Need a Boost? Skinboosters are IN!

You may have heard about one of the latest trends designed specifically to target skin hydration, smoothness and elasticity from within. Restylane® SkinBoosters™ are a unique form of hyaluronic acid light filler that is injected in tiny droplets into the superficial layer of the skin. It naturally integrates into the skin, absorbs water and disperses like a thin layer of fondant icing. SkinBoosters™ are hydrating and work by improving tone and elasticity and boosting your body’s own collagen production. This exciting product reaches where topical creams cannot. Any age, gender, or skin type can enjoy the benefits of Restylane® SkinBoosters™. This treatment option may complement an existing aesthetic treatment plan or be used on its own.

  Katriina, 54 years    Photos courtesy of Restylane.com

Katriina, 54 years

Photos courtesy of Restylane.com

  Areas treated: face and forehead Products used: Restylane Skinboosters Vital & Vital Light

Areas treated: face and forehead
Products used: Restylane Skinboosters Vital & Vital Light

With Restylane® SkinBoosters™ we are now able to treat more areas safely with a natural looking result. It is particularly good at treating fine lines around the lips and smile lines. It can also be used on the neck, décolleté and backs of the hands where crepey skin often shows the first signs of aging.

Done in a series of 2-3 injection sessions, it only takes about 20 mins. A topical numbing cream may first be applied for your comfort. The product is gently deposited with a very small needle and clients report minimal discomfort. After your initial series is completed a single maintenance treatment about every 6 months is recommended to preserve that smooth natural radiance.

Restylane_skinboosters_gray_ENG.jpg

Restylane® SkinBoosters™ are ALL the rave! And with good reason. See for yourself with these before and after photos! For more information visit www.restylane.com/.

Galit_2.jpg

Reflecting on 10 Years in Medical Aesthetics

drhickeyoffice-3327- crop3.jpg

Ten years passes so quickly. Though, looking back, so much has happened during that time. I have often been asked why I chose to pursue a special interest in medical aesthetics. Well, in truth, I have to admit it was a selfish curiosity that lead me down this path. One morning during the ritual of preparing to go to hospital rounds, I looked in the mirror and was startled by how tired I looked. There were deep furrows developing between my eyebrows. Now that I know the industry lingo, those were “11” lines. I like to think that I earned them from years of intense concentration while studying.  I had reached middle age and it seemed to have happened all of a sudden. It was 2007, just 5 years after the approval of Botox for cosmetic use in the US and Canada. I began noticing media articles about Botox and fillers. Friends were whispering about new options to look more youthful without going under the knife. I was not alone. What was all the buzz about? Perhaps there was an easier solution to appear refreshed. I didn’t mind being middle aged. After all, I was thankful I had the opportunity to reach this life stage happy and healthy. But I didn’t feel that the tired and angry look on the outside matched how I felt inside. I wanted to explore.

I went into physician mode, extensively researching the products available. I scrutinized the medical literature about how they worked, side effects and results.  Like anyone, my primary concern was safety. After all, as a physician, wife, and mother, I was not about to risk my health for the sake of my appearance. Armed with the scientific data, I sought out an accredited training program in Canada and in September 2007 I was off to Toronto to dip my toe into the world of medical aesthetics. I was unsure of where this would lead for me professionally but I wanted to expand my knowledge and try it for myself.

The needle felt like an extension of my hand, just like an artist’s paintbrush.
— Dr. Andrea Hickey

I smiled as the course instructor commented, “you are very comfortable with a needle in your hand”.  The preceding years of experience as an ER and family physician had allowed me to hone my fine manual skills by performing minor surgical procedures. The needle felt like an extension of my hand, just like an artist’s paintbrush. Then, it was my turn to be the recipient. Placing my trust in another injector, with just a few pinpricks it was over.  The result of the filler was instant and remarkable. But with the Botox- I would have to patiently wait to see the effect. Returning to Fredericton, each day I checked my reflection in the mirror as the muscles gradually relaxed on my forehead. It was smooth and I no longer looked angry and stressed. I thought to myself, “Botox is wonderful”. I wanted to share it with others. I wanted to eliminate all the frowns in Fredericton. And that is how my journey began.

At the time, Medi-spas were all the rage in the urban centres. One stop shopping with hair stylists, estheticians, massage therapists, lasers and injections all in one place like a big box beauty store. While this appeals to many, I chose to offer my medical expertise and skill with a different vision. I set out to provide my clients with a premium experience where they received personal service in the safety and security of a confidential medical office. I designed the clinic space to reflect a sophisticated boutique atmosphere and adjoined it to my medical practice to assure my accessibility. Although always staying abreast of the latest technologies in the growing beauty industry, I chose to concentrate on those treatments requiring regulated medical expertise. This became my niche.

As the 10 year mark approaches, I recall that initial course in Toronto.  Cosmetic treatments and outcomes have come so far. Thankfully, the “cookie cutter” or “one treatment fits all” techniques for injectables has evolved to a more individualized approach.  A natural looking result can be achieved. Interest in all cosmetic procedures has grown for both women and men. In the early years, the focus was anti-wrinkle and anti-aging driven by women, like myself, in their 40’s-60’s seeking to slow the hands of time. Uncertainty about product safety and fear of being judged by others as frivolous or vain deterred many from trying aesthetic procedures. With time and many scientific studies, confidence in the safety of Botox and fillers grew. The big shift came with social media. It then became commonplace to “snap and share”. We were seeing more of our own images- and so were others! The demand for aesthetic services has soared with the evolution of technology and changes in societal attitudes. Lead by the millennial generation, it is now more openly discussed and acceptable to consider cosmetic (surgical and non-surgical) treatments to improve one’s appearance.

I have not lost sight of my original goal; I remain determined to erase all the frowns in Fredericton!
— Dr. Andrea Hickey

As a pioneer in medical aesthetics specialty in Fredericton, I have had the pleasure of forming long term relationships with my clients built on honesty and respect. I appreciate their trust and loyalty. To me, it is this personal connection that makes providing a cosmetic service so enjoyable. I am passionate about this dynamic field of medicine and look forward to sharing further advancements. Yet, I have not lost sight of my original goal; I remain determined to erase all the frowns in Fredericton!

Melt Away That Double Chin with Belkyra™

Capture2.PNG

Have you ever been bothered by the appearance of fat under your chin? If so, you are not alone. In reality, up to 70% of men and women share this concern.

A chiseled jawline is as paramount to the ideal masculine face as the defined svelte neckline is to a feminine profile. Even those persons at their ideal body weight find that this pesky pad of fat under their chin is resistant to weight loss. Blame it on your genes!

Until the approval of Belkyra™ by Health Canada in 2015, surgical liposuction was the most common way to remove the fat and improve the appearance of a double chin. Now, with a series of injections performed in the comfort of the physicians’ office it is possible to permanently dissolve the fat collection under the chin and reveal that contoured profile you desire.

Fall Means Back to Routine

As the hours and intensity of sunlight diminishes, fall is the perfect season to begin a number of rejuvenating treatments for your skin. Over the summer months the UV rays from the sun lead to tans and pigmentation of of exposed skin, particularly on our faces, chests and hands. Medical peels, IPL photorejuvenation and laser hair reduction must be performed on untanned skin and usually are performed in a series of treatment sessions. These treatments combined with a specialized skin care routine will restore your skin to a healthy balance, remove imperfections and protect your skin as we transition into the colder and drier months ahead.

The Importance of a Professional Skin Care Consult

Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time.
— Linden Tyler

Have you ever left the cosmetic counter feeling overwhelmed by the choices available? If so, you are not alone. With so many different brands, ingredients and price points it is easy to get confused. You may have asked yourself: What is a cosmeceutical? Which creams would work for me and in what order should I apply them to get the best result?

Finding the right products for your skin type and aesthetic goals is challenging. Finding quality advice from a trustworthy practitioner, even more so.

Professional skin care consultations provide an excellent opportunity to get to know your skin care specialist and the clinic in which you will be treated. Building a relationship with your cosmetic professional over time allows you to develop trust and confidence in their recommendations.

Be wary of clinics offering free skin care consultations. This is a strategy used to attract customers, but it doesn’t necessarily ensure the depth and thoroughness that you deserve. Often a clinic will charge a modest fee for a professional consultation, redeemable in products or treatments, making it well worth the investment.

What to expect from your Professional Skin Care Consultation

Before you arrive at your appointment, consider a few questions you may be asked by the professional consultant. What bothers you about your skin? What would you like to change? What level of commitment are you prepared to make both financially and with regards to your time? Are you open to exploring other treatment options to reach your goals? By reflecting on these questions prior to your arrival, your consultant will be better able to advise you on how you can incorporate an effective skin care regime into your lifestyle.

A skin care consultation with a qualified professional will last approximately 30 minutes. Your specific concerns should be discussed in the context of your medical history and past treatments. An examination of your skin under magnification is essential to evaluate your skin and prescribe appropriate regimes that are both safe and effective for you. With your skin specialist, you should be able to ask questions openly and feel at ease.

Your consultation is all about developing your individualized treatment plan. No two patient’s goals or circumstances are exactly the same. Perhaps you just want to begin with information about maintaining healthy skin and minimizing aging. Recommendations emphasizing a healthy lifestyle and education about main active ingredients will allow you to make informed choices.

Skin care routines needn’t be complicated or fussy. The best and most long-lasting results can be achieved with a few quality formulations used consistently. The key is determining which scientifically proven active ingredients are right for you. Your skin care consultant should be able to advise you on how to simplify your routine while maximizing your results. Your individually prescribed home skin care system should be clearly communicated and supported by easy step-by-step written instructions. Over time, your regime may require reassessment and adjustment to meet new goals.

With the rapidly advancing field of medical aesthetics, your skin care consultant should also be knowledgeable and open to discussing other treatments available to help you achieve your goals, even if not offered in their clinic.

Dr. Andrea Hickey and her professional skin care consultant, Courtney Smith-Jones, RN, BN, have many years of experience in aesthetic medicine. With the foundation of general medicine and surgical nursing, they are able to understand skin health and how it reflects ones physical health, lifestyle choices, and psychological wellbeing.

Dr. Andrea Hickey personally selects products after researching the scientific evidence supporting the key active ingredients. Careful consideration goes into choosing only quality skin care products that are specifically formulated to treat certain skin types and conditions. We have done our homework to simplify your experience.

You can be assured of our confidentiality, professionalism, and honest advice.

For more information on topics related to skin health and antiaging, please subscribe to our newsletter and like our Facebook page.

National Sun Awareness Week: Sunscreen vs Sunblock

June 6th to June 12th is National Sun Awareness Week! Choosing a sunscreen can be overwhelming as store shelves across the country stock up on hundreds of different kinds of sun protectants. Sprays vs lotions, SPF 20 vs SPF 60, Ultra Sheer vs Ultra Defense… the list goes on and on! Although it is common to interchange the words sunscreen and sunblock, there is indeed a difference between the two: chemical vs physical protection.

Sunscreens protect our skin from harmful rays by absorbing UV radiation using carbon-containing chemicals. These chemicals go by a variety of names: avobenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, oxybenzone, octisalate, ecamsule, etc. Sunscreens are absorbed by the skin and should be applied 20-30 minutes before exposure. It is not uncommon for your skin to develop a sensitivity to one or more chemicals found in sunscreens. If this is true for you then consider using a sunblock instead!

Sunblocks protect our skin by reflecting the sun’s rays. The active ingredients in sunblocks are minerals – Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Sunblock is also known as physical or mineral sunscreen. It is effective immediately after application. Recall the vibrant white nose of the lifeguard at the beach? Sunblocks have gotten a bad rap for being thick, greasy, and unappealing as their formulas rest on the skin’s surface. Nowadays, technology has enabled the micronization of the active minerals allowing for a sheer application and matte finish.

At Dr. Andrea Hickey’s Medical Aesthetics we are happy to offer both sunscreens and sunblocks. The ProDerm™ Cosmeceutical line provides two excellent sunscreens – a Facial Day Cream and a Daytime Fluid. In addition to providing an SPF of 20, each daily protectant also contains natural soothing agents and high quality moisturizers.

The newest addition to our sun protection collection is the TiZO Mineral Sunscreen. Both tinted and non-tinted formulas are gentle on even the most sensitive skin. These sunblocks have an SPF 40 and are free of chemical sunscreen filters, dyes, fragrances, oils and preservatives.

All of our sun protection products guarantee broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays!

The Science of Gift Giving

Imagine its Christmas morning. You wake from a peaceful sleep as the morning glow shines through your window. A blanket of fluffy snow covers the ground. The smell of brewing coffee lifts you from your warm bed. Gathering around the sparkling tree, you smile with joy at the sight of your loved ones. Excitement fills the air as the gift opening unravels.

The most wonderful time of the year would not be so without a great deal of planning. Staying in tune with current trends and our kids’ ever-changing wish lists is not a simple task. But what really motivates us to put in all this effort? The answer lies in research from the fields of psychology and sociology.

There are various mental and emotional benefits which fuel gift giving. One of main reasons we give gifts is to show that we care. “A way to express feelings, giving reinforces appreciation and acknowledgement of each other” writes Darice Britt in an article titled The Psychology Behind Gift-Giving. Taking the time to select a gift and see the expression on the recipient’s face upon unwrapping provides a psychological lift. It also creates a deeper sense of connection between the giver and recipient. Giving altruistically – giving without expecting anything in return – has been shown to improve psychological health (1).

Another emotional benefit of gift giving is to reduce guilt. In the advent of globalization and with the convenience of online shopping, we can easily send thoughtful presents to loved ones at a distance. This can make us feel better about our absence as well as strengthen an emotional bond.

We give with the best of intentions, but how can gifting sometimes go so awry? One reason may be that our own preferences influence our gift purchases – we have a tendency to give what we would like to receive. We know how excited we would be if we received that new gadget or beautiful gown and we want others to feel that same enjoyment. However, what makes us happy may not be what pleases the recipient. An example of this disconnect can be seen with gift exchanges between partners. Men tend to go for more practical gifts and are price conscious, whereas women are more inclined to purchase gifts with sentimental value.

As we consider gifting this holiday season, we must remind ourselves that it’s the thought that counts!

 
 

 

(1) Brown, S. L. (2003). An altruistic reanalysis of the social support hypothesis: The health benefits of giving. New Directions For Philanthropic Fundraising, 2003(42), 29-57.

Can Botox Treat Depression?

Major depressive disorder, simply known as depression, is a serious mental illness. About 1 in 10 Canadians will experience an episode of depression during their lifetime1. Interestingly, women are more likely than men to experience depression (1).

Research is suggesting a novel approach to treating depression: Botox®. One theory highlights the fact that when we look good we feel good. Looking into a mirror and being happy with our reflection is an uplifting experience. Feeling good about our appearance makes us feel more confident as we go about our day.

A second theory focuses on the way we express our emotions. Our facial expressions show others how we are feeling. When we are happy, we smile. When we are sad, worried, or angry, we frown. Recent studies explore the concept that the expressions we wear on our face actually influence our mood. These preliminary studies show that by selectively relaxing the muscles that cuase us to frown we may be able to improve our mood from the outside in. Over the past 20 years, Botox® has been found to treat a number of different medical conditions (migraines, strabismus, dystonias, spastic muscles, TMJ, bladder dysfunction) in addition to its cosmetic use.

While more scientific research is necessary to reach a definite conclusion, perhaps, in the future, Botox® will also be used to treat depression.

(1) To learn more about the signs and symptoms of depression and how you or a loved one can get help, please visit www.depressionhurts.ca.

Your Skin Care Routine: Transition from Winter to Spring

A long winter can wreak havoc on your skin – dry air and cold temperatures can result in a dull, rough texture. We’ve been diligently moisturizing and exfoliating to keep the harsh effects of this chilly season at bay. But with spring on the horizon it’s time to refresh our skin care routine! We’ve compiled a list of the most important skin care modifications to help transition your skin care regime from winter to spring.

1. EXFOLIATE  Keep up your exfoliating routine as it improves skin texture and radiance. Rather than using a scrub or brush to mechanically exfoliate opt for a gentler approach with products containing Glycolic Acid such as ProDerm AHA Night Cream or AHA BHA Lotion.

2. PROTECT   It’s time to amp up the SPF! As the days get longer and the UV index rises, we need to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun. For daily use, opt for an SPF of 20. If you plan to spend more time outdoors up your SPF to 60. We recommend ProDerm Day Cream SPF 20 or Daytime Fluid SPF 20. In addition to its UVA/UVB blocking properties, these creams contain anti-oxidants and natural soothing agents – a great combination for protecting your skin!

3. MOISTURIZE    Lighten up your moisturizer! As spring rolls around the humidity in the air increases, decreasing our need for thick creams. As the temperature warms, our complexion may become oily and prone to acne breakouts.  Moisturizing is still important year round as it protects the integrity of our skin and improves tone and elasticity. We suggest swapping out your heavier night creams for lighter, mattifying versions, particularly if you have oily or acne prone skin. Liftense LTL is a light textured anti-aging lotion that includes a concentrated peptide complex and ingredients chosen for their anti-wrinkle, repairing, hydrating, and lifting actions.

4. TONE   Spring is an excellent time to pamper yourself. Going the extra mile to give your skin a boost is as easy as a weekly clay mask. Clay is a natural exfoliant and softener. It helps to keep your skin clear by soaking up extra oil and unclogging pores. ProDerm’s Terreus Masque is a great option to create a matte appearance and maintain the radiance of your skin. 

5. GLOW     The earth radiates in spring as the ice melts, the grass greens, and the flowers blossom. You too can get a beautiful glow with ProDerm’s Summer 365, a gradual self-tanner for the face and body. This luxurious, soothing formula also contains antioxidants and applies easily for a gradual and even tanned look. The light scent of this cream is possible because it is free of the malodorous ingredient found in most self-tanners. Self-tanning creams provide a healthy alternative to achieving sun-kissed skin without the risks associated with sun exposure.


Read more about ProDerm Products at www.drandreahickey.ca/products and www.pro-derm.com.

What is Collagen Induction Therapy?

Derma girl 2 cropped.PNG

Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) is commonly known as microneedling or skin needling. While the basic concept behind skin microneedling has been around for more than a century, the emergence of this therapy in aesthetic medicine didn’t occur until the mid-1990s. In 1997, Canadian plastic surgeon Dr. Andre Camirand accidentally discovered that skin puncturing with tattoo needles resulted in improvement of facial scar texture. Fundamentally, the mechanism is simple – controlled delivery of damage to the skin stimulates collagen production through the body’s natural healing process. Over time, the skin is remodeled which results in smoother skin texture and improved strength and elasticity.

A decade later the first microneedling device became available: the Dermaroller. This rotating drum-shaped tool embedded with stainless steel needles even came in versions for home use. However, there are multiple limitations including excessive trauma and pain caused by angled piercing, inability to conform to facial contours, and non-adjustable needle depth. All these shortcomings led to the development of the automated microneedling device or Dermapen™.

Dermapen’s unique spring-loaded needle tip uses an automated vibrating stamp-like motion that enhances results while offering a more controlled and safer method of treatment than other microneedling devices. Dermapen’s needle depth can be adjusted during the course of the procedure to accommodate different treatment areas and can easily maneuver around facial contours and delicate features, such as the eyes, nose and mouth. The small and light Dermapen™ is available in two models. The Aesthetic Model has a limited treatment depth suitable for use by aestheticians. The newer Dermapen 3MD™ is a Medical Model which may be used to penetrate up to 2.5 mm for more aggressive treatment and is used exclusively by medical practitioners.

 

Read more about our Dermapen™ services at drandreahickey.ca/services/dermapen.

 

Improved acne scars and minimized pore size after 5 sessions:

dermapen_before_and_after.jpg