Skin care and medical treatments to address specific skin concerns are becoming ever more sophisticated. There’s now an array of non-invasive procedures available to deal with a wide range of skin issues – from sun damage and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation, acne scars and more. Whether you have a dermatological condition that needs attention or you want to undergo a cosmetic procedure to rejuvenate your skin and boost your confidence, there’s certainly no shortage of choice.
The development of advanced skin rejuvenation techniques has been spurred on by the growing number of healthy, active, older women whose dearest wish is to look as young as they feel inside. The latest techniques are non-invasive, have much shorter recovery times than traditional face lifts and can achieve subtle improvements that look very natural indeed.
So, what are your options? What are the most common procedures to remove fine wrinkles, scars, uneven pigmentation and other skin imperfections, and which will achieve the best outcomes? Let’s take a closer look.
Botox is one of the most popular anti-ageing treatments available. It is relatively affordable, has few risks and requires no recovery time. Targeted injections of botulinum toxin are effective for temporarily smoothing wrinkles on the face, the eye area and the neck that are caused by repetitive movements such as smiling, frowning or raising eyebrows. Botox is used to reduce the degree of muscle movement, thereby softening existing wrinkles and prevent the future formation of deep lines.
Dr Asif Hussein is a renowned expert in cosmetic dermatology and a teacher of toxin injection techniques and facial anatomy for injectables. In his clinic, he carries out some 1200 Botox injections per year including for
- Frown lines, crow’s feet, horizontal forehead lines
- Brow lifting
- Vertical neck bands
- Lower facial contouring and jawline recontouring
Over the last 20 years or so, soft tissue fillers have revolutionised the treatment of wrinkles and volume loss. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is an exceedingly safe and flexible tool for the treatment of facial ageing. HA based dermal fillers such as the Allergan Juvederm range are injected by a skilled medical practitioner to
- Add height to cheekbones
- Restore hollow cheeks and eyes
- Improve the jawline
- Fill in nasolabial folds
- Reduce vertical lines
- Resculpt lips
The effect of the treatment is temporary; for optimum outcomes injections need to be repeated periodically – every 4-6 months for lip volume restoration, roughly every 12 months for nasolabial lines, marionette lines, cheeks and lip definition, and approximately every 18-24 months for tear trough injections.
Exercise, smoking, UV exposure, ambient temperature, laser and RF treatments can affect the duration and speed up the breakdown of HA fillers, making more frequent top-ups necessary.
Chemical peels are used to treat wrinkles, superficial scarring, age spots and discoloration. An acid solution is applied to dissolve skin cells and remove the top layers of the epidermis. The type and strength of the acid solution determines how deeply it penetrates and the effects achieved.
Dr Hussein uses Trichloracetic Acid (TCA) to treat acne scarring, removing the outer layers of the skin by a process of controlled chemical burn. That way, the skin’s surface is encouraged to remodel and regrow, while collagen formation in the upper layers of the skin is promoted.
A much more intensive treatment carried out by Dr Hussein is Sciton HALO/Micropeel laser resurfacing, a treatment designed to smooth and renew the surface of the skin. The HALO laser element creates new collagen within the dermis and tackles redness and pigmentation. The benefits are much greater than mild to moderate chemical peels such as Glycolic and TCA peels, while the downtime associated with this treatment is only 5 days.
By far the most popular treatment for acne scarring is microneedling. The procedure is designed to cause tiny injuries on the skin that stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Devices include the state-of-the-art Dermapen, an electronic needle stamping device. Local anaesthetic cream can be applied before microneedling to ease any discomfort, while therapeutic substances such as hyaluronic acid or ascorbic acid can be used for deep penetration. Radiofrequency Microneedling is another way to stimulate collagen, the thermal energy created by radiofrequency boosting the effect of needling.
Microneedling is relatively risk-free and inexpensive, and is mildly effective or acne scars. One of the main advantages of the treatment is that recovery is quick, with redness usually subsiding after a day or so. It is a good way to deal with acne scarring without having to take any time off work.
5. Laser skin resurfacing
Without a doubt, laser skin resurfacing is one of the best ways to deal with many of the most common skin concerns including wrinkles, age spots, sunspots, redness, rosacea, acne scarring and much more. Laser therapy is effective for moderate and deep lines and wrinkles, and can improve skin tone, texture and tightness. The ability to target specific types of cells in distinct layers means that even conditions such as pigmented birthmarks and port wine stains, and even spider veins can now be treated successfully.
While there is an abundance of effective treatments available, knowing which type of laser is best can be confusing. This is where leading cosmetic dermatologist and skin laser expert, Dr Hussein, can offer valuable advice. With extensive experience in the field of laser resurfacing, he uses advanced, specialist laser treatment procedures to achieve outstanding results including:
- Fully ablative CO2 (Lumenis Ultrapulse) and fully ablative Erbium YAG laser resurfacing (Sciton Contour TRL) to completely renew facial skin, remove wrinkles, tighten and improve elasticity. This type of treatment can only be performed effectively by the most experience laser surgeons with the right type of equipment, and it is one of Dr Hussein’s specialisms. It’s the most powerful skin treatment and the gold standard for achieving permanent results for acne scarring and skin rejuvenation.
- Fraxel non-ablative skin rejuvenation to treat superficial sun damage, age spots and acne scars. The laser removes the old epidermis and replaces it with a new one. The change in appearance is quite dramatic – see our before and after photos here. The new epidermis is uniform, smooth and pigment-free and immediately rejuvenates the face.
- Fraxel CO2 laser eyelid tightening as the most powerful non-surgical alternative to improve laxity and wrinkles in the eye area. Dr Hussein uses state-of-the-art Lumensis Ultrapulse CO2 or Sciton Joule X Erbium YAG lasers to produce excellent results.
- Sciton HALO combines ablative and non-ablative laser resurfacing to achieve great improvement in skin tone, surface texture, redness and pigmentation. It is an excellent mild laser resurfacing treatment and also a great maintenance treatment (every 6 months) for those who have had more aggressive laser resurfacing.
- Sciton HALO/BBL (Forever Young TM) for the treatment and maintenance of pigmentation, pores, redness and smooth skin. With regular treatment (every 6 months) cumulative benefits will be seen. A major advantage of Sciton HALO/BBL is that it has a very short recovery period. You can be back to work after a couple of days.