Retinol, Botox, Profound, Fraxel, Belkyra, Coolsculpting, PRP, IPL, fillers, microneedling…. with so many buzz words in the medical aesthetics industry today, it is easy to become overwhelmed. If you are new to the world of cosmetic medicine, you may be thinking, “What treatment is best for me?” “Where do I start?” “Which treatment does what?” and, “How do I make the most out of the amount I have to spend on myself?”
These are all very common questions and concerns, and the reality is that there is no answer that is easy, straightforward, or applicable to everyone. The good news is that, because there are so many options, we can almost always find a solution that best suits patient concerns, time, and budget. This blog, along with seeing us for a complimentary consultation, are methods designed to help you find out what options are best for you.
Often, patients will have an idea of a treatment they want, but a different approach may best address the result they desire. This week’s blog, Part 1 of a two-part series, discusses the importance of skin health and improvement. To use an analogy, think about your face as a living room renovation project. You know your living room needs an update, but you don’t know where to begin. Will your investment be best spent on a new sectional, fresh paint, flooring…. a brand new smart TV? Perhaps a bit of everything is needed in order to achieve the result you truly desire. Consider your skin to be the living room’s 4 walls, ceiling, and floor. To freshen up the room, you could start by taking down those old, outdated pictures, throwing away that stained rug, donating your worn-out furniture to charity, and give everything a fresh coat of paint. Read on to see what you can do to take this first step in renovating your skin.
Lasers, oh! What wonderful things! When utilized properly by experienced medical personnel, lasers are the gold standard of skin rejuvenation. Lasers primarily work on improving skin appearance and health.
Like automobiles, there are many different kinds of lasers with varying purposes. Ablative lasers work by “micro injuring” the outer layers of the skin with laser precision; this triggers the body’s own healing to generate new collagen and elastin production. Ablative lasers are designed for treating deeper lines, wrinkles, scarring, lax skin and irregular pigment. Noticeable results which can last years can often be achieved with just a single ablative laser treatment. Expect about a week of recovery.
Non-ablative lasers work by heating up targeted tissue, but not actually vaporizing it. The thermal energy stimulates new collagen production without the downtime associated with ablation. Because this method is less invasive, multiple treatment sessions will be necessary, and clinical results are modest. At LiveYoung, we offer fractional skin resurfacing with our SmartXide CO2 fractionated ablative technology.
IPL is not a true laser, and stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It is often also referred to as “photofacial,” or “photorejuvenation.” IPL targets two things in the skin, brown pigment and red blood vessels. It is primarily known for its ability to improve skin colour and tone. Sun spots, age spots, irregular pigment, broken blood vessels and rosacea are problems addressed with IPL, A treatment series results in more uniform, even skin colour. Post-treatment your skin’s dark spots will become darker before fading, but there is virtually no downtime associated with IPL other than a little residual warmth which can last a few hours. Having a darker skin type or having tanned skin can affect eligibility for both IPL and fractional laser treatment, and for this reason treatment with lasers and IPL is often best in the fall and winter months. Eligibility will be determined pre-treatment in consultation.
Microneedling is a form of collagen induction therapy; tiny needles are inserted into the skin by means of a special device that is usually a manual, fixed-needle roller or an electric-powered “pen.” The creation of abundant microchannels in the skin stimulates the wound healing cascade, releasing various growth factors and facilitating the formation of new collagen and elastin. A microneedling treatment series has been shown to substantially improve the severity of scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, pigment and large pores. It is not associated with the downtime or potential side effects of ablative laser therapy.
Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels
Medical Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels are both forms of deeper exfoliation than what you are able to achieve at a spa or at home, and will help correct irregularities in skin texture. They can be utilized separately or together to brighten and soften your skin. Consider these a “medical facial” – a safe and effective way to lift away the dull, dead skin cells, leaving fresh, new skin at the surface.
If you consider professional treatments like going to the dentist for a teeth cleansing or whitening treatment, then your home skin care routine is your brushing and your flossing. Carefully chosen products go a long way both alone and to supplement and maintain the treatments you receive in the clinic setting.
As mentioned earlier, there is no one answer or treatment approach that is applicable to everyone. This blog series is designed to be a tool for you, to help give you some insight into some the different options that are available, and what they can do for you. As experienced skin health medical professionals, we encourage you to book a consultation with us, so that we may have the opportunity to assess your skin, talk with you in depth about your wishes and your needs, offer our professional recommendation, and work collaboratively with you to develop a treatment plan that you are comfortable with. Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for Part 2 of our Renovation Project blog, titled, “Moving in the Furniture!”