Article by Dr. Emilia Ploplys, Benefis Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Many of my patients comment that they still feel like they are 25 or 30; however, they just don’t look that way anymore. While it is not possible for a 50-year-old to look 25 again, it is possible to reverse some of the unpleasant consequences of aging. Mark Twain once said, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” But life isn’t all smiles. Often the wrinkles that bother us the most are the ones that don’t match how we feel inside, creating a look of fatigue, sadness, or disapproval.
The most visible signs of aging show up in skin tone and texture. Lasers have become a mainstay in the treatment of sun-damaged skin, pigmentary concerns, unsightly veins, and scars. Fractional lasers produce small columns of thermal energy that injure the skin to stimulate healing. Following treatment, the nearby “normal” skin repairs the damaged tissue and induces new collagen formation, which removes wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and acne scars.
The Lumenis CO2 fractional laser used at Benefis is often described as the most powerful and effective treatment available for wrinkle removal. A doctor performs the laser treatment in our office. The patient receives a topical numbing cream to mitigate discomfort. Immediate aftercare includes facial washes and applying Aquaphor to the treated area for five to 10 days, depending on the depth of treatment.
Visible facial veins and pigmentation spots are other unfortunate signs of aging. At Benefis Med Spa, under the direction of Dermatologist, Dr. Nicole Donester, and myself, registered nurses perform laser vein reduction and laser pigmentation reduction treatments.
The Cutera Cool Glide® is an FDA-approved laser that provides safe and effective treatment of superficial or small veins, commonly referred to as spider veins. These small spider veins are caused by the natural aging process of the skin, sun damage, trauma to the site, certain skin disorders such as rosacea, or your genetics (thanks Mom and Dad). The veins can range in size and diameter from fine hair-like strands to large thick threads. The color of the veins can be light pink, purple, or blue.
Vein removal is accomplished by using a laser to heat up the blood vessel, which causes it to fade away over the course of a few weeks. Some treated vessels may look darker for a few days, and then begin to fade and disappear. The spider veins slowly resolve over four weeks. Patients receiving one to three treatment sessions spaced four weeks apart experience the best results.
While melanin gives our skin its unique color, abnormal concentrations of melanin in a single area appear as pigmented lesions. High concentrations of melanin or pigment can be caused by various factors. Some types are present at birth, but most occur with age or as a result of overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays.
The GentleMax Pro® is an FDA-approved laser for providing safe and effective treatment for laser pigment reduction. Laser pigmentation reduction works by using an intense burst of light to target the pigmented lesions, causing selective healing of the pigmented skin. The pigmented spot will gradually lighten and fade, slowly disappearing. Initially, the treated area may seem darker, and flaking is common. After each laser treatment, a gentle wound-healing response leads to new collagen formation and a clinical improvement to the treated area over time.
Don’t let the unsightly signs of aging bring you down. Let the experts at the Benefis Med Spa help you look closer to the age you feel.
For more information or to schedule your appointment, call Benefis Med Spa at (406) 455-2845.