RESULTS: Because there may be swelling and fluid shifts, and it takes several weeks for the damaged cells to be absorbed into the blood stream and eliminated, full results won’t be visible for several weeks up to three months. Realistically, one can expect a 20 to 40 percent reduction of fat in the treated area. “We compare the size of what we can reduce or treat to a stick of butter,” says Erdmann. “If you have a roll the size of a stick of butter over the top of your jeans, we can freeze it in one session. If it’s the size of two sticks of butter, it will take more.” The treatment is permanent, to a degree. “It’s not a license to go on a cupcake and pizza binge. The fat cells treated are destroyed, but fat can return to the area,” she advises.
TIMELINE: A trouble spot can be treated once every three months. Multiple areas (inner thigh, tummy) may be treated simultaneously or concurrently.
COST: Prices range from $500 to $1,500 per treated area.
Body Peels: In-office full-body treatments with glycolic and salicylic acid and other skin-smoothing ingredients like vitamin C can also make a significant difference in skin texture and clarity.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): Treatments typically last an hour, skin remains red and looks sunburned for a few hours, then the destroyed pigment cells emerge as small, peppery flakes on the skin, which fall off in a week to 10 days. On the body, it can take up to a month. Los Angeles dermatologist, Dr. Harold Lancer, uses a more powerful version called VLPL, which addresses vascular redness and pigmented lesions and has a similar recovery time.
Body Peels: “SkinMedica and PCA have beautiful peels for the body that help with hyperpigmentation, rough patches or even acne,” says Engelman. “I recommend a series of three. Each time the skin looks better.”
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): Depending on the severity of the spots or sun damage and the size of the area that needs treating, several sessions (up to four, spaced three weeks apart) may be required. And don’t forget the SPF 50. New brown spots will surface without proper protection.
Body Peels: Engelman recommends a series of three peels, spaced two weeks apart, for best results. Factor at least two weeks to recover from the last peel before baring it all at the beach, since newly exposed skin is more sensitive to sun.
COST: $200 to 500 for IPL / $1,500 for VLPL / $150 to $250 for body peels.
RESULTS: Depending on the patient, results can be immediate and last a very long time. Dr. Lancer prefers to use radiofrequency waves on the body to tighten skin and even melt away a little fat (temporarily) with machines like Biora, Exilis and Venus Legacy, which use heat to simulate an injury to the dermis of the skin, stimulate collagen growth and tighten skin in the process. “Some work better on postpartum skin or for bra or back fat — it really depends on the individual diagnosis with Dr. Lancer,” says Natalie Aguilar, a registered nurse in Dr. Lancer’s office. Engelman agrees: “Radiofrequency is really the way to treat excess skin, but not if there’s a significant amount of adipose tissue underneath it — if there’s a lot of fat, you won’t see a lot of improvement.”
TIMELINE: With ultrasound, only one treatment is typically required, and there is no downtime. Radiofrequency treatments are most effective in a series (Lancer’s office recommends six) every two weeks. There’s no recovery time.
COST: Ultrasound treatments, around $1,500. Radiofrequency body treatments range from $600 to $1,000, depending on the practice and the machine.
Nd:YAG Laser Therapy: Engelman swears by the Nd:YAG laser, which targets both red and blue veins and delivers “beautiful” results with no compression hose, less pain and no downtime.
Sclerotherapy: “The healing process is a little more involved, because you wear pressure stockings for 72 hours after the treatment, and [doctors] recommend no working out or flying for that long as well. You will most likely have bruises, so the legs won’t look good for at least two weeks after,” says Erdmann. “And you may need multiple treatments spaced one month apart. Unfortunately, if you’re prone to them genetically, it can be an annual commitment.”
Nd:YAG Laser: “I find the lasers to be more life-friendly,” says Engelman, but since the laser is harder to control, the success depends on the skill of the person administering it. Engelman says that results are visible immediately. “When I use the laser, I watch them disappear before my eyes.”
Sclerotherapy: It may take four to six weeks for the body to absorb the damaged tissue and the small bruises that may appear to vanish completely.
Nd:YAG Laser: Some redness and bruising may be present for a week or two posttreatment.
Sclerotherapy: Treatments run about $500, and with Erdmann, she will treat as many veins as she can during the hour appointment.
Nd:YAG Laser: Treatments cost $400 to $1,200, depending on the amount and severity, and two are typically necessary.
Botox Injections: Another common foot issue is excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, which can lead to foul-smelling feet. Engelman recommends Dry Sol, a prescription-strength antiperspirant spray, which is applied directly to feet at night to shut down sweat glands and minimize the growth of yeast. Botox injections can control perspiration for up to four months.
Anti-Fungals: With daily use, topical treatments take up to three months to show noticeable improvement in toenails. Odor may be improved in a matter of days.
Botox Injections: As with any Botox injections, full results will be evident in seven to 10 days.
COST: Prescription anti-fungals can cost as much as $400 but can be covered with insurance. Botox will run you $1,200 to $1,500 because many units of botulism toxin must be injected in multiple sites on both feet.
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