Overview of types of treatment
There are a multitude of different treatments available on the market and this can make is quite overwhelming to choose which ones to have. This is where the consultation comes in. However, before we get to that, listed below is an overview of different treatments and the general reasons why they are chosen. It is not exhaustive but hopefully will give you some idea!
Skin rejuvenation encompasses a lot of different types of treatments from chemical peels, laser, radiofrequency, and IPL, to microneedling, skin boosters, and microdermabrasion.
Chemical peels are primarily acids derived from plants or vitamins, which aim to remove the outer layers of the skin. Generally, they are classified based on the depth of skin penetration. Those that have a deeper action will require more down time. Chemical peels are often used to improve various skin conditions such as skin texture, fine lines, and pigmentation. Superficial peels are generally safe to use, but sensitive and darker skis to need to be careful. They are generally an effective option for skin rejuvenation but may require regular use.
Skin boosters are a newer treatment that involves a series of hyaluronic acid injections into the dermis and therefore promoting overall skin health. There are several benefits of skin boosters including; reduction of lines and wrinkles, increased skin elasticity, reduced pigmentation and larger pores and skin hydration leading to firmness and ‘glow’.
Microneedling involves using a sterile needling device with very small needles to make small wounds in the skin, which stimulates it to produce more collagen and elastin. Once healed, the skin then looks younger, firmer and more vibrant. It can be very useful for issues such as acne, hair loss, hyperpigmentation, scars, stretch marks, sun damage, and fine lines and wrinkles. Often it is combined with serums to aid this process further which can penetrate deeper due to the small needle tracks left in the skin. Some machines also combine it with radiofrequency treatment. Microneedling is often used instead of lasers, especially on darker skin that is more prone to hyperpigmentation.
Intense pulsed light (IPL)
Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a non-surgical way to improve the texture and colour of your skin. It can be used on any area of the skin that has photoaging changes, including pigment, redness, scarring, and small veins. It involves heating which stimulates the skin to get rid of unwanted cells. Skin tone is more even following treatment. Because of the heating element to the treatment, it is not suitable for very dark skins, or if you have been recently tanning or exposed to the sunlight. Anyone prone to keloid scarring, those who are pregnant or breast feeding also shouldn’t have this treatment. Retinoids would need to be stopped some time before treatment to prevent reaction. Multiple sessions are often needed to see full results. We currently do not provide this treatment but can recommend reputable clinics.
Lasers precisely removes the skin, layer by layer so that new skin cells form, after which results in tighter and younger-looking skin. This can be a targeted approach to certain problem areas, or the whole face. There are various types of lasers with some being stronger than others and different side effect profiles of each. There are risks of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation especially in darker skins, or breakouts If you are prone to them. There is a degree of downtime associated with this treatment which will nee dot be discussed with the clinic you are having treatment with. There are also medical conditions that may prevent you from having it. We do not provide this treatment currently, but can recommend reputable clinics.
Radiofrequency (RF) is a non-invasive treatment that produces heat and aims to lift and tighten the skin. It is one of the only non-surgical treatments that tighten skin. It works like many other treatments to stimulate collagen production and can be used in lots of different areas to help skin sagging, e.g. on the thighs, arms, neck, buttocks and abdomen. Due to its collagen stimulation, it will also help rejuvenate the skin. RF can be used for all skin types, with minimal downtime and even help to reduce cellulite. Multiple sessions are required to see results – this can be as much as 8 sessions once a week with maintenance regularly. New treatments which combined RF with microneedling, to help the heat penetrate deeper into the skin have therefore come about, to reduce the number of treatments required for results. Unfortunately, this is much more painful, requires more downtime and is more expensive. These are not treatments we offer currently, but we can direct you to reputable clinics that provide them.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is derived from your own blood and injected back into your skin to aid healing. PRP aims to release growth factors into the skin which stimulate it to produce new collagen and therefore rejuvenate the skin. The results aim to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, scarring, even out skin tone and hydrate the skin. It can also be used to rejuvenate scalps and therefore improve hair quality and growth. However, currently it is unclear exactly the best methods to prepare this treatment, and what concentration of these growth factors are best to produce optimal results. There are also may other different growth factors involved in skin and scalp rejuvenation which could also be used.
Microdermabrasion is a mechanical exfoliation procedure. It is a superficial treatment where and abrasive hand piece (usually diamond-tipped pad) is passed across the skin to debride it. The debris is then collected for disposal. Most remove the stratum corneum after two passes and it is therefore comparable to a superficial chemical peels.
This type of treatment is more about replacing lost volume in the face, usually with fillers. As we age, fat pads in our face decrease in volume resulting in the face dropping and lines appearing.
Fillers come in a variety of forms which results in different types being used in different parts of the face.
Down time with filler treatment can vary but generally people are able to return to work the same day. It is important to stay away from any hot environments such as direct sun, saunas, steam rooms and hot showers for 24 hours, and also not touch the face or wear make up to prevent infection. Intense exercise and alcohol need to be avoided for 24 hours too.
This is a specific technique to insert small threads under the skin to help tighten the skin and stimulate collagen formation. The threads are made of polydioxanone (PDO) which dissolve after 6 months but their ongoing effect can last 2 years. There is immediate mechanical lifting of the skin but the stimulation of collagen continues for approximately 3 months. Therefore, results are optimal at 3 months. Local anaesthetic is used to insert them. They can be used alongside fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments for optimum effect.
These are not performed by London & Surrey Aesthetics at present. However, if this treatment is considered valuable for you, we will direct you to reputable clinicians who can perform them for you.
This treatment directly deals with the muscles in the face used for expression that cause wrinkling of the skin. In our 20’s we generally have dynamic lines – so lines that are only present when we use muscles for example to raise our eyebrows. As we age, unfortunately, these lines before more static and you can then see them at rest. Once lines are static, they are more difficult to remove completely, but over time they can fade.
Toxin takes 2 weeks to work, and the dose is dependent on the strength of the muscles as assessed by your clinician. For those who have not had the treatment before, many will be reviewed at 2 weeks to review the effect. For those who are used to treatment and the clinician knows the dose, this follow up is rarely required. The length of effect is again dependent on the person. For those that exercise a lot and especially high intensity workouts, the effect often lasts less time. The average is around 3-4 months for most people. Younger patients can wait for 6 months or more to re-treat, as there are very mild static lines. It is often down to the preference of the patient.
Skin rejuvenation can help with wrinkles and especially for those patients who have more static lines and poor-quality skin. Sometimes this is the best way to start and then move on to botulinum toxin. For others, toxin achieves better results, especially if a skin care regime is already in place and therefore the quality of the skin is healthy.
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Here at London & Surrey Aesthetics we aim to help you through a journey of discovery about your skin, by discussing what your concerns and expectations are and coming up with a treatment plan designed for you.
We also aim to increase your knowledge about how to look after your skin at home and give you information.