Skin resurfacing is a commonly sought out procedure by many individuals. As we age, the skin starts to form lines and wrinkles, and many individuals have signs of photo aging. Today there are a number of procedures to help rejuvenate the skin. The best resurfacing procedure for you can only be determined by your physician after a consultation. The common methods available today include:
Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion is a widely used technique to treat uneven skin, acne scars and erase wrinkles. The essence of the technique is to sand down the skin with a rotating brush. The brush removes the superficial layers of the skin and over time, this skin is replaced by new softer and smoother skin. The only downside to the procedure is that one needs some time off because the recovery is anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Other minor side effects include facial swelling, redness and scab formation. The cosmetic result is not immediate and may take several months to develop.
Microdermabrasion. This novel method of skin resurfacing is very different from dermabrasion. It is only useful for the every fine lines and does not erase deep lines or wrinkles. The technique utilizes a vacuum suction while small aluminum crystals are rapidly moved over the skin area. The small crystals essentially remove only the superficial skin layers which are then suctioned off. The procedure can be done in 10-20 minutes and does not cause any of the side effects seen with dermabrasion. After the procedure, there may be some mild redness over the skin which dissipates in 24 hours. Because the effects of this treatment are only temporary, multiple treatments are required in future.
Laser, light source and radio frequency treatments. There are many types of lasers which have been developed to treat a variety of skin disorders. The latest lasers have been used to treat skin wrinkles and fine lines. The laser beam is used to erase the superficial layers of the skin and stimulates the lower layers to stimulate new and fresh skin. The new skin is generally softer and smoother and has more elasticity and tone. Most individuals require multiple laser sessions and the final result may not be visible for a few months. Laser treatment for skin rejuvenation is temporary and repeat treatments will be required in the future.
Intense pulse light: Today there are non ablative lasers (less intense) which are used to treat skin disorders. These light sources are less damaging to the skin. They act similar to a laser by removing the top layers of the skin and stimulate growth of newer and better quality skin. Several sessions are required and the final skin is more elastic and smooth.
Chemical peel. There are many agents which are used as chemical peels. The face is washed and then the chemical is applied on the skin. Chemical peels come in various concentrations. The weaker strength chemical peels can be used at home but are not very effective, the higher strength chemical peels are only used under the supervision of a health care professional. The chemical peels act by burning the outer layers of the skin and over time, the new skin replaces the destroyed skin. The new skin is generally softer, smoother and much fresh looking. Chemical peels are not without side effects. Redness and a burning sensation are common after the procedure. With higher strength chemical peels, scarring and skin discoloration can occur. Chemical peels are also a temporary measure to rejuvenate the skin. Multiple sessions are required to maintain the cosmetic benefit.
Botulinum toxin type A (Botox). Botox mania is on the rise. This toxin is widely used to treat a whole range of skin lesions ranging from lines, wrinkles, sweating and Small amounts are usually injected with a very fine needle and the chemical paralyzes the muscles on the face. The results are seen within 24 hours and last about 2-3 months. Botox is not a permanent cure for wrinkles and thus repeat treatment is required.
Soft tissue fillers. Soft tissue fillers are now widely used to treat fine lines, dimples, and wrinkles on the face. There are numerous collagen and non collagen based products which can be injected. Some of these are useful for the fine lines and others are useful in the treatment of deeper skin wrinkles and hollowed cheeks, which include fat, collagen and hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm), can be injected into deeper wrinkles on your face. They plump and smooth out wrinkles and furrows and give the skin more volume. Common side effects of dermal fillers include temporary swelling, redness and bruising. The majority of dermal fillers are temporary and require repeated treatments
Final Point. No one has yet been able to reverse aging, so despite having the best procedure, as you age, the wrinkles and fine lines will start to re appear. So in all cases, one will need repeat treatments to maintain the beautiful facial features.