May 2014 Plastic Surgery Practice

Don’t wrinkle, be happy, and other AAD highlights

By Wendy Lewis, Denise Mann

Fashionistas have fashion week, which takes New York City by storm every February and September. Techies have Austin’s SXSW festival. Comic book junkies have comic.con. And dermatologists and skin care professionals have the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) annual meeting.

Each year, the meeting brings together the best and brightest skincare specialists to discuss everything from anti-aging fads and possible cellulite cures to skin cancer and eczema.

This year’s meeting, held in Denver from March 21st through the 25th, did not disappoint. Thousands of attendees had their pick of cocktail parties for new product launches from high-end cosmetic companies, sessions on the hottest new lasers and the coolest new energy-based body contouring treatments, as well as updates on treating skin cancer and other skin diseases.

The anti-aging category took the prize for most fanfare in terms of new treatments and energy-powered devices. Acne remedies and targeted solutions for eyes, scars and stretch marks, sensitive skin conditions, and thinning hair all vied for place and show standing.


Sciton®’s new Halo system, which works with the JOULE platform, is touted as world’s first and only hybrid fractional laser, using tunable nonablative and ablative wavelengths at the same time to maximize results and reduce downtime. Another new handpiece designed for the JOULE offers an alternative to microdermabrasion and light chemical peels with the Er:YAG NanoLaser Peel.

Chromogenexunveiled a new option for acne laser treatment. The Regenlite system offers multiple treatment modes to target all grades of acne, in addition to vascular lesions, like port wine stains, spider veins or rosacea, and skin rejuvenation.Chromogenex also displayed the i-lipo xcell Multi-Platform Body Contour System that combines four technologies for body fat analysis and measurement, laser diode fat reduction, and Infrared Vacuum massage.

Agnes Ultimate Solution for Acne caught the group’s attention as a selective sebaceous electrothermolysis device. Hailing from Korea, it claims to destroy the sebaceous glands without thermal injury to the epidermis and can also be used for open comedones, pores, and scars.

When it comes to lasers, tattoo removal is the new darling. Until now, people with “tat regret” had limited options if they wanted to get rid of their ink, says M. Christine Lee, MD, MPH, a dermatologist in Walnut Creek, Calif, and an assistant clinical professor in the department of dermatologic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Older lasers could turn rocks into pebbles, but this one turns the pebbles into sawdust,” Lee says of Cynosure’s PicoSure, a federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared tattoo-removing laser that can zap away greens, blues, and other hard-to-erase colors in fewer sessions than older lasers.

PicoSure may be the first of many in this growing category, Lee says. “Tattoo-removing lasers in the pipeline will cut the amount of sessions in half for all colors and cut sessions by two-thirds for resistant colors,” she predicts.


Syneron also featured new ELOS® Plus large applicators for faster skin rejuvenation and hair removal. Cutera® unveiled two new platforms at the meeting. Excel HR is an FDA-cleared hair-removal laser with dual wavelengths (755 nm/1064 nm) that features sapphire contact cooling for enhanced patient safety, efficacy, and comfort. Its new enlighten system was debuted, featuring dual wavelengths (532 nm/1064 nm) plus picosecond and nanosecond pulse durations to remove a wide range of tattoo colors and inks. It has received the European CE Mark and is currently pending FDA clearance.

Lumenis® showed its new LightSheer® INFINITY and LightSheer® DESIRE hair removal systems, touted to be faster than other systems and based on its proprietary HIT (High-Speed Integrated Technology) and ChillTip technologies for enhanced efficacy and patient comfort.

On the home care front, the new FDA-cleared Silk’n Flash&Go 5K from Silk’n Solutions features 5,000 pulses and a large treatment spot size of 4 cm, for quicker results and increased efficacy. The Luxx Lifetime Cartridge features 120,000 pulses of HPL for unlimited usage.


Many exhibitors showcased the benefits of microneedling systems and innovative delivery systems for neurotoxins, fillers, and topical agents.

Aquavit Pharmaceuticals launched its first product, AQUAGOLD® fine touch direct dermal application technology. This innovative device incorporates microneedles to deliver a substantial volume of medication directly into the dermis in a pain-free and nontraumatic way. It can be used to treat areas of the face, hands, chest and elsewhere on the body.

From EndyMed® we saw the Intensif handpiece for fractional microneedle RF skin remodeling that allows for three times the heating volume per pulse. The system was designed to deliver a uniform distribution of energy, resulting in volumetric heating of the dermis to facilitate skin remodeling.

Pollogen® Ltd also launched its newly FDA-cleared Imogen® system in the US, which uses VoluDerm technology for ablation and resurfacing. It targets the mid-dermis with micro-pins and radio frequency to increase Hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin production for wrinkle reduction and long-lasting dermal volumizing.



AAD is always buzzing with updates on mole mapping and dermatoscopy software. DermSpectra LLC launched the DermSpectra Automated Total Body Imaging System, a unique imaging platform that captures high-definition total skin and body images and electronically documents them to track skin cancers, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin and body conditions over time. It takes about 10 minutes to scan the entire body through a carefully designed series of specific positions. DermSpectra is in Beta now and will be available in 2015.

Experts also hammered home the importance of hitting psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis early and hard to stave off joint damage as well as the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke that tends to travel with inflammatory skin and joint disease.

There was also reason to be optimistic about treating skin cancer, says Delphine J. Lee, MD, PhD, a dermatologist and professor of immunology and the director of the Carolyn Dirks and Brett Dougherty Laboratory for Cancer Research and the department of translational immunology at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health in Santa Monica, Calif. “We are better than ever at treating melanoma,” the potentially fatal form of skin cancer, she says. “It’s a great time for cancer research. We are learning so much.”

Wendy Lewis is president of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy, ?, founder/editor in chief of, and a contributing editor to Plastic Surgery Practice. She can be reached at [email protected]. Denise Mann is the editor of Plastic Surgery Practice. She can be reached at [email protected].

Original citation for this article: The skin and aesthetics. Plastic Surgery Practice. 2014 May; 34.