Many people can achieve excellent results with photo rejuvenation in decreasing wrinkles, tightening skin and improving the texture from age and sun damage. Acne scars can improve. Additional aesthetic improvement can result from adjunctive volume enhancement for facial depressions if they exist.
Fine lines, deep folds, irregular yellow bumps, grooves and “cobblestone” appearance of the face occurs mostly from many years of sun damage. Sagging skin on the jaw line and deeper smile folds around the mouth, and falling eyelid skin hanging over the eyes, is not what you were accustomed to seeing on your face many years ago. Sun has more to do with the aged appearance of the face than one’s age. This damage to the elastic and collagen fibers of the infrastructure of the skin can be significantly improved with facial resurfacing. Technology has changed so much from the olden days when deep chemical peels, dermabrasion sanding, and carbon dioxide laser resufacing were done. There still is a place occasionally for these procedures but the wound that was created by these treatments had unwanted side effects such as a two week healing period with a lot of wound care and many months of redness and some people developed much paler skin color.
Currently, the newer plasma energy (Portrait® Plasma) resurfacing and Fraxel fractional laser resurfacing (Repair and Restore) allow for quicker healing, a more comfortable convalescence, and more natural appearing skin. Multiple gentle treatments can be given to lessen the down time or one deeper treatment can be given. Most patients heal within one week for the most aggressive treatment with Fraxel or Portrait. Depressed acne scars can raise up as a result of your body’s new collagen production from the treatment. The edges of the scars can be smoothened. Wrinkles are made less deep and fine lines can significantly improve. I have seen the badly weathered “cobblestone” surface of the skin vanish as a result of these procedures.
No treatment is without risk. Interested patients should seek consultation with an experienced laser surgeon to learn if they are a candidate for the procedure, what the treatment entails, what the aftercare involves, and what all the risks are.
Many resurfacing procedures are performed with additional treatment to improve the results by adding Botox and fillers. Deep grooves can be lifted with the use of collagen, including Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, and Radiesse. Loss of facial fat from congenital conditions, trauma or age, creates an old and sickly appearance that can be corrected by fat injections (that’s right, taking excess fat out of one part of you and putting it back where you need it!), and Sculptra.
A product that may come to the market, and which has just completed the third FDA phase of testing, may help raise up scars and wrinkles by promoting your own collagen buildup, This involves injecting your own fibroblasts that are raised in a laboratory culture. These cells are the producers of your collagen and once the Isolagen is injected under your scars or wrinkles, your body will start to produce new collagen to help improve the contour of those areas. Keep watching for this exciting development in the media in the next year. Start writing here.