Botox, Fillers, Microneedling, or Lasers? What Do I Need And Why?
Aside from countless skin care products, from serums and eye creams to anti-aging facials, medical advances have also provided us with a large variety of medical grade facials and treatments to rejuvenate our skin and reverse as well as prevent signs of aging.
While having all these options is great, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out which one is the right one for you and whether they would benefit you. In addition, you may have heard some unsettling things about some of these treatments, leaving you even more confused about which one to choose. Here is some information on a few minimally invasive treatments designed to rejuvenate your face and skin, from injectables like Botox and fillers to medical grade facials including microneedling and laser treatments.
Over the past 20 years, Botox has turned into a household name. What used to be a treatment associated with famous actors and the wealthier population to maintain and create a more youthful appearance, is now a widespread treatment for you, your mother, your neighbors, and your friends. If your goal is to eliminate or prevent fine lines and wrinkles, Botox is the treatment you are looking for. Before you start worrying about all the negative news you’ve seen online about people with droopy eyelids and villain-like eyebrows, keep in mind that while these side effects are a possibility, they are extremely rare and usually only occur if the Botox was either not injected properly, or if the amount of Botox injected was inappropriate for that given person or area. Botox works by paralyzing the muscle in which it is injected, restricting facial muscle contractions that would normally create fine lines and wrinkles. In short – if you have limited muscle movement in the areas of concern, the formation and appearance of lines and wrinkles will be limited as well.
Microneedling, which is also known as mechanical collagen induction therapy, is a popular skin treatment that comes in many forms. Its purpose is to refresh the skin by creating microzones of controlled injury, which in turn stimulate collagen and elastin production as the skin heals and repairs itself. Microneedling can be done up to once every two weeks and is a great way to maintain healthy skin. More advanced versions of microneedling include mesotherapy and Secret RF, which may be used up to once a month as they require a little more downtime and time for your skin to fully recuperate from injury.
There is a huge variety of dermal fillers, from hyaluronic acid fillers (HA fillers) to Sculptra to Radiesse. If you are looking for something to rejuvenate your face, HA fillers, Radiesse, and Sculptra can be incredibly beneficial. The difference between Botox and fillers is that Botox is injected into the muscle to reduce muscle contractions, while fillers are injected either above or below muscles to add or replace volume to desired areas. Fillers can be used to plump up the lips or create a more prominent jawline, but when it comes to creating a younger look, the most popular areas of injection are under the eyes, cheeks, and nasolabial folds. As we age, we begin to lose volume in our faces, making us appear more tired and worn out. Adding volume to said areas will create a plumper and fresher overall look. Fillers can also be used to fill in deeper wrinkles that cannot be completely eliminated with Botox.
Laser treatments are often a bit more advanced and intense, although there are a few that are fairly easy on the skin and can be administered once a week, such as the carbon laser facial. The carbon laser facial won’t necessarily give you striking results after just one session, but is a great tool to maintain a healthy glow if you stay consistent with it and get the treatment once a week. If you are looking for more drastic results, for example to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles or to treat sun damage or pigmentation, you may want to go with a more intense laser facial such as Fraxel which will address more advanced irregularities in the skin. Compared to the carbon facial, Fraxel requires about one month in between each session to allow the skin to properly recover. The carbon facial is so light that it is painless. Fraxel on the other hand will need numbing cream to help prevent discomfort.
The above mentioned treatments are only a handful of treatments that can be used to prevent and eliminate signs of aging. While they all serve similar purposes, they each work in different ways and require a consultation with a medical professional before administration. Botox and fillers are usually okay to use on anyone, while Secret RF and Fraxel may not be right for everyone, depending on the condition of their skin, and medications that they are taking. Before choosing any of the treatments discussed above, be sure to consult with a board certified doctor to see which treatment plan is right for you.