Want smoother, tighter, glowing skin — without surgery?

Minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology offers many options.

“She’s looks radiant ” or “she’s just glowing” and such statements are often uttered about a young bride or mother-to-be. That’s what is really happening because our younger, tighter, smoother skin provides a canvas to reflect light. As we age, wrinkles and pigmentation (brownish) spots appear. We may have scarring from acne. Most of us have damaged our skin by exposing ourselves to years of abuse from the sun’s rays. Many “mature” women smoked cigarettes, because it was oh-so- glamorous in the movies. After all, it had not yet been proven — or even suggested — that smoking or sunbathing, golfing, tennis and other outdoor pursuits could cause damage, particularly later in life. We didn’t know that we’d be living as long as we do today, or that these types of damage weren’t simply aesthetic. We didn’t know these damages could be deadly.

Only a few decades ago, the fix for aging skin called for an entire face-lift, which was painful and meant seclusion for a month or more. Only the rich could afford cosmetic procedures. And surgery was dicier, since it required a general anesthetic using products not nearly as refined and predictable as they are today. The invasive procedure required cutting the skin around the face, pulling the skin until taut, trimming away the excess and stitching all the way around. The results were so drastic anyone could tell immediately that you’d “had something done.” Today, many women (and men) still prefer to go the surgical face-lift route, especially since the dangers, downtime, techniques and results are so much more favorable. A skilled plastic surgeon can give you a “refreshed and natural” look.

No nips, no tucks.
The evolution of minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology (no knives, no general anesthesia) can accomplish the aesthetic goals you may have — improved texture, volume, tightness and the resurfacing of damaged skin. Using advanced techniques and treatments, physicians can accomplish a natural, enhanced appearance with one treatment type or a combination of treatments. These will be determined after a consultation with your dermatologist when your desires, medical history and budget will determine treatment recommendations.Cosmetic treatments developed naturally as a complementary tool for use in medical dermatology to provide rejuvenation of your natural features, along with any medical treatments required for acne, scarring, resurfacing and other skin diseases or difficulties. They create a synergistic relationship between health and beauty.

Most of the following treatment options require no downtime, no hospitalization, no general anesthetic and can be painlessly completed in an hour or less:

Chemical peels on the face, neck and hands are used to refine the skin’s texture and tone.

Laser resurfacing is another way to reduce wrinkles, acne scarring and pigmentation spots.

Fraxel re:store is a laser resurfacing treatment used to improve the appearance of mild forms of skin damage caused by acne, scars, sun and age spots. A series of three to four sessions, three weeks apart , is about average for this treatment. Recovery period is only two days.

Fraxel re:pair is a stronger laser resurfacing treatment used where there is a higher degree of skin damage. Complete healing requires a week or more.

Neuromodulators are formulas which are injected to relax certain muscles of the face to accomplish a “refreshed” look. FDA-approved brands include Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, which are similar in chemical composition using purified proteins. With a fine needle, these neuromodulators are injected under the skin where unwanted facial lines appear — crow’s feet, horizontal forehead lines and vertical lines (called elevens)
between the eyebrows. Botox is also approved for treatment of underarm sweating.

Dermal fillers are injected to add volume where age and gravity have caused sagging.

Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm and Bolotero are hyaluronic acid- based fillers. Hyaluronic acid is the fluid in your eyes, and it also lubricates your joints and keeps your skin supple. Since we don’t produce as much hyaluronic acid as we age, we develop those wrinkles running from the nose to the mouth and from the mouth to the chin. Treatment can be accomplished in one session.

Radiesse is a gel used to add volume immediately while also stimulating the production of collagen.

Sculptra Aesthetic injections trigger the production of collagen, gradually resulting in jawline definition, firming the skin of the chin and neck and lifting the corners of the mouth. The results are long-lasting.

Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology, which enables the doctor to visualize and treat the structures supporting the skin for increased collagen production in deep layers of the skin over a period of three to six months. Results include tightened skin, adding lift and firmness.

Pellieve uses radio frequency technology to penetrate the deep skin layers to enhance structural features by stimulating collagen production. Several treatment sessions are required periodically.

Liquid face-lift is accomplished by using a combination of injectable treatments and procedures to lift features and improve facial contouring. This procedure addresses lines, wrinkles, folds, jowls, downturned corners of the mouth and the eye lids and brows.

A word to the wise
When you decide to check out your facial enhancement options, be sure to have a dermatologist — a medical doctor who specializes in skin care and the underlying structure — perform any type of minimally invasive procedures. Other types of physicians are usually not experienced with the use of these treatment materials and devices. Nor is an assistant who has attended a one- day seminar. And don’t fall for “bargain” injections or ”injection parties.” You must also be cautious about doctors who fly in from another country for a day of injections and then fly out, never to be heard from again. There are horror stories of some of the materials used for injections … things like motor oil … causing major disfigurement to the victim.

Ladies, .we are talking about injecting substances into your faces!

Please note: Health insurance does NOT cover cosmetic treatments and procedures.

By Anne Moore

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