What is the most popular dermatological treatment this time of year?
In the fall, we focus on the face to clean up the summer fun and to get things ready for the holidays. Come January, we often move to the body. The cold weather means everyone is bundled up doing a great job of covering things up while you heal! Currently in my office the most popular treatments are to restore a youthful appearance to the neck and chest. These areas need multiple treatment modalities to create excellent results. For lines and texture, I use fractionated resurfacing. For broken blood vessels and brown spots I use intense pulsed light. For unwanted fat under the chin I use Kybella. For sagging skin I use Exilis Elite radiofrequency technology to tighten. I also use neurotoxins (Botox and Dysport) to smooth bands and elongate the neck and the softer hyaluronic acid fillers (Belotero and Restylane Refyne) to fill neck lines and Sculptra for chest lines.
What should people do to prep their skin for Neck and Chest procedures?
As you have read above, necks and chests are complicated parts of the body to treat. The skin is thin and unforgiving and often multiple treatments are needed. You need to be working with a provider who is experienced working in areas other than the face. Together, you can make a clear plan to address what bothers you and ensure you have similar expectations about the costs and outcomes. For patients I will be lasering, I optimize their skin care regimen before and after to ensure the best possible results from each procedure. For example, I often have patients use TriLuma or a combo of tretinoin, hydroquinoine and a low potency steroid for a month to help lighten pigment prior to lasering. Post procedure, my patients use RESTORE Face Wash followed by RESTORE Healing Balm to soothe healing skin and speed recovery. Studies show patients prefer RESTORE Healing Balm and have a faster recovery when compared to Aquaphor ointment (petroleum-based ointment with lanolin, a common allergen made from sheep sebum.)
What should people do in order to maintain lasting results?
After any laser procedure, it is important to stay out of the sun until you are fully healed. And once healed, every morning use an antioxidant serum (my current favorite is SkinBetter Alto) and a broad spectrum sunscreen (my favorite post procedure is Dermaquest SPF 50) and at night use tretinoin/retinol to maintain results.
What is the best age to start these procedures?
The sad truth of the matter is the earlier your start the better results you will get because your skin is better able to respond to the treatment. That said, don’t spend money on lasering away brown spots if you are just going to go lay in the sun on your next vacation. With age comes wisdom about many things, including safe sun behavior. Great results are still achievable at any age.