Your body has two types of fat: subcutaneous fat, which is under the skin, and visceral fat, which surrounds the organs inside our body. The amount of subcutaneous fat you develop depends on genetics as well as lifestyle factors such as physical activity and diet. Subcutaneous fat plays several important functions, such as keeping as warm and acting as a store of energy. However, too much fat can have health and cosmetic implications.
The most common complaints we hear are concerning “stubborn” pockets of fat that do not seem to diminish, despite exercise and dieting. The typically troublesome areas of fat are the double chin, arms, the lower abdomen and thighs. In men, a common complaint is of fat excess around the chest area, which may be related to Gynaecomastia. Fat excess can be reduced with nonsurgical fat dissolving injections. The gold standard treatment for permanent fat removal is liposuction. Liposuction is often combined with FACEtite or BODYtite procedures to tighten the skin and prevent laxity.
Hyperhidrosis is a common condition that results in excessive sweating in both women and men. This sweating can occur in unusual situations, such as in cooler weather, or without any trigger at all. It can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as menopause or hyperthyroidism.
Patients complain of excessive sweating, typically from the palms of the hands, underarms, feet and the face. The severity of sweating can be debilitating and embarrassing, sometimes necessitating several changes of clothes in a day and affecting sufferers’ social interaction, such as shaking hands. Treatments include specialised anti-perspirants, iontophoresis energy devices, Botox and surgery. Botox injections work by blocking the sweating mechanism in the skin. Botox treatment involves injections in the affected area and can be very effective at reducing excessive treatment.
Stretch marks are visible, parallel bands or lines in the skin. Stretch marks can be considered as scars that are within the dermis of the skin. They are caused by stretching of the skin during the rapid growth phase of puberty. They can also develop due to pregnancy, body building and obesity. Stretch marks may appear as thin and flat or widened and indented in the skin. Stretch marks, just like other scars in the skin, go through a natural maturation cycle. Initially they can be quite prominent and unsightly, having a bright red or purple colour. Typically they will mature and their colour turns to a pale skin tone.
Patients typically present with visible stretch marks on their abdomen, thighs and arms, which can be a source of embarrassment. There are plenty of purported home remedies for stretch marks and whilst being harmless, the results are quite limited. While it is impossible to completely vanish stretch marks, treatments are aimed at reducing their appearance and making them less prominent in colour or texture. Tretinoin is a medical cream that can help to restore the collagen within the skin and improve elasticity. Lasers can be used to reduce the redness and discoloration of stretch marks. Microneedling and Morpheus8 are very effective at delivering the treatment deep into the skin where it is needed and stimulating repair and collagen formation.
Cellulite is the appearance of uneven, cobbled skin due to an abnormality in the fat and tissues under the skin. It is much more common in women due to the composition of their body fat. Some women are more predisposed to it than others. People of all body types and weights can get cellulite.
The distribution of fat in women is more visible than in men. The collagen fibers between the skin and muscle separate the underlying fat into multiple pockets. Cellulite can become more visible as you age and your skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity. This exposes the rippled connective tissues underneath. The risk of developing cellulite is increased due to genetics, hormones, diet, inactivity and pregnancy. Home treatments for cellulite include massage, body brushes and caffeine creams. These may help however the results do not last. Clinic treatments include deep Morpheus8 which can treat upto 8mm into the skin. Other treatments to consider are liposuction and BODYtite which help to reduce the fat under the skin and disrupt the tight fibres that are tethering the fat and worsening the appearance of the cellulite.
Whilst most treatments focus on anti-ageing of the face, the hands are arguably the most visible give-away sign of ageing. Patients commonly complain about the appearance of their hands because of the thinning skin, visible tendons and veins and sun spots on the skin. These are typical and predictable signs of ageing and can be treated using nonsurgical methods to restore their smooth and youthful shape. Dermal fillers are used to restore the volume and smoothen the grooves and “guttering” pattern that develops between the tendons. PRP plasma injections and Morpheus8 are used to hydrate the skin and replenish growth factors and stimulate collagen in the dermis. Sunspots are diminished using medical grade skin care and sun protection.
Your skin is the largest organ in the body and it is under constant attack from the sun, extremes of temperature, radiation and chemicals. Over time, your skin’s ability to heal itself begins to diminish and so we start to lose the essential components that maintain our youthful skin. Collagen and elastic are the most important proteins that give our skin its natural elasticity and strength. Youthful skin is smooth and tight due to the tight meshwork of collagen and elastin. As these proteins diminish with age, our skin starts to become thinner and more lax. This can result in the development of lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, loose skin begins to gather in certain areas of the face, under the influence of gravity. The jowls, double chin and eye bags are the typical areas to notice these ageing signs.
Pregnancy is a wonderful experience for many women however it can be a traumatic time for your face and body and it can take its toll on your body. Pregnancy is associated with huge fluctuations in the body weight as well as changes in hormones, water levels and cellular behaviour. Post-pregnancy changes are seen in all parts of the body. The most common complaints that we hear regarding post-pregnancy changes in the body are – abdominal skin laxity and stretchmarks. These can be helped with Morpheus8, BODYtite and mini abdominoplasty treatments. Skin laxity and deflation can affect the breasts, particularly after breastfeeding. Treatment options include breast augmentation, uplift and fat transfer. In the face, post-pregnancy changes normally show in the midface area, which can start to look hollow and flat, giving rise to a more tired appearance. Volume replenishment in the face, using dermal fillers, can restore the natural apple of the cheek and lift the face, making you look more refreshed and rested.
Gynaecomastia (male breast tissue)
Excessive breast tissue occurs in about 20% of males and can be completely normal, especially at certain stages of life, such as childhood, puberty and old age, when hormone imbalances can occur. Gynaecomastia can also occur as a side effect to certain medication or recreational drugs. It is also always important to check other conditions in the body that may manifest with gynaecomastia, such as liver, thyroid or testicular problems.
Gynaecomastia can cause significant physical and psychological morbidity for the patient and may effect confidence, self-esteem and social development.
The treatments for gynaecomastia include liposuction, skin tightening with BODYtite and reduction surgery to remove the breast tissue. These are extremely effective and usually only require a single procedure.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting males and females at all stages of life. Patients typically complain of oily, inflamed skin with breakouts of spots and cysts on their face and body – typically the back and chest areas. Acne can vary from mild to severe and can have physical, cosmetic and psychological symptoms. Treatments for acne vary from medical grade skincare, to chemical peels, and lasers. Athorough consultation is always advised so that the treatment can be customised according to your skin and requirements.
Scars are the body’s attempt at healing after surgery, trauma, burns and skin conditions, such as acne. Scars can be raised, red, hard and itchy when they are immature. With time, however, the collagen is reorganised and the scar begins to mature, appearing flatter, softer, skin-coloured and less itchy – this is a mature scar. Sometimes, this natural progression can be disrupted and an abnormal scar develops, which may be hypertrophic (lumpy and stretched) or keloid (large, unsightly and extending beyond the size of the original scar). Treatment of scars is challenging and requires a specialist and multidisciplinary approach. Treatment options include microneedling and Morpheus8, injections with steroid, subcision and surgical correction. The first step is to have a detailed consultation with Dr Ayad and Dr Zainab, who run a specialist scar clinic.