How to turn back the clock
As we age our skin undergoes a number of changes affecting its texture, volume, and general appearance. Fortunately, the pharmaceutical and laser industries have been working with dermatologists to create effective anti-ageing treatments.
Recent technological breakthroughs, such as Allergan’s dermal fillers, mean that we are now able to create a fuller, more youthful overall appearance instead of only targeting wrinkles or fine lines. In addition, facial rejuvenation with CO2 lasers are now more targeted, resulting in quicker results and less downtime for improving the quality of skin while also tightening the skin.
Dermal fillers have been introduced to combat lines and wrinkles and, more recently, to provide volume for greater definition. At Skin Medical, we only use products that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for facial rejuvenation as this ensures patient safety. The new fillers which create facial plumpness are becoming extremely popular as their effects can last for over twelve months. Most facial volume loss occurs after age 40, although some people start noticing this change in their late 30s. When this happens areas of the face that were once full get depressed making the face look older.
New laser technologies offer another alternative to rejuvenate the skin with fewer side effects than earlier lasers. The micro-fractional CO2 laser is a newer technology that works by targeting a very small percentage of the skin during each treatment, improving the damaged area and resulting in less adverse effects and downtime than is the case for older machines.
Botulinum toxin muscle relaxant injectables are the most widely used procedures to rejuvenate the skin to reduce lines and wrinkles in the upper face as these are controlled by facial muscles. At Skin Medical our staff are also trained in the prescription and administration of injectables to tackle unusual areas such as ‘bunny lines’ on the nose, ‘brow shaping’, and masseter hypertrophy for reshaping the jawline and preventing teeth grinding.
Sculptra® is not a filler, but a simulator that helps the body to generate its own collagen to gradually and subtly reduce lines, wrinkles and folds. By helping to replenish your own facial collagen and restore lost volume it can give you a fuller, more natural look that can last for up to 25 months. The product has been FDA approved for cosmetic skin rejuvenation. The same component has been used in surgical operations for over 25 years, hence is a trusted, reliable and safe product used in the repair of scars and facial contour defects.
As an anti-ageing treatment, Sculptra can be used mainly in the cheeks, temples, deep folds from nose to corner of mouth and to firm up jaw lines.
Future technologies to watch
An area of research for its potential anti-ageing properties is stem cell technology. Since fat cells contain adult stem cells, their use for facial rejuvenation is being explored. The idea is that if stem cells from fat can be signalled to turn into skin structure, they could potentially make a person look younger by adding volume to depressed facial areas. Whilst this is an exciting area of research, the efficacy and safety of this technology has not been tested in large clinical studies and until this is performed such products will not be available commercially.
Anti Ageing – Areas of face that show signs of ageing:
To understand the ageing process and to decide on how best to combat the signs, it is useful to identify where the ageing effects occur as these features will be unique to individual patients hence the proposed solution will be unique to every patient.
At time of consultation, patients are encouraged to explain to the clinician what areas of their face are giving them concerns and will be asked what their desired outcome is. Our clinician will then be able to advise a treatment plan and illustrate the expected outcome. Listed below are the sections of the face that can be causing patients concerns.
- Forehead lines
- Frown lines
- Crow’s feet around eyes
- Cheek Definition for loss of volume
- Brow Shaping
- Temple narrowing and hollowing
- Nasolabial folds
- Bunny lines on nose
- Eye circles
- Mouth frown
- Marionette lines
- Jaw line sagging
- Lip wrinkles
- Lip definition and volume loss
- Chin creases
- Skin Texture losing its smoothness
Anti Ageing Treatments – Options and Solutions
- Muscle Relaxant Injections for upper face lines and wrinkles
- Sculptra collagen simulator for gradual, subtle and long lasting contouring
- Dermal fillers for instant facial contouring to create cheek definition, and reduce folds and wrinkles
- Fractional CO2 Laser for skin resurfacing, promoting clearer, more youthful looking skin.
- Skin products that are clinically proven to be effective that are not available over the counter from high street stores as they need to be recommended, and in some cases prescribed, by trained a practitioner that can match select products for an individual’s skin condition.
At Skin Medical we know that patients have a wide choice as to who they choose to provide their treatment and have complied a check list as an aid in their selection of practitioner and clinic to ensure that they receive the optimum result and experience.
- Qualifications: Ensure that you select a practitioner who is legally qualified to prescribe, i.e. can legally order medicines for the treatments that you require. It is illegal for anyone to obtain licensed medicines without them being prescribed by either member of GMC, GDC or Nurse Prescriber.
- Training: To become a proficient injectable practitioner it is not sufficient to have a one day introductory course as a training standard. Ask for evidence of the practitioner’s advanced training courses and at which level they attended. Advanced practitioners will be able to advise on patient needs than those attended a one day introductory course.
- Experience: It is essential that your practitioner has a wealth of experience and an eye for knowing how to approach a given skin problem. It is important to know that the technique for applying an injectable varies depending upon the patient’s particular needs. The is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution.
- Location: The environment in which the treatment is performed should be in sterile conditions to avoid risk of infections as we are breaking the skin. The best way to ensure the minimum risk of infection is to ensure that the clinic of choice is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and that their unannounced inspection report is available online and scores highly on all aspects of care.
- Product: Ensure that your practitioner proposes and actually uses the best product available on the market: after all, this product is being injected into your face or body and you will need to have confidence of its safely record and durability. At Skin Medical we only use Botulinum Toxin manufactured by Allergan, which is FDA approved and regarded as the gold standard in Botox. For dermal fillers we only use Allegan’s Juvéderm range. Sculptra is the leading brand for injection of collagen simulate that we use. Always ask to see the box from which the product has been taken from before undergoing a treatment. At Skin Medical we ensure that we optimise patient’s safety by only using accredited products that are approved by the FDA. Patients should never sacrifice their safety for price.
- Technology: To obtain skin rejuvenation for skin texture, patients should ensure that their clinic of choice as invested most appropriate technology that obtains optimum results. At Skin Medical we have invested in the latest form of CO2 micro-fractional laser that resurfaces your skin with minimum of downtime. This is a one off procedure that is extremely successful in clearing pigmentation and smoothing lines/wrinkles, and stimulates the growth of patients own collagen for younger looking skin.
- Consultation: Arguably the most important and the first step in deciding to select a practitioner and clinic that is reputable and undertaken by clinicians. Consultations with sales persons or so called patient advisor/coordinates will not be impartial as they are remunerated on a commission basis. It is practitioners who are trained and experienced in each of these anti-ageing solutions and solution combinations that are best placed to provide advice on the preferred alternatives to patients.
- Patient Journey: To avoid the need for patients to undertake separate appointments and journeys to receive treatment it will be necessary to arrange a consultation with a qualified prescriber.