The holistic approach to medical aesthetics views the skin as a whole – face, neck, and hands – handpicking the best available combined treatment from the wide variety present on the market today. “The goal is to give the face its best proportions while pinpointing the specific area that needs treating”.
***This interview is in collaboration with Dr. Lehavit Akerman and was originally published in Globes Magazine.
Current prosperous times have deeply impacted the field of medical aesthetics, a field now able to offer a dizzying array of treatments designed to blur skin marks, smooth wrinkles, improve skin quality, and restore a refreshing, radiant look. The field is constantly being renewed with advanced equipment and unique methods based on extensive scientific research. The dizzying selection of options is a huge issue for patients. They no longer have to choose a single treatment or focus on a specific area of their face. According to Dr. Lehavit Akerman, a specialist in dermatology and owner of a chain of private clinics, the opposite is true: “Today the holistic approach is dominant in the world of medical aesthetics, which has completely changed the perspective by which the treatment is selected and customized.”
What is the aesthetic holistic approach?
Dr. Akerman explains that this is an integrative approach, the objective of which is to consider appearance as a whole and to develop a synergy between the wide range of capabilities and technologies available, all according to the special needs of each patient – all this in order to achieve optimal results. “The idea is to look at the face as a whole and to also include the neck and hands. For example, treating the face along with the neck or examining how adding volume to the cheeks will affect the facial area. Sometimes it’s a wrinkle that makes the face look older or sometimes it’s a blemish that affects the appearance and needs to be treated. ” These holistic treatments combine all innovations in the field, including fillers, lasers, and various types of peelings, RF machine , ultrasound, creams and more. The guiding principle is to give the face its proper proportion and to pinpoint that specific area worth treating in order to achieve the desired look – natural on the one hand and young on the other.
How is customization done among all existing technologies and products?
“It all depends on the professional diagnosis performed by a dermatologist, with a thorough understanding of the structure of the skin, the healing properties of each area, skin types, sensitivities, genetic predispositions and more, in order to determine the appropriate tool and where active medical cosmetics should enter the picture. All this information helps build an effective and operational treatment program to be integrated into the patient’s life. This is not just a one-time episode but rather a treatment program.” Dr. Akerman explains, “It is important to remember that modern devices are powerful, and incorrect use or incompatible treatment may prove ineffective and even harm the patient. For example, pigmentation can be treated with a number of different means, but first, you have to identify the origin of the spots – whether they are hormonal spots or sun and age spots, and only then you can match the proper tool or a combination of procedures to conceal them.
Can you give us an example of a combined treatment?
“For example, spots on the hands, the cleavage, and the face are a common problem in my country – and can be treated simply by combining two devices such as ALMA-Q (an innovative laser device for treatment of pigmentation and acne), and a light beam (a device producing heat energy, causing controlled heating of the pigment), the result of which is preserved for several years. However, hormonal pigmentation is a more complex problem, which necessitates a combination of bleaching cream and a number of tools, such as: Ticell, (a thermo-mechanical treatment for skin regeneration that encourages collagen production) ALMA-Q and RF (use of radio frequency waves to create a very controlled injury on the skin and thereby replenishing it). Also, it is very important to match the type of device to the skin tone and not just to the problem. A high level of skill and understanding is therefore needed, as well as a large number of tools and products which when combined will provide the best result.”
Adjustment of expectations is required
The varying lifestyle of each patient also dictates the type of treatment chosen. Dr. Akerman explains, for example, that the treatment should be adapted to fit into the patient’s routine and not disrupt it. “I check whether patients are engaged in office work or fieldwork, frequently go on business trips, are physically active or smokers. The treatment is a derivative of habits. Weather conditions matter, too. For example, laser treatments are less suitable for the hot season unless patients are willing to minimize their exposure to the sun. ” Considerations such as side effects and recovery time are also relevant to the process of choosing the right treatment. Therefore, a meeting between the therapist and the patient to coordinate expectations is critical. “The skin is a living tissue that responds differently to each person, therefore each treatment is tailor-made. Not everything that fits one person fits another, and of course, there is a significant difference between men and women.”
Downtime is something not everyone can tolerate
“In any case, one should be prepared for the combined treatment, so we need to clarify with the patients in advance whether they want immediate skin changes or prefer a modular plan that extends over time,” says Akerman. “There are patients who are ready to accept mild redness after treatments such as the Alma Pixel CO2 laser treatment for acne scars. Such treatments require recovery of more than a week, while for others it is important to avoid any marks as much as possible. In such a situation, a treatment like skin “busters” (injecting hyaluronic acid with tiny particles into a large skin area to produce improved skin texture) may be combined with other types of lasers. The best Two are the ClearSkin and ALMA-Q lasers. Some people understand that a more aggressive treatment requires a longer recovery. However, others are looking for gentle combined treatments that allow for a quick return to their everyday routine,” explains Dr. Akerman. “It is important to present patients with all the options available to them – to explain what each treatment entails, its duration as well as possible side effects, so they understand what to expect. In any case, most of today’s solutions are based on a combination of a number of technologies, which on the one hand allows for a better result and on the other hand significantly reduces the side effects.”
Achieving natural appearance gradually
The holistic approach goes hand in hand with the natural look. Dr. Akerman notes that today the tendency is to choose the authentic, non-manufactured appearance emphasizing the natural beauty inherent in each and every person through minimal aesthetic intervention. “My view of adapting the holistic approach is to achieve the right look and not necessarily the young look. The holistic approach supports the deployment of a modular treatment plan so that the change will not be visible all at once and dramatically, but rather gradually, so that the attractive look will be achieved slowly, such that it significantly improves the existing features, yet does not alter it completely. ” Moreover, timing is also important. According to Dr. Akerman, “It is important to carry out prevention and maintenance and not to wait for a serious situation, only then rushing to repair it. It is better to start early and to do minimal and preservative treatment each time – when age signs begin to appear – and to take care of the facial skin over time. ” Finally, she mentions that before the face is entrusted to a caregiver, it is important to make sure that he or she is familiar with all the advanced technologies and products in the market, and that the proposed solution is holistic, comprehensive and consistent with the patient’s wishes and budget rather than the agenda of any other party.
Dr. Lehavit Akerman, an international expert in aesthetic skin medicine.
Follow her on Instagram – @dr.lehavit_akerman