin irregularities, and laser hair removal can help those with excessive hair.

Five Important Questions to Ask When Considering Surgery for Your Child

  1. Who truly wants the surgery? The teenager must be the one who desires it most; after all, they are the ones who must live with the results. Parents, peers and significant others can offer advice, but they must not pressure the patient into making a decision.
  2. Is your child emotionally and mentally mature? A good surgeon will want to be sure the patient understands the process and what will take place before, during and after surgery.
  3. How well does your child handle pain and follow directions? The recovery process can be long, painful and draining. As a parent, you can only do so much; your child must be able to handle the rest on their own.
  4. Does the child have a realistic outlook on the results? Make sure your child knows that their lives will not radically change after undergoing surgery.
  5. Is your child physically mature? Depending on the surgery, this could play a huge role. Breast reductions can be done on patients as young as 15, while other surgeries may have to wait until the child is older.

Important: What you should know about Skin Cancer

skin-cancerThere are more than one million cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. In fact, it is one of the most common kinds of skin cancer in the US. One in five people will develop it in their lifetime. The most likely place to develop skin cancer is the face, head and neck, because they are constantly exposed to sunlight. Removing lesions from skin cancer is the most common type of reconstructive surgery. Out of the 4.9 million reconstructive surgeries done, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 3.2 million of them were skin cancer removals.

Types of Skin Cancer

  • Basal cell carcinoma happens in the basal cells, which are found in the base of the outer layer or skin. This is most common and usually the simplest to treat.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the next most common type of skin cancer. When allowed to progress squamous cell carcinoma can destroy much of the tissue surrounding the tumor and can be disfiguring. Squamous cell carcinoma is curable with early detection and proper treatment.
  • Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It forms in the skin cells that create pigment. Out of 10, 850 deaths from skin cancer, almost 74 percent are from melanoma. Melanoma can be sometimes be successfully treated if it is caught early and dealt with aggressively.

Risks and Prevention

Many cases of non-melanoma skin cancer might be prevented with proper protection from the sun. Excessive exposure can lead to skin cancer. Frequent sunburns or tans in childhood can more than double the risk. Lighter skinned people are more likely to develop skin cancer than darker skinned people, but that does not mean that darker skinned people are immune; it simply means that they can be exposed longer before skin damage takes place.

Regardless of skin color, everyone should protect their skin. The American Cancer Foundation suggests that people:

  • Stay in the shade, in particular between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Avoid sunburns, tanning and tanning booths.
  • Use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 daily.
  • Apply two tablespoons total of sunscreen to all exposed areas 30 minutes before going outside. Every two hours, be sure to reapply, and more often after swimming or sweating heavily.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, wide brimmed hats, and sunglasses. Sunglasses should block 99-100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation; check the label.
  • Keep babies, especially newborns, out of the sun. Sunscreen can be used on infants over 6 months.
  • Examine your skin all over every month.
  • See your doctor once a year for a skin exam.

Is the Recession Over?

One can certainly come to that conclusion after reviewing these 2008 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

12.1 million total cosmetic procedures were performed that year, with the most popular surgical procedures being breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, liposuction, nose reshaping, and tummy tucks. Cosmetic minimally invasive procedures that were also very popular include Botox, chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and hyaluronic acid injections (Restylane and Juvederm are two examples of this). Anti-cellulite treatment and laser treatment of leg veins were also part of the list.

Gender wise, women preferred breast augmentation, liposuction and nose reshaping, followed by eyelid surgery and tummy tucks. Their favorite minimally invasive procedures were Botox, chemical peels, laser hair removal, hyaluronic acid injections, and microdermabrasion.

Men, on the other hand, had their own preferences. For surgical procedures, their top five were nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, breast reduction, and hair transplants. For non-surgical procedures, men underwent Botox treatments, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing.

Plastic surgery for Hispanics and other people of color increased by 11 percent. The surgery of choice was nose reshaping across the board, with liposuction and breast reduction a popular choice for both Hispanics and African Americans. Asian Americans chose eyelid surgery and breast augmentation. Minimally invasive procedures were the same for all ethnic groups—Botox, injectable fillers, and chemical peels.

There is a marked difference between these statistics from the ASPS and those from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). ASPS includes Dermatologists and otolaryngologists in their surveys, and also includes reconstructive surgeries in their report. ASAPS does neither of these. As a result, ASAPS’ numbers paint a somewhat less optimistic picture.

There are also many procedures that have increased in popularity. These are:

  • Dermabrasion. While microdermabrasion uses a light spray of crystals to abrade the skin gently, a wire brush or a diamond wheel is used in dermabrasion to remove the upper layers of skin. As it heals, new skin replaces the old skin. There is a great deal more bleeding with dermabrasion, and it is more traumatic to the skin, but it is also can be effective at removing deep scars and wrinkles.
  • Pectoral (chest) implants. These increase the size and shape of a man’s chest muscles.
  • Cheek implants. These help reshape or replace cheekbones.
  • Buttock lifts. These tighten sagging skin on the buttocks, hips and thighs, making the skin look younger and more attractive.

Reconstructive surgeries that increased the most included the following:

  • Breast reconstruction, often done to reshape the breast.
  • Birth defect reconstruction, which can include repairing cleft palates.
  • Hand surgery.
  • Scar revision.
  • Burn care.

These experienced a three percent increase from 2007’s statistics.

Celebrity plastic surgery – Beauty that never fades

Beauty and glamour have always played an important role in lives of the famous people. Many celebrities have become who they are and managed to establish their names with the help of their talent and their looks. A beauty that never fades, on the front cover of a Vogue, Vanity Fair or Marie Claire magazines, is a dream for many women worldwide. Looking good and having a body that is always nicely shaped, a smooth face and fantastic smile to highlight it, is something most women would like to have and sustain forever.
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Dr. Simon Ourian Receives Patients’ Choice Award

Dr. Simon OurianDoctor Simon Ourian, Medical Director of Epione Beverly Hills, has been selected by his patients to receive the American Registry’s Patients’ Choice Award for 2008. According to American Registry only a select few of the nation’s physicians are awarded their top rating.

American Registry is partnered with a variety of groups and organizations acknowledged for their efforts to recognize excellence in professionals and business organizations. According to American Registry more than 400, 000 patient ratings and reviews were gathered. After all this data was sorted and analyzed a select few of the most beloved physicians in the nation are granted a Patients’ Choice Award.

Dr. Ourian was singled out for his bedside manner, the amount of time he spent with his patients and their overall perception of him as a physician. Additionally the staff at Epione was recognized for their courtesy and follow-up; certainly a reflection on Dr. Ourian’s decade-long effort to build the finest med-spa facility in the U.S.

When reached for comment Dr. Ourian said: “This award from my patients is especially gratifying. When I was a teenager I worked every day after school and saved my money to get a nose job. Friends and family thought I was crazy but I knew that if I took care of this one thing that bothered me it would make me feel better. Little did I know that operation would change my life; the results were so profound both physically and emotionally I decided then and there, before I went to college or medical school, that what I wanted to do with my life was help people feel better about themselves the way I did at that moment. I’ve put my heart and soul into building Epione into a practice dedicated to this goal and this Patients’ Choice Award is a wonderful validation of my efforts. Of course, I need to acknowledge, as our patients did, the hard work of my staff to provide the best experience possible for every client that walks through our doors.”

What Every Woman Should Know About Female Hair Loss

Female Hair Loss BotoxHair loss affects both men and women. Women who suffer from hair loss tend to aggravate their condition more than men due to the varying procedures they use to style their hair. Blow dryers, dyes, straighteners, perms, and other methods can result in alopecia (hair loss) of various kinds.

Men typically experience male pattern baldness, which is defined as a receding hairline and thinning crown, while women with female pattern baldness lose hair from the entire crown. Normal hair loss consists of losing 60 to 100 hairs a day, but when more is lost, the scalp may have trouble replacing them. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 30 million women have a problem with excessive hair loss.

Causes of Female Hair Loss

There are many different reasons for hair loss, such as: skin diseases like lupus, hormone changes; major organ failure, such as kidney or liver; or any kind of cancer and chemotherapy. Other forms of alopecia include alopecia triggered by medication; traumatic alopecia or hair being pulled out of the scalp; and alopecia areata, hair loss in patches (which can often be reversed).

Autoimmunity may also play a part in hair loss. Researchers have noted that autobodies can develop in the hair follicle for women with alopecia. In other words, the autoimmune system is destroying the hair follicles, which keeps them from producing hair. Figuring out exactly why hair is being lost is crucial to determining the best treatment.

Female Hair Loss Treatments

Minoxidil is the only medication approved by the FDA to prevent hair loss. This solution, applied to the scalp, stimulates new growth on the crown and reverses shrinkage. Patients use it twice daily and may start seeing results in four months. Steroids, which can be used to combat autoimmunity, are sometimes prescribed for women with this problem. These steroids usually come in lotion form and can be used in concert with minoxidil.

Lasers may also help minimize hair loss. Red LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, can stimulate some hair growth by increasing blood to the hair follicles.

Preliminary findings have shown that Botox injections into the scalp may effectively delay hair loss and even prevent baldness. Doctor Simon Ourian, Medical Director of Epione, an internationally recognized cosmetic dermatology destination in Beverly Hills has tested and refined the treatment over a period of three years with volunteer patients. “The idea behind the treatment is to reduce scalp tension and improve blood flow thereby improving the tissue environment surrounding the hair follicles, “ says Doctor Ourian. Recently Doctor Ourian began adding a vitamin boost to these injections so as to enhance the efficacy of the treatments.

According to Doctor Ourian “In my experience Botox and vitamin injections for baldness are safe and potentially more effective than anything I have seen before. Potential side effects are similar to those associated with a typical cosmetic Botox treatment and include temporary swelling, pain and bruising.”

Many women are now exercising the option of hair transplants, once solely the realm of balding men. There are many different options available, and all of them may contribute to a full, natural looking head of hair. The procedure takes healthy hair follicles, usually from the back of the head, and transplants them to the balding area. According to Doctor Ourian though “a surgical treatment for baldness such as transplantation is a feasible option, it tend to be more costly than prescription medications or Botox injections.”

Drugs that stop the production of male hormones can also stop hair loss. Some women may experience a change in hormones with the onset of menopause or other conditions, and this can increase the amount of testosterone in their system. These drugs can block male hormones and keep them from interfering with hair growth.

Other women may decide to use wigs and/or extensions, or other hairpieces, to hide their hair loss.

Preventing Female Hair Loss

The saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The following list can help women reduce, or even eliminate, the effects of alopecia.

  • Wear hairstyles that are loose instead of tight
  • Use shampoos that are not harsh on the hair
  • Use conditioner regularly (there are situations in which conditioner can be used in place of shampoo; this practice is recommended for hair that is very curly)
  • Reduce the amount of processing done to the hair, such as perms, coloring, flat ironing or curling irons

See a doctor at once if you think hair loss is an issue.

Aesthetic Medicine Today and Tomorrow (part 2)

Fillers, From Animals to Sugar

The fastest growing segment of cosmetic science has been in the area of fillers. Bovine collagen, porcine collagen, and synthetic versions of calciums and sugars in humans are the favored methods for plumping up lips and cheeks, as well as filling in wrinkles and facial folds.

“I’m not one to say no one should ever get a facelift, “ Dr. Ourian states, “but with the technology available now I do think it should be the final option, not the first. With dermal fillers we can plump up areas of the face that have sunken with age. The results look natural rather than pulled.”

Bovine collagen was the most popular filler two decades ago, but patients lost interest due to potential side effects and allergy problems. Fillers using synthetic versions of hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar in the body, and calcium hydroxyapatite, or bone particles, were created to replace bovine collagen. Radiesse, Juvéderm, and Restylane are all examples of these types of fillers, and patients love them.

Dr. Ourian’s preference is the calcium hydroxyapatite filler Radiesse. This is because the bone particle fillers trigger the body to surround the material with naturally made collagen. Chin and cheek implants, once a fixture before fillers, tended to look unnatural. Fat transplants were also a method of filling in sags and wrinkles, but since natural fat is absorbed back into the body, more was needed for the injection than looked appropriate. Also, the fat would not necessarily dissolve evenly. As a result, some patients would suffer through uneven lumps at the site of injection after it started to break down.

Nose Jobs On the Run

Got a less than a perfect nose bridge? If you’ve always wanted to get rid of that little bump or indentation, it can be done in minutes by a doctor. A filler injection is made and smoothed out around the area. You’ll even have time to grab a little food before heading back to work. Touch-ups may be required for the next couple of years, and by then, science may have evolved to the point that the next one is permanent.

Waxing? Not Any More…

How do you get rid of unwanted body hair? Depilatory creams came out first, but they only kept the hair away for a day or so. Waxing was more popular, but that lasted for two weeks and could be very uncomfortable. Electrolysis was permanent, but was just as painful as waxing, and required more than one lengthy session. This is partly because each hair had to be burned out with an electric current.

Fortunately, we have moved to the next stage in hair removal. Laser hair treatments get rid of hair without burning the skin or using harsh chemicals. The laser targets the dark pigment in the hair and destroys the hair at the root. Touchups may be needed, but long term hair reduction is possible.

In the Future, I See…

Because of the speed at which technology and medicine evolve, changes can happen in months, as opposed to years. In five years, Dr. Ourian feels, patients will be less likely to get a full scale surgical procedure and be much more interested in total body approaches to regaining the appearance of youth. Many practices have already started to include a holistic approach, with skin care, med-spa and non-invasive treatments available.

Fat and blood stem cells will be used to stimulate rejuvenation of the face over the next five years, according to Dr. Ourian. The fat can be harvested from anywhere, while the blood stem cells can be taken from near the belly button. The idea is to turn the body into a self healing organism. Dr. Ourian is also looking forward to great advances in treating cellulite using non-invasive procedures to treat the unsightly affliction that is said to impact 90% of all females.

Aesthetic Medicine Today and Tomorrow

As technology and medicine advance, doctors have found even better ways to get rid of wrinkles, laugh lines, and other signs of aging. Some use existing methods, like disease fighting drugs and others use more precise instruments. As a result, first generation treatments are being outstripped by their second generation heirs. Dermal fillers once lasted three to six months; now, they can last two years or more. New minimally invasive procedures mean that we can not only get work done during our lunch break, but we’ll even have time to meet up for a bite right afterward. Intense swelling and painful abrasion are being replaced by (nearly) painless light and lasers.

We no longer have to worry about finding a place to hide while a facelift heals. Today’s skin treatments show full results in days. And in the future, that time could be cut down to hours or even minutes.

In addition, not only are the older treatments being replaced by better, faster ones, but they are often are less expensive. The economy may be improving, according to some, but people are still putting off elective procedures in the interests of saving money. Plastic surgeons and other doctors understand this, and in turn, they have reduced their prices and created effective promotions.

Dysport Moving in On Botox’s Turf

“I don’t think the introduction of Dysport will spark a price war with Botox. But it will give us another tool we can use to better serve our patients, “ says Dr. Simon Ourian, a cosmetic Dermatologist with a thriving practice in Beverly Hills. Both drugs are made from the bacteria Chlostridium botulinum, a known toxin that causes botulism in food, in minuscule amounts. Dysport was recently FDA approved, and will also be used to fight wrinkles.

Lashes Like a Newborn

Lashes Like a NewbornAllergan Inc, the makers of Botox, have stumbled upon yet another exciting discovery. Their bimatopost ophthmalmic solution, first used to treat glaucoma, was found to stimulate the growth of eyelashes in a big way. Ophthalmologists noted that their patients’ lashes were longer, darker and thicker than before. The formula was changed slightly and went through the FDA process, and the result is Latisse.

Dr. Ourian has only positive reviews of this treatment. “The application process is simple, “ he says, “and each Latisse kit comes with sterile applicators so that when used properly there is no chance for cross-contamination.” There are potential side effects, of course—itchy eyelids and skin discoloration in the eye area—but the patients seem to have no problem with them. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to grow their lashes. “Allergan really hit the mark with Latisse, “ says Dr. Ourian. “Women spend a billion dollars a year on cosmetics to achieve the appearance of longer, fuller lashes. Latisse can actually grow your lashes.”

Waiting for Weight Loss

Weight Loss,  Liposuction?The general consensus for weight loss is that losing it in the stomach area is easiest. Weight in the hips and thighs, however, is more difficult. Estrogen plays a major role in how much fat is stored in various spots on the female body, and women are naturally designed to do so on their hips and thighs. In addition, as we get older, metabolism starts to slow down. Around age 25, it begins to slow by 5 to 10% with each subsequent decade. Combined with the power of estrogen and the lack of physical exercise, losing weight becomes very difficult as we get older.

Menopause can also affect our bodies, in more than one way. Those of us who are naturally slim may discover that they are starting to lose their waistlines. And no matter how much exercise you do, nothing will redistribute that body fat.

Women in particular tend to gain weight in their backs, leading to things like bra bulges or love handles. Liposuction can be done in this area, but it tends to be difficult for two reasons. One, the fat is kept in place by fibrous connective tissue. The doctor must be careful not to destroy a great deal of tissue while getting rid of the fat, so more time must be invested in this area. In fact, many doctors have a special treatment specifically for the back. In general, due to the difficulties in treating back fat, anyone who undergoes the procedure should have realistic expectations.

Botox Getting Taxed? Finance Committee Mulling Cosmetic Surgery Tariff

Botax,  Botox getting Taxed?Cosmetic surgery is definitely not cheap, but if the Senate Finance Committee has its way, you’ll be paying more before you go under the knife. The federal government is considering passing a tax on “any procedure which is directed at improving the patient’s appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease.”

The idea behind the tax is to raise money for national health care reform. Senators feel that taxing uninsurable procedures like facelifts, injectables, or liposuction is a perfectly viable solution. Surgeries that would help the patient solve physical problems, like reconstructive surgery and certain types of rhinoplasty, would be safe from taxing. Surgeries that were solely for cosmetic purposes, like breast enlargements, would be subject to taxation.

This “Botax” is not a new concept. New Jersey charges a 6% tax on non-medically necessary cosmetic surgeries since 2004. The state has not gotten the windfall it expected, unfortunately; it is making 75% less than it anticipated. As a result, critics feel a national version may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Another point raised is many of the patients who go in for cosmetic surgery—in fact, an overwhelming number—are female. Dr. Malcolm Roth, the vice president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, has noted this trend, and calls the committee’s proposal a “discriminatory tax against women”.

Is this truly a discriminatory practice in the making? Will this actually help raise money for health care reform?