A variety of facial rejuvenating procedures exist to minimize the appearance of aging skin.read more close
Thermage is a non-invasive method to contour and tighten skin by stimulating your own collagen which improves skin texture and tone. The procedure requires no injections and is clinically proven to tighten existing collagen while stimulating new collagen growth. Patients will notice immediate improvements after just one session, which will continue for up to six months.
Thermage is normally performed in a single session that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours depending on the area to be treated. The procedure uses the FDA-approved ThermaCool machine to deliver radiofrequency energy to heat collagen under the skin. This helps contract and build collagen, which tightens the look of the skin's surface. The ThermaCool device prevents skin damage by simultaneously cooling the skin’s surface while heating the collagen with short pulses of energy. The entire face may need 400 to 500 pulses for an effective treatment. After thermage, there is virtually no recovery time, so patients can quickly resume their normal activities.
Thermage is effective on all skin tones and types and, unlike fillers, can target your entire face – eyes, naso-labial folds, forehead, jaw line, jowls and chin area. Patients may experience a deep heating or gentle pinching sensation during thermage. Doctors may provide patients with an oral pain medication before treatment, or a topical anesthetic.
The final results of thermage can last for several years depending on an individual’s skin condition and the natural aging process. Possible side effects are typically mild and may include swelling, blisters, redness and rare occurrences of surface irregularities.
A chemical peel is a non-invasive procedure designed to restore sun-damaged, wrinkled, blemished, or unevenly pigmented facial skin. There are several types of chemical peels in use today, including phenol, trichloroacetic acid and alpha-hydroxy (fruit acid). The chemical solutions are administered in various strengths, depending on individual needs. A chemical peel sheds the top layers of the facial skin, allowing cellular re-growth to occur. The process produces tighter, smoother and younger-looking skin.
During a chemical peel, the nurse or doctor will apply the chemical solution to the treated area of the face. The chemicals separate and peel the outer layers of the skin which may contain dead skin cells. The chemical agents effectively stimulate the generation of new skin cells during the course of healing. Patients may experience a warm tingling or stinging sensation for ten minutes while the chemical solution is applied.
Phenol is the strongest of the chemical peel solutions and is primarily used on the face, as scarring may result on other body areas. Phenol is indicated in patients who have blotchy skin, extreme sun damage, or those with deep facial wrinkles or pre-cancerous growths. The chemical is almost always used for full-face peels, as it lightens the treated skin.
Trichloracetic Acid (TCA) - TCA peels use a gentle chemical solution and are milder than phenol peels. A TCA peel is recommended for patients with fine wrinkles, pigment problems, or superficial blemishes. Because they do not bleach the skin like phenol peels, TCA may be better for darker-skinned patients for use in partial peels on specific areas of the face. Although TCA peels yield good results, the final outcome is usually less dramatic than that of a phenol peel. In many instances more than one TCA treatment may be required to achieve optimum results. The benefits of a TCA peel include shorter treatment time (per session) and significantly less downtime than a phenol peel.
Glycolic Acid is the mildest of the chemical peel solutions. This type of peel, also known as an alpha-hydroxy acid or fruit acid peel, can provide brighter and smoother looking skin. The glycolic acid peel also requires significantly less recovery time than both phenol and TCA peels. Ideal candidates for this peel are people with fine wrinkles or uneven pigmentation seeking a fresher look. Alpha-hydroxy peels are typically performed in a series, determined by your doctor. Patients may receive one peel a week over a period of six weeks for enhanced results.
After a chemical peel, which can last up to two hours for a full-face treatment, the doctor may apply a cream or petroleum jelly to help speed the healing process. Patients should expect some facial swelling for 7-10 days after a peel. The old skin sloughs away and the new skin forms over a period of several weeks to, in the case of a phenol peel, six months. Patients must avoid sun exposure during the healing process since it can cause blotchiness in the treated areas. Chemical peels can be performed in a doctor's office by a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or more often by a licensed esthetician or nurse. Phenol peels require anesthesia, but the milder TCA and glycolic peels do not.
This is a non-invasive treatment used to improve signs of aging and sun-damaged skin. The treatment can enhance the appearance of poorly textured skin, fine lines, and large pores and reduce mild acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. Microdermabrasion is used to treat the skin on your face, neck, or arms with almost no recovery time, and is effective in both dark and light-skinned patients. Prior to microdermabrasion, patients are advised to avoid sun exposure and discontinue the use of Retin A, or other topical creams.
During the procedure, a hand piece releases fine crystals onto the surface of the skin, gently polishing dead cells away. There are a variety of materials that may be used, including sodium bicarbonate crystals, aluminum oxide crystals, diamond-tipped crystals, or salt crystals. Each session can last from 30 minutes to an hour, and the number of treatments required for optimum results can range between 4 and 12, with two to three week intervals in between. The treatment does not actually cut the skin and causes no discomfort.
The face may be somewhat red for an hour after treatment. Microdermabrasion treatments are typically performed without anesthesia in a practitioner's office.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
People of all ages can benefit from laser resurfacing, one of the most recent innovations in anti-aging treatments. The procedure improves the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, scars and hyperpigmentation (discolored areas of the skin), and can be used to target large areas of the face. The best candidates for laser skin resurfacing have fair, non-oily skin. Patients with darker or black skin tones may be at increased risk for permanent pigmentation changes. Poor candidates include individuals who have taken Accutane in the past 12-18 months, as they may be prone to abnormal scarring. Also, those with skin infections in the treated area may not be suitable for this procedure.
The treatment uses laser light and treats a deeper skin layer than microdermabrasion. During the procedure, the laser is carefully moved back and forth over the treated area of skin until the wrinkle or scar is less visible. A recently developed Erbium/YAG-CO2 combination laser is very effective for acne scars. The Fraxel laser is used to help improve the appearance of dark age spots, melasma (patchy brown areas of the skin), fine lines, and large pores.
After the procedure, the surgeon may apply a protective cream or ointment to help promote healing. Patients often experience swelling and mild discomfort after laser resurfacing. The treated area may have a red, scaly appearance for one to two weeks. Some practitioners may apply a bandage over the treated areas for the first five to ten days to protect the healing skin. Laser skin resurfacing may be performed in a doctor’s office, an outpatient surgery center, or the hospital. Most patients receive local anesthesia; however, general anesthesia may be indicated for treatment of deeper layers of the skin.