Skip to content
|Erase Years Off Your Face without Surgery|
|Written by Administrator|
The popular belief that good skin is something you're born with isn't entirely true. In fact, experts believe that genetics account for only 20 percent of natural aging, with 80 percent thought to be from accumulated sun exposure. But for those who would rather steer clear of going under the knife to shave a few years off their appearance, a new arsenal of aesthetic procedures that work without visibly wounding the skin are quickly gaining popularity.
At the American Academy of Dermatology's Summer Academy Meeting 2008 in Chicago, dermatologist Arielle N.B. Kauvar, MD, FAAD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine in New York, discussed the latest non-surgical options in skin rejuvenation for treating photodamage and pigmentation problems, wrinkles and textural changes, and loose skin.
Photodamage and Pigmentation Problems
Aging skin is associated with a range of cosmetic concerns - from pigmentation problems and splotchy skin to redness due to enlarged vessels or capillaries. The development of dry, dull skin also is common, adding to an overall lackluster appearance. Other effects include a loss of collagen, which results in the thinning of the skin and loss of structural integrity or weakening of the skin.
"As we age, the majority of these skin problems are a direct result of long-term sun exposure," said Dr. Kauvar. "Also, the loss and movement of the underlying fat layer of the skin over time causes us to lose volume in our skin - creating that ‘sunken in' look. Fortunately, we now have a number of minimally invasive procedures that can be used either alone or in combination to combat the telltale signs of aging."
Several different types of minimally invasive lasers and light sources can be used to treat pigmentation problems. In general, these technologies work by selectively targeting the affected areas of the skin with varying wavelengths and pulse durations without injuring the top layer of skin. For example, Dr. Kauvar noted that the KTP, Nd:YAG and Alexandrite lasers work well on areas of the skin affected by noticeable changes in pigmentation, such as sun spots or splotchy skin. Intense Pulsed Light sources, or IPLs, target both vascular and pigmentation changes on the skin, and the pulsed-dye and pulsed-KTP lasers also are used for vascular conditions.
In addition, peeling techniques - such as microdermabrasion or light chemical peels - are minimally invasive options for removing the accumulated layer of dead skin cells that cause a dull appearance. Dr. Kauvar added that these peeling procedures can improve the overall radiance of the skin and also remove some of the abnormal pigmentation from sun damage.
Wrinkles and Textural Changes
Many of the changes in the skin's texture can be directly attributed to the natural aging cycle and sun damage. Although wrinkles are perhaps the most obvious changes that occur, enlarged pores and even acne scars often worsen as we get older - resulting from the loss of collagen. Plump and smooth-to-the-touch skin, commonly referred to as baby skin, also is replaced by crepe-like skin, which feels dramatically different to the touch.
Fractional non-ablative lasers heat pixilated columns of skin to depths three-to-four times deeper than traditional non-ablative heating, creating increased collagen production that provides improved results in skin texture, fine wrinkles and acne scars. The primary side effect of fractional non-ablative lasers is redness that lasts slightly longer than their non-ablative counterparts - in most cases overnight as compared to a few hours.
Skin Looseness/Loss of Volume
With the further loss of collagen, the skin loses elasticity and becomes lax. These deeper folds result in jowl formation or what is commonly referred to as "chicken neck." Fortunately, there are a variety of options to tighten loose skin.
"Fillers are an excellent option for softening angular lines, filling the hollows under the eyes and early jowl formation, and correcting deep smile lines," said Dr. Kauvar. "A patient with more advanced aging could benefit from a combination of procedures, such as lasers and fillers, to improve the overall appearance of their skin."
Unlike the hyaluronic acid fillers that can be dissolved at any time with an enzyme that reverses the effects, PMMA cannot be removed. Dr. Kauvar cautioned patients to thoroughly discuss their expectations with their dermatologist before considering this irreversible procedure.
"For the average person with mild-to-moderate skin problems, minimally invasive skin rejuvenation offers a range of options to slow down or reverse the aging process," said Dr. Kauvar. "Your dermatologist can help you decide what procedures are right for you."
For more information on aging skin, visit http://www.skincarephysicians.com/, a Web site developed by dermatologists that provides patients with up-to-date information on the treatment and management of conditions of the skin, hair and nails.
|< Prev||Next >|
Contact Our News Editors
| Back to Front Page
|| List of all Health and Medical Sections
|Diseases and Conditions|
|Health and Medical|
|Mind, Body, Spirit|
|Natural Medicine/Natural Healing|
|General Nutrition Articles|
|Latest Health and Medicine Studies|
|Vitamins and Supplements|
A to Z Health: