Science

12 Medical Advancements That Are Helping Us Look Better

There’s no doubt that medical breakthroughs have saved countless lives over the years. New vaccines and cures get a lot of attention, but technology isn’t just helping us live longer – it’s also helping us look better.

If the purpose of technology is to improve lives, what better way than to help us look and feel better?

For generations, experts and scientists have tried to develop methods to fight the signs of ageing, get rid of fat, and restructure bones. From improved dental caps to dissolving skin implants, there’s no shortage of innovative ways to augment the physical appearance.

Unfortunately, some of the most interesting and groundbreaking new treatments get stuck in regulatory limbo. The Food and Drug Administration requires a series of vigorous tests before any new treatment or technology is approved for widespread commercial use on humans. This process generally takes years and can hold back development in the industry.

Nevertheless, new techniques and better materials find their way to the market and are changing the nature of cosmetic surgery in Northern California and around the world. As a result, it is easier than ever to enhance your physical appearance to look your best.

Here are some of the latest breakthroughs helping us to improve our appearance:

  1. Gene editing

CRISPR is the latest breakthrough in gene editing and it’s already getting the experts excited. Not only is it a cheap and effective method of editing genes, it’s also rather simple to implement. Soon, this editing technique could help us develop better crops and cure cancer. However, there’s a vigorous debate over how this technique should be used, as it can lead to the creation of “designer babies“. This raises many ethical questions. Affordable gene editing could let parents pick the hair color, skin type, and eventual height of their offspring. Whilst this initially sounds exciting, it could lead to more disparity and judgment between people than ever.

  1. Advanced Facelifts

Face-lifts are probably the most popular and oldest cosmetic treatment. Nowadays, new techniques are helping dermatologists lift the facial muscles in a non-invasive manner. Line-smoothing shots, such as Xeomin, Dysport, and Botox, are helping men and women across the world lift their facial muscles or tighten their jaw line with just a few pricks of a needle.

  1. Radiesse

The most common reason for someone to go under the knife is to ward off signs of ageing. Fortunately, medical advancements such as Radiesse are making this fight against old age a lot easier. Recently approved by the FDA, Radiesse is a filler for two specific spots on the body – lips and hands. Tightening the skin with this substance could take as little as two jabs.

  1. Kybella

Sagging around the jawline is one of the most obvious signs of ageing. Targeting the fat around your chin is usually the best way to deal with it. Kybella is the new secret weapon against a sagging jawline. It’s a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid, a substance that might sound scary but actually exists in the body naturally. The acid melts down the fat and gets rid of it organically so that the skin around the chin tightens. As a result, sagging is staved off for the long term.

  1. Natural wrinkle treatment

Traditional treatments for wrinkles have always involved injections. However, some of the commercial fillers that were initially used left a blue cast over the skin after a while. This effect happens when the substance starts showing through the skin. Recently, a natural alternative has been invented – Cellifique. This is essentially a collagen substitute. It combines with the skin tissue and tightens it without discoloring the skin. Clinical trials have been promising so far and the product is already available in Europe. However, it might not get to the States till 2020.

  1. Radio Frequency Skin Tightening

Using radio frequencies to tighten skin is an age-old technique, but new devices on the market are making it easier and more effective. RF stimulates collagen and elastin production and can remodel it under your skin, which in turn tightens the skin and reduces lines. Some doctors are now using RF in combination with ultrasound and intense pulsed UV light for even better results.

  1. Silhouette InstaLift

Popular in Europe, but only recently approved for use in the US, this is an innovative new procedure to lift the facial muscles. It involves inserting miniscule threads made of polylactic acid directly into the skin. Once there, the threads raise the skin up and prevent it from sagging. The material is easily absorbed naturally by the body.

  1. Healing Wounds Faster

The biggest problem with invasive surgery is the pain and recovery time it involvesWounds can take days or even weeks to fully recover, and it’s often difficult to minimize the potential for permanent scarring. However, two new inventions could help quicken the healing process. Doctors recently discovered that using AMD3100 (which gets stem cells into the bloodstream) and tacrolimus (which boosts the immune response) could make fresh wounds close up and heal much faster, and also reduce scarring.

  1. Removing pigments

Hyperpigmentation is another common skin problem. Dark or bright spots on the skin are easily noticed and difficult to get rid of permanently. However, scientists have recently discovered that this stubborn problem could have an easy fix. It turns out that the best way to remove pigments from skin could be the same technique used to get rid of that embarrassing teenage tattoo from your ankle – lasers. PicoSure, Enlighten, and PicoWay are known to be particularly effective at removing skin pigments and getting rid of sun spots.

  1. AR/VR cosmetic surgery

Augmented and virtual reality are usually associated with games and smartphones, but they also have some interesting medical applications. Surgeons and dermatologists are using these new techniques to show potential clients what the results of their surgery could look like. From tightened facial muscles to augmented breasts, it’s always better to get a sneak peek at the results before deciding to undergo a complex and lengthy procedure.

  1. Get rid of bags under the skin

XAF5, a new molecule recently discovered by researchers, could be the most effective treatment for baggy eyelids. The substance comes in cream form and needs to be rubbed directly onto the skin. If left in contact for a few minutes, the compound penetrates the skin and deflates the fat cells underneath. This helps reduce bags and flatten skin in the most natural way possible. However, that’s not even the most exciting application of this new compound. Researchers are now trying to find ways to use this substance to spot reduce fat on other parts of the body. It looks like it may be easier to get rid of that stubborn belly fat after all.

  1. Better implant materials

A subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson company has recently won approval from the FDA to sell a new type of silicone breast implants. Known as ‘memory foam’, these implants are designed to vastly improve on the traditional silicone implants. The silicone in these implants has stronger bonds which means there’s less chances of the substance leaking into tissue and causing toxicity. The chances of developing cancer as a direct result of the implants is also reduced. Finally, the implants are shaped like teardrops, which doctors say can help the augmented breasts look and feel more natural.

These are some of the new techniques and technologies that scientists have recently been working on in order to help improve people’s aesthetics. Many of these techniques are improved or modified versions of old treatments, as better materials and design can vastly improve results. Breast augmentation is, perhaps, the best example of a cosmetic surgery procedure that has gradually improved and become safer over the decades. With ongoing advancements in the field of modern medicine, we can hope to see more effective, less invasive, and affordable treatments coming our way soon.

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