The New Year is just around the corner. It brings with it the opportunity to start anew and put your best face forward. There are many exciting and new technologies in the field of dermatology that can help freshen up your skin and overall appearance. These new methods are as diverse as the skin conditions and types they treat, ranging from serums to laser technology, each specifically designed to provide your skin with a healthy appearance and that extra glow. Costs and healing time for each procedure vary depending on the individual patient.
Dr. Lawrence Samuels, Chief of Dermatology at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri and founder of the skin care product line Rx Systems PF, outlines some of the major advantages and disadvantages of several of the latest treatments in dermatology, including those currently available as well as those sure to be buzz-worthy in 2012.
“The antioxidant serum allows L-ascorbic acid delivery into the skin and provides photoprotection against both UVB and UVA phototoxicity by a mechanism that is clearly not a sunscreen, but is effective in neutralizing free radicals created by UV damage, as well as cigarette smoking and environmental pollutants,” explains Dr. Samuels. “If antioxidants could be delivered in high concentration through the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin) into the skin, then the antioxidant, protective reservoir could be increased and photoprotection and skin cell repair would be enhanced. More importantly, skin cell rejuvenation and collagen synthesis are increased. (These serums) enhance the skin’s natural antioxidant activity.”
Pros: Reasonable cost, definite results with appropriate concentration of non-oxidized L-ascorbic acid, can be used nightly by all skin types.
Cons: Product does not have an unlimited shelf life. Product contains a highly volatile molecule that will oxidize over time.
Radio Frequency and Ultrasonic Frequency Platforms for Skin Tightening
“The Matrix Radio Frequency places sixty-one tiny beams of heat into the skin with each pulse which induces a skin injury over the region of the matrix spots with an accelerated healing process supported by the non-affected tissue surrounding the matrix spots. This way, the treatment can produce much improved color and texture of the skin with significantly less recovery time than traditional C02 full ablative laser resurfacing,” says Dr. Samuels. “Post-treatment, patients will notice increased levels of beneficial collagen and new healthy skin cells. Mild to moderate wrinkles and superficial skin discolorations are reduced and the texture of the skin becomes smoother and more elastic.”
Related: Should I ALWAYS Moisturize My Face?
Pros: Can be performed with very little or no anesthesia, minimal downtime, definite results in skin firming.
Cons: Generally, requires more than one treatment, some have peeling in the first few days after the treatment, somewhat costly.
Fractional laser resurfacing (Fraxel laser, Pixel laser, and others)
“This technology is used to improve overall skin color, tone and texture. Unlike standard lasers, fractional lasers affect only a small portion of the total surface of treated skin with any one treatment. Only 15% to 25% of the skin within the treatment area is actually struck by laser light,” explains Dr. Samuels. “Fractional lasers may be used for skin rejuvenation/resurfacing to remove fine lines and wrinkles and to lessen signs of sun-damaged skin. It may also be used to lessen the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation (areas of darker pigment or brown patches in the skin), such as age spots, or melasma. Patients require between four to six treatments to attain desired results. Treatments are performed no more often than once every 7 - 10 days, but in most cases they are done 4 - 6 weeks apart.”
Dr. Samuels describes a typical treatment utilizing this technology in greater detail. “After arriving for the procedure, a topical anesthetic gel is applied to the treatment area and allowed to sit for an hour. After the topical anesthesia has had time to work, a blue dye is applied to the treatment area. More anesthetic gel is then applied and the laser treatment is performed.”
“Multiple treatment sessions are required with fractional resurfacing to obtain optimal results,” says Dr. Samuels. “According to the manufacturers of the Fraxel™ machine, clinical studies suggest that in general 3 - 5 treatments spaced about 5 - 7 days apart produce a gradual remodeling of the skin, until complete healing occurs; when old tissue is replaced with fresh collagen and elastin filled tissue. The number of treatment sessions required depends upon the individual patient and the condition of their skin.”
Pros: Some clients require some type of topical anesthesia, definite results with skin lightening and skin tightening.
Cons: More costly, requires more than one treatment, short downtime due to redness and peeling.
More from GalTime: