As we age, our body loses collagen, elastin, and subcutaneous fat, which leads to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Sun damage is another factor which causes injury to the skin and leads to discoloration, age spots, and wrinkles. Prevention is the most important way to prevent wrinkles and sunspots. However, many of us have not avoided and sun and due to a combination of genetics, sun damage, or unhealthy lifestyles, need to reverse the aging process. Fortunately, there are a myriad of non-invasive treatments, skincare, anti-aging, and cosmetic treatments that can reverse the aging process. According to the American Society of Plastic surgery, non-invasive treatments have seen a 90% increase in the last 9 years. From laser treatments with radiofrequency such as eMatrix, Thermage and Ultherapy, to intense pulsed light for sun damage, to injectable fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm, Botox and Dysport, and chemical peels for treating age spots and fine lines, there is a myriad of anti-aging procedures to choose from. Dr. Michele Green, in her private NYC upper East side office, will help you decide which combination of lasers, skin care, or dermal fillers, will help remove unwanted pigmentation, fine lines, and rejuvenate your skin.
Botulinum toxin (Botox, Dysport) are injections which are used to treat fine lines, crow’s feet, frown lines and wrinkles on the forehead or glabella. Botox works by blocking the chemical signals from the nerves to the muscle cells, resulting in temporary paralysis to the muscle. This will then cause the fine lines and wrinkles to smooth out, giving a more youthful appearance. The common side effects of Botox are bruising or swelling, which will subside in a few hours. It’s recommended refraining from taking any blood thinners for one week before having Botox injections to avoid any unnecessary bruising. Make-up can be gently applied to the treated area right after the injections and you can immediately return to work. Results are noticed within one week; and the full effect of Botox is seen within 2 weeks. The effect of Botox injections last between 3 to 4 months. Once the frown lines begin to reappear, a simple follow-up treatment is all that’s needed to maintain the desired results.
Dermal fillers are widely known and used for treating different facial concerns. They give immediate and effective results in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The most popular injectable fillers used are Restylane and Juvederm. They are both composed of hyaluronic acid which is a naturally occurring sugar found in the body. These fillers are non-surgical treatments which can provide instant and long-lasting results and give you a natural look. Juvéderm can be used on the cheeks – for extra volume, for the lips – to obtain fullness or plumpness and smooth out vertical lip lines, facial lines such as nasolabial folds – to fill in deep lines giving you natural looking results.
Sculptra, which is another dermal filler, is composed of Poly-L-lactic acid, it’s completely safe to use. This product gradually stimulates your own body to rebuild natural collagen, resulting in smoother fine lines and wrinkles. Depending on how much volume and collagen you’ve lost will determine how many treatments you’ll need. What makes Sculptra so popular is that the results last more than two years.
Radiesse is another FDA-approved dermal filler. Its key component is calcium hydroxyapatite. This substance is actually found naturally in our bodies, more specifically in our bones. When used for cosmetic purposes, the calcium particles are converted into a smooth gel. Radiesse filler is much thicker than (HA) fillers, giving you that extra volume for treating deeper lines and wrinkles.
There is little to no downtime for the dermal fillers so you can resume your daily activities right after the injections. Bruising and/or swelling are common side effects and usually subside within a few days. Arnika is recommended to take at least 2 weeks prior to receiving injections, to reduce the chances of bruising.
Chemical peels also help with the appearance of fine lines, age spots and hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels cause even, controlled shedding of several layers of damaged cells so that you’re left with a fresh layer of new skin. Chemical peels are a skin resurfacing technique in which a chemical solution is applied to the face to remove the outer surface layers of skin cells, allowing new, healthier skin to emerge. Chemical peels come in a range of strengths, from a deeper phenol to more superficial peels such as glycolic acid or lactic acid peel. After the procedure, it’s completely normal to feel some stinging which will usually last for a couple of minutes after it’s done, and there’s no more discomfort during the remaining time that you’re peeling. Be sure to use sun protection in order to prevent any irritation that can be caused by sun exposure.
Microdermabrasion is another non-surgical procedure that is used to address many skin concerns. It provides an overall rejuvenation of the skin and is suitable for all skin types and skin tones. This treatment uses a handpiece that gently sands away the top layer of skin (epidermis) that composed of dead skin cells. Many patients love this procedure because it helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, it helps with discoloration such as: hyperpigmentation and melasma. It also addresses other skin concerns regarding acne scars, stretch marks, age spots, dark spots, etc. There is no downtime or recovery time needed, so you can resume your normal daily activities right after your appointment. While results can be seen immediately after the treatment, the number of sessions that are needed depends on the severity of your skin concerns and what your expectations are for your desired look.
Microneedling, also referred to as dermarolling, is a cosmetic procedure that’s used for wrinkles and fine lines. It works by removing the top layer of skin, which in return stimulates collagen production and elastin growth. Collagen is what helps keep skin’s surface looking smooth, more youthful, with a firm texture. Microneedling is designed to promote healthier skin, smaller pores, reduction of hyperpigmentation, smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles, and improving skin texture. The procedure uses fine needles that penetrate the skin causing the top layer of skin to be removed so it can promote new collagen production and new skin cells, which will result in healthy looking skin. Microneedling is safe and can be used on all skin types.
Microneedling can be done in conjunction with PRP (plasma-rich-platelets) – this will make the procedure more effective. PRP contains many proteins, growth factors and cytokines which are essential in helping the skin repair itself. A patient’s own blood is used during the treatment and spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the other blood components. This procedure involves a micro-needling handpiece that punctures the top layer of skin, making microscope holes. The plasma is then applied into these tiny holes to promote collagen growth and cell reproduction. The addition of using your plasma will help better the results and also accelerate the healing process.
Aquagold micro-needling is completely painless and requires zero downtime. The micro-needle device contains 24K needles, which are literally smaller than a hair follicle. Depending on what the patient’s concerns are, this treatment can be customized to their needs – meaning that you can add PRP, Botox, Restylane, directly into the Aquagold device to be delivered directly into your skin. Aquagold with PRP is very popular because it helps stimulate collagen production and tighten and improves the quality and tone of your the skin. Aquagold with Botox also helps improve skin texture and smooths out wrinkles, frown lines, and fine lines and rejuvenates the skin.
Fraxel Dual Laser
There are non-ablative laser treatments that can also help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The Fraxel Dual Laser is an FDA approved fractional laser which is used for many purposes. This fractionated laser restores the skin’s natural texture and tone, reducing wrinkles and fine lines and removes any unwanted brown spots and pigmentation. Fraxel is a “magic eraser”, leaving you with smoother, fresher, younger looking skin.
The Fraxel contains dual settings, so it is essentially two lasers in one. The 1927nm wavelength is used for erasing pigmentation, which one of the most common cosmetic concerns. The 1927 wavelength treats all forms of pigmentations such as sunspots, age spots, and diffuse sun damage. This wavelength also treats pre-cancerous cells, actinic keratoses. Three treatments of the Fraxel laser, spaced one month apart, has been showed to reduce and treat these actinic keratoses.
The alternative wavelength, the 1550nm wavelength, focuses on targeting skin texture, pore size, superficial wrinkles and fine lines, deep wrinkles and acne scars. Months after your Fraxel laser is performed, your skin will continue to improve as new collagen is formed. Both the 1927 and the 1550 wavelengths can be used together to treat your skin, depending on your specific needs and goals are.
The recovery time for The 1927nm wavelength setting is five 5 days in total which includes two days of redness and three days of peeling giving your skin the appearance of peeling like fine sandpaper. With the 1550nm wavelength setting, a patient will have a short recovery time and will experience only 48 hours of redness. Typically, an average patient requires 3-5 sessions to obtain the best results. The number of treatments can change depending on the degree of your skin damage and desired results.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL uses broad-spectrum flash lamp to penetrate the dermis layer of the skin without damaging the epidermis layer. IPL is used to treat pigmentation such as age spots, (sun spots), hyperpigmentation and sun damaged skin, rosacea, and skin tightening. The IPL can be be used on different areas of the body; on the face, hands, arms, legs, and chest. After the treatment, you can experience redness for 24 hours. Treated brown spots will get darker in color and will peel off within a few days. During the healing process, keep your skin moist using a lotion or moisturizer. It is also important to use and SPF 30 sunscreen, or higher, to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun both during and after your treatment.
Forever Young BBL (BroadBand Light)
BBL utilizes pulsed-light technology; BBL dispenses pulses of light energy which gently heat the top layers of skin. BBL consists of wavelengths that start at 420nm and extend into the infrared spectrum at 1400nm. BBL helps to reduce the visible signs of aging and also improves damaged skin, leaving you with a smoother and youthful complexion. This procedure can help tighten and rejuvenate your skin and produces amazing anti-aging benefits. BBL will make your skin look and feel younger. The 515 wavelength treats pigmented lesions such as freckles and age spots. The 560nm wavelength treats rosacea. The 590nm wavelength is used to treat deeper lesions in the skin and patients with darker skin types. BBL works on all areas of the body, including the face, chest, arms, and legs, making it a very popular procedure.
The Alex TriVantage laser is used to treat individual brown spots, sun spots, tattoos, and pigmentation. It consists of three nanosecond wavelengths which is used to treat tattoos: 755nm, 1064 nm and 532 nm. In addition, the Alex TriVantage has a microsecond 755nm wavelength which can treat different types of pigmented lesions. The long-pulse 755nm wavelength has the ability to treat Asian patients, while the 1064nm wavelength is used on dark skin patients. When treating brown spots, there’s little downtime. The treatment area will turn brown and then form into a fine scab which gradually peels off on its own. It is important to moisturize the area with Aquaphor or Bacitracin for a few days after the procedure and maintain strict sun avoidance along with the proper sunscreen. Results of the Alex-Trivantagecan be seen in as little as just one treatment.
V-Beam Laser for Facial Redness
V-beam laser helps treat skin concerns that are related to blood vessels. If you’re someone who suffers from rosacea, facial spider veins or leg spider veins, this is a wonderful treatment option. It also helps treat redness that’s often associated with acne breakouts as well as from acne scarring. You may experience some mild redness immediately after the treatment but will go away within an hour. There is no downtime after the V-Beam, so you can resume your normal activities immediately after the procedure.
Thermage continues to increase in popularity because it’s a great rejuvenating alternative for patients who don’t want invasive cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift. Most patients don’t want the downtime needed when they consider having invasive surgery by a plastic surgeon. Thermage is a wonderful alternative cosmetic treatment which utilizes radio-frequency technology to tighten sagging skin in areas such as the face, neck, eyes, abdomen, chest, legs, arm, and buttocks. The energy which is used allows it to penetrate the deep layers of skin, causing collagen to contract, and promoting new collagen production. There is no downtime or recovery time with the Thermage. You can resume your normal activities immediately after your Thermage treatment. With the new Thermage FLX, the results are even better and you will have more immediate results. Results can be seen after one single session which can last up to two years. Thermage helps create smoother skin after just one treatment, with results that continue up to two years.
Ultherapy is also used for skin tightening and it helps tighten sagging skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles. However, Ultherapy does differ from Thermage in a few ways. Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology in order to tighten the skin. It’s also FDA-approved to tighten the brow line, chin, neck, whereas Thermage can be used on additional body areas such as the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. Ultherapy is much more painful than Thermage and requires pain medication, whereas Thermage is painless and require no premeditation before the procedure. Both Ultherapy and Thermage take only one treatment. However, if you have a great degree of sagging, more than one treatment may be necessary to have the best results.
Plastic surgery is not the only option to maintaining a youthful look. There are many non-invasive treatments which can help address a wide range of skin concerns. For the very best results for any cosmetic procedures, it is best to consult a board certified dermatologist, like Dr. Michele Green. Dr. Green is an expert in these cosmetic lasers and injectables and will help you determine which non-invasive wrinkle treatment is the best for you, whether it be laser or injectable. Dr. Green will also help you choose the best skincare products, as they are an essential part of your daily routine and can have a huge impact on your skin. Find out more and contact Dr. Green to schedule a consultation via our online form or by calling 212-535-3088 today.