Medical skin care products and cosmetic procedures have never been safer or yielded better results. They’ve also never been more numerous. Between medical aesthetics, dermatology and plastic surgery, those looking to rejuvenate their faces have a lot of choices, local professionals say.
Dr. Frank Barone
“There’s been an explosion in the number of new products and technologies,” said Dr. Frank Barone of Frank Barone Plastic Surgery and evolv Medical Aesthetics in Toledo. “The demand has skyrocketed because everyone’s living longer, working longer and people want to look more youthful. The best thing you can wear is a youthful look. That never goes out of style.”
Of course, there’s no permanent fix for aging, said Dr. Hope Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Dermatology in Perrysburg.
“We have to look at these procedures as part of our maintenance program,” Mitchell said. “It’s no different from cutting our split ends or clipping our fingernails.”
Educating and encouraging patients to make healthy lifestyle choices is vital to creating long-lasting outcomes, Barone and Mitchell agreed.
“Are you going to go out in the sun with no sunscreen? Are you going to smoke? Are you going to stay up all night and have a bad diet? Then [results] won’t last long,” Barone said. “Can we stop aging? No. Aging is a natural biological inevitability, but we can reduce the signs of aging in the skin. We try to get people to think about the big picture of health, which I think is very important.”
Medical skin care
Medical skin care products include antioxidants, medical cleansers, exfoliants, growth factors and more. Costs range from $15-$250.
“We have different price points, so it’s a misconception you have to be wealthy to come in and use good quality products,” Barone said. “But there’s more value in buying a quality product that’s proven to work than there is spending a whole bunch of money on products that don’t.”
Neuromodulators smooth wrinkles by blocking nerve impulses, causing targeted muscles to relax. They help smooth vertical lines between the brows, horizontal lines across the forehead and crow’s feet. They are also used to treat migraines.
The most widely known neuromodulator is Botox. Others are Dysport and Xeomin.
“It’s a very quick procedure; it’s well-tolerated with minimal side effects. It’s very common and most people have heard of those treatments and are very comfortable having them done,” Mitchell said.
Results can be seen within days and full effects are apparent within a week. Results can last three to five months.
Cost is $250-$500 per area.
Patients shouldn’t exercise, drink alcohol or massage the injected area for a few hours in order to let the neuromodulator bind to the cell receptors properly, Barone said.
“Botox parties” are trendy but unsafe, Barone said.
“Botox is very safe if done properly, but this is a potentially lethal medication if it’s done improperly,” Barone said. “The idea of going to a hotel room or a party and injecting a bunch of people, that’s ridiculous.”
Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane, Perlane, Juvéderm and Belotero, are used to fill out superficial lines.
“Hyaluronic is one of the components that binds water in our skin and makes our skin look really luxurious,” Barone said. “Babies have lots of hyaluronic in their skin. We see it in pregnancy, too. But as we get older, we lose that.”
Radiesse is a filler that is injected deeper. It can lift depressions, help disguise scars, improve chin symmetry or lift cheekbones.
“We sometimes combine them,” Barone said. “We can put the Radiesse deep and lift the tissue and put Restylane on the surface for the fine lines.”
Hyaluronics cost $500-$550 per syringe and can last six months to a year, while Radiesse costs $600-$650 per syringe and can last nine months to two years. Recovery time varies from none to a couple of days. Light bruising or swelling is common, especially around the eyes, Barone said.
Sculptra, used primarily in the cheek, jaw line and temple areas, is a filler that is also a “biological trigger,” meaning it slowly stimulates the body to make tissue and fat in areas where there are depressions from aging or loss.
“This goes on over a period of time, so it’s very natural looking,” Barone said. “It’s using your body’s own mechanisms to produce tissue. What could be more natural than that?”
Sculptra, which costs $600-$650 per injection, is a series of three injections about a month apart. It lasts one to three years. Recovery time is overnight with minor bruising or swelling.
Fat grafting is the most natural and longest-lasting filler, Barone said. With proper care, it can last five to 10 years.
“It’s basically taking fat out of some area where you don’t want it — like love handles, hips or tummy — processing it, and then reinjecting those living fat cells in areas where you want fullness, like your face,” Barone said.
It’s used to help repair breast cancer radiation injuries as well as in surgical procedures, such as facelifts.
Recovery time for a small area may be a few days while the whole face may require a few weeks. Cost ranges from $1,000-$2,000.
Light therapy and lasers
Light therapy and lasers primarily treat the surface of the skin, addressing lines, sun damage, acne scars and rosacea by stimulating the growth of new cells.
Cost ranges from $50 for LED therapy to several thousand dollars for a full-face laser treatment for acne scars, Barone said. Recovery time varies from a couple of days to several weeks, depending on the strength of the treatment.
Photodynamic therapy involves light-activated medication applied to the skin and activated with specific light wavelengths. It can be used to treat skin cancer, remove precancerous skin cells, make skin less oily or reduce the appearance of large pores. Recovery time ranges from two to five days and results can last for years. When used to treat cancer cells, photodynamic therapy is usually covered by insurance. Electively it costs about $300.
Another popular resurfacing method is chemical peels, which address wrinkles, brown spots and other effects of aging.
Recovery time ranges from none for superficial peels to two weeks for the deepest peels. Costs range from $65-$1,000.
Dermabrasions and microdermabrasions remove the outer layers of the skin mechanically rather than with a chemical. The procedure exfoliates as well as helps treat uneven texture, lighten age spots and more.
“Microdermabrasions can be done very simply on a lunch hour and you can go back to work,” Mitchell said. “It doesn’t break the skin barrier like some lasers can, so patients are not leaving these procedures with open skin.”
However, Barone said they can inflame to the skin. Cost ranges from $75 to $150. Recovery time ranges from none for microdermabrasions to a couple days for deeper abrasions. Abrasions can last for an average of several months.
Collagen induction therapy
Dermal rolling, or microneedling, improves the surface of the skin by using fine surgical needles to puncture tiny holes in the skin, “tricking” the body into stimulating the growth of collagen and hyaluronic, Barone said. The treatment helps thicken the skin, cover superficial acne scars and reduce scars. The punctures also help skin care products enter the skin.
Cost for a series of three treatments is about $360 and results last for months.
Ultherapy is a nonsurgical procedure that sends sound waves through the skin, causing tissues to tighten and lift.
“Ultherapy is the only nonsurgical method of lifting facial tissues approved by the FDA,” Barone said. “It’s very popular because there’s no downtime and it’s gradual and very natural.”
Tightening continues for up to a year and results can last up to 10 years. Cost ranges from $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the surface area treated.
No matter which route a patient chooses, Mitchell and Barone both stressed making sure the service provider is properly trained.
“Most people think, ‘Well, if a doctor does it in his office, he’s been trained.’ Not necessarily,” Barone said. “Just be careful, take your time, do your homework, ask questions, check credentials of not only the doctor but also the staff. That’s really important because it’s an exciting area, but it can dangerous out there.”
Tags: Frank Barone, Frank Barone Plastic Surgery and evolv Medical Aesthetics, Hope Mitchell, Mitchell Dermatology