Something to Make Your Holidays
a Bit More Cheery
As one gets older, our face and body tend to tell our stories. I think for most of us, we can agree that we do not feel the age we see in the mirror. With fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, potential scars and melasma that can appear on our face, we start looking to a better skincare regimen, treatments and procedures that help us have a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Particularly around the holiday season we want to look our best for holiday events and family gatherings.
The challenge is that with the myriad of technologies available it can be difficult to navigate what choice is best to achieve results that are specific to your individual goals. Even medical professionals may not be able to explain the difference between treatment options particularly those employing similar technologies.
In this article we will explain how to make an informed decision for non-surgical skin rejuvenation based on your goals. There are a few primary goals and considerations most patients want to address.
Lines and wrinkles
Fractional CO2 Laser
The CO2 laser has been the gold standard for laser resurfacing for the past 50 years. Unfortunately, the extensive downtime and skin tone restrictions made it inaccessible for many people.
The Fractional CO2 utilizes the same technology as its predecessor to dramatically transform the skin and in a fraction of the healing time. By treating smaller portions of the skin, like pixels in a picture, and leaving surrounding tissue intact, the skin repairs itself faster and with less inflammation. It does this by “scattering” the energy in the light beam at a high rate that can be focused and get deeper into the skin. This improves tone and texture, reduces hyperpigmentation, fine lines, pore size and can be done anywhere on the body!
Dynamic Variable Depth RF (DVDRF)
aka: Microneedling with Radio Frequency
Say it slowly ‘cause it’s a mouthful, Dynamic Variable Depth Radio Frequency!
Sounds like something out of Star Trek right? Fortunately for us it is here today, and it is an award winning, breakthrough treatment offering great results with no-surgery, little to no downtime, and very little discomfort.
In the last decade, there has been progressive innovation in non-surgical treatments to improve skin tone, quality, texture and rejuvenate the skin’s appearance. There is always a balancing act between effectiveness, downtime, and patient discomfort.
Generally, the more downtime, the more effective the treatment but also, the more downtime, the more discomfort. DVDRF technology bridges a gap between these three aspects of aesthetic treatments offering little downtime, little discomfort, and a great result.
Our General Manager, Chris, recently had a treatment and was thrilled with the experience. “Being in aesthetics for the last 20 years I have seen and had many different treatments. I was amazed that the DVDRF was completely comfortable and produced a great response in my skin. My skin was a little red after the treatment, but I resumed normal activities immediately and my skin felt tighter and smoother within days. I’ve not seen this combination of no downtime, no discomfort, and an immediate tightening of the skin in any other treatment."
DVDRF uses tiny needles, less than 2mm, to deliver multi polar radio frequency energy and Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields to produce uniform heating in the skin’s surface. This heating stimulates the skin to produce collagen and elastin fibers, resulting in smoother, firmer skin that looks noticeably more youthful.
The treatment is really a combination of microneedling and radio frequency skin rejuvenation. Combining technologies has proven to create a more effective treatment and as such we have added not only DVDRF to our portfolio but also are combining this with IPL treatment to address not only skin texture and tightness but also reduce pigmentation and redness in the skin.
“Our ability to improve skin quality, tone, and texture is continually improving with innovative new treatments. DVDRF technology represents an outstanding improvement in what we are able to accomplish without discomfort and little to no downtime.” Founder Dr. Richard Gangnes
Clear and Brilliant
Clear and brilliant combines two lasers into one treatment for amazing results with little to no downtime or discomfort. Clear and Brilliant works by creating hundreds of thousands of microscopic treatment zones in the skin. When the two lasers are combined they stimulate skin regeneration, replace damaged skin, and breakup pigmentation caused by sun damage. The Clear and Brilliant is performed in a series of 3-6 treatments to achieve the best outcome.
One of the most telling signs of age is looseness and sagging in the neck. Some may see similarities to one of our favorite Thanksgiving friends, the turkey. Whether laxity of the neck and jowls or definition of the jawline, no one wants the dreaded “gobbler effect” that gives one an aged or ‘heavy’ look.
If we look more closely at the aging neck, we can recognize particular features that directly affect our appearance. For instance, the jawline that once provided the distinct separation of our face from our neck, seen in our younger years, becomes blurred and the youthful definition of our jaw-line diminishes. Additionally, we may see the development of fullness in the area below our chin. These changes are especially evident from our side or profile view (an observation that may not be readily seen or realized by ourselves while looking in a mirror but often noticed in a photograph).
To regain a youthful neck contour, it is essential to correctly diagnose what anatomic structure(s) or layer(s) are causing the problem, which is to say that there is no single cookie cutter approach or treatment for the aging neck.
"The neck lift is the safe, consistent and effective aesthetic technique for removing sagging skin and excess fatty tissue in the neck, while at the same time refining the appearance of the jawline and neckline." - Dr. Brandon
Very commonly it is necessary to combine a Necklift with a Microlift to provide a more complete and harmonious rejuvenation of the jawline and neck. The Microlift is a unique and excellent treatment option for those patients with minimal to moderate laxity or sagging around the neck, cheeks, and jawline, often referred to as the jowls. Patients who fit into this category can often improve the appearance of these areas in the mirror by simply pushing the skin near their jaw and neck in a backward direction toward the ear. This action simulates a simple "tuck," which is easily achieved with the Microlift.
For individuals with only minimal laxity in the neck, the Thermage CPT treatment may be an excellent option. This non-surgical procedure provides dramatic tightening and lifting of the face and neck skin with no downtime. The treatment takes just 90 minutes and is a great option for a little "refresher". Most patients will see and feel noticeable results in the first 24-48 hours. Your treated area will continue to tighten for up to six months as your body forms new, tighter, stronger collagen and can last for a couple years.
For patients with neck “bands”, and with minimal to no skin laxity or fatty tissue, Botox is an excellent and popular treatment option. Since Botox works on muscles and because neck “bands” (sometimes called “cords”) are actually a muscle called the platysma (Pla-tis-ma), Botox is extremely effective. Botox will help temporarily relax and “elevate” the neck “bands” thereby diminishing their appearance. In contrast to Botox, there are many products advertised and marketed for neck bands that are not effective. Despite the claims made by these products that are often seen in stores, magazines, and talk shows, neck “bands” can not be eliminated by special neck exercises, shocked away by repetitive electrical pulses, or improved by night time straps or skin care products.
Many times patients will come in seeking neck rejuvenation by liposuction alone to remove excess fat from beneath the chin. There is no question that liposuction has a role in neck rejuvenation, but its role is often over emphasized and over done in many cases. To understand why this is so some knowledge of neck anatomy is important. It is easier to understand neck anatomy if you consider the neck in layers. First there is, of course, the outer skin layer. The skin layer covers a fatty tissue layer and this fatty tissue layer covers the platysma muscle layer (i.e., the layer causing the “bands”). Why is this important?
This is important because liposuction is done in this fatty tissue layer which covers the platysma muscle, and even modest removal of this fat can lead to greater exposure of neck bands that were once hidden by the fatty layer. Furthermore, liposuction does not treat neck bands; currently the only way to treat neck bands with any longevity is by a formal surgical neck lift.
"In Patients over the age of 35-40, the best necklift actually is a lower facelift as the two anatomic structures must be lifted in tandem to achieve the best aesthetic outcome." Dr. Brandon
On a final note, most fullness under the chin and lower neck is more often caused by a different, second fatty tissue layer that resides underneath the platysma muscle (“bands”) layer. It would be dangerous to remove this fat by any liposuction method without first beginning with a formal neck lift. By focusing treatment to the deeper fatty tissue layer underneath the platysma muscle, the neck contour can be rejuvenated without exposing the neck bands. Additionally, the platysma muscle (“bands”) can be simultaneously tightened and this can all be accomplished through a small camouflaged incision under the chin. Therefore, the neck lift is the safe, more consistent and in my opinion the most effective aesthetic technique for removing excess fatty tissue in the neck, while at the same time allowing for more definitive treatment of neck bands and the elimination of the excess skin, all features seen in most aging necks. The neck lift is the safe, consistent and effective aesthetic technique for removing excess fatty tissue in the neck, while at the same time refining the appearance of the jawline and neckline, all features seen in most aging necks.
The patient above is a representative example of surgical neck lift. She also had a microlift to help with restoring the appearance of her jowls and mid face. The fatty fullness aspect of her neck was located in the layer deep to the platysma as described above. This layer of fat would not have been addressed by liposuction, coolsculpting, kybella, or other non-surgical treatment options. Only surgical removal of her excess skin would get her this degree of natural looking skin tightening.
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