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What does microneedling do? Do skinboosters actually work? Which are the best treatments for a glowing, youthful complexion? Our expert dermatologist* has all the answers.
-What are the international trends in aesthetic treatments?
The biggest trend is a fresh, natural result –a healthy look full of expression. To achieve it, we prefer to use treatments that harness the mechanisms of regeneration and renewal found in our own skin. Such treatments are: fractional lasers, microneedling, PRP or Vampire treatment, and skin boosters. Even Botox uses nowadays fewer drug units at more spots in order to achieve a balanced and expressive effect, while in treatments with hyaluronic acid we no longer fill individual wrinkles, but, instead, try to repair what created those wrinkles in the first place. Therefore, we “hide” the hyaluronic acid to all the places deprived of fat in order to naturally “lift” the face.
-What is the latest news in laser resurfacing treatments?
Technology and anti-aging go hand in hand. The beneficial effects of fractional lasers have been proven: fractional skin damage helps fibroblasts produce new collagen. The result is firmer skin, tightened pores, minimized acne scars and wrinkles. Excellent results have also been observed with the use of ablative fractional lasers –however, they singe the skin so a 2-3 days stay at home is necessary. A new, non-ablative fractional laser, Palomar LUX 1540, has similar effects without having to give up our daily activities. Palomar LUX 1540 penetrates well below the epidermis and into the dermis in the treatment zones without compromising the integrity of the top layer of skin. Subsequently, the normal process of recovery and healing drives the creation of new, healthy tissue. The big advantage is that we can return to work and social obligations the same day as the treatment.
Based on a hyaluronic acid gel closely resembling that already found naturally in the human body, skin boosters balance the nutritional environment of the skin.
-How does microneedling work?
Microneedling aims to create a controlled injury (by the use of very fine needles) underneath the skin’s surface, thereby inducing the body to respond through the formation of new tissue layers of elastin as well as new capillaries for an improved blood supply in the treated area. If combined with mesotherapy cocktails containing hyaluronic acid, vitamins, amino acids and minerals, the effect is maximised. Revive is a new device that combines microneedling with mesotherapy. Through a special, ergonomic hand-piece fitted with multiple needles operated with 50-150 hits/second, it ensures the mixture penetrates the epidermis as well as the dermis. The length of the needles is adjusted depending on the treatment area, the quality of the skin and the expected outcome. Revive improves skin texture, radiance and firmness and reduces wrinkles.
-Is PRP, aka Vampire treatment, effective or just another trend?
PRP refers to platelet rich plasma, which is effectively a composition of blood –your own– that is injected into the areas you wish to plump up. Scientists believe that this treatment is encouraging your body to use its own processes but more effectively in the places that are starting to need a bit of extra help. It boosts the skin’s ability to rejuvenate, accelerates tissue repair and improves wound healing. From my experience, I can tell you that it has very good results, especially in difficult areas such as the lower eyelids or the fine wrinkles on the upper lip and neck. It also maximizes the effects of other treatments such as fractional lasers.
Women who start rather young on aesthetic treatments keep their skin in much better shape for longer.
-What exactly is a Thread lift?
Thread lifts emerged because many people would like a facelift, but don’t want the long recovery time of the standard facelift –usually it can be performed in about one hour. Ideal candidates for thread lifts include people with minimal signs of aging who need just a small lift. Most people who undergo thread lifts are women between 35 and 45 who have begun to see more prominence of the jaw, a relaxed (or minimally sagging) mid-facial appearance or slight bags under the eyes or on the neck. In a thread lift, barbed sutures (threads) are inserted under the facial tissues. The barbs on one end of the thread grab and lift the sagging skin, and the teeth on the other end anchor the skin to the underlying facial tissues. No incisions or stitches are required, and no scars are produced. Thread lift helps skin produce new collagen, therefore the final result is visible at about 3 months after the treatment.
* Dr. Panagiota Riga is is a dermatologist, specializing in cosmetic dermatology and lasers.