We often blame gravity, but really it’s the loss of volume underneath the skin which is responsible for aging and sagging skin. Dermal fillers are increasing rapidly in popularity because they work well, are relatively inexpensive, give immediate results, and require essentially no recovery. In most cases, injections can be performed with minimal swelling, enabling patients to return to work or their regular activities immediately.
Dermal fillers are very flexible and can give great results in many different applications. They are commonly used for:
Dermal fillers are not all alike, nor are they equally effective for all applications. At the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, we offer many different types of dermal fillers:
Many patients who undergo a doctor-performed skin-enhancement procedure select a procedure that falls into the broad category of “skin resurfacing.” In skin resurfacing procedures, layers of the skin are removed by one means or another to expose smoother, more youthful-looking skin underneath.
Some skin resurfacing procedures produce lasting results that improve the appearance of the skin for years to come. These often work by stimulating the body’s production of collagen, a fibrous protein in the supporting layer of skin, that plays a crucial role in keeping the skin smooth and elastic. Skin resurfacing procedures of this type include laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels.
Fractional Ablative Lasers (Fraxel re:pair or Lumenis Ultrapulse) are used to vaporize skin in a layer-by-layer fashion to reduce wrinkling and increase skin tightening. These are the most effective treatments for skin rejuvenation, but are associated with some post-treatment recovery. Typically, only one or two treatments are necessary for the desired result depending on the severity of the skin condition being treated.
Today’s array of cosmetic procedures includes procedures that are less expensive, cause less discomfort, and have short recovery times. These techniques include chemical peels and microdermabrasion.The tradeoff is that these more superficial means can’t be expected to produce the long-term results of deeper skin resurfacing. But they often succeed in perking up tired, dull-looking skin and giving it a refreshing, healthy glow.
Fraxel Re:store laser skin treatment is an attempt to reap the benefits of deep skin resurfacing without the recovery and discomfort that traditionally accompanies these more invasive procedures. By application of controlled amounts of focused heat to the skin (the rejuvenating potential of the skin’s deeper layer can be restored. The Fraxel Re:store Laser treatments are generally delivered as a series of three to five monthly treatments. GentleWave LED Treatment is often applied to enhance post-treatment recovery after Fraxel treatment.
Microneedling has proven helpful in smoothing the vertical wrinkles that are often seen around the mouth (perioral rhytides) as well as the wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet or periocular rhytides). These wrinkles are often caused by repetitive muscle movements in the areas as well as by destruction of collagen due to cumulative sun damage through the years. The thin skin around the eyes makes them more prone to wrinkling as well.
As our skin ages, the production of the skin’s primary building block (collagen) slows down which causes the skin to look and feel thin. By stimulating the production of new skin cells, microneedling creates a more youthful and uniform skin appearance. Clinical results from microneedling are natural, subtle, and achieved over time as the body repairs itself. As a result, microneedling can be used to minimize wrinkles in all skin types.
Microneedling involves the delivery of discrete wounds to the skin using a specialized (disposable and motorized) tip with thin needles. The tiny (virtually painless) pricks to the skin’s dermal and epidermal layers serve to stimulate the growth of new collagen and elastin. Recovery is fast- a matter of a few days during which time the treated skin appears pink in color while it is being repaired from within.
Microneedling treatments can be performed alone, but a series of 3 to 5 treatments at monthly time intervals are often recommended to maximize the clinical response. Each minimally invasive procedure is performed within a 30 minute office visit. Our physicians will determine the best treatment strategy for each individual based on the degree of skin damage and patient concerns.
During the procedure, there may be light bleeding, but the skin appears only minimally pink (without bleeding) at the completion of the treatment. As such, microneedling is considered a “no downtime” treatment. The healing process is quick and painless. Mild skin redness and swelling (like a sunburn) is expected, but resolves quickly within a few days. Skin care products to enhance the results from the microneedling procedure are supplied in order to maximize the benefits from treatment. In most cases, makeup can be applied the following day. Favorable clinical responses are often observed within 3-4 weeks after microneedling treatment as the collagen begins to form.
With all our dermal filler and skin resurfacing options, we can find an ideal treatment for everyone. We will assess the major signs of aging you wish to combat, discuss a treatment strategy, how long you want results to last, and what cost profile best fits your budget to help you get the best possible results. To learn more about these and other options we offer and which might be right for you, please schedule a facial rejuvenation consultation at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery today.