Anti aging treatments target some of the most unwelcome changes that happen to our faces and bodies as we get older – fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, uneven skin tone, spider veins and even sagging skin.
Facial treatments are the most common and nowadays you can get a non surgical face lift to tighten and lift the face without surgery as well as treatments to rejuvenate the surface of the skin and eliminate blemishes.
There are also many body treatments to improve the signs of aging on the neck, chest and leg area.
The range of options open to you if you are looking for an anti wrinkle treatment is enormous and likely to be confusing. This article gives you an introduction by describing the current range of non surgical treatments available to you as part of your anti aging strategy.
One word of warning – don't assume "non surgical" means pain free. Many anti aging skin treatments cause considerable pain or discomfort as a minimum and a lot of downtime. In particular "ablative" treatments use an agent (laser, chemical, nitrogen, abrasion) to damage the skins surface to the point that it falls off.
You may get the skin rejuvenation you want but are you prepared for the side effects?
There are ten most common types of anti aging treatment available:
- Laser skin resurfacing – damage is done to the skins top layer (ablative) and rejuvenated skin grows back through the natural processes of healing (Erbium lasers and CO2 lasers). Laser skin resurfacing is effective on medium to deep wrinkling, scarring and sun damaged skin on hands and face. As an ablative approach requires considerable downtime with the discomfort that brings.
- Laser skin tightening and skin rejuvenation - non-ablative infrared systems to promote collagen, tighten skin and improve blemishes (CoolTouch, IPL, NdYAG and Q-switching lasers). Laser skin treatment is very effective in treating broken capillaries and facial veins and for relieving the flushing and redness associated with Rosacea. Q-switching lasers are very effective at treating age spots. Systems like CoolTouch and others also deliver mild to moderate skin tightening and lifting effects when used over time.
- LED light therapy using Light Emitting Diodes for gentle non-ablative skin rejuvenation and collagen stimulation over time. Positive effects of LED light therapy are well supported in medical research. LED skin treatment works best on fine wrinkles and for improving skin tone and clarity.
- Skin tightening and resculpting using radiofrequency (microwave) technology for the face and body (Thermage, ThermaCool, Polaris, Refirme). Non-ablative treatment but not without its problems. Manufacturers claim to deliver skin lifting treatments without surgery. Polaris and Refirme are facial treatments – ThermaCool can be used for body resculpting.
- Chemical peel – using acids of varying strengths to resurface the skin and stimulate new skin growth (TCA and Phenol peels). TCA is for medium peels effective on fine lines and uneven skin tone. Phenol peel is a deep peel and is an ablative treatment which takes off the top layer of skin. Phenol peels are more effective on deep wrinkles and advanced signs of aging. A chemical peel requires considerable recovery time and medium to high discomfort.
- Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion – using deep exfoliating as a skin resurfacing technique. Dermabrasion sands off the skin and is an ablative treatment requiring considerable downtime. Dermabrasion is losing ground to other skin resurfacing techniques like the Erbium and CO2 lasers. Microdermabrasion is much more mild – a non-ablative treatment that uses tiny crystals to buff and rejuvenate. Ineffective on deeper wrinkles. Best when used with an active anti aging moisturizer or use a concentrated retinol cream for the same results.
- Dermal fillers to plump out facial wrinkles and add bulk where volume has collapsed.
- Wrinkle relaxing injections (Botox, Dysport) – one of the most well known wrinkle treatments of all time. Most of us know how botox works but be aware that botox injections are effective on motion lines only and best results are obtained by an expert doctor combining Botox with dermal fillers. Beware of overly diluted Botox injections which may appear cheap and be ineffective. Some adverse effects are being noted by long term users of botox – compensatory wrinkling (bunny lines) and permanently weakened facial muscles are two.
Pretty Picks for Anti Aging