Non-cosmetic concerns come in different forms. You may experience weight problems, venous disease, or sun damage to your skin that can put you at risk for skin cancer. You may also experience a reduction in self-esteem that comes from visible changes related to the aging process.
Why Maintaining Your Weight Matters
Obesity in the United States is at epic levels. The consequences are well-known: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and early onset of dementia. Many people attempt crash diets in order to lose weight, but this is not a successful strategy. Although there may be an initial reduction in weight, there has been no change in the person’s fundamental habits. The weight returns, and it is even harder to lose weight the next time.
Many of our patients at the Whole Beauty® Institute have lost significant weight and have kept it off. The story is always the same: maintain a diet that is low in refined carbohydrates and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables (especially those with a low glycemic index), avoid all processed and junk foods, and practice regular exercise. It also helps to have some way to reinforce your commitment: this may take the form of a trainer, a nutritionist, a program such as Weight Watchers, or a group of friends with whom you have shared your commitment to lose weight.
We Can Help in the Weight Reduction Process
What does this have to do with the treatments that we offer at the Whole Beauty® Institute? There are three fundamental ways that we can be of help. We can help with the plateaus that may occur in the weight reduction process; we can eliminate some of the negative changes that may occur in a person’s appearance with substantial weight reduction; and we can help with motivation.
Weight reduction sometimes has a pattern of elation followed by frustration. After overcoming the initial period of reluctance, a person finds it is actually enjoyable to eat well and exercise regularly. The pounds begin to come off and it is a pleasure to see your progress in the bathroom mirror. For some lucky people this process continues all the way to a realistic ideal weight. For many of us, however, we reach a frustrating plateau when we begin to realize that certain areas of the body are stubbornly reluctant to give up their fullness. These are genetic zones of reserve fat often in the central portions of the body.
These stubborn zones may become so frustrating that a person “throws in the towel” and begins to return to the old habits that got them in trouble in the first place. Here is where our Whole Beauty® team comes to the rescue. We can help the motivational process by reducing zones of resistant fat with a variety of methods. Depending on individual circumstances, this may be accomplished with SculpSure®, a laser-based non-invasive method of fat reduction. or with various methods of liposuction, such as SmartLipo, SlimLipo, or Vaser. With laser liposuction, we can usually carry out treatment under local anesthesia in our Chicago and Winnetka offices. The improvement in contour in difficult areas reinvigorates the motivational process and allows the patient to take weight reduction to the next level.
Another area where we can help is with the elimination of some of the negative consequences of weight reduction. Many a person who loses significant weight is delighted by his or her better shape and increased energy, but is less than thrilled with the loose skin that accompanies weight reduction. Here again our Whole Beauty® team can play a beneficial role. Procedures such as abdominoplasty, posterior body lift, inner thigh lift, arm reduction, and face lift can reduce or eliminate loose skin in problem areas. Patients often tell us that these operations also serve as a form of celebration for the magnificent accomplishment of losing significant weight. Also a patient who looks in the mirror and sees a beautiful set of curves and contours is highly motivated to maintain positive habits of nutrition and exercise.
The first step in any significant change of habits is the most difficult one. It is often easy to say to oneself, “Tomorrow I will begin a serious program of weight reduction.” Then when tomorrow comes, the process is put off for yet another day. Many a patient has told us that by setting a target date for surgery once weight has been reduced, it provides a goal that helps to jump start the motivational process. Also as weight reduction occurs, the patient will have less concern about any loose skin that develops, because there is already a plan to deal with this.
Varicose Veins Can have Medical Consequences
Varicose veins occur in a variety of shapes and sizes: everything from tiny red or blue clusters known as “spider veins” to large twisted channels that distort the surface of the skin. Venous disease of the legs can come from a variety of causes: genetic patterns, occupations that require standing for long periods, and obesity.
Varicose veins can have significant medical consequences, especially if they are not treated early. Near the ankles there can be swelling, the development of ulcers in the skin, permanent discoloration of the skin, and superficial blood clots. As time passes, these undesirable changes move up the leg.
Patients come to us because of the appearance of varicose veins, but we can also help address the medical issues that are associated with venous disease. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The mainstays of vein treatment at the Whole Beauty® Institute are sclerotherapy and the 1064 laser. With sclerotherapy a clinician injects a substance into the varicose vein that irritates the wall of the vein and causes it to form a harmless clot. This causes the vein to eventually disappear. With the 1064 laser, a particular wavelength of light has a preference for the red color of the hemoglobin that is present in red blood cells. If enough energy is delivered if will pass through the skin and target the vessels, causing their destruction. Often the best results occur with a combination of sclerotherapy and laser treatment.
We always tell our patients that sclerotherapy and laser treatment will not treat the underlying cause of vein problems. Best results occur when we clear the veins, then do maintenance treatments every 1 to 2 years.
There are valves that connect the deep veins of the leg to the ones near the surface . If these valves are severely damaged, treatment of the surface veins will do little good. We can use a device known as a Doppler to listen to the vein and see if a valve problem exists. If we detect this problem we can refer you to a trusted colleague who can fix the problem. This provides two benefits: first, the results of superficial vein treatment will be improved; second, long-term medical problems with the veins will be diminished.
Learn About Other Ways We Help with Non-Cosmetic Concerns, Part 2
In Part 2 of this blog series we address other ways our treatments at the Whole Beauty® Institute can help with skin problems and address issues of self-esteem.
Contact The Whole Beauty® Institute
Your individualized consult at the Whole Beauty® Institute will address your aesthetic concerns as well as ways in which our treatments can improve your health and well-being. Contact our office at 312-751-2112 today to learn more.