Let’s face it we are all getting older. But how many of us look in the mirror and don’t see the young person that we feel inside? Being young at heart is definitely the way to live our lives. But what if the outside doesn’t match? Can we do anything about it? Can we stop or reverse the damage we have done to our face, our hands, and our décolleté? As a medical esthetician in the beauty field for almost 30 years, I can say with absolute certainty that the answer is yes. And we can do it without scalpels, without surgery and with little to no downtime.
The number one cause of premature aging on the skin is from photodamage (sun!). Damage from UVA rays from the sun is more damaging to the skin than smoking, drinking or poor dietary habits. The proper use of sunscreens throughout your life will be your best way to preserve your skin. But let’s say the damage has already been done. That is where we come in. With the help of lasers, chemical peels and medical grade home care, we can decrease lines and wrinkles, add volume and tighten sagging skin, and reduce brown spots. We can eliminate red lesions, broken blood vessels and make the skin smoother and softer. Sometimes a little bit of Botox or dermal wrinkle fillers is all that is needed.
The broadband light (BBL) device is our go-to machine when people come to seek help with flat brown spots (“lentigo”) or red vessels (“telangiectasia”). The machine works like a magnet to remove brown spots. Imagine the pigmented lesions are the south end of a magnet and the broadband light is the north end. By tuning it for the appropriate skin tones, we can effectively lift the browns right out of the skin. There is no downtime and make up can even be applied right after the treatment. The number of treatments depends on how many and how large the lesions are, but generally 3-6 treatments will give great clearance.
When treating for broken blood vessels, we use a different filter, and this time the heat from the laser will coagulate the vessels and they will simply metabolize through your system. In essence, they will simply just go away. The broadband light is the best machine for treating rosacea, and again there is no downtime, and its incredibly safe in experienced and trained hands.
Actinic Keratoses are generally red, scaly lesions on the forehead, scalp, back of the hands or other areas that have been overexposed to the sun. These lesions are “pre-cancerous” and are best diagnosed by a dermatologist. Once diagnosed, Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) can be used to get rid of the actinic keratosis involving a topical medicine activated by the broadband light device. This treatment is often covered by health benefits, as it is a medical concern. Not only does this treatment clear up nicely these lesions, but also other sun damage spots including flat brown lentigos, and burst blood vessels called telangiectasia often disappear, often with the added bonus of a bit of skin tightening and an overall glow to the skin.
Because the energy from the broadband light stimulates collagen, the skin will feel softer and smoother as the treatments progress. In fact there have been papers published recently that state that doing even two full face treatments a year will greatly slow down the aging process!
Another treatment for aging skin comes in the form of chemical peels. At our clinic we carry a multitude of medical-grade peels ranging from single acid peels such as glycolic for fine lines and TCA for more textural problems, to mixed acid peels that treat several issues all at one time. One of my favourite peels contains retinol, which is not only anti-aging, but has the ability to repair skin as well. With no heat or discomfort, and very little to no actual peeling, it is an absolute dream peel to do on those who can’t afford the downtime associated with some of our more aggressive peels.
Our patients come in all sizes, all skin types and all ages. Consultations are complimentary, and, I believe, the best starting point to get you going in the right direction. We take all of your concerns into consideration before creating a solution that is made just for you. Whether your restrictions may be time, financial or intolerances to certain products, we have an incredible selection of choices that will work for your lifestyle.
~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre