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Don’t Forget the Maintenance:

Buying a new car is a great feeling. Everything is shiny and working optimally, but wear and tear requires maintenance. When a patient comes in for services such as Intense Pulse Light (IPL) /  Broad Band Light (BBL) for sun damage or rosacea, we do our very best to create that optimal look for them. Generally 3-6 treatments may be required to create that shiny new look, roughly once per month. But we all go out in the sun, we get new broken blood vessels and we continue to age, even though the IPL/BBL treatments slow down the aging process.

It is important to realize that the results obtained during an initial series of treatments are meant to treat years of wear and tear. We are able to reverse brown spots and reduce redness and burst blood vessels/spider veins, but our skin is a living organ. Collagen continues to break down, and free radical damage attacks our skin both intrinsically and extrinsically on a daily basis. We blow our nose, forget sunscreen, use water that is too hot and occasionally are too lazy to clean and moisturizer our skin before bedtime. All these actions or inactions lead to new issues.

Patients suffering from acne may get great results from chemical peels or silk peels or facials, but again, the skin is still producing oils. The initial acne may be gone, and hopefully will never return to its worst condition, but maintaining clear skin isn’t possible without treating the underlying issue, which is overactive oil glands and congestion. Because our skin makes oil, we have to bring it in occasionally for a tune up. It may be monthly, or quarterly, depending on the amount of oil being produced. Because skin is a living organ, it will continue to work the way it needs to, and it is up to us to understand that, just like making your bed every day, your skin needs to be “ made “ properly too.

For antiaging lasers, and after the initial series of treatments, doing a Laser Genesis quarterly builds collagen where otherwise it would be simply breaking down. Microneedling with or without PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) should follow the same rules. Prevent collagen breakdown by continually creating new collagen. Studies conducted over a ten year span have concluded that those who choose to maintain their results with maintenance treatments age much slower than those who only treat initially.

In conclusion, it is not realistic to expect that a chronic condition will completely go away forever without maintenance. It is true that some situations, such as scars or broken vessels caused from an acute action such as being hit with a ball, causing broken vessels, can be alleviated without maintenance. But, those concerns are a minority at our clinic. Collagen break down, spider veins, new sun damage and rosacea-like skin are conditions that are ongoing. And, like maintaining your car, or making your bed, great skin can only remain great skin with the help of tweaking it occasionally to keep it running optimally.

~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre

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