When you’re invited to sit in a lovely room for an hour to listen to five top dermatologists discuss treatment trends, you know you’re going to hear a thing or two about innovation. Or in the case of the Women’s Dermatologic Society media lunch, held at the Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel last Thursday, nine things.
Dermatologists Mona Gohara, MD, Erin Gilbert, MD (who shared her opinion on topical probiotics with Charlotte’s Book just last week), Neil Sadick, MD, Doris Day, MD, and Karen Burke, MD took turns discussing common dermatologic concerns for every decade. But the advice and exciting new products and treatments in the pipeline that these five doctors spoke about are applicable to any age. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s new in aesthetic dermatology:
1. A new undereye bag treatment is on the way: According to Dr. Gohara, a new compound called XAF5 is currently in Phase III clinical trials as a prescription topical treatment for undereye bags. It was originally used as a glaucoma medication, but patients noticed improvement in undereye bags as well. Dr. Gohara calls this type of drug discovery an “accidental success.”
2. UV light is not your skin’s only enemy: Dr. Gohara noted that visible light has also been identified as a culprit in aging your skin and causing dark spots. Interestingly, a study showed that using makeup containing iron oxides—usually found in so-called “mineral makeup” formulations—help to absorb visible light, preventing dark spots from forming.
3. A promising cellulite treatment is finally here: Cellulite, present in about 75% of women, is notoriously difficult to treat. Cellfina, an in-office procedure, was approved by the FDA this past August to treat cellulite. The small machine actually severs the fibrous bands that cause the hated dimpling effect, according to Dr. Gohara.
4. Botox can decrease pore size: It turns out that neuromodulators like Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are not just for wrinkles anymore. Dr. Gilbert uses them “very superficially in very small doses” in the central face and even the chin to decrease pore size. As we age, pores increase in size and can cause a loss of that ever-desirable facial radiance.
5. Mix your microcurrent with your serum: According to Dr. Gilbert, microcurrent therapies (here are some home options) can help with facial contouring. Another great effect? They can also help increase penetration of water-based topical products, so apply your favorite serum right after you perform a treatment to optimize your favorite pricey skin care.
6. There’s a new non-irritating topical acid: Glycolic and alpha-hydroxy acids, long the gold standards for chemical exfoliation, have some new, gentler competition. According to Dr. Gilbert, gluconolactone (found in skin care lines like NeoStrata) is so gentle that it caused less irritation than saline solution in some studies, while still providing exfoliation benefits.
7. Go away, acne scars: Bellafill, a filler approved by the FDA this past January for acne scarring, doesn’t just provide immediate filling and lifting benefits on facial crags. According to Dr. Sadick, it also provides ongoing improvement on scars for up to five years.
8. New for hair loss: Men and women alike who suffer from hair loss can be hopeful, thanks to several new therapies available or currently being studied. Prostaglandin (PGD-2) antagonist treatments are currently being developed for male hair loss, with promising results so far, according to Dr. Sadick. Platelet rich plasma (PRP, most famous for its use in the so-called “vampire facial”), when injected into the scalp, has been shown to have good results in re-growing hair in both men and women. The treatment is now undergoing official clinical studies.
9. One final note: While retinoic acid is by no means new, it’s still a favorite of dermatologists. Every single one of them who spoke mentioned it, and Dr. Burke showed some impressive pictures of women in their 50s and 60s who have applied it regularly for 10 years or more. It truly is still the gold standard in anti-aging because it works.
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Dr. Doris Day, MD, is a Charlotte’s Book Premiere Provider. A cosmetic dermatologist, she practices at Day Dermatology and Aesthetics on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Erin Gilbert, MD is a Charlotte’s Book Premiere Provider. A cosmetic dermatologist, she practices in Brooklyn, New York.