What is skin rejuvenation? What seems like a very straightforward question becomes less so when you consider the incredible and highly complex properties of our skin. The skin is designed to protect us from many environmental hazards that we encounter on a daily basis, from sun, wind, cold and heat, to dirt, debris and much more. Though the skin does a great job of protecting our bodies, all of these factors take a toll. The end result is significant changes in the skin as we age.
Wrinkles, sagging skin, facial volume loss, brown spots, and thinning skin are all symptoms of aging. They’re also very common reasons why people seek skin rejuvenation treatments. But what exactly is skin rejuvenation? How do these treatments affect the skin and make it look youthful once again?
Changes in the Skin
Before we can understand skin rejuvenation, it’s important to understand how the skin changes over time. Factors like environmental pressures, sun damage, and the simple effects of time break down essential substances in the skin. Collagen, a vitally important structural protein, gives the skin a firm, smooth appearance when we are young. As time goes on, however, collagen in the skin becomes depleted due to aging and many other factors related to lifestyle. Collagen loss initiates sagging, thinning, and wrinkles. Because collagen production slows down with age, the body does not repair these unwanted signs of aging on its own. Hyaluronic acid and elastin production also slows down, further accelerating the aging process. Skin loses elasticity, hydration, and volume, which further leads to a hollow appearance, more folds and wrinkles, and even a perpetual tired, angry, or worried expression.
Understanding Ablative and Non-Ablative Skin Rejuvenation
Now that we know why we start seeing those lines and wrinkles, how do rejuvenation techniques work to repair the skin? It’s simple, really. The skin needs to get rid of damaged skin cells and kick repair functions into high gear in order to rejuvenate itself. There are two major types of skin rejuvenation: ablative and non-ablative.
Ablative treatments, which include some laser treatments and chemical peels, work by carefully destroying the top layers of skin. This allows bright, new skin to emerge. This is great for superficial lines and wrinkles, brown spots, and a dull, dry complexion.
Non-ablative procedures use other techniques that send energy into the skin, targeting the deeper layers. These procedures boost the body’s collagen production, resulting in smoother, younger-looking skin. Because the upper layers of skin are not destroyed in the process, there is typically little to no downtime associated with these treatments. That makes them a great option for people with busy lifestyles and less extensive signs of aging.
Both of these treatment types can help “wake up” the body’s collagen production. Delivering energy to specific areas stimulates the body’s collagen production and helps to heal the skin. The result is long-lasting, gradual rejuvenation that lifts and tightens skin for a firmer, more youthful appearance. This collagen stimulation will not last forever but it can produce some impressive anti-aging results.
Other Types of Skin Rejuvenation
Other types of skin rejuvenation treatments include injectables. There are botulinum toxin treatments like Botox, as well as soft tissue fillers made from hyaluronic acid. These non-invasive treatments work very differently from other skin rejuvenation treatments. Botox and similar products work by limiting facial muscle movements, which temporarily reduces the impact of dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles caused by repetitive facial movements). Fillers actively fill in lost volume from collagen and hyaluronic acid depletion, helping to erase wrinkles, folds, and hollows in the face. These treatments, though temporary, are very popular since they require little to no downtime, are minimally invasive, and offer great results!
Discuss Your Goals
Skin rejuvenation is easy to understand, but difficult to achieve. That’s why it’s important to team up with a qualified facial plastic surgeon to help you reach your skin rejuvenation goals. Are you interested in learning more about laser treatments, injectables, chemical peels, or even medical-grade skin products? A skilled plastic surgeon will be able to help you come up with a custom treatment plan that suits your needs and allows you to reach your skin rejuvenation goals.
If you’d like to speak with a plastic surgeon and skincare specialist, come to American Self and speak with renowned skin rejuvenation expert Dr. Ruth Hillelson. Dr. Hillelson is dedicated to the art and science of skin rejuvenation. She offers many different options to suit your needs. Call 804.290.0060 today to schedule your appointment at our Richmond, VA office so you can start seeing the difference in your skin!