There are many treatment options to reduce the signs of aging and keep you looking and feeling your best.
Wrinkles – Causes and Treatment Options
Wrinkles are a by-product of the aging process. With age, skin cells divide slower, and the inner layer of the skin, called the dermis, begins to thin. The network of elastin and collagen fibres, which support the outer layer, loosens and unravels, resulting in depressions on the surface. The scaffolding structure of the dermis that holds the collagen and elastin fibres deteriorates. With aging, skin loses its elasticity, becomes more fragile, and is less able to retain moisture. Further, oil-secreting glands are less efficient, making the skin drier and wrinkled.
Facial Muscle Contraction
Lines between the eyebrows (frown lines) and lines at the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet) develop because of underlying muscle contraction. Frowning, focusing, squinting, lip pursing, smiling and other habitual facial expressions cause these wrinkles to become more prominent. Over time, these expressions coupled with gravity contribute to the formation of cheek lines, marionette lines, jowls and drooping eyelids.
Excessive and unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun results in premature aging of the skin. This type of premature aging is called photoaging. The ultraviolet from the sun’s rays damage collagen and elastin fibres. Both of these fibers are important components of the skin’s connective tissue and without them, the skin loses its strength and flexibility, leading to wrinkles.
Healthy skin perpetually regenerates; however, it does so more slowly as we age. Researchers have found that smoking causes a marked reduction in the production of new collagen and a lack of new collagen results in the development of wrinkles.
What Are the Treatment Options for Anti-Aging?
Fortunately, there are many safe and effective treatment options available that can be used to improve skin wrinkles. At Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, we currently offer the following Wrinkle Reduction treatments:
Pelleve & Pellefirm is for patients who want smoother, younger-looking skin without surgery or injections. Art of SKIN Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery offers Pellevé RF Wrinkle Reduction treatments. Pellevé is proven to be a safe and effective wrinkle treatment. It uses radiofrequency (RF) waves to gently heat deep layers of the skin, encouraging the natural growth of new collagen over time. Your body continues to naturally grow new collagen up to 90 days after your treatment. Since Pellevé triggers your body’s natural reaction to rebuild collagen weeks after the procedure, a series of treatments will give you optimal results.
Pellevé treatments typically range from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the area treated. Pellevé is a comfortable, safe procedure that doesn’t have any downtime. Patients have reported that it feels similar to a relaxing hot stone massage. After the procedure, you might have slight redness caused by your skin’s elevated temperature during treatment, which will subside shortly afterwards. You can return to your normal day-to-day activities immediately after the procedure.
Unlike laser or CO2 resurfacing, there is no risk of sun exposure following treatment, and patients can return to normal activities immediately. “The Pellevé treatment is a great non-invasive, virtually painless way to revitalize the skin, and can be customized based on the patient’s needs, from a full face treatment to targeting smaller areas, such as crow’s feet,” stated Dr. Paul Lubitz. We usually recommend 3 – 5 treatments about four weeks apart to boost the collagen rebuilding process. For optimal results, work with your provider to develop a treatment plan designed specifically for you.
Laser skin resurfacing with a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is a popular method that effectively reduces wrinkles and rejuvenates the skin. CO2 resurfacing has been used for skin rejuvenation since the late 1980s and remains the gold standard for long-term, dramatic improvement of:
- Skin wrinkles
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Textural skin irregularities associated with age, genetics or sun damage
- Large pores
- Severe sun damage
Developments in this area have been some of the most innovative and exciting advances in cosmetic surgery in the last 15 years. New CO2 laser skin resurfacing technologies have made this technology safer, more effective, and less invasive with less downtime. There are also fewer risks of adverse side effects for the patient. Laser Skin Resurfacing can treat isolated areas, such as fine or deep wrinkles around the mouth and eyes or lines, wrinkles, textural changes and dilated pores affecting the entire face. It is the most effective treatment for rejuvenating sun-damaged and aged skin.
Ablative CO2 Laser Resurfacing
At Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, we use the Cynosure SmartSkin CO2 laser, the most advanced micro-ablative and fully ablative laser skin resurfacing system. This technology allows us to customize a treatment to match your specific needs regarding your objectives, area(s) of concern, skin type, and schedule. Cynosure SmartSkin CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment can leave you with a more even skin tone, smoother skin texture, and noticeably reduced wrinkles, with results that may last a decade or more. The amount of downtime associated with laser skin resurfacing varies depending on the degree of ablation. To determine whether laser skin resurfacing with a CO2 laser is a good option for you, we would happily offer you a complimentary consultation.
Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing
What is Fractional Laser Resurfacing?
The Cynosure SmartSkin CO2 laser is a fractional laser device. While fully ablative or micro-ablative laser treatments work to remove either the entire superficial and deeper skin layers (epidermis and dermis) or only the superficial skin cells (epidermis), fractional laser treatments work on both the surface and deep layers of the skin, often going even deeper into the dermis without removing all of the skin.
How Does Fractional Laser Resurfacing Work?
Fractional laser treatment delivers a laser beam divided into thousands of microthermal treatment zones (MTZ) that target a fraction of the skin at one time, hence the name “fractional” laser. Within each microthermal treatment zone, the laser destroys old, damaged cells and stimulates the remodelling of old collagen and the production of new collagen. Fractional laser treatment provides intensive treatment within a small area, leaving surrounding tissue unaffected.
Why Get Fractional Laser Treatment?
Fractional laser treatment can effectively treat both superficial and deep facial lines, wrinkles, and sun-damaged skin. Most of our patients who get resurfacing today will have at least some component of their treatment completed with fractional technology. This is due to the increased penetration made possible with fractional technology, the decreased downtime, and the overall increased safety profile of this newer technology. Similar to fully ablative and micro-ablative CO2 resurfacing, treatments with fractional devices can be precisely tailored to the objectives of the patient and the degree of damage to the tissue. Consequently, individual treatments can be less or more aggressive. Fractional CO2 laser may require several treatments, depending on your goals and how aggressive the treatment. As healing occurs, damaged tissue is replaced with new collagen and healthy new skin cell growth over time. Although results progress more slowly, most patients tolerate fractional laser treatment well, requiring less downtime than is usually associated with fully ablative CO2 laser resurfacing.
What is a Micro Peel/Micro-Laser Peel?
A micro-peel is a light or mild fractional carbon dioxide (CO2) resurfacing treatment with benefits similar to a mild to mid-depth chemical peel. The treatment allows for rapid healing and less downtime post-procedure. Usually, more than one treatment will be necessary to achieve more dramatic and long-lasting results. The treatment is gentler and more suitable for less severe cases of pigmentation or textural abnormalities. It provides the patient with the benefits of fractional resurfacing without the downtime associated with completely removing the damaged outer layer.
A micro-laser peel can be completed on its own to the entire face to improve skin tone and texture for individuals with mild to moderate sun damage or age-related skin changes. It can also be used in combination with full ablative resurfacing or aggressive fractional resurfacing when patients have a lot of wrinkles and sun or age-related damage to one or two areas of the face. Patients with significant wrinkles around the eyes or mouth but not much damage to the cheeks and forehead will benefit from full CO2 ablation around the eyes and mouth (or aggressive fractionated resurfacing) and a micro-laser peel to the rest of the face.
Micro-Peel vs. Micro-Laser
Patients will find both “laser treatments” and “laser peels” in the literature and online because these terms are used interchangeably. The wording of laser peels can result in some confusion with chemical peels. If the patient is considering a peel treatment, it is important that they are clear whether the peel is performed using a laser or a chemical, as the treatments are considerably different. Generally speaking, chemical peels can remove damaged surface skin; however, collagen remodelling and skin tightening are better accomplished using a laser resurfacing procedure (fully ablative or fractionated).
Dr. Lubitz has been using CO2 lasers (fully ablative, micro-ablative and fractional) for skin resurfacing for over 15 years and is recognized as one of Alberta’s most experienced CO2 laser operators. These procedures must be completed by or under the direct supervision of an accredited skin specialist, such as a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a medical professional comprehensively trained in skin disease, structure, and function. As medically trained professionals, they can determine and provide the best laser treatment for your particular skin problem safely and effectively. All patients considering a laser peel will receive a consultation before treatment. In your meeting, you will discuss whether laser treatment is the best option in your particular case, the treatment areas, and the degree of treatment needed to ensure desired results.
Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery offers a wide range of fully customizable CO2 laser peels/resurfacing treatments for various skin conditions, degrees of skin damage and patient schedules. These treatments include:
- Microlaser peels
- Micro-ablative laser peels
- Fully ablative laser resurfacing
- Fractionated laser resurfacing
CO2 Laser Peels can be entirely customized and designed to suit your desired improvement, budget and schedule.
Non-Ablative Skin Tightening refers to various non-surgical treatment techniques that tighten the skin but do not include CO2 Laser (fractionated or not). Non-Ablative Skin Tightening treatments are an effective option for people with mild to moderate skin laxity – patients who want some lifting or tightening of the skin that has lost elasticity but are not ready for an ablative fractionated CO2 laser procedure or for surgery, either mentally, financially, or logistically. These treatments are also an excellent option for those wanting to “stay ahead of the game” or prolong the effects of other cosmetic procedures.
At Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, we currently offer the following Non-Ablative Skin Tightening treatments:
- Chemical Peels
As each of the above treatments is very different in terms of principles of treatment, ideal candidate, downtime, and results. Please refer to the individual sections on this website for more information.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling (more formally known as Collagen Percutaneous Induction Needling or CPIN) is a method of inducing a controlled injury into the skin’s dermal and epidermal layers that induces the synthesis of important skin growth factors and the production of new collagen and elastin. Microneeding induces skin growth factor, collagen and elastin production directly and, by creating micro-channels in the skin, it improves the penetration of applied topical agents through the skin barrier, such as retinol, retinoic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other antioxidants.
The Microneedling process causes considerably less risk of adverse damage to the epidermis and dermis than dermal rolling, fractionated lasers or any other ablative treatment. By protecting the skin’s fragile cell growth regions, Microneedling has quicker healing and a higher success rate. These combined processes and benefits associated with Microneedling give way to healthier, younger-looking skin safely and with no downtime.
What skin conditions can be improved with Microneedling
- Acne scars
- Fines lines
- Hair loss (avndrogenic alopecia)
- Oily Skin
- Skin pores
- Skin texture
- Skin tone
- Stretch marks
Who can be treated, and on what areas of the body?
Unlike lasers that, in many cases, cannot be used on darker skin types, Microneedling can be used safely to treat all skin types and address various skin concerns. Most, if not all, areas of the body can be safely treated with Microneedling unless your medical provider determines otherwise. The most common areas include:
- Decolletage (upper chest)
How many Microneedling treatments will I need?
Typically a series of 3 – 6 treatments are recommended depending on your area of correction and concern. Your skincare professional will ultimately determine a treatment schedule based on your individual goals while considering the skin condition being treated. Treatments are usually spaced in 4-week intervals. Patients with deep wrinkles, advanced sun damage, prominent stretch marks, and significant scarring typically require six or more treatments to achieve the desired results.
Does Microneedling hurt?
The simple answer is no. Before your treatment, the medical provider will apply a topical numbing cream (topical anesthetic) to the area they will be treating. Most patients report feeling little to no pain once the topical agent has been applied.
What will I look like after my treatment?
Microneedling is considered a no-downtime treatment. Immediately after your treatment, your skin will look moderately red, similar to a mild sunburn. Your medical provider will recommend a skincare regimen post-treatment based on your skin. This will also help with any redness you might experience due to the treatment.
How long does each Microneedling treatment take to complete?
Microneedling is a relatively quick treatment to complete. While the exact time to complete a particular case from start to finish depends on multiple factors, including the size and number of treatment areas, most treatments take 30 – 60 minutes to complete once the topical numbing agent is applied.
How long will my Microneedling results last?
Microneedling produces results by stimulating growth factors and producing new collagen, thereby promoting new, healthier skin cells to generate. New collagen and elastin have been documented from just one treatment as much as one year later. Multiple treatments result in the formation of more new collagen and elastin, with results that can last several years. Your overall effect will last longer when you use a home skincare regimen that regularly uses an effective sunscreen and a retinol or retinoic acid product. Your medical provider is best suited to make this recommendation.
How long will it take for me to see the results of my Microneedling treatment?
The majority of patients see results after just one treatment. Individual results vary depending on skin health and the condition being treated. Most commonly, patients report seeing positive changes 1 – 2 weeks after the first treatment.
Contact us to find out if Microneedling is what would work best for you!
At Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, we offer a variety of chemical peels for a wide range of skin concerns, including pigmentation reduction, improving the tone and texture of the skin, or brightening skin before a big event. Chemical peels can also be used to treat active acne and minimize acne scarring or precancerous lesions.