On Wednesday evening, Evolutions Medical Spa and Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins hosted an interactive and educational event about Tightening and Lightening the skin. Both tightening and lightening can be done at Evolutions through various services, without invasive surgery, and will yield noticeable results!
Part I: SKIN TIGHTENING – Facial Rejuvenation
What is skin laxity?
Skin laxity is a result of damage and loss of collagen and elastin – the structural components of the dermis. Collagen provides the rigidity to connective tissues and elastin allows them stretch. As we age collagen loses elasticity and our skin sags. Sun damage also plays a role in aging the skin as well.
How can we treat skin laxity?
There are several options including:
- Surgical options such as traditional surgery (face lifts) or deep peels (chemabrasion).
- Non-surgical treatments include light-based (FotoFacial), radiofrequency (Sublative Rejuvenation, ReFirme), and focused ultrasound.
How does treating skin laxity non-surgically work?
It has been found that sustained heating of the dermis works to treat skin laxity. The immediate effect is collagen contraction and long term stimulation of collagen remodeling.
Who is a good candidate for non-surgical skin tightening treatments?
- Age is not a barrier – clients can be anywhere from 30 to 80+ years old
- Clients who have a minimum amount of excess fat in the area of concern and those with skin that is neither very thin or very thick
- Clients who have realistic expectations – the non-surgical procedures can turn back the clock a few years, not decades
- A great candidate is someone who is not ready for surgery but still wants to tighten the skin
Skin tightening options available at Evolutions:
- Titan: the Titan is a safe infrared light that heats the dermis as well as the skin’s surface. The heating contracts the collagen and stimulates new collagen to be produced.
- ReFirme: ReFirme is an FDA cleared non-invasive skin tightening procedure that features elōs technology – a combination of bi-polar radio frequency (RF) and optical energy.
- Total Tightening: Dr. Perkins has developed an exclusive protocol combining the technologies or ReFirme and Titan into one treatment called Total Tightening. This treatment synergistically works to heat the entire upper half of the dermis. It is exclusive to Evolutions Medical Spa. A series of 4 treatments is recommended for best results.
Why do you recommend skin tightening treatments in a series?
Laser and light-based treatments are generally done in a series because the energy necessary to cause dramatic change in the skin (which cause injury and then recovery, which is what grows new skin) cannot be accomplished in a single treatment, instead it is the cumulative effects of multiple treatments that yield the best results. If, after a few treatments, a client sees the results they are looking for, they can save the remaining treatments to be used as “maintenance” at a later date.
Part II: SKIN LIGHTENING – Improve Excess Pigmentation
What is pigmentation?
Pigmentation is created by melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced by melanocytes. Different skin types have different levels of melanocyte activity – therefore different skin colors occur within people.
Why does the body produce melanin?
Normal production of melanin is based on skin type. Melanin levels rise in response to sun exposure (such as a sun tan which is equal to a skin injury), trauma, and inflammation. Extra melanin can also be produced due to hormones, birth control pills, and pregnancy.
When do pigmentation problems occur?
If melanocytes are over-stimulate, appearance problems can occur such as:
- Sun damage also referred to as age spots, “liver” spots, freckles
- Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur with pimples
- Melasma – a broad patch of pigmentation – can occur in the dermal or epidermal layers of the skin
Treatment for pigmentation problems
The following highlights products and services that are available at Evolutions to treat a number of pigmentation problems.
- Sunscreen: your best defense against pigmentation is to prevent it! Year round, daily use of sunscreen is always recommended!
- Home Care: there are two categories of home care products that can help lighten and brighten the skin – bleaching agents and exfoliating agents.
- Home care bleaching agents: Obagi Clear, C-Rx Night (with hydroquinone), the newest, fastest lightening agent Elure (read more about Elure in a recent blog post), Revale Illumenesse Brightening Complex, Nia24 products, and retinoids (“Retin-A”). At Evolutions we compound our Tretinoin to reduce the price for clients.
- Exfoliating agents assist in increasing cell turnover: products with alpha-hydroxy acids, amino fruit acids and retinoids all help to expedite cell turnover (which slows as we age).
- Chemical Peels: the fastest way to exfoliate and increase cell turnover is through a chemical peel. Available in multiple strengths, from light to deep, chemical peels can make a dramatic difference in the skin in a matter of days (somewhere between 5 to 10 days, with the skin continuing to improve thereafter). The peels available at Evolutions are:
- Phase Five Peel / Clay Mask Peel
- Alpha Beta Peel
- Comfort Peels (Light, Medium, Deep)
- Obagi Blue Peel
Read all about the various chemical peels, how they feel, and how effective they can be, in a various blog post.
- Vibradermabrasion: this service provides a physical exfoliation that can treat superficial pigment problems (with no downtime). It also is a great add-on service to facials and as a preparation for peels as it will improve the penetration of product or the peel. Vibraderm is superior to the popular microdermabrasion treatment because there is no suction component to it (which can cause broken capillaries).
- Light-Based Treatments: these treatments are safe and non-invasive, using intense pulsed light (IPL) and radio frequency technology to diminish imperfections in the skin such as excess pigment as well as “red” areas. The FotoFacial RF is the “gold standard” for treatment of pigmentation and it works deeper than most chemical peels. The FotoFacial is available in a series or in combination with other treatments (FotoPeel, FotoPeel Plus, and FotoFaical Genesis Package).
- *NEW* Light-Based Treatment: Evolutions just acquired the brand new Q-Plus C (Q-switched laser) light-based treatment that is able to treat tattoos of all colors and a variety of pigmentation issues.
- Sublative Rejuvenation: this fractional surfacing device uses radio frequency energy, instead of light, to treat wrinkles, pigment, acne scarring, skin laxity, tone and texture. There is less downtime and less discomfort that older fractional laser devices (such as the Fraxel) and customizable treatment options are available. Sublative Rejuvenation can be combined with other light-based treatments such as the FotoFacial RF or Total Tightening.
- Chemabrasion: this is a surgical procedure that combines a deep peel with dermabrasion. Chemabrasion is a more aggressive option to treat acne scarring and deep wrinkles. The change can be very dramatic. Down time is approximately one week.
Part III: CONCLUSION
The best way to treat sun damage is to prevent it by daily use of sunscreen. When pigment issues arise, there are a number of treatment options available, both at Evolutions and at home. All areas of the body can be treated for pigmentation problems.
Evolutions Medical Spa offers a complimentary consultation by filling out our online form or calling 805.687.0212.