It is not unusual for women, and sometimes men, to come in for a consultation looking for a quick fix. As we age, we lose collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and fibroblasts leading to fine lines, wrinkles and loss of volume. Where cheeks used to be full, they now appear flatter, leaving us with lines in the nasal-labial (“laugh lines”) area and the beginnings of sagging skin at the base of the jaw, known as jowls. Where the under eye area used to be full and smooth and uniform in colour to the rest of our skin, there now appears to be a recession, leaving us with a more hallowed out appearance, sometimes accompanied by dark circles or puffy bags. We look tired, dull and older than we feel on the inside.
My first suggestion is to begin with fillers. Made of hyaluronic acid, they are a safe, painless quick fix. When the patient walks out of the clinic after having fillers administered by one of our exceptional dermatologists, the volume has been restored and the patient can feel youthful once again. But then what? How can we maintain those results? By all means, fillers can be administered every 6-12 months, but is there a way to actually build up the skin’s collagen? Is there a way to prolong the results of the filler? Actually there are a few ways.
Stimulating new collagen starts in the dermis of the skin, where collagen is created. In clinic, we can create new collagen by using a laser called Profractional. It is a system that aerates the skin, destroying old cells and stimulating new cells to be formed. Done on a monthly basis, the Profractional laser will help to create long lasting volume to the entire face, including the area right under the eyes. With most lasers, there is a little downtime associated with the procedure. About 2 full days are required for strict home care, but by the third day, most redness is gone and a little make up will cover any remaining pink skin until the skin is healed. For most people 3-6 treatments are required.
Another way to stimulate collagen with even less downtime is by treating in clinic with the Dermaroller. Working in a similar fashion to the Profractional, but without the use of a laser, this procedure uses a micro-needling technique to create new collagen. Treatments are performed every two months until desired results are accomplished. About 3-6 treatments should do the trick! Also, with the Dermaroller there are no side effects, minimal pain and practically no downtime with most patients.
Rounding off the in-clinic procedures for maintaining the volume of fillers are the Intraceuticals Oxygenating facials. Initially done weekly for 6 weeks, hyaluronic acid is infused into the skin via oxygen. They can be done monthly afterwards for full volume and a glow unmatched by other treatments. There is no downtime and the treatments are quite pleasant.
And finally, for home care, I always recommend medical-grade Clayton Shagal Elasthy Gel for morning and Colhy Gel for nighttime. Applied properly, these gels penetrate into the dermis within 60 seconds. I have been using them for over four years and I have noticed my nasal-labial folds decrease significantly without the use of fillers. I have noticed a chicken pox scar almost disappear and when I do get fillers, they last for 1 1/2-2 years. I am often told I look a lot younger than I am, and I always give great credit to Clayton Shagal.
So, come in for the fillers, but stay for the volume! Whether it be a service to stimulate your own collagen to be generated or products to be used at home, we can help to make your volume last indefinitely.
~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre