Dr. Taub’s Letter, Fall/Winter 2015 Newsletter
Dear patients, colleagues and friends,
Hope your summer was a good one and you are getting acclimated to the coming school and work year! There has been quite the whirlwind of innovative new products coming out of the cosmetic dermatology world: Kybella™, a fat-busting injectable to reduce the double chin, Bellafill®, a new filler for acne scars and Intensif™, a new device for low downtime treatment of wrinkles and scars.
Kybella™ is made of something similar to a bile salt, which is what breaks down fat in our own intestine. The material is injected into the area under the chin in a very precise and diluted fashion where it causes the fat to melt and be reabsorbed by the body. Treatments are spaced 1 month apart and usually 2-4 treatments are needed. The best part of this is that it is PERMANENT! (assuming you don’t gain a massive amount of weight!) It would be great if this could be used in other areas, but for now, below the chin is the only treatable area.
Photos: (Above) Before one treatment of Kybella™. Photo courtesy of Kythera® Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Below) Dr. Taub with physician colleagues at the launch of Kybella™.
I was privileged to attend the launch of Kybella™: a weekend educational session in San Diego and was among one of the first 80 physicians to be trained as a clinical trainer to other physicians. We were immersed. The atmosphere was celebratory and exciting, like a movie premiere or a Steve Jobs reveal of a new device. Over a few months I will be training other physicians on how to inject the substance.
Bellafill® is another exciting development. It is made of collagen and PMMA (polymethylmetracrylate), which is used to fill in acne scars. The collagen immediately fills the scar and the PMMA stimulates your skin cells to make new collagen. By the time the collagen has been metabolized, you will have made your own collagen to fill the scar in. Again, this process has been shown to last up to 7 years, making it virtually permanent. The results are so instantaneous that some of our initial patients looked in the mirror immediately after the procedure and started crying, because they were so thrilled with the results. I am also on the Bellafill® Physician Advisory Council where I will be training other physicians on how to perform this procedure. We have a considerable amount of laser equipment to reduce scarring but it never gets us past a 50-75% improvement so we are hoping this can get us across the goal line!
Intensif™ is a new device that uses microneedles with radiofrequency energy. The microneedles don’t go very far under the skin and the process is quite tolerable with an anesthetic cream applied. There is little downtime as well, although multiple treatments may be necessary. I am excited about this treatment for difficult to treat areas with crepey skin such as the neck, the arms and the area under and above the eye (eyelids). It is good for all skin types.
Of course all of these procedures do have risks as well as benefits, which is why we always want you to come in for a consultation to make sure the procedure is right for your needs and you understand all risks and rewards before deciding on which treatment path to take. We want to be transparent regarding the process, the costs, the potential downtime, and side effects.
Our 5th Annual Skin For Life Event was a huge success. Not only did we raise $24,000 for The Skin Cancer Foundation but we were treated to Christopher Knight (remember Peter Brady on the Brady Bunch?) telling us about his experience with skin cancer on his face. It was a very real and moving story; he even showed a picture of what it looked like after they removed the tumor and before they sewed it up (a big hole on his left cheek that made most people in the audience gasp). I was very pleased that some teenage girls looked like they were about to faint! Hopefully his story will keep them and others from going into tanning beds and basking in the sun. The fashion show was our best ever, and we have increased our sun protective inventory to carry more fashionable clothing from Coolibar® and MOTT 50, which I recommend you wear year round.