Restoring Youthful Beauty Can Be as Easy as 1-2-3
Schaumburg, IL – May, 2001. With so many options to revitalize aging skin it can be difficult to select the best strategy. However, all dermatologic surgeons agree that a systematic plan to cosmetic skin surgery is essential before undergoing treatment.
From dermabrasion to laser resurfacing, soft tissue fillers to chemical peels, today's surgical techniques to improve one''s looks have advanced by leaps and bounds. But age-related complaints like wrinkles, brown spots or sagging folds have many different causes. Depending on the skin's condition and the amount of down time a patient is willing to deal with, a skin surgery expert can recommend a customized treatment plan using three simple steps.
Step One: Find Out What The Problem Is Before You Fix It
"Before we begin to change anything on any patient's skin, it is very important to examine the root of the problem," says Harold J. Brody, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "For example, most people assume that all wrinkles are caused by the same thing, namely age. But a dermatologic surgeon can determine if your wrinkles are the result of prolonged sun exposure, repetitive facial expressions, or sagging skin."
Dr. Brody explains that this initial assessment guides the selection of treatment modality. Fine lines, which are often the first sign of advancing years, can be corrected with a wide array of resurfacing treatments from very mild chemical peels to more intense dermabrasion. Repetitive furrowing of the brow can cause other kinds of deep wrinkles on the forehead, which can be effectively immobilized and smoothed by botulinum toxin injections. Deep folds and sagging skin may require laser resurfacing or certain soft tissue fillers.
Step Two: Anticipate Recovery Times
The second factor in selecting a treatment is time: how much time can the patient devote to recuperation? While a certain type of skin surgery may be suitable for one person, it may be impractical for another. Based on the patient's needs and expectations, the dermatologic surgeon will recommend an appropriate course of action.
"As a general rule, more intense treatments like carbon dioxide laser resurfacing to soften deep crevices and discolorations require more recovery time but have more dramatic results," explains Dr. Brody, who is the president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. "Conversely, treatments that have little or no down time, like microdermabrasion, produce optimal results after a series of treatments. The wonderful thing is that we do have such a broad palate of aesthetic options from which to choose."
Step Three: Develop a Maintenance Plan
After a rejuvenation procedure, the face continues to age and follow-up treatments may be necessary to maintain a youthful appearance. Dermatologic surgeons can advise patients on a smart skin care routine to keep a healthy rejuvenated glow.
"I tell my skin surgery patients that the best way they can preserve their new look is to avoid future sun damage that prematurely ages the skin," says Dr. Brody. "By wearing sunscreen everyday and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, they can significantly slow the skin's aging process and avoid getting cancerous melanomas."
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) was founded in 1970 to promote excellence in the field of dermatologic surgery and to foster the highest standards of patient care.