Light, Laser and RF Solutions for Skin Rejuvenation
- Posted on: Dec 18 2017
You are never too young to start caring for your skin and your appearance. With an objective of maintaining beautiful radiant skin, nourishing and protecting your skin every day from a very young age will help to ward off the deterioration in the smoothness, firmness, tone and pigmentation of your skin. This not only means using a sunblock of SPF60 or higher starting in childhood, but also in later years using a medically-effective skin care line. As we age, there are a series of physiological changes that our skin goes through as collagen production is reduced, our skin thins out as we lose some of the fat in our cheeks. Environmental factors and habits also impact the quality of our skin and appearance – sun, stress and smoking are the culprits of wrinkle formation and destruction of the intracellular matrix that keeps our skin “juicy”.
More and more men and women are spending time and money to improve their appearance as evidenced by a recent study, which estimated that over $60 billion was spent on cosmetic treatments in 2016. This is no surprise, since it is a well-known fact that a vibrant appearance can have a positive impact, for both men and women, in their social and professional lives. Depending on your age, appearance and condition of your skin, there are a full spectrum of solutions available, ranging from scientific skin care for home use on one side, through non-invasive and minimally invasive energy-based procedures, to actual cosmetic surgery on the other end of the spectrum. What is appropriate for each individual’s needs is something that requires an in-depth consultation with a qualified and certified professional, for example, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist who is well versed in the full spectrum of treatment modalities and medical skin care. Seeking a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to advise you rather than a general doctor or nurse, is similar to having your electrical advice given to you by a licensed electrician, and not by a construction specialist such as a plumber.
Beyond skin care and non-surgical solutions for skin rejuvenation, at times patients may require the use of light, laser and RF treatments to improve the tightness, skin tone and coloration of the skin. There are a number of treatment solutions available for this purpose.
Collagen is the skin’s fountain of youth. It helps skin look fresh and full of life by filling it out with plump resilience. As we age and are exposed to the elements, collagen production slows down and existing collagen becomes saggy, elongated, and depleted. This collagen loss causes your skin to look loose, as fine lines and wrinkles also start to appear. Radiofrequency counteracts this decline and restores our skin tightness.
ThermiSmooth is a most enjoyable treatment with no downtime that tightens our skin along the jawline and upper neck. It employs external RF energy to tighten the aged elongated collagen strands and is likened to “heaven on earth” and a “warm gooey massage that you wish would never end”. Not only is your jawline restored by ThermiSmooth, but so is your Spirit! Our jawline usually ages by dropping 2-4 mm per year and ThermiSmooth tightens it by 2 -4 mm! So, if you have one set of ThermiSmooth Treatments per year, your jawline will never age. ThermiSmooth can also be used on other parts of the body for skin tightening, such as the tummy or crinkles above the knees.
Dr. Petropoulos’ Jawline attests to this. Her jawline has hardly changed over 17 years while her counterparts show jowls and chin laxity!
Thermage® is another comfortable treatment that should be performed annually to the upper and lower eyelids, (not the face) to prevent eyelid aging. Our eyelids drop by a millimeter per year and annual Thermage treatments use radiofrequency energy to safely tighten collagen within the skin, tightening the eyelids by 1 mm. Thus, one’s eyelids will hardly age if annual Thermage treatments are performed! The radiofrequency energy also increases production of new collagen so that the improvements continue to increase gradually over time.
FractoraTM Another radiofrequency procedure is FractoraTM that is designed to re-texturize skin and tighten skin laxity for rejuvenation with minimal light pink downtime for a day or two. FractoraTM uses micro-needling combined with fractionated radiofrequency energy to gently heat tissues for renewed collagen production and reduction of discoloration, effacing fine lines, wrinkles and drastically reducing pore size, tightening skin and lifting cheeks and jowls. It currently is considered the workhorse of non-invasive to micro-invasive rejuvenation and should be performed annually in a maintenance regime.
Injectable RadioFrequency: ThermiTight TM, BodyTite and FaceTite
At some point, your skin further betrays you if you have not had any maintenance treatments, and it starts to loosen and sag. This may be seen in a sagging jawline, floppy “wings” on the backs of your arms or loose skin on your thighs, tummy or bra-line. Enter Injectable Radiofrequency Treatments. They only require a minimal downtime.
ThermiTight – uses injectable micro-invasive radiofrequency energy to warm up the tissues in precise locations to smoothen, contour and tighten the skin. It can be used after liposuction as well, to tighten the skin after the fat is gone.
BodyTite (by InMode) provides superior body contouring through internal and external lipolysis, delivering body results previously only achieved through more extensive excisional surgical procedures. Powered by RFAL (Radio-Frequency Assisted Lipolysis), BodyTite provides unprecedented three-dimensional contraction of the dermis, subdermal connective tissue matrix and deep fat. It works by delivering rapid and uniform heating of the entire soft tissue matrix. Built-in safeguards including real time measurements of skin temperature, impedance monitoring, power cut-off and audible feedback help ensure patient safety. FaceTite (By InMode) is a complete contouring solution for the face and small areas of the body. Physicians tighten jowls, jawlines and necklines, achieving results similar to a facelift or brachioplasty without excisional surgery. The FaceTite technology is a non-aspirating cannula with a plastic tip that allows physicians to work safely in the sub-dermal plane for RF inspired tissue contraction and contouring.
- Photofacial. Called by a variety of names, including broadband light (BBL), intense pulse light (IPL) and photorejuvenation, a photofacial helps to fade freckles, sun and age spots, uneven pigment and broken blood vessels. This procedure thus improves skin tone (and texture somewhat).
- Laser Resurfacing. Laser resurfacing is used to smooth out rough skin, wrinkles and fine lines as well as correcting splotchiness and uneven pigmentation due to age spots and sun spots. It also helps improve acne scarring, dark circles under the eyes and precancerous skin growths. These treatments take about an hour and can be associated with a range of downtime (e.g., 2 to 3 days of light pink downtime all the way to 2 weeks of bright red downtime (with the old-fashioned CO2 laser, has been replaced by Fractora which only has minimal downtime).
- Micro Laser Peel. The micro laser peel by the Sciton ErYag Laser is a light laser skin resurfacing treatment that helps to erase freckles, age spot spots, sun spots, fine wrinkles and certain superficial scars such as those caused by acne or chicken pox. The depth of treatment can be adjusted according to the amount of downtime available. Patients often schedule this treatment on a Thursday or Friday as their skin may appear slightly pink over the weekend, but by Monday it provides a fresh, renewed look. The Clear and Brilliant fractionated laser peel by Solta is a lighter version of this.
- ProFractional® Therapy by Sciton. This procedure uses a fractionated erbium laser in the infrared range to evenly penetrate and resurface the skin, reducing the appearance of scars, discolorations, wrinkles, and more. The small, microscopic channels created by the laser stimulate the skin’s natural healing response, encouraging the production of extra collagen. The downtime you have available for healing, ranges from 1 to 5 days, depending on the depth at which the laser is administered. This can be adjusted to suit your needs and your available downtime.
When beginning to explore non-invasive treatments, it is important to seek out a center which offers many different options, with many different devices so that just the right device and treatment may be chosen for you. What happens in this day and age, is the emergence of Med Spas that can only afford to purchase one, two or three machines and thus, are limited in what they can offer a patient, making the patient fit a given machine rather than choosing the right machine for their patient. Dr. Petropoulos is considered the authority in achieving aesthetic enhancements with the light, laser and radiofrequency modalities, given her 17-years of experience using a wide array of treatments and energy based devices for skin tightening and contouring. Because of her specialized expertise, Dr. Petropoulos was asked to respectively author and co-author chapters on radiofrequency technology for the medical text books, “Facial Rejuvenation” and “New Frontiers in Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery”. After carefully analyzing your face during your visit at her “Center of Classic Beauty”, Dr. Petropoulos will develop a treatment plan, together with you that will suit your needs, your lifestyle and your budget to achieve your rejuvenation goals.