Aging, sun exposure, heredity and lifestyle factors including nutrition and smoking may all contribute to development of facial wrinkles. Pigmentary changes of the skin, such as blotchiness or brown spots, may also occur with age or as a result of birth control pills, pregnancy or genetic factors. Prior acne may have made the surface of your skin uneven as well. Injectable filler treatments and/or Botox do not have any effect on these lines or wrinkles in the skin. That is because the lines are actually a part of the skin itself – similar to the creases within the palm of your hand. In order to eradicate these lines, a treatment must be used which targets the biology of the skin and gets to the “root” of the wrinkle. These problems, as well as certain other skin conditions, may be improved by skin resurfacing.
There is not necessarily one skin resurfacing technique which works best, and the technique utilized will vary depending on each patient’s individualized anatomy, target goals, toleration of potential downtime, and skin type. Outstanding and effective results may be achieved via several different methods. Two of the most popular techniques for skin resurfacing are chemical peels and fractionated lasers. Both of these non-invasive treatments provide younger-looking, healthier, more evenly toned skin.
Chemical peels use a solution that is applied to the face and works to dissolve cells in the outermost skin layer, leaving a healthier layer of skin underneath to repopulate the area of treatment. How deep the injury goes can depend on many factors, but is guided by the skin condition being treated and the severity of wrinkling. The goal is to produce an injury to the skin deep enough to get to the root of the problem, but not so deep as to produce scarring. Chemical peels vary from twenty minutes to two hours, depending on the area being treated. The fresh layer of unwrinkled skin will be red or pink for up to a few months but camouflage makeup may be used during this time.
There are two primary types of chemical peels, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and phenol (Croton oil). Both types of chemical peels will smooth out wrinkles, improve skin texture and color and remove acne scarring.
TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peels vary in strength and can be very effective. Even so, these peels are somewhat less vigorous than a phenol/croton oil peel. TCA peels utilize a lower concentration of acid so the downtime involved is less, however this also means that results may be less dramatic.
Phenol AKA Croton Oil Peel
Recent developments have brought on an evolution of the phenol peel and it is now referred to as a Croton Oil Peel.
Phenol, the strongest formula, is used for stronger skin resurfacing and is also helpful for reducing blotches caused by aging and sun exposure. Traditionally, phenol peels were used for more aggressive skin resurfacing to address wrinkles as well as areas of hyperpigmentation. Results from this peel were drastic in effect, however the strength could not be altered, making it an “all or none” type of treatment. This peel is now commonly referred to as the Croton Peel, but it still utilizes phenol. the strength may be altered by changing the concentration of the croton oil within the peel.
These peels are extremely effective and have become our best weapon to treat fine or deeper lines and wrinkles as well as to address areas of unwanted pigmentation. Ultimately, the type of chemical peel and the strength (concentration) of the peel will be determined by Dr. Glatt depending on your skin type, history, health, and treatment goals.
Dermabrasion involves physically “scraping” down the outer layers of the skin with a fine diamond coated burr.
Dermabrasion is one of the most old fashioned of the skin resurfacing techniques but remains extremely effective!
This technique is most commonly utilized for lines around the mouth, particularly lines at the upper lip area or around the mouth. In addition, dermabrasion is also a highly effective technique to address acne scarring and is commonly performed in conjunction with a facelift.
Lasers are divided into categories of “ablative” and “non-ablative”. Ablative lasers induce the most damage, and therefore produce more profound results, but also involve a more significant recovery and downtime. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and certain Fraxel lasers, including Erbium, are considered ablative lasers. Using a controlled beam of laser light, the outer layers of the skin are vaporized, revealing the smoother, younger-looking skin beneath. By removing the old, damaged layers of skin, the growth of new skin cells is stimulated.
Non-ablative lasers can be helpful for certain conditions including
dark spots, finer wrinkles, and rosacea but may involve several
treatment sessions to show maximum effectiveness.
Non-ablative lasers involve less downtime, but also are limited in the results they can produce. Non-ablative lasers work by heating the targeted tissue, without actually destroying it. This process stimulates your body’s collagen production to fill in unwanted skin imperfections such as fine lines or wrinkles. Four to six treatments performed monthly typically provide the optimal results which can be produced by these less invasive lasers.
Micro-needling utilizes a device the size of a magic marker that is used to stimulate collagen production. This collagen fills in fine lines and acne scars, tightens loose skin, and minimizes enlarged pores. Micro-needling is highly effective for a range of ages, skin types, and conditions.
Microneedling (also referred to Collagen Induction Therapy) has been performed since ancient times. What brings micro-needling into the 21st century is that with newer automated devices, the depth of penetration of the needles is adjustable and the micropunctures are automated. With a twist of the knob, a licensed professional can precisely control the depth, spacing, frequency, and pattern of these miniscule needle pricks.
Microneedling stimulates your body to make more collagen in the areas where it is needed the most.
Hyaluronic acid gel is applied at the time of treatment to add volume and help soften the look of the skin, making it appear smoother and more youthful. At the end of the session, your face will be slightly red and tingly, as the Hyaluronic acid gel that was applied absorbs into your skin. With the effective nature of the treatment, coupled with the minimal downtime, this has fast become one of our most popular treatment options for a variety of skin conditions. Treatment results are gradual as the injury to the skin is very superficial in nature. A full course of treatment involves monthly sessions for at least four to six months. Most patients continue on with monthly maintenance treatments past six months once they’ve achieved their desired results. Micro-needling can offer skin rejuvenation levels from the simple enhancement of product absorption to the clinical treatment of scars, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.
At Premier Plastic Surgery Center of New Jersey, we take all factors into consideration to develop a treatment plan which is customized to each particular patient’s skin. Schedule a consultation to learn more about your skin resurfacing options today.