The advances in anti-aging technology are moving at a very fast pace these days. This is great news for patients, as there are now more options than ever for skin rejuvenation — many of which require very little downtime or discomfort. However, the number of options can be confusing, as many treatments have similar but different effects, and may or may not suit each patient. So what are the different types of anti-aging technologies, and how do you choose the procedure that’s right for you?
Energy Types & Popular Treatments
While there are many different branded treatments available today, most of these procedures use variations on or combinations of a few different types of energy to refresh the skin. Here are some of the common energy types used in cosmetic dermatology:
A classic type of skin treatment, laser energy uses focused light to heat deep layers of skin. There are various intensities and types of lasers used for skin rejuvenation, and these can give anywhere from mild results to dramatic anti-aging results that make the patient look years younger in some cases. Downtime is based on the intensity of the treatment. Lasers can be used to treat problems like sun damage, poor texture, pigmentations issues, and wrinkles.
Ultrasound energy isn’t just useful for medical purposes, it can also be used to help tighten sagging skin or reduce unwanted fat. Concentrated ultrasonic energy is a minimally-invasive method for dramatically lifting and tightening skin using the body’s natural anti-aging processes. The energy can also be used in a treatment called Ultrashape Power® to target specific fat cells that have been 3D mapped. Once these cells have been targeted, they will implode and die. This helps other cells in the area to collapse as well, resulting in fat loss over time.
Radiofrequency energy is another method for targeting the deep layers of skin and triggering positive anti-aging and rejuvenation processes in the skin, which improve overall skin condition. eMatrix™ is a type of radiofrequency treatment, and it directs the energy into the skin in matrix form, and encourages the skin to regenerate. The surface of the skin is not damaged by this process.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL treatments are different from laser treatments in that they use a different form of light to improve the skin. Broadband light reaches both the superficial and deep layers of skin, while causing very little harm to the skin’s surface. These treatments are used for issues like rosacea treatment, blood vessels, pigmentation, and overall skin tone.
Some treatments use a combination of energy types to achieve the desired results for patients. For example, Sublime™, a popular rejuvenation treatment, utilizes both radiofrequency energy and light to target deep skin tissues. In addition to combination treatments, some patients find their goals are best met with more than one type of treatment or procedure.
What Do Skin Treatments Accomplish?
While each treatment has slightly different results, many of the procedures initiate similar processes in the body, the main one being collagen formation. Collagen is a connective protein that forms much of the structure of the skin, lending it a firm and youthful appearance. As we age, collagen production slows down and existing collagen becomes less plentiful. This makes skin start to sag and wrinkles begin to appear. Many anti-aging technologies are intended to stimulate responses in the skin which increase the rate of collagen production. Other treatments also “peel” the skin to renew the cells and increase overall skin quality. For specifics on the effects of each treatment, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable professional, such as a cosmetic dermatologist.
Choosing Your Treatment
Because everyone’s skin is different and rates of aging can be quite variable depending on lifestyle and genetics, it can be difficult to figure out which anti-aging treatment is best for your needs. Only a board certified cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon can give you specific advice, tailored to your skin and your goals. Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations if you’re not sure what you want.
Talk to an Expert
If you’re ready to move forward with skin rejuvenation, then it’s time to find a skilled provider who can help you through the process of cosmetic skin treatments. Do your research before choosing a doctor, and never settle for care from a doctor who does not make you feel comfortable.
If you’re looking for a knowledgeable dermatologist in the Miami area, Dr. Diane Walder is an acclaimed and respected specialist in cosmetic dermatology, offering patients a wide range of options for skin rejuvenation. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Walder or her colleague Dr. Stacy Chimento, call 305-866-2177 today.