Skin aging is a complex process that results from the interplay of extrinsic (environmental and sun-related) and intrinsic factors (age, genetics).
The most commonly used aesthetic procedures are:
1. Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox, Dysport) injections for dynamic facial lines and wrinkles associated with expression and movement. Botox injections relax the muscles that cause dynamic lines and wrinkles, which allows for improvement of these lines with little to no downtime.
2. Soft tissue fillers (collagen, hyaluronic acid) to replace lost volume in the mid-face area to give more contour and a lifted look. Fillers can also be used to help volume loss around the lips and perioral area. Soft tissue fillers are a short-term solution, however some may last up to 6 months.
3. Chemical peels (glycolic, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acids) to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Chemical peels work on the outer layer of skin to promote exfoliation and resurfacing, as well as stimulating collagen production. The results from chemical peels typically last 1-4 weeks.
4. Laser resurfacing (carbon dioxide lasers, fractional photothermolysis), as well as micro-needling. Fractional photothermolysis uses a fractionated laser beam to target the epidermis and dermis. In these treatments, microscopic columns of tissue are treated one at a time, which allows for more precise targeting. Consequently, it is more effective in treating wrinkles than other skin resurfacing procedures and less traumatic on surrounding tissues, resulting in faster recovery. Micro-needling causes microscopic wounds in the skin. Once these wounds are healed, collagen and elastin fibers regenerate to plump up the skin and diminish wrinkles, facial scars and stretch marks.
5. Light energy treatments (Intense Pulsed Light, lasers). Intense Pulsed Light generates a broad spectrum of intense visible and invisible light energy in a fractionated pattern. This allows for customized application, based on specific skin conditions. Laser treatments can be used to improve the appearance of acne scars, wrinkles, redness and large pores.
6. Fat and cellular injections, also known as mesotherapy; Mesotherapy is a non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatment that involves the injection of various substances such as vitamins, minerals and plant extracts into the skin. However, this therapy is not FDA approved and has limited scientific evidence to support its safety and efficacy.
7. Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive mechanical treatment that uses tiny aluminum oxide crystals to remove the stratum corneum, the most superficial layer of skin. It stimulates collagen production and can be used for mild acne scars, uneven pigmentation, fine lines and large pores. Although microdermabrasion does not cause significant collagen damage, it does not affect the production of collagen within the dermis. The results of microdermabrasion last 2-4 weeks and 1-3 treatments are typically required for optimal improvement in the skin.