There are a variety of procedures and treatments that are commonly used for facial rejuvenation. These procedures are designed to lessen the appearance of facial lines, wrinkles and creases, producing a smoother more youthful skin. The procedures described below can often be used in combination to achieve the desired result. Photo galleries, in addition to 3D animation of these procedure can be found at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.
Restylane â is a natural, cosmetic filler, approved by the FDA, containing non-animal hyaluronic acid gel. Since there are no animal proteins, there is a low risk of allergic reactions and no pre-treatment skin testing is required.
Treatment is performed by injecting minute amounts of Restylane into the skin folds and wrinkles. A topical anesthetic can be used to minimize discomfort The procedure is short, lasting about fifteen minutes and the results are immediate. Prior to treatment patients should avoid taking aspirin, St. Johns Wort and high dose Vitamin E to minimize bleeding and bruising at the injection site.
The improvement following Restylane injections usually lasts six to twelve months, approximately twice as long as Collagen. The most common side effects are temporary redness and swelling at the injection site. These effects typically resolve in two to three days.
BOTOX® Cosmetic (Botulinum Toxin Type A) is an injection which diminishes the action of facial muscles. These facial muscles are responsible for producing creases and lines when they contract. By stopping the action of these muscles, facial lines and furrows are diminished. The most common sites for treatment are the frown lines at the top of the nose (glabellar lines), crows feet at the corner of the eyes, and forehead lines.
The injection is given during a short office procedure, usually lasting less than fifteen minutes. Patients can resume normal activities immediately after treatment. In most cases, the effects of the injection will be apparent in two to seven days. After a period of three to six months, the Botox effect gradually wears off and the facial creases will begin to reappear. At that time, patients can repeat the procedure if desired.
In addition, Botox treatments can be combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures, such as collagen injection and microdermabrasion to improve overall facial appearance.
Microdermabrasion is a technique for facial rejuvenation. With this technique, a fine spray of aluminum oxide crystals is used to gently remove superficial dead skin, layer by layer, until fresh new skin cells appear. The procedure can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, decrease pore size, remove age spots, lessen acne scarring and improve blemishes. In general, microdermabrasion produces fresher, smoother, more youthful-looking skin.
After the initial correction has been achieved, results can be maintained with follow-up treatments every one to two months, in addition to a home skin care regimen.
There are a variety of chemical agents that can cause coagulation and a sloughing of the top layer of skin. Once this top layer of skin is removed, the remaining skin will have a smoother fresher appearance, with diminution of fine lines. Depending upon the depth of the peel, pigmented "age spots" can also be removed with chemical peels.
There are a variety of peels used in the office including TriCholrAcetic Acid (TCA) and glycolic acid. These chemical peels are applied to the skin in a procedure that usually takes fifteen to thirty minutes. Top skin layers will then begin to separate from the deeper skin layer. This process usually begins immediately. This skin peeling will then continue over a period of several days to a week.
Depending upon the strength of the peel, the full recovery time will vary from several days to weeks. Once the skin has completely separated, a cover makeup and a sunscreen can be applied. The degree of correction of facial lines will depend upon the depth of the original lines and strength of the peel. Most patients continue using a hydroxy-acid moisturizer at home to prolong the effects of the office peel.
Some patients notice that with time, the facial wrinkles will begin to reappear. A deeper peel will give longer lasting results. For other patients, a lighter peel is chosen, with touch-up peels done every one to three months.
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