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There comes a day for each of us when, seemingly overnight, we realize that our skin is showing signs of aging. If your drugstore anti-aging creams just aren’t cutting it anymore, then it may be time to investigate a more impactful cosmetic anti-aging treatment. This month, we sat down with Dr. Lilly Zhu to learn about some of the incredible anti-aging procedures that Brentwood Dermatology offers.
Botulinum toxin type A, a neuromodulator, has been a popular cosmetic anti-aging treatment for decades. Common brands are Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin®, and Jeuveau®. Each product uses botulinum toxin type A, but they vary slightly in how quickly they take effect and how long they last. Brentwood Dermatology currently offers Botox®.
Neuromodulators work by relaxing muscles so that wrinkles produced by repeated contractions will smooth out over time. Popular treatment areas are the glabellar lines (commonly called the “11s”), forehead lines, and crow’s feet.
The amount of product that each person needs will vary. According to Dr. Zhu, men may need a bit more product because “they have strong, burly muscles” in their faces. Most people will begin to see smoothing within seven days of the treatment. Each person metabolizes neuromodulators differently, but the results typically last for three to four months.
Patients do not need to prep their skin prior to their visit. The appointment is pretty quick and very well tolerated by patients. When you leave the office, it may appear as if you have a few small bug bites at the injection sites. You shouldn’t lie down or bend over much for the first 5 hours, but then you can resume all of your regular activities. Patients can even apply makeup the day following treatment.
Consult your dermatologist before using Botox® if you take blood thinners or any other medication.
Though dermal fillers are an injectable anti-aging treatment like neuromodulators, they work in an entirely different way. Rather than inhibit muscle movement to smooth wrinkles, dermal fillers add volume to areas of the face that have begun to fall downward or inward. Correct placement can reshape the face and smooth lines.
Fillers come in many varieties. Some are “hearty” and can last up to two years, while others are “softer” and last around nine months. Brentwood carries the hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers Juvederm® and Restylane®. HA is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies, and most people tolerate it very well. Hyaluronic acid fillers can be used to create very natural but impactful lifts.
The cheeks, lips, and nasolabial folds are great places to use dermal fillers. When placing lip filler, dermatologists at Brentwood aim to lift the lips up rather than out to create a very natural, full lip shape.
Patients do not need to prep their skin before the treatment. Your physician will numb your skin prior to the procedure to make you more comfortable. Following the injection, patients should not rub or massage the area. Most people experience some minor swelling at the injection sites, but it fades after a couple of days. Mild bruising is also common.
You will see your dermatologist 14 days after the injection to make sure that the final look is balanced. The dermatologists at Brentwood prefer to under-correct rather than over-correct, so it may be necessary to add a little more product to achieve your desired outcome.
Laser and Light Anti-Aging Treatments
Injectables are not the only effective cosmetic anti-aging treatments available. Brentwood Dermatology offers Fraxel® Repair laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments.
The Fraxel® Repair is a CO2 ablative laser, meaning that it creates millions of small columns of injury that then stimulate the body to rebuild healthy skin. If you have brown spots, sunspots, or fine lines, this laser anti-aging treatment can give impressive results with just one treatment. While the results are dramatic, there is downtime associated with laser treatments. Most patients need to take several days off of work as their skin heals. If you’re not able to step away from your job for a few days, then this may not be the correct treatment for you.
There is a high risk of hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the affected skin, for people with darker skin tones, so ablative laser treatments are suitable only for people with lighter-toned skin. Your dermatologist may recommend using hydroquinone to minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation. As you heal from the Fraxel® treatment, you must take special care to protect your skin from sun exposure.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL is a treatment that uses bursts of light to eliminate small facial blood vessels and brown spots. Many people develop bursts of blood vessels on their faces, especially their noses, as they age. Some people are naturally predisposed to small facial vessels, and others get them from sun exposure.
The IPL machine directs light at the skin. The light is absorbed by blood vessels more than the surrounding tissue. The bursts of light damage the blood vessel, and as the body heals, it sweeps away the destroyed vessels.
One tried-and-true anti-aging treatment is a superficial chemical peel. Like the Fraxel laser, glycolic acid chemical peels attack fine lines and age spots, but they do so much more gradually. Patients who don’t want an aggressive treatment like the Fraxel may find a series of chemical peels to be a better option.
A chemical peel will reduce wrinkles, dark spots, and even melasma. Your dermatologist may start you on a regimen of either a topical retinoid or a light acid to prepare your skin for the peel. You can expect your skin to peel for three to five days after the procedure, but you do not need to take time off of work to heal. Your skin may be a little pink, but you can wear makeup the day following the treatment.
Most patients do a sequence of monthly peels for three to six months until they achieve their desired outcome. After that, patients can schedule less frequent maintenance peels as they find necessary.
If you want fresh, bright, youthful skin without an injection or ablative treatment, using a topical retinoid might be the right option for you. Retinoids are the backbone of an anti-aging skincare routine. They are fantastic because they help even skin tone, reduce fine lines, and give the skin a beautiful glow.
Another exceptional product is azelaic acid, which is beneficial for treating rosacea, acne, and melasma. Whatever anti-aging path you choose, beautiful skin always starts with daily skincare. Brentwood carries Epionce products, which is a natural skincare line that offers products for every skin type. Dr. Zhu recommends that patients start with a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
Where Should You Start?
Determining the best course of treatment for your skin can be complicated. Schedule a consultation with one of the dermatologists at Brentwood today. We’ll begin by discussing your skin concerns, as well as what downtime you can manage. Different skin concerns are addressed differently, and we have several treatments that can fit into any busy schedule. If you’re ready to start smoothing your skin and restoring your youthfulness, get in touch with Brentwood Dermatology today.
Learn More About Brentwood Dermatology.
The trusted physicians at Brentwood Dermatology can assist you with all of your general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology needs. If you would like to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (615) 377-3448.