What is Collagen

What is collagen

Collagen! That word flies around so much these recent times. Its usage in sentences may be a pointer to its vast application which cuts across various fields of human health. It is now available as pills, topical agents – cosmetics such as creams, soaps and powders. This article seeks to make you understand what collagen is and its benefits for your body.

Related article: Transforming your skin with laser skin treatments

What is collagen?

Collagen stands as the most abundant protein present in the body. It is found in the blood, skin, hair, bones, nails and all most every other tissue in the human body. Collagen contributes immensely to the structural integrity of connective tissues.

There are various types of collagen. This classification is a function of how they are adapted based on the role of the tissue they are located in plays. Primarily, collagen contributed to tissue regeneration as it promotes wound healing. Also, collagen acts as a tissue scaffold that holds tissues in place.

Type 1 collagen is the most abundant form. It is found in the skin, bones and other tissues. Its major function is to keep the skin firm, tender and smooth. So, you see why collagen is mostly used in the context of cosmetics?

Why does my body not have enough collagen?

Now that you know what collagen is, we should get into the talk. Before you learn how to boost collagen, you should first know why your body doesn’t have enough. There are many reasons why you may not have enough collagen in your body.

One common cause of collagen depletion is aging With ageing, many mechanisms of your body lose effectiveness including your metabolism. The synthesis and storage of collagen might be reduced as a result of impaired metabolism. This generally starts from the age of 25. Sadly, there is no way to stop this depletion. In addition, the body finds it difficult to absorb nutrients effectively with age. This makes the “raw materials” needed for the process unavailable.

Malnutrition is another factor that leads to reduced collagen levels in your body. Collagen is a protein made from the aggregation of many amino acids to form a three-dimensional structure with glycine and proline as the most important components. The amino acids that are used to create collagen are obtained mostly from food. Hence, nutrition is important in collagen formation. Malnutrition, particularly the consumption of food poor in protein content, will also lead to reduced collagen formation.

Effects of low collagen levels

At the joints, collagen is found in the cartilage that covers the bones at that joint. These cartilages are important in the articulatory functions of the joint as it moves. When collagen stores are depleted, there may be joint pain arising from the wear and tear of the cartilage. This worn-out cartilage may even progress into osteoarthritis.

Collagen is also found in the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body. It provides rigidity for the structural framework of these issues. When there is a deficiency, there will be a reduction in your muscle mass (the bulkiness of your muscles) and muscle weakness. The tendons and ligaments become stiffer, and this makes movement more difficult.

In cosmetics, collagen is very important to ensure beautiful ravishing skin. Low levels of collagen cause the skin to lose its firmness and tenderness. This will give you rough skin and wrinkles.

Related article: Are Skin Rejuvenation Treatments Worth The Money

How to improve collagen formation

The importance of collagen in the body is indispensable. Its ubiquitousness makes it very essential for normal body functioning and body aesthetics. Having learned about the basic mechanisms through which collagen deposition might reduce, you should have an idea on how to improve collagen formation and boost the beauty of your skin. Some tips that will help boost your body’s collagen levels include:

Proper nutrition

In order to synthesize collagen, your body has a way of combining amino acids. Remember that amino acids are the basic units of any protein. These amino acids are obtained from the breakdown of protein-rich meals like meat, fish, dairy products, eggs and beans.

It is a rather complex process that requires the use of various organelles in the cells. The synthesis also requires vitamins like Vitamin C and some minerals such as zinc and copper. Fruits and green vegetables are a great source of vitamin C, while cereals and seafood are good sources of copper and zinc.

Since ageing reduces the rate of absorption of these nutrients, it is important to take them in higher quantities. This way, more of these nutrients will be absorbed by the body. Bone broth is also recommended as a great source of nutrients to improve collagen production. You can get it from a grocery store or prepare it by yourself.

Related article: Best Ways to Hydrate Your Skin

Collagen supplements

Some supplements are specially crafted to boost the level of collagen in the body. These supplements come in various forms. You just have to choose the one that best suits you – powder, tablets, cream etc.

You may add collagen powder to drinks such as smoothies and beverages. Collagen peptide is a hydrolyzed form of collagen which comes in powder form. Typically, it does not have a flavour and can be added to your soups and drinks as it dissolves readily.

Alternatively, you can take powdered gelatin. This is collagen in its cooked form. It easily increases the level of collagen in your body. Similar to bone broth, it can be added soups, other meals or even the broth. You can also add it to your cup of keto beverage.

Creams

Skin creams that are rich in collagen are also very effective. In addition to improving your collagen deposition, it helps to screen your skin from environmental elements and prevents water loss. It does this by adding a film layer to the skin. This improves the quality of your skin and makes sure that your skin is firmer, radiant and devoid of wrinkles.

Retinoids

Another choice you can explore is the use of retinoids. Retinoids also contain Vitamin A and are perhaps the most researched anti-ageing agent. It is effective in the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines with results evident in about six months of consistent use. Various modifications have been made from the first products released years ago. Retinoids are considered the gold standard in cosmetic skincare.

Retinoids function by stimulating the synthesis of collagen, which helps to hold your skin firmly. They also stimulate neovascularization (development of new blood vessels). This will give you an even skin tone. Regular use of retinoids has been found to make spots and patches fade out. They help to slow down the breakdown of collagen.

The side effects of retinoid use include dryness of the skin and irritation. It is therefore recommended that you start with intermittent use before making it regular. Consequently, you can start by using it every two days and gradually increase your usage until you can use every night. During the day, you should use sunscreen because the sensitivity of your skin is increased with the use of retinoids.

Over-the-counter medication

In addition, there are over-the-counter preparations that contain retinoids, like retinol. They are typically not as strong as pure retinoids, so they cause less irritation. Although, this considerably reduces their effectiveness in stimulating collagen synthesis. Hence, wrinkling might not be reduced as effectively when compared to retinoids.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are agents capable of protecting your body from the possible damage from free radicals. Although not all antioxidants will boost collagen levels, they will ensure the effective utilization of collagen already present in the body.

There are various types and forms of antioxidants which are found in various food nutrients. Examples of such sources include green tea, blueberries, cinnamon, yerba mate, and so on.

Sunscreen

Using sunscreen can help protect your skin from the damaging effects of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Unfriendly weather conditions increase the breakdown of cells and make your skin lose its structural system, which is mostly comprised of collagen.

Cosmetic procedures that can boost collagen levels

Thanks to innovations in cosmetic tech, multiple procedures can boost your body’s collagen production levels. We will discuss a few of them in this section.

Related article: 5 Best Anti-Aging Treatments

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a method of boosting collagen and getting rid of wrinkles that involve the use of abrasion to “peel” off your skin. It is a minimally invasive therapy capable of renewing your overall skin tone, texture and skin quality. It is also useful as a remedy for skin damage, wrinkling skin and fine lines, acne scars, age spots and many other skin issues.

This procedure involves the use of a special kind of roller that has an abrasive surface. This equipment gingerly scrapes away your skin’s thick outer layer. By removing the rough outer layer of your skin, it exposes new smoother skin. Microdermabrasion also creates tiny micro-wounds that stimulate your body to produce more collagen.

Some other forms of microdermabrasion use fine aluminum oxide particles or particles of sodium bicarbonate. This technique involves spraying the fine particles with a vacuum/suction to create an abrasive effect. The end result of microdermabrasion is a boost in collagen levels as well as a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Cost of microdermabrasion

Usually, your medical insurance will not cover the cost of your microdermabrasion procedure because it is regarded as a cosmetic procedure. This means you may have to pay out of pocket.

A single microdermabrasion session can cost up to $500, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, although this cost varies with different factors. The basal price is cost-effective when compared to other minimally invasive procedures available.

Major factors that determine the cost of the procedure include:

  • The quality of the Medical Aesthetician: The best experts tend to charge a lot more. Therefore, the cost of the procedure is affected by the proficiency of your aesthetician.
  • The site to be treated: The wider the surface of the skin to the treated, the higher the cost. You might also need to have more than one appointment. Therefore, it may cost more, depending on the number of sessions you need.
  • Location: The average cost of living in some cities can affect the price of your microdermabrasion sessions.

Precautions

For the best results, it is essential that you take some precautions. It is a minimally invasive procedure. Therefore, you do not need to be overly worried about the side effects associated with the procedure.

First off, you have to engage in a consultation session with a medical aesthetician to ensure that the procedure is suitable for you. Do not forget to mention your previous surgeries, procedures as well as any drug allergies.

You would be told to stay away from direct sunlight and tanning creams for about one week before your treatment. The one-hour procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis. Also, it involves numbing your face beforehand. Therefore, you should not feel pain during the procedure.

The side effects of the procedure include pain after the anesthetic agent wears off. Other side effects include swelling and skin redness. These are usually resolved in a couple of hours following the procedure. It is strongly recommended that you use a moisturizer to minimize dry and flaky skin. Following the procedure, there is a downtime of about half a day. At most, you should be able to resume your daily activities within a day or two after your treatment.

Laser treatment

Lasers are important tools in dermatology and cosmetology due to their wide range of application. They are also considered to be a non-invasive treatment option. They involve the use of light energy concentrated in a beam. The energy is absorbed by the cells in the treated area. The mitochondria, which serve as the powerhouse of your skin cells, will trap the energy to stimulate cell growth and healing process.

Additionally, laser treatments heat the dermis layer of your skin. This stimulates collagen production making sure that your body has enough collagen to replenish and revitalize your skin.

It is a common misconception to believe that lasers might peel off the surface layers of the skin leading to a pale and whitish skin underneath. The lasers available today are capable of penetrating your skin and boosting the production of collagen without peeling off the surface layer of the skin. They also work by targeting dead and damaged tissues in the treatment area.

Chemical peels

This involves the use of acidic chemicals to breakdown the superficial surface of the skin. It is used in the treatment of uneven skin tone, wrinkles and fine lines. There are various types of chemical peels based on the depth of their penetration. They include deep-depth, medium-depth and superficial.

During chemical peels, the breakdown of the outermost layer of your skin stimulates collagen production. Your skin automatically starts producing collagen to improve wound healing and the development of fresh skin.

Related article: The Benefits of Chemical Peels

Lifestyle activities that boost collagen production

You can boost the collagen production and synthesis of your skin by implementing some lifestyle changes. Some of them include:

Reducing the production of free radicals

Habit and environmental predispositions may cause an increase in free radicals in the body. This can disrupt the normal structure of your body. More to the point, it prevents the synthesis of structural proteins, including collagen and elastin.

Cigarette smoking exposes you to a significant amount of free radicals which might impede the generation and utilization of collagen. Air pollution also contributes to the generation of free radicals.

Good Nutrition

A good diet is essential for collagen formation. Nutrients such as vitamins A and C and minerals like copper and zinc improve your body’s collagen production rate. Slow wound healing, gum bleeding and hemorrhages under the skin are evidence of poor collagen formation from the deficiency of vitamin C. Meals rich in vitamin C will definitely help. Amino acids, such as proline and glycine, also contribute to increased collagen levels.

Regular Exercise

Exercise also leads to increased collagen production. It increases the thickness of the skin and slows down the signs of ageing in the body. Exercise increases blood flow to the skin, improving the supply of nutrients, oxygen and human growth hormones, which are normally reduced with age. Engaging in regular exercise will reduce the rate of collagen depletion, prevent wrinkling and other telltale signs of ageing.

Summary

Collagen is vital for smooth, radiant skin. Unfortunately, as we grow older, our bodies produce less collagen. Thankfully, treatment methods, such as chemical peels and laser treatments can be used to stimulate increased collagen production. Our experts can determine the best treatment to give you that radiant skin that you desire. Contact us today!

Transforming your skin with laser skin treatments

Laser Skin Resurfacing

The skin is a sense organ with excretory and protective functions. However, its role in body aesthetics cannot be shoved aside. The ability to look good largely depends on the quality of your skin and of course, your facial structure. This is why the skin is quite important in cosmetics. While it might take invasive procedures to change the structure of your face, you can look a lot better with procedures as simple as a laser skin treatment.

Laser therapy is a widely used medical tool that makes use of light-emitting diodes. It can stimulate body cells to promote repair, regeneration, and wound healing. Additionally, it is a non-invasive therapy.

Laser skin treatment is used in the treatment of various skin conditions, including acne scars, eczema, and nail infections. It is also used to reduce the incidence of lines and wrinkles, brown spots, birthmarks, and scars. It works by focusing a concentrated beam of light on the area of the skin that is being treated.

Skin specialists now believe that most of the changes that we see on our skin as we grow older are due to the sun (sometimes referred to as “photodamage”). Since most of us are usually exposed to some amount of sun rays, these changes are nearly inevitable.

Related article: Skin Resurfacing – which is the best treatment for you?

 

Applications of laser skin treatments

There are various laser therapy applications effective in ensuring uniformity of skin tone and improving your complexion. They involve acne scar laser treatment, pigment spot removal, laser resurfacing and more. Also, they all utilize pulses of light energy to make your skin clearer.

Some of the applications of laser therapy include:

Related article: Transforming your skin with laser skin treatments

Acne scar treatment

Laser resurfacing may not be recommended where there is acne on your face. However, laser therapy is effective in the treatment of acne scars, most preferably, the shallow ones.

Topical agents are commonly used in the management of acne. However, when they are not effective, a burst of light energy can be used. Just like laser skin resurfacing, laser therapy removes layers of the scar tissue to expose new unscarred skin underneath.

You might, however, need more than one session for the total removal of the scar tissue. Remember that although laser therapy is effective for acne scars, it cannot be used with active acne eruptions.

Related article: 7 Easy Tips to Be Acne Free

Visible vessels removal

Sometimes, various abnormalities of the blood vessels can be evident on the skin and present as bluish-purple colorations.

These colorations can also alter your complexion and make your skin tone uneven. Gladly, laser vein therapies are available to help.

The light energy is capable of going through the skin to fix it by somewhat destroying the vessels. No worries, they are really tiny vessels, and they do not supply your skin. This, in turn, reverses the discoloration and leaves you with a clear and even skin.

Removal of these vessels improves cosmetics and complexion without affecting the supply of blood to your skin.

Pigment spot removal

Melanocytes are the cells responsible for the production of melanin. This is a pigment substance found in the skin. The concentration of melanocytes in the skin determines your skin tone.

Sometimes, the concentration may vary from site to site, which might be significant enough to present as freckles, birthmarks, age spots, and more. Laser skin treatment effectively evens skin complexion by targeting these areas and destroying the melanocytes. This reduces the melanin in the area and makes it even like other body parts. A fresh and fairer skin emerges beneath as the body naturally filters out the dead or damaged cells.

This technique has also been found useful in removing tattoo inks.

Related article: Skin pigmentation treatments: Cost, Procedure, Benefits and Potential Risks

The types of pigmented spots for which laser skin treatment can be used include:

Birthmarks

They are flat brown or blackish discolouration on the skin with different sizes and shapes. It can be found on any part of the body.

Freckles

These are caused by the deposition of pigments in the skin. They are flat brownish spotted discolorations.

Melasma

This condition is also called chloasma. It exists in the form of brownish discolorations like patches on the face. Melasma is usually associated with pregnancy and sunlight exposure

Related article: Melasma Treatment – What is it and How is it Treated?

Liver spots

These are also called solar lentigines. They are very common tan Esque lesions that appear in ageing people who have fair skin and have spent a lot of time in the sun.

Port-wine stain

This is a reddish or purplish discoloration of the skin due to vascular malformation (Not melanocytes).

The goal of laser skin therapy is to remove the discoloration and or prevent the formation of new melanin in the area. It inevitably leaves you with an even tone and youthful-looking skin.

Pros and cons of pigmented spot removal

  • Pigmented skin remover procedure can be carried out at any age with minimal pain associated. It also requires short recovery time.
  • The only con is that it might, however, require more than one session.

Skin tightening

Like sunlight, ageing also tells on the skin. The skin is an elastic tissue, and over time, this elasticity can be lost. This leaves you with a loose skin that forms wrinkles and fine lines.

A facelift can be used to fix this surgically. However, a facelift does not change the quality of the skin. This is why laser skin treatment is better recommended. The light energy is capable of stimulating the regeneration of collagen and other structural tissues. It also makes the skin more radiant and evens out your complexion.

Related article: Skin Tightening That Actually Works

Laser skin resurfacing

This is the most popular form of laser therapy. Laser skin resurfacing removes damaged or dead skin cells with high specificity. Picture the peeling of the outer, dry part of an onion to reveal the fresh part. Similarly, laser skin resurfacing removes the damaged cells of the skin layer by layer to expose the new, fresh skins underneath.

In doing so, it solves a lot of skin issues. Laser skin resurfacing is effective for improving skin quality and texture. This helps your complexion as it also addresses pigmentation challenges.

There are two major laser types used for laser skin resurfacing. They are:

CO2 Laser Resurfacing

Most recently, versions of the CO2 laser deploy the use of ultra pulse. The name is derived based on the fact that the pulses of light energy are very short.

Some versions release continuous beams of light that gloss over the skin like a scanner. It takes up to 14 days for recovery. This is because it has a higher intensity. It is typically used for the removal of thin layers of damaged skin.

Erbium Laser Resurfacing

This is used for thicker layers of skin cells when compared to carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. In addition to the uses of CO2 laser resurfacing, Erbium laser can be used for eliminating moderately deep wrinkles.

It has the advantage of causing less damage to the surrounding tissue. Also, it has only a few side effects. Since there is less damage, there is improved but variable recovery time. Your doctor should be able to provide you with recovery time after the procedure.

Signs that you need laser resurfacing

Laser resurfacing might be recommended for you if you have wrinkles or fine lines around the lips, eyes or on the forehead, small scars after a facelift or if your skin is non-responsive.

It is, however, not advisable if:

  • You have pimples
  • You are dark-skinned
  • You have stretch marks.

Related article: Using Laser to Stop the Aging Process: Skin Tightening

 

How to prepare for laser resurfacing

Consultation

Consult with a beauty aesthetician to confirm if the procedure is recommended for you. You have to carefully search and evaluate your options before choosing an aesthetician to approach.

Check out the aestheticians training and experience before making a decision. Your beauty expert will consider your biodata, clinical details, indications, and expected results. Then the medical aesthetician will determine which laser resurfacing is best for you.

Inform your doctor if you usually have sores or blisters around the mouth, especially when you fall sick. This is important because the light energy can cause a new eruption if you are predisposed to it.

Pre-procedural instructions

If you decide to go ahead with laser skin resurfacing, your doctor will ask you to avoid taking any medications or supplements that can affect clotting. This medication may include aspirin, ibuprofen, or vitamin E supplements. This should be done for at least ten days before surgery.

Stop smoking at least fourteen days before the procedure. You should also do so for 14 days after the procedure. Consistent smoking can cause a delay in wound healing.

You should stay away from sunbathing, chemical peels, tanning beds, waxing, and collagen injections. Avoid these activities for at least two weeks before your treatment.

Avoid possible sources of irritation such as body sprays and perfumes, particularly, over the site to be treated with laser therapy.

Avoid blood-thinning agents, aspirin and other NSAIDs to ensure normal coagulation and prevent excessive bleeding. Prophylactic antibiotics might be prescribed for you. This prevents infections after the procedure.

Procedural expectations

Here are the things you should expect when you undergo laser resurfacing:

  • Typically, you do not have to stay overnight for a laser resurfacing session as it is done on an outpatient basis.
  • Most of the time, your aesthetician injects local anesthesia to numb the parts of the face that will undergo the treatment. However, general anesthesia can be used, especially if your whole face is being treated.
  • The duration of the surgery largely depends on the area of the face being treated with the laser. It could range from 30 minutes to about 2 hours.

Post-procedural expectations

The treated area is covered up with a bandage. After 24 hours, the treated area will be cleaned up and dressed. It should be cleaned about five times daily.

You would need to apply petroleum jelly or any other suitable ointment regularly. This to keep the sites moist and prevent the formation of scabs, which is the goal of wound management.

In two or three weeks, the treated areas should have healed. However, this depends on the condition that was treated, the type of laser used, and the intensity of light energy.

It is possible to have mild facial swelling after the laser skin resurfacing procedure. Steroids may be prescribed to improve the swelling.

You can use an extra pillow to ensure your head is raised and reduce the swelling. An ice pack is recommended for the few days after the treatment. This will help reduce swelling. Also, it is normal to feel some itch and a mild prickly sensation until the third day after the laser resurfacing.

After the treated area heals, oil-free makeup can be used to reduce skin redness. Green-based makeup can also help conceal it. Do not be worried if the redness persists after three months. For people with fairer skin, the redness can last up to 6 months.

In addition to wearing a hat that can cover your skin, it is essential that you use appropriate sunscreen. You should pick a sunscreen with zinc oxide or any other physical blocker. It should be SPF 30 or greater. Furthermore, regulate the time you spend in the sun, particularly around midday. The newly revealed skin must be kept well moisturized.

Related article: Transforming your skin with laser skin treatments

Possible risks of skin resurfacing

There are risks attached to the laser resurfacing procedure. However, most of these risks can be prevented by taking necessary precautions, a good beauty aesthetician and adhering to the recommendations. The possible complications include:

  • Burns and blister formation
  • Wounds might heal with some scarring
  • Inconsistency in skin pigmentation
  • Re-eruption of herpetic cold sores infection.
  • The treated sites might become infected, especially if prophylactic antibiotics are not used as recommended.
  • White bumps might erupt when the treated areas are healing. They are called Milia and are treatable. So, your doctor can recommend something for it.
  • Discoloration
  • Bleeding
  • Crusting

Cost of Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing might not be covered by your health insurance because it is mostly regarded as a cosmetic procedure.

You should, however, confirm from your service provider. Sometimes, laser therapy is covered by insurance for conditions like a port-wine stain.

The cost of the procedure largely depends on the location the procedure is going to be done and the extent of treatment. It is, however, usually around $1,110 to $2,200, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Related article: Are Skin Rejuvenation Treatments Worth The Money

Advantages of using laser therapy

Below are a few of the benefits of this treatment: 

Inflicts little or no pain

Typically, laser therapy comes with a lot less pain than other treatment options for skin lesions. This means you will not have to be popping pills to reduce pain, unlike other methods.

Stimulates cell regeneration

The light energy used in laser therapy is absorbed by the mitochondria of your skin cells. The mitochondria can be described as the powerhouse of the cell. The cells are thus energized for regeneration and proliferation. This, in turn, promotes healing and wound repair. Your cells will also be equipped with energy for other cellular functions

Improves immune response

The immune response is the body’s reaction to a dangerous agent such as bacteria. Laser skin treatment is effective in stimulating the immune cells to fight infections.

Reduces facial swelling

Typically, most cosmetic procedures involving the skin of the face result in significant inflammation. However, it is not so with laser therapy. The light energy potentiates the actions of the lymphatic system and can improve the drainage of the treatment sites. This reduces the significance of swelling and inflammation.

Improves blood circulation

When used in the treatment of vascular conditions, the vessels are disintegrated. This allows for enough brood circulation around the region treated by disallowing the shunting and damming of blood in those capillaries.

Disadvantages of laser skin resurfacing

Laser skin treatment is not usually the first option for most skin conditions like acne scar removal.

It is typically used when other options, like topical agents, are not effective. Some of the reasons behind this are:

Laser skin treatment is quite expensive

The cost of laser treatment can put a lot of strain on your purse. This is because it is not usually covered by your health insurance.

Multiple sessions may be required

Depending on the skin condition for which the therapy is being used, you might need more than one visit to the clinic.

Laser skin treatment is fast becoming a widely used option for the management of skin conditions. It has the particular advantages of improving complexion, skin quality, stimulating healing and reducing scarring. Although it comes at a considerable cost, it is an excellent choice if you want to get that youthful look.

How To Improve The Results of A Facelift

results of a facelift

As harmless as the passage of time might seem, it does not leave the human body the same. It is evident in too many aspects of your life and particularly, written all over your body. Wrinkles and loose skin are the handwriting of the passage of time – ageing.

As time goes on, the skin of your face loses its elasticity, causing it to droop. This leads to a change in facial structure. This change in the shape of your face might not be too tolerable.

The desire to keep the face looking young led to the development of the facelift procedure. It is driven at literally giving the face a lift following the effects of ageing. This article will be addressing face lifting and how to improve the results of a facelift.

Related article: 5 Best Anti-Aging Treatments

What is a facelift?

Technically known as a rhytidectomy, a facelift is an aesthetical procedure performed on the face to give it a more youthful outlook. A facelift procedure aims to remove wrinkles by the reduction of the excess skin folds that sag on the jaw and cheeks.

During a face-lift, a flap of skin on each side of the face is pulled back. Tissues below the skin are then surgically altered to return the contour of the face to a more youthful shape. Before the flap is sutured closed, excess skin is removed.

At times, it does not just end on the face. A neck lift (platysmaplasty) can also be performed alongside a traditional facelift. This is to reduce the fat and loose skin in the neck region.

It is important to note that a face-lift does not change the quality of the skin. Sure, your skin will be tighter and chiselled. However, it cannot eliminate skin conditions such as melasma, acne, etc.

Related article: Why a Natural Face Lift is your Best Anti-Aging Treatment

How to improve facelift results

The following key points will help you make sure that the results of your facelift procedure are positive:

1. Choice of medical aesthetician

This is extremely important. A facelift is only as good as the “face lifter.” It is therefore important to choose your aesthetician carefully. When on the verge of making a choice, it is not advisable to pick based on ratings or an awesome media outlook. While they may be excellent medical aestheticians, they might not be best suited for a facelift procedure. Knowing how to improve facelift results begins with knowing how to choose the right expert for the job.

The various parts of the human body have their intricacies. As such, extra years are spent focusing on different body parts to become a specialist. So, your trusted expert for laser resurfacing might not be the best choice for a facelift.

Also, the more an aesthetician practices, the higher their competency levels. This is why you have to choose medical aestheticians who specialize in facelift procedures and perform it more often. This will play a significant role in the eventual outcome of the treatment.

2. Avoid indiscriminate sun exposure

The tanning effect of the sun is the culprit here. If you do not want your surgical sites to heal with visible stripes, you need to stay away from the sun for a while. This instruction, after a surgical or nonsurgical skin therapy, should be taken seriously.

You have to protect yourselves against the ultraviolet radiations which might cause pigmented scars. Your skin may react to UV rays leaving a fine facelift with rashes or widespread discoloration. After all, these ultraviolet rays are also part of the ageing factors that bring about wrinkles and pigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation can also occur from the breakdown of essential proteins and other structural factors of the skin. This can ruin a facelift and reduce the outlook and durability.

After a facelift, use protective wear such as sunglasses, sunscreens, and hats.

3. Avoid smoking nicotine-containing compound

Aside from the myriad of negative effects smoking might have, it is not a good idea after a face-lift. As a matter of fact, the post-surgical impacts of smoking are not desirable.

The chemical constituents of cigarettes, including nicotine, have effects on the blood vessels. They cause constriction and narrowing of these blood vessels. This reduces blood supply to surgical sites, which subsequently leads to the impairment of healing at the sites.

A lack of oxygen and essential nutrients needed for tissue regeneration leads to unfavourable outcomes after a facelift procedure.

Cigarette smoking also increases the risk of your surgical site being infected. Nicotine inhibits your immune system. A situation that may lead to complications for your facelift results.

Lastly, prolonged use of nicotine can cause terrible side effects for the skin, including discoloration and dehydration. The level of circulatory insufficiency makes it difficult for nutrients and skincare products to be relevant.

4. Get on a skincare regimen

As earlier established, a facelift does not change the quality of your skin. If you want to have the best post-operative outcome, you still need to manage your skin deliberately.

Depending on your budget and skin type, there is a myriad of plans available to choose from. With each year that passes, you’ll notice diminishing collagen and hydration, along with visible pores, discoloration, and fine lines.

Related article: Are Skin Rejuvenation Treatments Worth The Money

5. Cultivate good eating habits

Since a facelift does not improve skin quality, you have to take it upon yourself to make sure your skin is well taken care of. Ensuring you eat good food is a great place to start.

Meals of exceptional quality and clean eating can significantly influence your skin appearance. Vitamins and minerals are important for healing. They are useful in promoting post-treatment healing through the synthesis of collagen and other relevant collective tissue materials needed.

Good blood perfusion due to sufficient blood supply helps in improving recovery and promotes a vibrant skin. Also, drinking a lot of clean water to keep you hydrated is good for your skin after a facelift.

Be mindful of disruptors like sugar which can denature lipids, proteins and other nourishing components by glycation. Also, as much as possible, avoid alcohol consumption.

Related article: Best Ways to Hydrate Your Skin

Complications associated with facelifts

There are several risks attached to the procedure which can happen at any point during a facelift. However, thanks to advances in cosmetic medical tech, these complications can be handled easily.

Some of these complications include:

Hematoma

This is where there is blood collocation beneath the skin, which can cause swelling. It is one of the most frequent complications of facelift surgery.

Scarring

Expectedly, sites of incisions may heal with some scarring which is usually concealed by the contours of the face and hairlines. Also, with the aid of corticosteroids, medications can be given to suppress the incidence of scars.

Nerve injury

Although uncommon, damage to the nerve is possible. This can have mild to severe effects including facial numbness.

Alopecia

There is the possibility of a loss of hair near the sites of incisions. Hair loss treatments may be required following this procedure.

Skin loss

During the procedure, there may be an injury to blood vessels. These injuries may compromise the blood supply to some tissues of the face. It can, however, be managed with the use of drugs and wound dressing.

Am I a good candidate for facelifts?

These are many reasons why you may not be eligible for a facelift. At least, until there is a fix. They include:

If you are using blood-thinning drugs

These are drugs used to prevent the formation of clots. These drugs are not a good idea in the case of a facelift. They can cause the formation of hematoma as it increases the risk of bleeding. These drugs include generic blood thinners, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs like Aspirin), Ginkgo biloba, fish oil, and others.

If you suffer from chronic diseases

If you have a disease condition that hampers the formation of blood clots, it might be difficult recommending you for a facelift. Also, if you suffer from poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, or any cause of delayed wound healing and heart complications, a facelift might not be recommended.

If you smoke heavily

Smoking predisposes to the formation of hematomas and causes delayed wound healing.

If you have drastic weight loss and gain

If you are known to lose and gain weight repeatedly, a facelift might not be recommended. Drastic weight changes can alter the outlook of your results.

Related article: Skin Resurfacing – which is the best treatment for you?

What to expect during a consultation

After choosing a suitable medical aesthetician, the first step is a consultation. During a consultation, you should expect the following:

History taking and examination

You should be ready to answer several questions. This will include your bio-data and past medical history, including previous surgeries, hospital admissions, and drug allergies.

Your social history will also be explored. Also, questions may be asked on smoking, drug or alcohol use. Your facelift expert will also proceed to do a physical examination. They may also contact your regular doctor for any piece of information that might be relevant.

Medication review

You will be asked to provide the names of all the medications and herbs you are using. This information will include dosages and should encompass over-the-counter medication.

Facial examination

Pictures of your face are going to be taken at various angles, including close-up pictures of some features. Your bone structure and the shape of your face will also be examined, paying particular attention to the fat distribution and skin. This is aimed at arriving at the best choices for your facelift.

Clarification

Questions will be asked about the results you hope for. Also, your consultant will attempt to clear all doubts and concerns. You should also be educated on the process and possible outcomes. You will be told what changes to expect and informed about the results that a facelift cannot achieve.

Related article: How to Choose the Right Botox Clinic in Canada

Preparation for a facelift

In preparation for a facelift, you will be given some instructions on what medications you can take and those you have to stop. You should discuss what drugs are safe and the ones that should have their dosages adjusted.

Other tips for the procedure include:

  • Use a germicidal soap to wash your face and hair on the day of your procedure.
  • You are typically not allowed to eat before the surgery. You may be able to take water and your medications, though.
  • Look for someone to help you during the recovery phase. If the procedure is carried out on an outpatient basis, arrange with somebody to drive you home after the surgery. Let this person stay with you for the night.

Procedure for a facelift

Pre-surgery

The procedure may be performed under general anesthesia – that is, you will be unconscious. It can also be performed using local anesthesia and sedation. For this option, your face will be numbed, and you will be put to sleep. Usually, general anesthesia is recommended.

During the surgery

The whole procedure requires the elevation of the skin of the face and making the underlying muscles and tissues firm. The fat in the neck may also be remodelled, redistributed, or removed. During the surgery, your skin is pulled over the restructured face, and the excess skin is removed. The flap is then stitched or taped.

There are various techniques which are based on the type of incision made. Some of these incisions include:

●      The traditional incision

This begins from your temples, goes downwards and around the front of your pinna. The incision terminates at the back of the ears, usually at the lower part of the scalp. There might be another incision below your chin to improve the outlook of your neck.

●      The limited incision

This involves shorter incision from the hairline just above your ear. It goes around the front of your ears. It, however, does not reach down to the lower scalp.

●      A neck lift incision

This starts from the front of your earlobe and continues around your ear into your lower scalp. The expected duration of surgery should be less than 4 hours.

Post-surgery

After a face-lift, you may experience pain, which may be mild or moderate. The incision site may sometimes show drainage, swelling, and feelings of numbness. However, if you feel severe pain, breathlessness, palpitation, or chest pain, you should contact your doctor immediately.

A bandage is used to apply gentle pressure on the incisions. This is aimed at reducing the swelling and keeping the edges closed. A drainage tube may be installed under your skin to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.

You should spend subsequent days after the surgery with your head elevated even while resting. Also, ensure you adhere to the post-operative instructions from your doctor. This would include taking your pain medication and anti-inflammatories

It is very important to meet up with your follow-up appointments. There would be several of them scheduled after your procedure.

Personal care following facelifts

Optimal self-care will ensure a better outcome of your facelift and reduce the risk of complications. Therefore, you have to take it very important. Some tips to follow include:

  • Ensure you adhere to the recommended wound management routine
  • Never try to pick the scab that develops over the incisions
  • Avoid the use of makeup
  • Vigorous activities should be avoided
  • Get a sunscreen and avoid direct exposure to sunlight
  • Be mindful of the soaps and shampoos you use. Your aesthetician will recommend suitable ones for you. Also, it will help you to improve the facelift results.
  • Avoid clothes that you have to pull down from your head
  • Do not braid, bleach, or dye your hair over the following two months.

A facelift is a surgical procedure instrumental in giving you a youthful outlook. Although it might not be the most pleasant experience, the eventual outcome is really worth the procedure. Getting information on how to improve the facelift results sets you up for a great outcome.

To improve your overall beauty, it is best that you combine other treatment techniques with a facelift to make sure that your skin is in top shape. Book a consultation session with us today!

 

How Can I Fight Acne Scars

How can I fight acne scars

Recurring acne breakouts can be a frustrating experience. However, that’s not all. The scars that acne breakouts can leave behind can be equally frustrating. Some people would say that the only thing worse than acne are the recurrent scars and they would be right. Even if you follow good skincare routines religiously, the spots, red marks and scars that follow an acne outbreak can be downright ugly. 

Nobody wants their appearance to be marred by acne scars. Thinking of how to fade acne scars? Or maybe you are searching for a treatment for acne scars in Toronto? There is a solution for you. Acne scars can be treated effectively. Advances in the field of medical aesthetics mean that there are effective treatments that can take care of your acne scars once and for all. 

There are several effective options that you can choose. This article will show you our top picks for fighting acne scars. In it, we will also discuss our recommended treatment for fighting acne scars. 

Before we move forward, you should know that it is not advisable to carry out treatment for acne scars while still suffering from acne breakouts. If you still suffer from breakouts, inflammation can still lead to the development of acne scars. 

Related article: 7 Easy Tips to Be Acne Free

Types of acne scars

Knowledge is power. Before you start making an informed choice on how to get rid of acne scars? It is best that you know the type of prevalent acne scars. Some of the most common forms of acne scars include:

Atrophic Scars

Also known as depressed scars, these types of scars are commonplace on the face. Usually, they sit below the skin in the surrounding area, hence the name. Atrophic scars are formed due to a lack of collagen during the healing process.  Atrophic scars can further be divided into:

  • Boxcar: These occur in the form of U-shaped scars with sharp edges. They are usually shallow but can also be deep. Shallow boxcar scars respond faster to skin resurfacing treatments. 
  • Ice pick: These types of scars are narrow shaped with a V-shape. They usually sit deep within the skin. Sometimes, they may also look love oval shaped holes. They are challenging to treat since they seat deep within the skin’s surface. 
  • Rolling: They are described as broad depressions complete with irregular appearances and a rounded edge. 

Hypertrophic scars

Also known as raised scars, these types of scars are common with back and chest acne. Usually, they sit above the surface of the skin. They are caused by the body’s overproduction of collagen during the healing phase. 

Dark Spots

Some people refer to dark spots as acne scars. If you have dark spots on your face following an outbreak of pimples, you don’t have a scar. Dark spots are not ideal. However, the good news is that they often disappear on their own. Over time, they will fade completely. 

Recommended treatment for acne scars 

Acne scars are uncomfortable. We know that. That is why here at Canada MedLaser, we have designed the best strategy to get rid of acne scars in Toronto. The best way to answer the question of how to fade acne scars is with the use of Fractional CO2 lasers acne. How does laser resurfacing work? Keep reading to find out. 

Related article: The Fastest Way to Clean Up Acne Scars

Fractional laser treatment

Fractional energy from the laser targets the collagen and water in your skin. In doing so, it improves the texture of pigments, acne scars and facial wrinkles. This treatment directs microscopic batches of laser beams through your skin and to the dermis. This laser energy heats the dermis, stimulating the production of elastin as well as collagen. The end result is an all-around smoother look. 

Following your first treatment, you can expect an improvement of up to  60% in the outlook of scars. For years now, Fractional CO2 lasers have been considered the gold standard in skin resurfacing attempts. These lasers use a microscopic beam that is highly accurate. This means that they are more effective and require less recovery time. 

Fractional CO2 lasers are a direct improvement on the old lasers. These lasers tended to have side effects that could last for several weeks and required more downtime. With fractional resurfacing, you only need a few days to recover fully. Fractional lasers use ultra pulse light energy or continuous light beams delivered via a scanning pattern. This helps your medical aesthetician to get rid of damaged layers of your skin with minimal damage. 

Applications of CO2 lasers 

Fractional Co2 lasers can be used to resurface acne scars effectively. However,  that’s not all. These devices can also be used for:

Related article: Chemical Peel Vs. Laser Resurfacing Treatments

What are the results of fractional CO2 lasers? 

Depending on your type of acne scars, treating them with CO2 lasers can take anywhere between 8 – 24 weeks. During this period, you will see definitive improvements in the quality of your skin. 

Two days after your first treatment session, new skin cells will be formed as a result of the stimulation provided by the laser beams. Your epidermis will be restored while fresh collagen will be produced adequately. Within 3-6 days after your first treatment, you will begin to see visible results. Full recovery from your first session should be completed in 7 days. This is a gift compared with the fantastic results that you will see. 

The direct result of these changes manifests in the fading of scars, skin regeneration, removal of stretch marks, skin tightening and minimizing skin pores. Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing only treats about 20% of the affected area with each treatment session. This means that you will need multiple treatments to fade acne scars completely.

What should you expect during your treatment?

Laser resurfacing is a non-invasive procedure. Therefore, it can be done as an outpatient procedure. Consequently, you don’t have to stay in hospital overnight. Within thirty minutes to a few hours, your medical aesthetician can adequately handle your resurfacing needs. 

The amount of time the procedure will take is dependent on the region of your face that is being treated. Generally, anesthesia is not used for laser resurfacing. Although, you can demand it if your pain thresholds are not high. 

Following treatment, your doctor will bandage the treated area. The following aftercare tips should be followed:

  • Clean the area 3-5 times daily. This should start 24 hours after the treatment session.
  • Apply an ointment such as petroleum jelly to the treated area. This will prevent the formation of scabs.

How does fractional laser resurfacing work?

During the procedure, a microscopic CO2 laser is used to make microscopic perforations on your skin. It then directs laser beams at already predetermined points in your dermis. These laser beams cause the treated area to heat up, stimulating the production of collagen and new skin cells. 

Related article: Skin Resurfacing – which is the best treatment for you?

Side effects of fractional laser resurfacing 

Fractional laser resurfacing has fewer side effects than you would expect. Nevertheless, it is important that you be aware of them. The most common side effects include:

  • Skin redness 
  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling 
  • Itching

It is normal for your skin to swell following the treatment. Your medical aesthetician may prescribe that you use steroids to manage the swelling. Additionally,  sleeping on a raised pillow every night will help you manage the swelling. The use of an ice pack at regular intervals during the day will help you reduce swelling. 

Itching may persist for up to 3 days following your treatment. Also, your skin will dry and peel 5-7 days after the procedure. This is an indication that your skin is healing properly. After your wound heals properly, you can use makeup to hide skin redness. 

Your skin may appear to have a lighter complexion following repeated treatments.  This is very normal. Over time, your complexion will eventually even out. Also, it is essential that you use a sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 30. If possible, limit your time in the sun following your treatment. Hats, caps and sunglasses can protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun adequately. 

Complications associated with Laser Skin Resurfacing

Fractional laser resurfacing will help you fade scars and leave you with great looking skin. However, there are complications that can result from the procedure. These complications are usually a direct result of working with inexperienced “experts” or a failure to adhere to instructions from your medical aestheticians.  Some of these complications include:

  • Burns caused by heat from the laser 
  • Permanent scarring 
  • Infections
  • Reactivation of herpes sores 
  • Drastic changes in skin pigmentation 

To avoid suffering any of these complications, it is essential that you make sure your treatment is only carried out by certified professionals. Also, make sure that you follow any advice provided by your medical aesthetician. 

Cost of fractional laser resurfacing 

Beauty often comes at a price. To be candid, the cost of laser resurfacing using CO2 lasers does not come cheap. However, it is crucial that you know that the benefits far outweigh the cost of the treatment.

 On average, fractional laser resurfacing can cost between  $1,100 – $2,500. The actual cost of your treatment depends on the location where the procedure is carried out, the area of your face that is being treated and the expertise of your medical aesthetician.

Related article: Are Skin Rejuvenation Treatments Worth The Money

Other treatment options for acne scars 

Different methods can be used to fade acne scars. Laser resurfacing is preferred due to its effectiveness and ease of recovery. If you are searching for other ways to get rid of acne scars, you can choose from any of the following:

Dermal Fillers 

Also known as soft tissue fillers, they work by injection. A trained expert injects these fillers under your skin to add contour, volume and shape to scars. They can help you improve the texture of your skin while reducing the appearance of scars. Typically, dermal fillers can last for anywhere between 1-3 years. You may need repeated treatments at different intervals to improve the appearance of scars.

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is another effective treatment that is used to improve facial scars. During dermabrasion, an expert uses a special wire brush to exfoliate the upper layer of your skin deeply. This prompts the production of new skin cells and exposes the newer, radiant, layer underneath. It is perfect for treating shallow boxcar scars. 

Chemical peels

Chemical peels are different from your run of the mill facial masks. They work using a strong acid. Hence, they should only be handled by professionals. Chemical peels remove the top layer of the skin in a bid to reduce the appearance of scars. 

There are different types of chemical peels available for your use. Therefore, it is advised that you talk it over with your aesthetician before undergoing a chemical peel. The best part about chemical peels is the fact that they work for all types of scars. 

Fotofacials

This is a relatively new method of fading scars. It works by directing light beams with high energy on the scars themselves. It can work for acne scars on the face, back and neck. 

They are great for people who are looking for painless ways to get rid of scars. This treatment stimulates collagen production. The downside to photofacials is the amount of time it takes to see visible results. You may need up to 5 treatments before you enjoy visible results. 

Blue light therapy

Blue light therapy is a great option for treating acne scars. In addition to treating acne scars, they can be used to treat freckles, spider veins, hyperpigmentation and rosacea

Blue light therapy is also notable for its ability to kill infections and bacteria. In addition to treating acne scars, it can also be used to prevent acne flare-ups. Blue-light therapy usually requires weekly treatment sessions.

Microneedling

Microneedling involves the use of small rollers studded with needles on the surface of scars. These needles are tiny and specialized. They are designed to puncture your skin without going through it. The direct result is the stimulation of collagen production. 

Micro-needling helps reduce the appearance of scars. However, it can take up to nine months before you begin to experience visible results. It is best combined with a more intensive means of treatment. 

Injections

Injections are a simple method of dealing with acne scars. They are mostly valid for treating raised scars. Injections such as corticosteroids and fluorouracil help to flatten raised scars. These Injections are best spread out over multiple weeks. 

Related article: What are the treatments for acne scars?

Home remedies for acne scars 

This article will not be complete without discussing home treatments that you can use to combat acne scars effectively. It should be mentioned that these remedies are not a substitute for the medical treatments listed above. In fact, before you use any home remedies or products, it is important that you consult with a medical aesthetician. 

Effective home remedies for acne scars include:

Alpha hydroxy acids

Alpha hydroxy acids work by removing dead skin and unclogging blocked skin pores. Even better, they are effective in making acne scars less noticeable. They are mild acids that exfoliate the rough outer layer of your skin. This helps remove discoloration of any kind and reduce the prominence of scars. You can search for products that contain alpha hydroxy acids. Don’t use any product without the approval of your medical aesthetician. 

Lactic acid

Lactic acid peels can improve the appearance of acne scars. Serums, ointments and peels with lactic acid can be used every 2-3 weeks over several months to improve the appearance, pigmentation and texture of scars. You can also make use of diluted apple cider vinegar if you don’t have to access to natural lactic acid. 

Retinoids

Topical Retinoids can be effective at smoothing out the appearance of scars. They help to speed up cell regeneration while improving the texture of your skin. Topical retinoids are effective at reducing skin discoloration and making scars less noticeable. As much as possible, try to make use of products that list retinoids as an active ingredient. 

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is a major component of just about every acne treatment you can think of. Most facial cleansers, lotions and ointments already make use of salicylic acid to fight acne scars. Salicylic acid clears your pores and exfoliates your skin. It is considered as an effective treatment for acne scars. 

You can incorporate products that contain salicylic acid into your daily routine. In addition, you can ask your medical aesthetician if you can incorporate salicylic acid into your chemical peels treatments. 

It may take a few weeks for you to experience any visible changes with salicylic acid. Also, it. can also cause irritation and dry skin. Take proper care when using salicylic acid. 

Acne scars are not a death sentence. Sure, they may be uncomfortable and borderline annoying. However, the right treatment plan can help you get rid of them. Our experts here in Toronto can show you how to get rid of acne scars. More importantly, they can plan out effective treatment options and schedules for you. Contact us today!