It is a common practice for residents of southern Arizona to travel to Nogales, Son., for medical visits, dental services and to buy prescriptions drugs, but a new visiting trend has tourists seeking beauty treatments.
The number of Americans crossing into Mexico seeking the fountain of youth has increased significantly in recent years, according to Marta Gonzales Vasquez, owner of Laser Tech, located just south of the border in downtown Nogales.
Laser Tech’s treatments use light-pulsed laser for cosmetic and medical purposes, and other laser treatments are used to minimize enlarged pores, correct dark circles around the eyes, and reduce fine lines and the appearance of aging and sun-damaged skin.
“The hottest trend in cosmetic procedures is using light-pulsed laser treatments to heat the underlying layers of the skin, forcing it to produce more collagen and elastic, resulting in a tighter and smoother skin without the pain and complications of cosmetic surgery,” said Dr. Pablo Cervantes, in charge of laser procedures at Laser Tech.
These treatments, called Fotofacial, are also used to treat enlarged blood vessels and to remove facial hair.
Next door to Laser Tech, Skin Perfection Clinic is performing skin rejuvenation treatments with a different technique.
It is called a cell rejuvenation treatment. The patient’s blood platelets are used to create a growth factor in the patient’s skin.
Dr. Ramon Dorame is using the technique, which was developed in Spain and is not yet available in the United States. The patient’s blood platelets are injected into the skin to foster cell rejuvenation in conjunction with laser treatments.
“We are helping the skin heal and regenerate faster with the aid of platelets,” Dorame said. “The analogy is, if you fertilize a plant, it will have better results due to the growth factors that were used. The same happens in the skin. The results are better due to the injected blood platelets.”
Skin Perfect Clinic customer Martita Guzman, 40, had a series of five cell rejuvenation treatments and said she has noticed a huge difference in her skin.
“For my age, I noticed I had prematurely aging skin due to a hormonal problem and . . . lines started to appear,” she said.
After the treatment, Guzman said her skin felt hydrated and smoother. Her treatment cost $600.
Laser treatments are also used in body contouring.
“Smart lipo” recently received FDA approval in the United States, and Nogales plastic surgeon Dr. Jose Luis Cobarrubias offers the innovative technique that uses laser technology to suction excess body fat.
Dubbed the “lunchtime liposuction,” the method is less traumatic and offers a quick recovery. Bruising is minimal and the procedure does not cause much pain, Cobarrubias said.
Maritza Arriaga had the procedure six months ago and said the results are better than traditional liposuction, which she also underwent.
“With lipo laser . . . the results are amazing, no sagging or uneven skin,” she said.
Prices in the Mexican clinics are 30 to 50 percent less than in the U.S. However legal recourse in the case of malpractice is almost impossible under Mexican jurisdiction.
La Voz is a Gannett Spanish-language newspaper in Arizona.
Beauty treatments/U.S. telephone numbers
Dr. Jose Luis Cobarrubias (520) 313-3155
Laser Tech (520) 440-6298
Perfect Skin (520) 440-6059