According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, non-surgical anti-aging procedures accounted for 83% of the total number of cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. in 2012. In fact, demand for non-surgical cosmetic procedures has risen steadily over the last fifteen years. We’re living longer, working longer, and leading busier, more active lives. People want their outer appearance to match their youthful spirit and vigor – but a lengthy recovery period post procedure? Not so much. Thankfully, with today’s modern technology and advanced non-invasive treatments, it IS possible to successfully fight the signs of aging over your lunch hour.
Depending on your issue, there are several non-surgical treatments that can turn back the clock a few years. “There are three major signs of aging that we tackle: Skin quality, skin laxity, and volume loss,” explains Dr. Trevor Born, a cosmetic plastic surgeon with successful practices in Toronto and Manhattan. “Skin quality refers to skin tone and texture. Environmental, hereditary and lifestyle factors deteriorate the quality of our skin over time, so we work to reverse that damage. Skin laxity occurs as collagen and elastin stores are depleted, resulting in wrinkles, deep facial folds and loose skin around the jawline and neck. Certain treatments we use can tighten up the skin and soften lines. And finally, volume loss occurs in the face, causing us to look gaunt. We try to restore a more youthful ‘plumpness’ to the face with certain injectables.”
So what can a patient expect with these new and improved non-surgical treatments? Certainly, the days of red, raw faces and week-long recovery times are over. Dr. Born walks us through a treatment plan for the modern day patient who can’t afford to hide out as they heal:
• “To start we’d focus on improving skin texture with a series of chemical peels and micro-dermabrasion. The technology has definitely improved with these treatments in the last few years. Older dermabrasion systems used dry crystals to strip the top layer of skin, often leaving a patient irritated and inflamed for days. Newer dermabrasion systems, such as the “SilkPeel,” use a wet infusion, which pumps the skin full of soothing anti-oxidant rich dermaceutics as it exfoliates. The skin is instantly softer and smoother, and will continue to improve with repeat treatments. With chemical peels, we are now able to control the strength and depth of the topical applications more effectively – so you don’t necessarily have to leave the office with a red face. Medium depth glycolic acid peels work gradually over time to encourage cell turnover – you will notice some tightness and flakiness, but it’s manageable. A series of these peels can effectively help to restore a fresh, dewy look to dull, aging skin.”
• “Next, we’d look at skin laxity. How can we tighten up droopy, saggy skin without surgery? In my practice – we favour “RF” or radio frequency technology for skin tightening. Thermage is a non-invasive RF treatment that uses powerful heat pulses to stimulate collagen production in all 3 layers of the dermis. As your new collagen develops, the skin becomes tighter in the treated areas. Thermage is very effective for tightening up the “jowl,” and can also help to “lift” saggy eyelids. The beauty of this treatment is that everything happens deep below the surface of the skin, so there are no visible markers that you have had a treatment at all.”
• “Finally, one of the greatest tools we have in our anti-aging toolkit are cosmetic injectables. In less than an hour, we can minimize unsightly forehead wrinkles, plump up sunken cheeks or hollowed out temples, re-shape a sagging jawline, and fill in the hollows under tired looking eyes. In terms of non surgical options, injectables offer the most dramatic and immediate result. Aside from some swelling and minor bruising, the downtime is minimal, and again, manageable. The great results are worth the minimal downtime one might have to endure, which would explain the continued growth of this area in cosmetic procedures in my practice and throughout North America.”
So there you have it! Everything you need to whip your aging self into youthful submission – no hibernation required. Just remember to choose an experienced provider for any of your treatments – a board certified plastic surgeon with credentials and a good reputation is a good place to start. Dr. Born also suggests managing your expectations when it comes to non-surgical procedures. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“There are many non-surgical treatments out there that make big promises, but actually only a select few that work,” advises Dr. Born. “With the right program we can definitely reverse the signs of aging. It’s just a matter of sifting through the noise and committing to the right regimen.”
About Trevor M. Born, M.D.
Dr. Trevor M. Born, B.SC., M.D., F.R.C.S., is one of North America’s leading practitioners in the field of cosmetic plastic surgery and enjoys a well deserved reputation as a progressive and meticulous surgeon. Dr. Born holds a BSc from Queen’s University and received his Medical Degree from McMaster. Board certified in the U.S and Canada, he is currently on staff at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.