Details of Condition
The skin is the largest single organ in the human body — and like every other organ, it is susceptible to the passing of time and the rigors of daily life. Sun damage, wrinkles, blemishes and scars all age your appearance — no matter how vital you might feel.
Exposure to the sun may be the single greatest cause of aging skin. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption also contribute to wrinkles, blemishes and sagging skin. Even city living, with exposure to polluted air, can age the skin prematurely. Furthermore, collagen and elastin, the tissues that keep skin firm, generally become weaker with age, allowing gravity to take over and exert a downward pull.
For many years, wearing the hallmarks of aging skin was considered inevitable, even believed to endow “character.” However, recent clinical advances now make skin treatment more effective — and more affordable — than ever before, and can banish wrinkles, lines and sun-damage for a fresher, more youthful appearance without going under the knife or holing up for weeks of recovery.
Scope of the Problem
With active baby boomers hitting their 50s, and an increasing number of mature adults enjoying dynamic lifestyles well into their 70s and 80s, it’s not surprising that millions of people want to look as young as they feel. Now both men and women need look no farther than their doctor’s office for a multitude of cosmetic antidotes to aging skin.
Traditional Treatments & Limitations
Nearly all skin resurfacing techniques aim to accomplish the same basic task: removal of the damaged surface of the skin to improve sun and age-related imperfections. By ablating and vaporizing the top layer, undesired skin cells disappear and are replaced by new, fresh skin. The new skin surface is typically smoother and younger-looking in appearance.
Topical application of prescription drugs, most notably synthetic derivatives of Vitamin A (retinoids), is showing good results in improving sun-damaged and aging skin. Clinical studies of topical trentinoin formulations find them to be effective in diminishing fine wrinkles. However, most tretinoins are skin irritants, and often produce skin reactions. Also, any visible improvement may disappear once use of the drug is discontinued.
A New Solution
Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
Dermabrasion is a traditional skin clearing procedure that has been widely used in practice since the early 1980s. Sometimes called “surgical skin planing”, it involves the removal or sanding of the skin with a rotary abrasive instrument. The abrasive or planing action evens out the skin, and a new layer of fresh skin replaces the abraded skin. This procedure is usually reserved for extensive acne scarring and deep wrinkles. Due to its mechanical nature, healing and recovery are lengthy, with the treated area remaining red and flushed for an extended period of time.
More recently, a skin renewal treatment called microdermabrasion was introduced. It is particularly popular among younger individuals with mild skin damage seeking to preserve and maintain a youthful complexion. Essentially, microdermabrasion involves brushing the face with sterile micro-particles to abrade or rub off the very top skin layer, then vacuuming away the particles and derm-abraded skin. Experts believe the procedure works best to polish and soften fine lines and improve dull skin texture. In most cases, a minimum of 4 to 5 initial treatments, seven to 10 days apart, is necessary to achieve optimal results.
Another major advance in warding off the ravages of age was the advent of the chemical peel. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the top layer of skin, which causes it to separate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother, less wrinkled, and more even in color than the old skin. Peels are beneficial for minimizing fine lines and minor skin imperfections, and may be performed in either one, or a series of treatments.
At Skintastic, our knowledge of skin resurfacing is second to none, and we stay current on all the latest techniques.