Anti-Aging Treatments. What Works?


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.
Finding the best anti aging treatments is a personal matter depending on what you want to achieve, how much discomfort you are prepared to put up with and last but not least, your budget.
Retinoids
Retinoids have been a breakthrough discovery for the treatment of photoaged skin. Synthetic derivatives of Vitamin A, they can improve discoloration of the skin, degeneration of elastic tissue, and fine wrinkling by enhancing naturally occurring production of collagen and elastic fibers. In addition to giving skin back its youthful appearance, retinoids can inhibit tumor growth, decrease inflammation, and enhance the immune system. Continuing use of retinoids can reduce the number and size of actinic keratoses. Currently, two retinoids are available in the US for treatment of photoaging: tretinoin (2) and tazarotene. Retinoids can irritate the skin and cause dryness and photosensitivity – an extreme sensitivity to the sun.   You may need to test a few out in order to find which work best for you.
Chemical peels
Chemical peels are often used to rejuvenate the skin, reduce wrinkles, and treat actinic keratoses. A doctor removes layers of skin with a mild acid solution.Depending on the damage, a light, medium, or deep peel is used. After the skin heals, a smoother, younger-looking outer layer forms. Light peels usually result in only a slight redness and photosensitivity, but deeper peels can result in significant swelling, redness, and photosensitivity that lasts for several weeks.

Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion uses a small high-speed, rotating metal brush or file to abrade the upper layers of the skin and smooth out surface irregularities. It is used, often with long-lasting results, for treatment of substantial wrinkling and leathering from the sun, pigmentation problems, and acne scars. Either local or general anesthetic is used during the procedure. Redness, swelling and pain are typical after treatment. Healing can take from 7 to 14 days.

For mild to moderate photoaging, a variation of the technique known as microdermabrasion uses tiny particles that pass through a vacuum tube to gently scrape away aging skin and stimulate new cell growth. Mild redness is typically the only side effect.

Lasers
Lasers are used to vaporize the skin’s sun-damaged top layer, leaving a softer, smoother skin surface with less pronounced wrinkles. With their pinpoint accuracy, lasers are ideal for sensitive skin areas such as around the eyes. The treatment can result in tenderness, scarring, redness and swelling that can last for several weeks while the new skin grows. Darker-skinned individuals can experience permanent loss of pigmentation.  Lasers can be used for treatment of actinic keratoses, as well.

A new technology called IPL (intense pulsed light) is a non-skin-removing technique (“non-ablative”) that offers patients a softening of lines and shallow wrinkles, fading of some scars, removal of broken capillaries, and stimulation of new collagen growth quickly. After-effects can include swelling, redness, blotchiness, and darkening of pigmented areas. Usually several sessions are needed for optimal results, and the full effects of the treatments may not be visible for up to six months after the final treatment.

LED Light Therapy

LED Light Therapy is the use of light to create an anti-aging effect on the skin and is an energy renewal system for the whole body. It is quickly becoming recognized as one of the safest, fastest, and most affordable ways to achieve younger, more radiant looking skin. It relieves aches and pains, boosts the immune system, increases energy, and reduces mental fatigue and stress. It’s non-invasive, safe for all skin types, builds collagen and elastin, raises serotonin levels and uses no lasers, injections, chemicals or surgery.

Prevention
If you don’t wear a sunscreen every day, today is the day to start. Daily application of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher- whether on its own, or in a moisturizer – will prevent additional damage to your skin. Also, studies have shown that daily use of sunscreen can actually reduce the existing number of actinic keratoses – abnormal skin eruptions, or precancers, that can lead to skin cancer.

 

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