Laser resurfacing to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles.
What is the best treatment for my fine lines and wrinkles on my face, a facelift or laser skin resurfacing?
Have you taken care of your skin over the years?
With sun damage and the passage of time, everyone sees fine lines and wrinkles as a result of damage to collagen and elastin. Of course some people are luckier than others! Some just have good genes or have been really careful to limit sun exposure.
Most people old enough to have fine lines and wrinkles did not know to protect their skin with sunblock “back in the day”. Also, people who have religiously used topical Retin A (retinoic acid) each night before bed tend to have very few fine lines and wrinkles.
Time to play "catch-up."
The only topical cream that has been scientifically proven to stimulate collagen and improve elasticity is Retin A. However, for those of us needing to play “catch-up”, laser skin resurfacing will also stimulate collagen and significantly fade the fine wrinkles.
A facelift is of course the gold standard for lifting and tightening the face. Nothing will significantly correct loose skin, muscle and fat to the face and neck like surgery. But surgery alone will never stimulate collagen and will not soften fine lines and wrinkles.
It is one thing to tighten and pull the skin of the face, but true facial rejuvenation requires improving the elasticity of the skin. The only way to do this is by way of controlled stimulation of collagen and elastin with either laser resurfacing, chemical peeling and continued daily use of Retin A.
Combination of treatments provides the best results.
The ultimate facial rejuvenation involves surgical tightening and removing of large wrinkles and folds (a facelift) combined with softening of fine lines and wrinkles (usually laser resurfacing).
In my practice I prefer fractional laser skin resurfacing with either the Fraxel (erbium glass energy) laser or Active and Deep Fx (CO2 energy). The Fraxel usually requires 3-5 sessions and the Active/Deep Fx is a one session treatment.
Both lasers have an increased level of risk when performed simultaneously with a facelift, but these new fractional lasers are far safer than traditional laser treatments.
Laser resurfacing eliminates small lines.
Laser resurfacing will improve areas that a facelift will never address, such as the lines around the mouth, the nose, the eyes and the central forehead. Of course eyelid tightening surgery (blepharoplasty) will tighten eyelid skin and reduce puffiness, but the fine lines around the eyes are really not addressed even with blepharoplasty.
Just as a facelift will not improve the elasticity of the skin of the face, eyelid surgery will not improve the elasticity of eyelid skin.
I had Active Fx laser resurfacing on my full face 3 years ago and I was amazed that it completely eliminated the small lines on the outside of my eyes (crows feet). Most of my fine lines were actually around my eye so I was able to notice improvement here more than anywhere else. I am planning to repeat this laser resurfacing in the near future to maintain the result.
Starting with procedures such as these at an early age and maintaining throughout the years yields far better results than waiting until too late and trying to play “catch-up”.