The skin is a very complex organ - as complex as the liver or cardiovascular systems. It is the first line of defense of the body, and is constantly exposed to sunlight and harmful substances. Ultraviolet irradiation damages the skin and may result in malignancies (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma). UV light and smoking can destroy elastin and collagen fibers in the dermis, contributing to wrinkling and an aged appearance.
The degree of sun damage depends on how much exposure a person receives, the anatomic area (the scalp and nose project outward, and are more exposed) and the complexion of the individual. Skin cancer is common in those with fair complexions of European heritage, and rare in dark skinned individuals of Mediterranean, Asian or African descent.
Smoking cessation and avoiding excessive sun exposure are important measures in maintaining the snkins health and appearance. Once the effects of aging and sun damage become apparent, a variety of non-surgical techniques may be used to rejuvenate the skin.
Chemical Peels and Dermabrasion:
Skin, of course, is frequently injured. When you fall and skin your knee or suffer a minor burn, the end result is often a healthy, smooth skin that appears after the scab/blister has separated. These injuries are analogous to the process of chemical peeling. Such an injury may be termed as "partial thickness," in which the injury triggers a process of regeneration in the remaining skin.
There has been much publicity about various peeling solutions (trichloroacetic acid, phenol, glycolic/alpha-hydroxy acids) and also about the use of the laser for skin resurfacing. Chemical peels, dermabrasion and the laser all work in a similar manner - they create a partial thickness skin injury, allowing the remaining skin to regenerate. Each technique has specific risks and benefits, and none are perfect. If the injury becomes too deep, each can create scarring. If the injury is too superficial, little lasting benefit is obtained. Properly performed, each of these techniques can be used to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, and enhance skin tone and coloration.
Other agents, including retinoids (Retin-A, Renova) and hydroquinones (Melanex, a bleaching agent) may be used in conjunction with the above methods to enhance the result, or independently to improve skin tone and coloration.
"Botox" or Botulinum Toxin:
Facial wrinkles are often created by the movement of small muscles under the skin. Produced by bacteria, "Botox" is a chemical agent which has the ability to paralyze these muscles, and thus reduce or "soften" wrinkles. As only very small amounts are used, the proper use of Botox is both safe and effective. Small amounts of Botox are injected into the muscles between the eyebrows (the "corrugator" muscles) to soften frown lines, or into the forehead muscle (the "frontalis" muscle) to soften transverse forehead wrinkles. Botox is also used in the "crows feet" area around the eyes, and sometimes in other areas as well.
Botox begins to take effect after approximately 24 hours, but the full effect may not be seen for a week, at which time "touch-ups" may be performed. The effects of a treatment last for three to six months, and the injections may then be repeated as necessary.
Restylane is an injectable gel used as soft tissue fillers to treat wrinkles,fine lines and fill lips. It is composed of hyaluronic acid a substance found in all living organisms. No allergy skin tests are required.These dermal fillers are often used in conjunction with Botox for optimum results, especially for rejuvenation of the upper face, and diminishing the appearance of frown lines. The product lasts between 4-6 months.
Juvéderm Ultra is an injectable gel consisting of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in your skin that helps to add volume and hydration. Therefore no allergy test is necessary before treatment. The smooth consistency gel helps to instantly restore your skin's volume and smooth away facial wrinkles and folds, like your "smile lines" or nasolabial folds-the creases that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth. It is also used with much success for lip augmentation A Juvéderm treatment takes about 20-30 minutes and results are immediate. Plus, there is minimal recovery or downtime.
Perlane is approved the for filling into the deep dermis for the correction of moderate to severe facial folds and wrinkles, such as nasolabial folds. Perlane is the newest member of the Restylane family of products and is made of stabilized hyaluronic acid gel particles. The primary difference between Restylane and Perlane is the larger hyaluronic acid gel particles are designed to provide volume and lifting power for effective deeper wrinkle correction.
Radiesse fills acne scars and wrinkles,including frown lines and smile lines. It is composed of a synthetic compound. It is does not require allergy testing and can be injected in a simple office procedure.
Sculptra is a long lasting filler used to fill sunken areas of the face,as well stimulate new collagen growth.It is made from Poly-L-lactic acid.
Fat injections: Fat obtained from liposuction or syringe aspiration may be re-injected into specific areas to smooth wrinkles, improve contour or enhance lips. Not all of the fat injected survives, however, limiting the amount of correction attained using this technique.