Touch Ups

By Kelli Hart

Every woman deserves to look and feel like an ageless, alluring goddess. And every man deserves to be a chiseled god. And now, everyone can – despite age and even genes. Here are the latest and greatest beauty tips available locally, right here in Ocala/Marion County to touch up your beauty – from head to toe.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall…

Gone are the days when asking, “How do I look?” was said without fear. Perhaps we already know what the response may be and it isn’t “pretty!” Mother Nature in all of her majestic beauty can also be a vile beast when it comes to dishing out her signs of aging. Sometimes slow and sneaky, other times in the flash of an eye, we catch a glimpse of our reflection and realize the decline is upon us, literally.

What once was perky has headed south to retire. The vibrance and glow of one’s youthful skin has become dull and sad. Areas that used to be firm and tight have let loose and trespassed to places they are not welcomed.  Some may call it the “ripe old age” but to most of us, it’s sour grapes. Aging comes with a price, but you don’t necessarily have to cash in and call it quits. Fortunately, for those of us aging in this new era, technology has made transforming our bodies to optimal levels of aesthetic beauty and health an obtainable reality.

So, grab a pen and take notes because what you about to read may forever change the way you see yourself! No more stressing over having to put on a bikini for that cruise. No more worrying about how you will need to cover up those legs this summer. And no more having to keep those less than perfect toes covered up by the pool. Whatever your beauty concerns, we have the solution!

Nearly 14 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2011 alone. That number was increased by 5 percent last year. So, it’s clear that individuals are investing more and more in their appearance and will go to great lengths to achieve their beauty goals. But some people have turned to less invasive, less risky techniques. In fact, the number of people who opted for these minimally invasive methods rose to 12.2 million, almost matching the statistics of those who went under the knife.

Perhaps it’s the aging baby-boomers who are the driving forces behind this increase in beauty demands? Or maybe the continued new look at sun damage, long term effects of smoking and other environmental factors that weren’t so taboo many years ago? Regardless of the reasons, procedures in beauty are on the climb. And with the ever-changing medical advancements, making beauty obtainable in a safer, more affordable and less timely fashion, one can assume the number of patients will continue to soar.

Fresh Face

Facelifts are amongst the top five most popular surgical procedures performed today. However, facelifts are now being threatened by less invasive methods, that cost much less and take only a fraction of the amount of time to perform. Ultherapy is one of these new methods and has become increasingly popular nation-wide. To avoid hours under the knife, resulting in drainage tubes and bruising, patients are opting for Ultherapy as a way to be proactive about their beauty regimens. Geni Ramirez of Marion Dermatology describes Ultherapy, “not as a replacement for the familiar facelift procedure, but a way to avoid it in time.”

According to Geni, Ultherapy is a “non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound and the body’s own natural healing process to lift, tone and tighten loose skin on the brow, neck and under the chin.” It’s the only FDA approved procedure to lift skin in these hard to treat areas by using focused ultrasound energy to help stimulate new collagen growth over time. There is no way to defy gravity, but with Ultherapy, you can reverse the effects of gravity through a natural process that uses no foreign substances. Likewise, there’s no radical change and no downtime. In as little as one hour, perhaps on a lunch break, you can have this procedure done and be back at the office or the gym.

But maybe it’s not an aging issue for everyone. For some, areas of concern can result from environmental factors and lifestyle choices, such as smoking, sun damage and daily consumption of coffee. However, even these beauty problems can be addressed and even reversed thanks to advances in popular cosmetic procedures.

Flawless Skin

Another very specific problem area that has become an area of high concentration is fine lines around the eyes. Thanks to smoking and other environmental factors such as UV rays, a person’s skin can reflect those poor choices with negative consequences. And areas around the eyes and mouth seem to be highly prioritized on the list of cosmetic desires, mainly because these areas are much like that of a billboard, advertising our age and our lifestyle choices. However, in a literal matter of minutes, one can undo years of surface damage with Botox injectables.

Last year, Botox was number one on the list of cosmetic procedures performed, not just among women, but among men as well. Botox, or as the men like to call it, “Brotox”, requests increased by 31percent last year and surgeons are attributing that rise to the increased photo sharing on popular social media sites. What makes Botox so popular is not only the amazing results, but that it’s such an attainable product. From surgeons to dentists, varied professionals are now qualified to administer the injectable making it easy to get one’s hands on. Likewise, from start to finish, Botox injections can take as little as five minutes to administer. And with almost zero aftermath, other than the occasional redness or pinhole sized bleeding, you can easily grab an injection on the way to a lunch date.

Men, who account for 10 percent of Botox patients, say their interest stems from a more competitive work environment to an increased number of singles in the dating world. Some of them also reported being “dragged” there by a spouse or companion who has reassured them the difference Botox will make.

Pearly Whites

In the past five years, cosmetic dentistry procedures have increase 500 percent. So, it’s no secret that this has become a huge focal point for improving one’s look. In a recent study, sponsored by the Philips Company, people were asked about the “overall influence of one’s smile.” The results were shocking in that 55 percent of adults believe that an individual’s smile is the best physical indicator of a person’s friendliness. Interestingly, 78 percent agree that one’s smile reveals a great deal about a person’s overall character. In fact, over half of the people surveyed said if they could fix one thing about their smile, it would be the whiteness of their teeth.

Dr.s Sanchez and Fernandez, of Family Dentistry and Dentures in Ocala, offer several teeth whitening procedures that leave their patient with a bright, healthy smile. Their office uses Zoom! – passive tray whitening and professional strength whitening strips. The beauty of the Zoom! procedure is that it takes very little time and produces almost immediate results.

Zoom! whitening is done in-office, first isolating the patient’s lips and gums and then through a gel process that is applied to the teeth and activated by a specially designed light. This session lasts about one hour and results produce teeth that are six to ten times whiter, almost instantly. Zoom! is then followed by a fluoride treatment to complete the process.

Bikini Body

Although a smile can make a great first impression, a contoured body can certainly make a lasting one. Fitness and clean eating trends have taken the nation by storm. From new exercise techniques to eating green to smart phone apps that literally hold you accountable for every calorie. Considering two out of every three American adults are overweight, it’s not only a popular trend to be thin, but also a necessary lifestyle change to improve one’s overall health and longevity. For some people, the success of losing weight and improving their health has left them with a serious but common beauty concern, loose skin.

Dr. Mark Sacher, of Total Patient Care of Ocala, has introduced Vaser Shape to Marion County to address issues of loose, sagging skin, cellulite and other problem areas. The Vaser Shape procedure is an alternative to liposuction, giving patients a safer option to improve physique with less recovery risk. It operates through two hand pieces that work in tandem to treat the target area and then promote drainage through the lymphatic system.

The first application, the Ultrasound Diathermy component, uses ultrasound energy, through high-frequency sound waves as local heat therapy, which affects fatty tissue by warming the area a producing a “micromassage” to the fat cells. This process encourages excess fat to escape from the cell membranes and ultimately reduces the appearance of cellulite, tightens the skins and promotes fat loss.

The final application, the Zonal Massage, works with the lymphatic system to drain away excess toxins and fats for removal from the body, while increasing local blood circulation. It also helps to open the lymph nodes pre- and post-treatment.

Vaser Shape patients typically undergo a regimen of 5 to 6 treatments, which are normally scheduled one week apart. Sessions last anywhere from 45-60 minutes, which makes it attainable on any schedule. The beauty of this procedure is that you typically see results after the first session. Likewise, the recovery risks are minimal, mainly redness on the treated area. Patients can return to normal activities immediately following these procedures.

According to Dr. Sacher, “Vaser Shape is a great procedure for any adult individual whose desire is the reduction of fat and tightening of the skin, both male and female.” The majority of the patients Dr. Sacher sees are those individuals who want to see improvements in their stomach. A great candidate is any woman who is experiencing loose skin below her belly button. And the added benefit of focusing on the stomach is that you will also see results on your back, as there is a skin tightening procedure that pulls skin tighter not only across the stomach, but on the back as well.

Coming and Going

Facial imperfections may be at the forefront of what motivates an individual’s investment into cosmetic procedures. But, no pun intended, there is a more taboo, less talked about curve-creating procedure quickly making it’s debut from coast to coast… buttock shaping.

Since 2010, buttock augmentation surgeries have risen over 40% and continue to climb. Most attribute this drastic rise to famous celebrity bodies such as Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian. Society seems to be obsessed with the backside, which is a recent change of pace from the once breast-crazed generation. And what was once a very invasive, risky surgical procedure using implants, moving muscle and requiring drainage tubes, buttock augmentation procedures have made achieving a round, sexy derriere possible with minimal risks and little downtime.

Buttock augmentation with fat transfer, commonly called a Brazilian Butt Lift, is made possible by method of liposuction, removing excess fat from areas such as the back, stomach and upper thigh, which will eventually be strategically injected in to layers of the patient’s buttock muscles. There is a purification process that takes place before injection occurs to ensure the fat being used is optimal. Immediate swelling occurs but will, on average, subside after 3 months. There is a chance that some of the transferred fat will absorb back in to the body, but typically 80 percent or more of the fat stays right in place, leaving the patient with a permanent and vastly improved backside.

The risks of this Brazilian Butt Lift are minimal in that physicians are using the patient’s own fat to make the transfer, so there is no potential for rejection. In as little as two hours, you can dramatically change your entire silhouette. And other than having to wear a compression undergarment for a few weeks, the majority of patients return to their regular activities in about five days, donning a sexier, smoother rump.

Smooth to the Touch

And smooth doesn’t have to stop in the rear. Changes in fashion trends, beauty trends and social perspectives have led to shorter skirts, fresher faces and daring to bare much more. That being true, it’s no wonder why more people are investing in laser hair removal processes that allow them to show more leg, sport a more confident face and abide by the laws of the land.

From unwanted facial hair to cleaner, smoother underarms and legs, laser hair removal is a great option for lasting results. This popular procedure works through laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) devices that send specific, concentrated beams of light through the skin, which are absorbed by the melanin present in the hair follicle shaft, ultimately destroying the follicle. Laser hair removal procedures work best on individuals with pale skin and dark hair, but through the use of medications, success is found on lighter hair types as well. And because hair grows in cycles, it’s important to note that it may take three or more treatment sessions to achieve one’s hair removal goal. In-office lasers are certainly a refreshing alternative to waxes and razors, both of which never seem to get the job done.

Silky Legs

And while smoothing and contouring the body may be at the top of some beauty wish-lists, other individuals are focused on very specific problem areas that leave them feeling very self conscious. Areas of aesthetic concern include varicose veins.

Up to 25 percent of women and 18 percent of men suffer from varicose veins which, when left untreated, can eventually lead to chronic venous insufficiency, or the inability of your leg veins to pump blood back to the heart. Additionally, this condition is responsible for the majority of leg ulcers. And although exercise and compressed stockings can reduce symptoms and swelling, more and more sufferers are opting for medical treatment.

Surgical Specialists of Ocala, under the direction of Dr. Ravi Chandra, offers the latest in the VNUS Closure(TM) procedure, an alternative to traditional vein-stripping surgery. Using ultrasound, Dr. Chandra positions a closure catheter into the diseased vein, through a small opening he makes in the skin. This catheter delivers radio-frequency energy to the wall of the vein. As this energy is delivered and the catheter withdrawn, the wall of the vein is heated, causing the collagen within the vein wall to shrink and the vein to close. Once this diseased vein is closed, blood is then redirected to other, healthy veins.

Part of the benefit is the almost immediate recovery time. After the procedure is completed, a simple bandage is placed over the incision site and mild compression applied. Dr. Steve Tieche, of The Vein Center in Ocala, explains how patients are typically back to normal activities the following day. Dr. Tieche says, “there is minimal scaring following this procedure and patients are free to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather confidentially in their shorts and swim suits.” And according to Dr. Tieche, results last for a good amount of time, with follow-up treatments depending on each individual case. There are ways to maximize your results by being active, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following doctor’s orders. In 15 minutes, you can have summer-ready legs!


From head to toe, literally, professionals are finding less invasive methods for providing beauty-enhancing procedures. Sarah Sosa, owner of Salon WOW, has found that even nail care has shifted from the cruel techniques of the past to a gentler, subtler process. “More women are choosing less aggressive methods for nail care and are shying away from acrylic services. The Gelish and Shellac brand products are a less invasive nail service that will still keep your nails looking amazing and for up to two weeks!”

Considering 12 percent of more of Americans have some type of nail fungus, nail treatments are critical not only to one’s beauty regimen, but to one’s health. Nail fungus, also known as Onychomycosis, occur when tiny organisms penetrate finger and toenails, causing discoloration, splitting, thickening and other unattractive and harmful symptoms. These organisms are found in very commonplace such as gyms, showers and some unsavory salons. To avoid the potential for fungus, Sarah recommends making consistent nail maintenance a part of your health routine. She says, “It is recommended to have monthly manicures and pedicures that include cuticle maintenance, moisturizing hand care and polish changes.” Sarah also gives a great reminder to “use a hand lotion with sunscreen to prevent sun spots”.

Both men and women need to understand the importance of nail care. More and more men are making their way to salons for manicures and pedicures then ever before. Male clientele has increased 22 percent over the past few years, making the “man-i-cure” a more popular beauty treat. Good nail care is affordable, easily accessible and doesn’t take away much time from one’s busy schedule. And it’s serves as a preventative measure to avoid risky, more invasive nail treatments down the road.

A New You

Whether it’s shaping up, slimming down, firming or flattening, you can almost guarantee there is a cosmetic procedure to address even the most taboo of concerns. And thanks to advanced medicine and technology, consumers are able to achieve their wildest beauty dreams in less time, with less recovery and less debt. In this vain world we live in, nips and tucks are no longer what separate us from the norm, but are what keep us, keeping up!

For more information on any of the procedures and treatments mentioned, please consult with the physician or professional listed. Likewise, always educate yourself on any medical procedure and consult with your physician before undergoing any cosmetic transformation.

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