We can’t stop the hands of time, but with an investment in ourselves, we can look our best for as long as possible. A wide range of treatments and products are available to keep our skin in tiptop shape. It is now easier than ever to look better than ever, we don’t have to age the way our parents did.
Science has brought us light based, radio frequency, and laser based, treatments to rejuvenate our skin. Portrait Plasma adds an innovative, highly effective, laser-free option. It utilizes the unique power of nitrogen-based plasma to reach below the surface of the skin and stimulate the remodeling of the skin’s structure.
As we age the characteristics and appearance of our skin change. The uppermost layer (epidermis) thins, making blemishes more visible, and the mid-layer of skin (dermis) gradually loses collagen, forming lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Portrait Plasma is a unique, in-office, non-invasive, technology that differs from lasers that treat only certain components of the skin.
The plasma energy treats 100 percent of the skin, maximizing the results. The heating action of the thermal energy targets epidermal cells that are old, dull, and photodamaged, while promoting collagen growth in the dermis. The device can be operated at various energy levels to achieve the results desired. Portrait Plasma has been cleared by the FDA for both facial and non-facial treatment of superficial skin lesions, wrinkles, seborrhoeic keratosis, actinic keratosis, and viral papillomata.
Low intensity treatments may cause redness and flaking for several days. The side effects of higher energy level treatments, redness, rawness and oozing browning, and flaking, can last from 7 to 10 days. Due to the natural regeneration process, the results may continue improving for up to a year, and can last several years, or more, depending on the intensity level of the treatment.
Botox™, which is the commercial name for the Botulinum Toxin, is an aesthetic dermatology treatment that is used to eliminate lines and wrinkles on the face. This treatment’s outcomes take around two days to a week to appear, and very rarely will it take over two weeks. What Botox™ does is it numbs certain muscles in the area to which it was injected, thus relaxing these muscles to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the face.
Apart from being an anti-aging treatment, Botox™ is utilized to treat spasticity in the muscles of patients who are unable to sit up straight or are crooked. For this purpose, neurologists use doses as high as 400 units, whereas only smaller amounts are used in dermatology such as 100 units or a little more. Contrary to popular belief, the duration and effectiveness of Botox™ is dependent on the units that are used and not the number of injections used.
The Botox™ treatment involves an injection to deliver it to the area that needs treatment. This results in the muscles in the treatment area becoming relaxed by blocking the signals that the nerve sends to the muscle. This treatment is ideal for aesthetic corrections for muscle of the forehead, the muscles amid the eyebrows, and the muscles around the eye. Apart from this, Botox™ is also used to treat crow’s feet, horizontal lines as well as vertical lines on the forehead. While Botox™ will help in reducing the action of the muscle, the lines and wrinkles will not immediately fade away; it will take a couple of days.
Although the aesthetic outcomes of a single Botox treatment will last for around six months, the patient will have to go back for touch-up treatments to make sure the results last for a longer period of time. If a patient uses Botox™ before the lines and wrinkles become very deep, they will notice a considerable improvement in the appearance of these facial lines in a couple of days after the injection.
Fraxel™ is a laser treatment that is used to improve the texture of a person’s skin, enhance pigmentation issues, lessen wrinkles, and lessen acne scars in a short time period. Fractional laser was developed during the early 2000s. The skin that falls in the treatment area will be ablated using the fractional laser, and it will leave the patient’s skin lighter and smoother. While Fraxel™ is a deep treatment; the skin will heal rather fast. The reason for this quick healing is fact the surrounding skin heals the skin the treated area, which will result in fresh skin cells from the sweat glands, hair shafts, and oil glands.
Based on the strength of the laser that is used, the patient’s skin may become slightly flaky, and mildly bronze in color. Nevertheless, a Fraxel™ treatment results in a lesser period of recovery when compared to previous treatments which required nearly two weeks healing, similar to a second-degree burn. A Fraxel™ treatment is an ideal solution for the deep sun damage of the face, although fine lines in the region of the mouth and eyes do best with a combination of Botox and Fraxel. This treatment has a handheld device that will be applied to the skin, where a hundred tiny laser beams will improve the patient’s skin.
Usually, Fraxel Restore or Fraxel Dual treatments are performed in a series, done once per month. The number of treatments depends on the facial condition and patient’s skin type. A Fraxel™ treatment can significantly reduce acne scars. A person who has very dark spots may benefit by this treatment as it will smooth their skin by promoting collagen production, thus making it appear temporarily as a small sun burn or wind burn. The Fraxel Clear and Brilliant, which is gentler, can be done around every two or three weeks. Patients may find that their skin is softer, clearer, and smoother. When it comes to dealing with deep acne scars, a Fraxel™ treatment is suggested at intervals of three to four weeks.
Something that patients should know is that the Fraxel™ treatment is extremely safe as it projected to a precise, controlled depth. As a result of this, Fraxel™ is becoming a very popular and effective treatment for pigmentation or scarring issues.
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.
The store shelves are flooded with creams, salves, and oils designed to remove scars. Unfortunately, most of them don’t work. They may improve the health of your skin, but they won’t make the scar tissue go away. In fact, it is impossible to eliminate a scar. Fortunately, there are several options for improving the appearance of scarring, sometimes to the point that it is no longer noticeable.
There are several types of scarring. For example:
Hypertrophic (raised) scars – Surgical excision and revision can greatly improve raised scars. The shape can be changed to make them less noticeable, and more easily disguised with cosmetics. Cortisone injections or laser treatments can significantly reduce some raised scars. Scar reducing creams can achieve some improvement, if you choose the right product.
Hyper-pigmented (dark colored) scars – These scars can benefit from chemical peels, which even out skin tone and promote the regeneration of healthy cells.
Atrophic (sunken) scars – Fraxel® laser treatment is often the best choice. It also improves the overall texture and appearance of skin.
While complete elimination is not possible by any means, most scars can be improved dramatically with the right treatment. Call The New York Aesthetic Consultants to set up an appointment with nationally renowned dermatologist Dr. Ron Shelton, to discuss the right treatment to treat your scars.