[dropcap]While[/dropcap] no one can escape the hands of time, it may be possible to look like we’re beating the clock. Advancements in nonsurgical skincare treatments continue to offer more ways to achieve firmer, smoother and younger looking skin, as well as provide a ‘lift’ for a more youthful appearance.
“Skin tightening devices for the face, eyelids and body that use radiofrequency or ultrasound waves are gaining popularity, as there is no downtime, it is more affordable and has a better safety profile than the surgical alternatives,” says Dr. Kristen Rice, a dermatologist at the Center for Dermatology and Utica Square Skin Care in Tulsa. “We offer Thermage at our office for this purpose.”
[pullquote]Micro-Needling is a great treatment for all skin types, with no downtime and can be done in the summer months as well.”[/pullquote]Thermage is a non-invasive radiofrequency therapy that helps smooth lines and wrinkles, as well as remodel collagen to improve the overall health of skin.
Dr. Rice shares that some of the most common skin complaints include dry, itchy skin and acne, but in her practice she mostly encounters concerns about brown spots and general skin discoloration.
“Chemical peels are quite effective for the majority of facial skin discoloration,” says Dr. Rice. “There are also resurfacing procedures that can help to even skin tone and also smooth skin texture such as Clear + Brilliant and Fraxel Dual non-ablative resurfacing. Additionally, light-based treatments such as BBL BroadBand Light provide a non-invasive treatment with minimal to no downtime for improvement of skin discoloration, particularly brown spots and increased vascularity, both on and off the face.”
She adds that the most important thing you can address in caring for your skin is protection from harmful ultraviolet light. Her top three recommendations for general skin care include daily sunscreen use on exposed areas such as the face, neck, chest and hands, nightly use of a topical retinoid and antioxidants including vitamin C and E, as well as a variety of other effective antioxidants to help improve the health of skin over time.
Dermatologist Dr. Jeff Alexander is the owner and medical director of the Skin Care Institute medical spa in Tulsa. He explains that Micro-Needling, Micropeels and HydraFacials have gained popularity over the past few years and have replaced services like microdermabrasion.
“We stopped performing microdermabrasion in our medical spa, Skin Care Institute, about eight years ago as new, less abrasive treatments hit the market and were deemed more beneficial,” he says. “Micro-Needling is a great treatment for all skin types, with no downtime and can be done in the summer months as well.”
Dr. Alexander offers Micro-Needling with the Eclipse MicroPen which uses tiny needles to create painless micro-injuries to the skin to help increase collagen production and elastin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation and enlarged pores.
While Botox and dermal fillers continue to be choice procedures for many, Dr. Alexander emphasizes that it’s important for patients to be educated on these options, adding that his patients receive customized plans.
“No two patients are injected alike as no two faces are alike,” says Dr. Alexander. “Voluma is a wonderful new dermal filler for the cheeks that can lift the entire lower half of the face instantaneously. It also gives a very natural look that patients love. Botox is described to our patients as a muscle stabilizer to stop those repetitive motion injuries that we tend to make over time with our facial expressions. We still want to make sure that patients retain expression in their faces without causing injury to the epidermis, creating a natural look.”
According to Dr. Tim R. Love, a plastic surgeon and owner of Tim R. Love Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in Oklahoma City, nonsurgical procedures are on the rise nationally. He most recently introduced the Profound system (the latest in radiofrequency micro-needling technology) to create new elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid.
“These building blocks work to create dermal volume often depleted with aging,” says Dr. Love. “Skin laxity can see improvement in nasolabial folds, cheeks, marionette lines, jawline, neck and décolleté.” He shares that Fraxel Dual and Thermage CPT continue to provide reliable results for resurfacing and tightening while Botox and injectable fillers are also effective in slowing the aging process.
[pullquote]With CoolSculpting and now Dual Sculpting, we can treat most areas of the body even faster, including stomach, flanks, bra-line, inner thigh, outer thigh, chest (men), arms and double chin.”[/pullquote]“A new combination of Fraxel Dual and Radiesse has become popular for literally turning back ‘the hands of time’ with a hand treatment,” says. Dr. Love.
Other nonsurgical treatments available to target specific trouble areas include Ultherapy, Coolsculpting and Kybella.
“Ultherapy is an amazing non-invasive procedure for the face, neck and décolleté, using ultrasound technology to generate heat,” says Dr. Alexander. “That heat is delivered 4.5 mm deep into the fibromuscular layer, as well as 1.5 mm and 3.0 mm into the dermis. The heat that is delivered creates injury which, in turn, kicks in the body’s own collagen response.”
Ultherapy helps thicken skin, as well as lifting and tightening.
“Outside of surgery there is no other treatment that delivers deeper than Ultherapy,” explains Dr. Alexander. “It is considered the gold standard in the medical spa field for lifting and tightening.”
CoolSculpting is a fat-freezing procedure that works to contour the body by freezing away unwanted fat. Dr. Alexander notes that it works extremely well with the right candidates.
“CoolSculpting is non-invasive and works without the risk that surgery can bring,” he says. “It also creates a more even result, not always obtainable with liposuction. With CoolSculpting and now Dual Sculpting, we can treat most areas of the body even faster, including stomach, flanks, bra-line, inner thigh, outer thigh, chest (men), arms and double chin.”
Another popular treatment to tackle a double chin is Kybella.
“Kybella is an injectable that delivers a fat seeking molecule (deoxycholic acid) to the fat cell, which in turn destroys those fat cells over the course of six to eight weeks,” says Dr. Alexander. “Patients may need up to four treatments for optimal results. Eliminating the double chin can really change the overall appearance of the face. It sharpens up the entire jaw line and makes patients look thinner and younger.”
Before choosing any skincare treatment, Dr. Alexander encourages patients to seek out a reputable medical spa that has a physician onsite, preferably a dermatologist, or someone in a related field who understands skincare.