Anti-Aging Pearls: 30 Years In 30 Minutes (Look younger)
One of the biggest questions Dermatologists get in our practice is “How can I look younger?” In our society, people are living longer, healthier lives; working longer, and finding partners later in life. Some patients ask for reversal of damage that is already done, and some ask to just “freeze time,” and not let any more damage accrue.
In either case, to look younger, there are several treatments for the face and body that can be done to address specific needs and concerns, and these treatments range in invasiveness and complexity from topical creams to significant surgical interventions. Many patients that I see are happy with creams and minimally invasive procedures, but one of my biggest jobs is to set realistic expectations. Minimally invasive procedures will not give the same results as significant surgical interventions, but the trade-off is lack of downtime, less financial burden, and subtlety of results. Shaving off 5 years is much easier, and much more realistic, than shaving off 30.
The first question to answer when dealing with facial anti-aging procedures is “How does our skin age?” There are four general categories of facial aging: textural changes, pigment changes, volume loss, and wrinkles. (Look younger)
Textural changes, such as bumps (sebaceous hyperplasia, milia cysts, and dilated pores) can cause a dull complexion, as can dryness, flaking, and loss of tone due to collagen and elastin breakdown. Aged skin also has a longer healing time and bruises much more easily, due to the double whammy of loss of collagen and elastin in both the skin and superficial blood vessels.
Pigment changes occur most commonly from repeated sun exposure without appropriate sunblock. We receive 75% of our sun exposure before age 18, but this damage takes a few decades to show up on our skin. Tanning salon use gives us a short-term glow, for a few years, but after a decade or two, the damage starts to show. Sunspots (sometimes called “age spots” and “liver spots”) are actually permanent freckles that occur with years of sun exposure on the face, chest, hands, and arms. Often sun damage is worse on the left side of the body (left face, neck, chest, arm, and hand) due to years of driving.
Volume loss occurs most commonly in the lower half of the face, and can manifest as a droopy jawline (“jowls”) or sagging skin around the mouth. Volume loss can also occur in the temples and around the eyes, due to loss of the orbital fat pads and deepening of the nasojugal groove.
Wrinkles occur when repeated muscle movement causes the skin memory to hold on to the expression. This is most commonly seen around the forehead (expression lines) eyes (“crows’ feet”) and mouth (“smoker’s lines”). Static wrinkles are present at rest, while dynamic wrinkles only appear with the expression. (To Look Younger)
The good news is that each of these concerns can be addressed with a variety of minimally invasive procedures. Textural change can be improved with topical vitamin A and vitamin C derivatives, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and dermabrasion, and microneedling.
Pigment changes can be improved by topical zinc oxide sunblocks, vitamin A and vitamin C derivatives, and natural lighteners such as kojic acid, niacinamide, arbutin, and licorice extract.
Volume loss can be improved by radiofrequency (a noninvasive modality that improves collagen turnover and deposition) and dermal fillers. There are nonpermanent, semi-permanent, and permanent solutions to volume loss, and each should be explored before deciding on one.
Finally, static wrinkles can be improved by microneedling and chemical peels, and dynamic wrinkles are best treated with neurotoxins.
In my practice I have found that many people think that if any of these procedures are undertaken, they must be repeated for life. This is not always the case; someone may do very well with a few treatments and then maintain the improvement with topical creams. Skin care, and health care in general, must be looked at on a case by case basis, and depending on each person’s specific needs and concerns, a treatment plan can be put together that is appropriate and will give the patient a natural, comfortable result.
Cheryl Bansal, M.D FAAD is the founder of Medical and Aesthetic Dermatology, opened in 2011. She is a board certified dermatologist in Columbia, MD.
Dr. Bansal offers medical services such as annual full body skin cancer screenings, skin cancer excisions, Photodynamic Therapy, Narrow Band UVB Light therapy and acne treatment. She also provides cosmetic procedures such as Botox/Dysport, fillers, microdermabrasion, skin tightening and cellulite reduction. From medical to cosmetic procedures, Dr. Bansal takes the time to make sure your experience with our office is one of satisfaction and education. It is Dr. Bansal’s mission that you leave our office feeling confident and pleased with your individual care plan.
Dr. Bansal’s practice includes three Physician Assistants under her leadership, as well as a fully trained staff to help with all of your needs. Dr. Bansal lives in Ellicott City with her husband and two children.
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