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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Fillers & Laser Resurfacing VS. Surgery

One of the most common questions I get is whether the non surgical options, such as fillers and lasers, really can offer visible, lasting results, or if cosmetic surgery is inevitable. To answer, it is important to at least have a general understanding of the main modalities of facial rejuvenation. Many factors play into whether someone can get very good results with lasers and fillers, and not need to resort to surgery. It is a topic I’ll discuss further in this week’s blog.

No Discomfort and Down Time

I couldn’t start without addressing the reasons to even consider fillers and lasers before surgery, of which there are many. Many people don’t want to go through the pain and time that it takes to recover from cosmetic surgery. Fillers and most lasers are in and out treatments with minor to no discomfort. Any side effects such as mild redness, tenderness or swelling diminish quickly and can be covered with mineral makeup so that there really isn’t any down time.

Instant Gratification

Result times from surgery can vary based on the kinds of surgery and its necessary recovery time, but most certainly it’s in the weeks to months time frame rather than days. Fillers, such as Juvederm and Juvederm Voluma XC, provide instant results that can last a year or 2. The rejuvenating changes from laser treatments are immediately visible, but increase over a few weeks, as the body is stimulated to produce more collagen. Lasers, such as Fraxel DUAL and Fraxel RePair actually empower skin to act younger again.

What Lasers and Fillers Can Do

Lasers and fillers are a great option when skin still has some elasticity, but needs help with firmness and wrinkles. You’d be amazed that you can look 10 years younger without drastic measures. Lasers stimulate collagen production, which produces a tightening effect on the skin. They also improve skin tone, smoothness, and correct pigmentation problems. As long as there’s still some skin elasticity, a successful alternative to an eye lift is the Fraxel RePair laser to lift and tighten sagging eyelids.

Fillers can be used in a variety of ways to improve wrinkles and restore volume to the face. A cheek augmentation with Juvederm Voluma XC creates a mini face lift. By adding volume to the cheeks, it can tighten the skin around the mouth and nose to decrease marionette and smile lines.

When Surgery is Necessary

As skin gets to the point where it doesn’t have elasticity and is literally hanging, it is time to consult a surgeon. Fortunately, with a great maintenance plan of skin care, Botox, fillers and lasers, your skin can stay younger looking for much longer.

Visit www.DrCovey.com to find out about all the alternatives to surgery with the youth restoring laser and filler treatments available.

Sincerely,

Dr Covey

The Many Facets of Fraxel

While Fraxel can be used to treat very common skin conditions, such as sun spots, wrinkles, acne scars and rough, uneven skin texture, it can also be helpful for more specialized uses as well.

Melasma

These dark patches are different than sun spots, as they are caused by the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and breastfeeding, oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. It is mostly seen in women and is extremely common. You can normally tell that a brown spot is melasma and not sun damage, because it appears as irregular large patches of brown skin on the forehead, lower cheeks, upper lip, and nose. This “pregnancy mask” can be a big confidence crusher that puts a damper on that “pregnancy glow”, but it doesn’t have to since Fraxel is a safe and effective non invasive treatment.

Actinic Keratosis

Approximately 10 million Americans each year are affected by the common pre-cancerous skin condition, Actinic Keratosis (AK). Showing up as scaly or crusty growths in areas that are frequently exposed to sunlight, AK is very treatable. People are increasingly turning to lasers, such as Fraxel technology, to effectively diminish the appearance of this skin condition.

Whether it be these two skin conditions or the ones covered last week (wrinkles, sun spots, acne scars or rough texture), the type of your treatment will be determined by what intensity of results you’re looking for. Here’s a little more detail about each Fraxel laser to guide you in your decision about which laser treatment you may need.

Fraxel Repair

It utilizes carbon dioxide laser beams to not only affect wrinkles and discolorations, but to tighten skin by stimulating your own collagen. Fraxel Repair is a Fractional Deep Dermal Ablative (FDAA) treatment, which penetrates deeper to encourage tissue to connect, firm up and rebuild collagen. This is a more aggressive approach to tighten, lighten, and resurface the skin. Although it has more of a recovery than the Fraxel DUAL laser, its recoup time is insignificant compared to more invasive surgery options.

Fraxel DUAL

This one is the gentler of the 2 Fraxel laser options. It is safe for all skin types and addresses more moderate levels of concern with pigmentation, skin tone, lines and acne scarring, and poor skin texture. In a series of treatments with no downtime, you will see a remarkably more youthful appearance. DUAL uses a proprietary Intelligent Optical Tracking System for exact location treatment, no matter what part of the body is being treated.

Clear + Brilliant

Using the same fractional laser technology as Fraxel Repair and DUAL, Clear + Brilliant laser offers gentle and safe treatments that can help you to minimize and possibly even erase the early signs of aging, such as wrinkles, rough skin texture, uneven skin tone, and sun damage. The series of Clear + Brilliant treatments can be completed in 20 minute sessions that require no downtime to achieve the youthful glow that illuminates from the inside out.

My website www.DrCovey.com can guide you more on which of these lasers is best for you. We’d love to speak with you to help you make the best choice for restoring fresh, smooth, brilliant skin.

Sincerely,

Dr Covey

Most Common Skin Fixes with Fraxel

Last week I introduced the amazing Fraxel lasers, and now we will go more in depth on what results you can get from them. To review, you learned that Fraxel Repair is the strongest of the lasers, Fraxel DUAL is the medium level laser and Clear + Brilliant is the most gentle. Fraxel lasers have so many capabilities and can be used for a wide variety of skin conditions. Let’s explore the most common skin conditions Fraxel lasers can treat to restore a youthful appearance to your skin without surgery.

Wrinkles

The unwanted yet unavoidable sign of aging are those creeping skin creases called wrinkles. Most noticeable on the face, neck, chest and hands, wrinkles are caused by a few factors. Combined with years of expression, muscle movement, and skin drying factors, as we age, the skin’s collagen and elastin break down faster than the body can repair and rebuild them. This causes the wrinkles, furrows, and fine lines.

Fortunately, Fraxel lasers actually stimulate collagen to be rebuilt. You don’t have to freeze your expressions like smiling, laughing, to lessen their appearance. Now with Fraxel, you can stimulate your skin to act younger and tighten back up to where those creases aren’t as noticeable.

Age & Sun Spots

Your body reacts to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays by producing a pigment called melanin to try to protect itself. We commonly call this pigmentation, age spots or sun spots, although they are due more to sunning than aging. This pigmentation is cumulative and tends to show up more and more as we age.

These flat, brown patches give a blotchy, aged look to the face, neck, chest, arms, and hands. Though usually harmless, these blotchy brownish patches can make you look and feel older than you really are. I have seen spectacular results with Fraxel lasers lightening these dark spots so that the skin looks clear, bright and even toned.

Skin Resurfacing

Skin’s texture, color, brightness, and tightness fades as we age. This is caused prdominantly by sun exposure, air pollution, stress, fatigue and lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet, and dehydration. Instead of resurfacing the skin topically through peels and microdermabrasion, Fraxel laser treatments have been cleared by the FDA to safely, gently and effectively resurface your skin from the inside out. Some of the Fraxel laser treatments can have even less downtime than a deep chemical peel, so that means smoother, brighter skin without missing a beat.

Acne and Surgical Scars

These indented or raised marks that usually are discolored can really put a damper on anyone’s confidence in their appearance. No one wants to remember their awkward high school years with acne scars, and adult acne is more common than you think. Fortunately, Fraxel lasers can significantly improve the skin coloration, as well as smooth out the sometimes wavy appearance that scars leave on the face and other areas of the body

Do you have any of these common skin conditions? Visit www.DrCovey.com or call us to discuss which level of Fraxel laser would be right for you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Covey

Intro to Fraxel: The Best Laser Treatments Available Today

Want to know about the trendiest laser treatments available now? This one laser technology can offer so much that people are raving about all the great results. Even better is that the intensity can be customized to your specific needs without foregoing your youthful “glow.” I’m talking about the Fraxel lasers. There are a couple of different types, which can be confusing, so in this blog I’ll do an overview of all the different kinds, and then later this month, we’ll go a bit more in depth.

Specialized treatments are great, but I love the flexibility of the Fraxel laser since it can be used for a multitude of quick fixes. Whether you’re looking to rejuvenate your skin by minimizing mild, moderate or deep wrinkles, sun spots or scars, sagging or rough texture, all of that is addressed by the Fraxel lasers.

Solta, the pioneer of fractionated laser treatments, has developed three different laser modalities to address everything from mild concerns to aggressive concerns. All are very precise and based on the same cutting edge technology. So the question isn’t necessarily which laser is better, but the question is what intensity of treatment do you need and how much recovery are you willing to experience to get the results?

Don’t get me wrong, you can’t even begin to compare the down time of a cosmetic surgery and the pain you go through, with the minimal discomfort and minimal downtime experienced with Fraxel laser treatments. Any downtime with these lasers is more of a “social” downtime, where your skin may look a little red and irritated, which is easily healed with extra moisturizer and covered with mineral makeup. Even the most intense of these laser treatments (Fraxel Repair) can have less of a recovery than a strong chemical peel.

So how do these fractionated lasers work?

You’ll need to arrive about an hour before treatment time in order to prep, which usually includes topically numbing the area to be treated. The treatment itself only takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the area. The hand held Fraxel laser beams tiny columns of light into the deeper layers of skin on the specific area to be treated. It is extremely precise so it will not damage any of the surrounding areas. You’ll probably experience a prickling sensation, although it’s relatively pain free depending on which intensity laser you need. What’s really neat is that this stimulates the skin’s ability to repair itself and create more collagen.

What are the main differences between them?

I’ll go more in depth on each laser in the following weeks, so this is a brief overview.

Fraxel Repair is the most intense of the lasers and may be good if you are looking for significant repair from many years of damage. Fraxel DUAL is the medium level laser that uses 2 wavelengths to treat multiple skin conditions and multiple skin colors. Clear + Brilliant is the most gentle and a great laser for those who want to “ease in” to laser treatments while still receiving visible results.

Stay tuned to learn more about how Fraxel lasers restore a more youthful face and body. Until my next blog, you can visit www.DrCovey.com.

Sincerely,

Dr Covey

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