What is the aging process?
One of the many problems that might arise due to the natural aging process is the skin losing its elasticity. It is one of the detriments of growing old that aided by gravity, the skin loses its elasticity and is prone to sagging in the areas in and around the face and neck.
What causes skin sagging / jowling?
Though age is the main factor, there are many additional factors these days that cause the skin to sag.
- Excessive sun exposure – The harmful radiations from the sun, getting in through the ozone layer with their ultraviolet radiations cause a lot of harm to skin.
- Smoking – Smoking and the effects it has on the bloodstream are directly related to skin sagging, accelerating the effects of aging manifold
- Pollution – Overall surface pollution including those in the air around us causes problems in the skin.
What is the treatment recommended?
Many cosmetic treatments for skin tightening are being used nowadays. There are both surgical and non surgical means to effectively reduce the progression of laxity in the skin and return it to a more toned, lifted and youthful appearance.
Non Surgical approach to skin tightening
Though surgical procedures were the first cosmetic treatments to be used, non surgical procedures were also developed as the non invasive alternative for correcting minor defects on the skin. Non surgical skin tightening procedures have many benefits. They are non invasive and are performed with minimal discomfort with very little downtime. They can also be done for all skin types. But before opting for any non surgical skin tightening procedure, it must be noted that the results are not really as dramatic as those compared to other surgical contouring procedures. Non surgical procedures require multiple treatments for optimal results. The non surgical skin tightening procedures are not for high level contouring or removing masses of fat.
Skin tightening can be done using non surgical procedures if there is mild to moderate loose skin on the face, neck, arms or abdomen, of there is a residual loose skin after another surgery or if the patient is unwilling to go for an invasive surgical procedure.
Anti- aging creams containing peptides, and retinoids, Botulinum toxin for dynamic wrinkles, fillers for static wrinkles, threads for cheek or neck lift, and Lasers are being increasingly favoured for skin tightening and are recommended by many dermatologists as one of the best non surgical treatment methods for skin tightening. Generally, it is a permutation combination of the above that is needed for desired results.
How does laser treatment work?
Laser skin tightening uses a minimally invasive non surgical process. An infrared light source, a radiofrequency generator or a laser is used to heat the collagen under the skin’s surface making the skin contract (tighten). The laser is specifically trained so as to not harm any unnecessary tissues but only the underlying tissues it targets.
The laser targets the collagen because the body’s healing mechanism helps in regenerating it, producing the youthful effect.
How effective is it?
High intensity ultrasound or radiofrequency, or fractional non ablative lasers when used for this procedure cause gradual tightening of the skin. Some benefits may be visible immediately after the procedure though. There is also no downtime. In two or three sittings, the optimal level of skin tightness is achieved. As the months go by, additional skin tightening will also occur. The fractional carbon dioxide laser, if used will have a few days downtime after which the skin gets back to normal and the skin also looks rejuvenated. This procedure also is an approved method for reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
What is the procedure?
Laser treatments are done with some amount of preparation.
- The skin is cleaned of all sorts of makeup, including basic creams, oils and sunscreens.
- A topical anaesthetic cream is applied and the patient is given protective eyewear.
- If the patient has a low tolerance for pain, they may consider taking normal painkillers before the session but these will not be necessary.
- A cosmetic dermatologist uses a hand piece and applies brief pulses of laser energy into the skin.
- The heat from the lasers are matched and made cool by a continuous burst of cool air, ensuring that there is no pain.
- Over a time span of 30 minutes (or higher depending upon the area being treated), the dermatologist goes over the area treated about three times.
Learn more about lasers in skin tightening here! http://skindoctorindia.com/procedures-and-treatments/lasers/skin-tightening/
The after effects
The laser skin tightening treatment is basically a simple non surgical procedure and is not painful. Anaesthetic is applied as an extra precautionary measure. The skin might encounter a warm redness, minor swelling and a blushed feel for a few hours after treatment. But the actual downtime is next to nothing as the patients can return to their regular activities immediately after.
The laser skin tightening method is good for men and women of all skin types, and is best suited for people in the age range of 30 -60. The patients must be in good health for the treatment to be most effective.
Is it a safe procedure?
If done by a qualified and experienced dermatologist, one need not worry as it is a safe and effective procedure.
Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a certified dermatologist, trichologist who has been practicing medical and cosmetic dermatology in Mumbai, India. She is the co founder of The Esthetic Clinic, from Mumbai, India. She has excellent experience with many candid, appreciative testimonials to her credit, from patients who have experienced the benefits of her cosmetic treatments.