How laser and injectables are transforming the world down under. By Jenni Gilbert.
Two years ago, the clinicians at the Face Today medi-clinic in Cairns began to notice a recurrent theme among their more mature clients attending for injectables and non-surgical rejuvenation device treatments.
‘Treating patients on a daily basis for year after year we get to know them really well,’ says Nicole Belle RN, internationally-renowned cosmetic injector and co-owner of Face Today clinics in Sydney as well as Cairns.
‘Deep trust is developed and we often become their confidante; matters private and close to their heart and soul are often discussed with us that they won’t share with anyone else, not even their partner.
‘We hear stories of women being self conscious about what their Brazilian reveals; feeling restricted, inhibited and devastated about the appearance of their genitalia.’Patients may feel that their labia majora is too large, too thin, too saggy, too empty and aged, their labia minora is uneven, extrudes too much, too large ‘ it goes on and on.
‘When you see clients regularly in up-close-and-personal situations like these, a bond of trust and confidante-like relationship develops between us. They will often tell us things that they wouldn’t share even with their partner, close relatives or friends.
‘All this wasn’t helped, as some women told us, by going to young wax therapists for a Brazilian only to come away feeling humilliated by a `why would you bother at your age?’ vibe. We then decided to open a 45-and-over (or thereabouts) waxing service at Face Today, so these women would feel comfortable and appreciated.’
This gave rise to a whole new concept. Nicole was one of the first cosmetic injectors in Australia to be asked to trial Regen Platet Rich Plasma (PRP) technology, where a patient’s own blood is drawn and ‘spun’ in a centrifuge to extract its growth factor-rich serum within. This is then reinjected into areas where the patient feels their skin needs rejuvenating.
Nicole, who tries all treatments on herself before offering them to clients, decided to try PRP on her ‘bits’ (as she sometimes refers to them) and was thrilled with the results.
‘They looked and felt rejuvenated,’ she says, ‘and in my late 50s I was/am having the best sex of my life. There is no clinical evidence as yet to back up the enhanced arousal aspect, but I can personally attest.’
And, subsequently, so have clients told her the same, after she began offering similar PRP treatments to clients. Since then it has gone several steps further, with Nicole and her team offering HA injectables and RF treatments to further enhance results down under.
‘We started two years ago using Regen PRP in the external genitalia with a view to increasing tissue elasticity and increased micro vascularisation in those patients with laxity issues, repeating the treatment every six weeks for a series of three treatments,’ she says.
‘For patients with a volume loss in the labia majora, we volumised with hyluronic acid with great success. For some patients with a projecting fatty mons pubis we have found lipo-dissolve has been very effective and, in some patients of varying ages, they have also required PRPfor tightening and reduction of the mons.
‘Most recently we have added the use of a radio frequency device [Exilis] to the majora and minora post-PRP to create skin tightening and to increase density of the tissue resulting in a younger, plumper tissue.
‘We also use HA the clitoris to make it more receptive to sexual stimuli.
‘Each patient has their individual needs in this new area of appearance medicine and we have been very successful in reinvigorating relationships through increased confidence in their intimate appearance.’
Another technique being used to address sexual dysfunction, as well as stimulate sexual arousal/orgasm is the so-called O Shot, using a technology known as Factor 4.
A patient’s blood is drawn into technologically advanced tubing, according to cosmetic physician Dr Christopher Leat, of the Gold Coast’s Envisage clinic (who uses Factor 4 for skin rejuvenation).
‘The drawn blood is then incubated for between six and nine hours, exposing is to pyrogenic-free surfaces. This elicits a vigorous and rapid increase in the synthesis of growth factors.
‘Following centrifugation, serum extraction and filtration, the serum is portioned and stored in a freezer at -18””C. Because of the incubation period, the serum extracted is more GF-rich than if re-injected into a patient immediately.’
Dr Soraya Felix, a stem cell physician at the Gold Coast’s Masterderm Clinic, ses Factor 4 for the purposes of sexual dysfunction.
A breast cancer survivor, she was searching for a way to improve her own sex life after chemotherapy. ‘I was completing my stem cell diploma in the US when I discovered the O Shot and decided to give it a go,’ she says.
‘I was looking for extra stimulation after my cancer treatment and found it gave me no discomfort, no side effects and it was successful.
‘Then I decided while I was in America I would become qualified to give the shot and bring it to Australia [in 2013]. It will help thousands of women.’
For use to promote sexual arousal, for instance, Factor 4 is injected in a soft tissue just inside the vaginal canal behind the clitoris. ‘Patients report that it is relatively painless and comfortable,’ says Dr Felix. ‘The results can be noticed from after to a week to several weeks, vary depending on the woman’s health and last for eight to 12 months.’
The names ‘Orgasm Shot’ and ‘O-Shot’ were awarded to Dr Charles Runels, (the first to do the procedure) and are protected by US Patent and Trademark law.
The procedure is a very specific method of using blood-derived growth factors to rejuvenate the vagina to help relieve women with urinary incontinence and sex problems and can only be performed by those trained in the method as done in the wrong way, results could be useless ‘ or worse.
These injectable treatments are a highly valuable adjunct to the relatively new laser vaginal rejuevation procedures, which are opening up a new world to many thousands (millions) of women around the world suffering from issue such as vaginal dryness, atrophy or laxity, or urinary stress incontinence after such life stages as menopause, after childbirth or following such medical procedures as chemotherapy, which put m,any women into premature menopuse.
Cosmetic physician Dr Bruce Williamson, medical director of Face Today MediClinics and director of his own Skin Smart cosmetic medical clinic in Sydney, has a female doctor performing this procedure, using the MonaLisaTouch device, distributed in Australia by High Tech Laser..
‘Most women are very happy with the results and report feeling less of the symptoms,’ he says. ‘One patient who had recurrent urinary tract infections has not had one since her second treatment.
‘We have had a couple of husbands thanking us for the improvement in their wife! One said `an upgrade is so much better and cheaper than a trade in’.’
Another breakthrough device for vaginal rejuvenation is the Action II – Petit Lady, distributed in Australia by Lutronic. Click here to watch a video for more information and here for a previous story SPA+CLINIC has pubished about this life-changing technology.
So next time at your salon, spa or clinic when a client is having a Brazilian – or, indeed, any other treatment that encourages such confidences about their intimate lives – pass along the information. They will be forever thankful for it.
www.facetoday.com.au; www.klinicsolutions.com (for Factor 4); www.masterderm.clinic; www.envisageclinic.com.au; www.skinsmart.com.au; www.monalisatouch.com.au; www.advancecosmeceuticals.com.au/brands/lutronic