Skin Care Treatments
Proper skin care is essential for health, vitality, and a youthful appearance. Minimally invasive interventions, such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing, can take away years of sun damage and aging. There are abundance of effective skin care products and skin treatments for different skin types and levels of sun damage. With the right treatment plan, everyone can age gracefully and most importantly slowly.
Dermaplaning utilizes surgical grade blade to remove vellus hair and dead skin cells to effectively exfoliate the skin. This is often performed before other skin procedures as an add on to maximize treatment effectiveness.
Microneedling is one of the oldest skin treatments and one of the most effective in boosting your own skin collagen production. The treatment involves usage of fine needles to create thousands of small punctures in the skin’s surface. These micro-wounds prompt the body’s natural healing mechanisms to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. When combined with topical application of skin care products, growth factors, stem cells (from your own blood or from fat), the rejuvenating effect is even more impressive. The wounds from the treatment are superficial thus there is little to no risks of hyperpigmentation or scarring. It is one of the most effective treatments for hyperpigmentation, i.e. melasma or age spots. Most patients require 4 to 6 sessions every 6-8 weeks apart to rip the full benefit. This is also a great treatment to maintain the level of collagen and elastin in the skin.
Skin resurfacing is a common term referring to controlled burn to the skin. It is well known that after a burn blister has peeled off the underlying ‘new’ skin is tighter, free of wrinkles, and unblemished. Most of the skin resurfacing techniques designed to replicate the effect of a partial thickness burn. Well known and established techniques are laser, dermabrasion, and chemical peels. There is also Plasma energy as the newest technology in skin resurfacing. The beneficial effect of skin resurfacing is related to the depth of the injury. In general, deeper is more effective. However, complication rates also correlate to the depth of injury. Known complications are depigmentation, ulceration and scarring. Balancing safety while maximizing outcome is the most important aspect of all skin resurfacing treatments.
Dermabrasion is one of the traditional skin-resurfacing procedures in which a rapidly rotating device physically removes the outer layer of skin. This procedure leaves the treated skin raw, as a light road rash, immediately after treatment. The new regenerated skin is always smoother and firmer. This treatment is the most effective treatment for perioral fine and deep lines as well as old acne scars.
Laser resurfacing involves different types of laser. Commonly used laser machines are CO2 (such as Fraxel), Erbium, Picosecond laser (known as Picosure). Almost all laser treatments are fractional which mean not the entire surface of the skin is treated. This concept was recently developed and has truly revolutionized laser treatments. The non-injured skin provides scaffold for the injured skin to heal faster, thus reducing any associated delay wound healing risks. Depigmentation is also no longer a major concern with fractional treatments. However, in general, laser is only safe to use in light skin patients as darker skin patients have extremely high risk of hyperpigmentation with laser treatments. Picosecond laser is different in energy delivery method and has been known to be safer in darker skin patients however full course of treatment requires multiple sessions to see a significant improvement as compared to CO2 and Erbium which often require only one session.
Chemical peels, another common skin resurfacing techniques, are in-office procedures in which chemical soluction is applied to the skin to remove the top layer of the skin. There are many different types of peels with different depths of exfoliation. Most commonly used peels are Trichoracetic (TCA). It can be used by itself or as a blend with brightening or acne reducing ingredients. Diferent concentration of TCA may be safely used on the eyelids, face, neck, chest and back of the hands and can be repeated (usually every 2 years). Its effects are self-limiting and predictable. Another commonly used ingredient in peels is Retin-A or retinol. High concentration retinol can produce the same effect as high concentration TCA peel without any burning sensation with application.
Plasma energy is the newest type of skin resurfacing. When plasma stream hits the skin surface, it causes a controlled superficial burn. Plasma pen, or fibroblast, is currently one of the most popular treatments as it requires little downtime, safe, and effective. It is most commonly used around the eyes, mouth, and on the neck. The more aggressive skin resurfacing with plasma energy is Renuvion, J-Plasma cool-helium resurfacing. This treatment is also fractional and produces significant skin tightening and resurfacing effects. It is by far the most powerful skin resurfacing treatment. After one treatment, patients can have significant improvement in the quality and texture of the skin, reduction of deep lines (around the eyes and mouth), tightening of the upper and lower eyelids, and global skin tightening due to stimulation of collagen production in the treated skin.
Downtime from any procedures correlate with the aggressiveness of the treatment. For microneedling or light chemical peels, recovery takes a few days. For less ablative laser, it is usually 5-7 days. For more ablative lasers, dermabrasion, or J-plasma, downtime can be up to 2 weeks. Skin preparation before the procedure and skin care after the procedure can shorten recovery time and maximize the aesthetic outcome. Sun avoidance is imperative during skin healing time and ideally for at least 3 months after more aggressive treatments. During your consultation, treatment plan including type of skin care products will be designed to suit your skin and your treatment goal and budget. Everybody deserves to look their best with any budgets.