Dr. Leah Totton’s skin treatment company, which was going to be called NIKS Medical until Lord Sugar suggested Dr. Leah, is a new part of Alan Sugar’s business empire. Her business provides 3 non-invasive cosmetic surgery procedures to help rejuvenate skin. The 3 treatments have an excellent track record of providing good results while also being low risk.
So, what services does Dr. Leah and her team provide?
What is Botox? Botox is the trade name for the protein botulinum toxin, which is a protein and neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
It is used to flatten out wrinkles, often used on the brow. It has also been shown to help treat sweating and chronic headaches.
In large quantities botox is lethal, however, in the small quantities which are injected in the skin, side effects are generally minor and temporary. Side effects are either paralysis of the wrong muscle group or an allergic reaction. As well as the medical side-effects, you may have bruising on the skin after treatment.
Bruising can last for over a week, but can be minimised by careful administration for an expert.
Some people have reported headaches, dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), flu-like symptoms, blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue, allergic reactions and swelling or redness.
There is also a risk of mental problems, such as a reduced ability to gauge how somebody feels. In one study people who had Botox took longer to read angry and sad sentences. There appears to be a relationship between your facial expression and your cognitive ability. If you are frowning, you think slower.
Botox can cause an acute cognitive blindness to specific key social information about the emotions of other people.
Not Safe If You Are Pregnant
Current advice is to avoid Botox if you are pregnant.
Post Treatment Problems
Sometimes Botox treatments do not provide the improved skin conditions that are desired. Typical problems include fixed facial expressions, drooping eyelids, uneven smiles and sometimes double vision. If treatment is around the eyes the muscle relaxant could affect the focusing of the eyes.
If injections are in the jaw region it can affect your ability to chew solid foods – your muscles will be weaker and chewing will become more difficult.
These problems tend to repair themselves after around 6 weeks, which is the average duration of a Botox treatment. Botox does not provide a permanent change to your skin.
Chemical peeling is a process where the top layer of skin is literally burned off using a acidic chemical solution. The idea is that dead skin cells are removed so that new skin cells can form more evenly and therefore reduce blemishes.
Chemical peels are used to treat acne and acne scarring, pigmentation, sun damage and lines and wrinkles.
There are various types of peel:
- Basic glycolic which is a milder treatment with fast recovery. It freshens up skin to give a healthy glow.
- Co2 laser treatments to revitalize skin and make it smoother. They require around 2 weeks recovery time
- Salicylic acid ( Beta Hydroxy Acid) peels which are good for removing black heads and whiteheads and removing fine lines and wrinkles. The skin is very sensitive to sunlight after this peel.
- TCA Peel (Trichloroacetic Acid) is a deeper peeling agent which causes the skin to frost (turn white) and the dead skin falls away. With this the top layer of epidermis is removed. A week recovery time.
- Multi-Mask Peels use Kojic Acid to remove pigmentations and help smooth and renew the skin. Fast recovery time (a day).
- Jessner Peels aim to prevent acne, blackheads and milia. They reduce blocked pores in the skin and control skin oils. The outer layer of skin cells is removed.
We do not know which specific methods Dr. Leah will be providing yet, although it is likely to be the milder treatments with shorter recovery times.
After a stronger chemical peel your skin is not thick enough to protect against pathogens which means that after treatment you are more prone to infections of the skin. It is highly advisable not to travel on public transport after treatment.
Also your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight, a strong sun protection is needed, even in winter.
Facial fillings use hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan) and are usually from one of 4 brands, Surgiderm, Juvederm, Teosyal and Restylane. We do not know which product Dr. Leah uses.
Fillings are applied to deep lines, such as frown lines and smile lines. The fillings simply smooth out the skin creating a younger appearance.
Hyaluronan is naturally occurring in the body. Each person has on average 15g of hyaluronan, and this is constantly being broken down and renewed – around 1/3 of your hyaluronan is replaced every day.
Hyaluronan skin filler treatments last for around 6 months before they need to be repeated. Some products, such as Juvederm, can be used to remove scarring as well as wrinkle removal.
A new method of administration called blunt-tip microcannula reduces pain and discomfort during treatment and also reduces nerve damage.
Hyaluronan helps to keep skin hydrated which also promotes a healthier glow. It is also a safe way to remove acne scars.
Facial fillings have been linked with necrosis (cell death) in one piece of research. More common problems are redness and soreness after treatment, which eventually subsides.
All of these procedures are relatively new and while there are rarely news of problems following them, they all carry an inherent risk. It is always important to fully understand the current known risks before agreeing on a procedure. However, under careful supervision risk is kept to a minimum.
References and Further Reading
“Botulinum Toxin: A treatment for facial asymmetry caused by facial nerve paralysis” by Clark RP, Berris CE. (August 1989). Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 84 (2): 353–355.
“Cosmetic use of botulinum toxin-A affects processing of emotional language” by David A. Havas et al, Psychol Sci. 2010 July; 21(7): 895–900.
“A Botox gap in understanding emotion” LA Times, May 31, 2010.
“Treatment of Acne Scars Using Subdermal Minimal Surgery Technology” by JIN WOONG LEE MD et al, Dermatologic Surgery. Volume 36, Issue 8, pages 1281–1287, August 2010.
“Subdermal Minimal Surgery with Hyaluronic Acid as an Effective Treatment for Neck Wrinkles” by JIN WOONG LEE MD et al, Dermatologic Surgery, Volume 37, Issue 9, pages 1291–1296, September 2011
“Clinical Experience with Filler Complications” by Cox, S. E. E. Dermatologic Surgery 35: 1661–1666. 2009