Cosmetic dermatology offers an array of anti-aging tools and treatments for the face and body that you may not know about. Though they come with a hefty price tag, several procedures may help you avoid going under the knife. Here are some of the more popular.
Laser skin resurfacing
Fractional resurfacing is the name of a specific kind of laser technology being used to treat sun-damaged skin. This type of laser can improve skin texture, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and acne scars. It works by increasing collagen production, which creates a more youthful look. The best part is that this type of laser treatment offers much less recovery time than traditional laser therapies.
There are different grades of chemical peels, and the more active ingredients are highly concentrated, the more recovery time is necessary. But the harsher peels also produce the most dramatic results. Chemicals peels use an acid solution to remove the top layer of skin. The new, regenerated skin is smoother and less wrinkled.
Botox and fillers
Botox is used to diminsh fine lines and wrinkles by blocking the nerves to the muscle. This creates a more relaxed, softened appearance. Fillers, which typically consist of hyaluronic acid, are injected into areas of the face to shape and sculpt as well as replace lost volume. Fillers can be used to plump cheeks and improve fine lines around the eyes and mouth.
Liposuction is used for the removal of small pockets of fat that exercise cannot help. Doctors have found ways to improve both the safety of liposuction procedures and the recovery period. Lasers can enhance liposuction by heating the fat into a liquid, which can then be eliminated. The fluid typically dissapates in 12 to 24 hours.
Other areas of the body can also begin to show signs of aging, and can be improved by laser treatments, botox and fillers. A combination of treatments can be used to improve the appearance of the neck, chest, hands, legs, abdomen and thighs.
Cosmeceuticals are skin care products sold only through dermatologists. They are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so their effectiveness is not fully known. Antioxidants, peptides and growth factors are used either alone or in combination in cosmeceuticals with the goal of diminishing signs of aging. Your dermatologist can help you determine which product would be best for you.
Laser hair removal
Most lasers have a cooling device to make the treatment more comfortable, and it also protects the top layer of skin from damage and pigmentation. The lasers work by sending concentrated beams of light through to skin, which are absorbed by the melanin present in the hair follicle. Several treatments are necessary to destroy the hair follicles, as hair grows in cycles.