Top ten anti-aging treatments

The age-old hunt for a youthful complexion is always topical during the summer. We all want to look our best, and as the sun emphasises lines and wrinkles, it is a reminder that another winter has passed, and nobody is getting younger. Soaking up vitamin D makes us feel good, but the sun’s rays are also damaging the skin. With many recipes and concoctions for face creams, anti-wrinkle treatments, and surgical procedures, there is a minefield of products to choose from. Finding the right treatment, however, will have you feeling and looking young and rejuvenated. Here are 10 of the top anti-aging treatments.

Fraxel

Fraxel is a resurfacing laser recommended for wrinkles, acne, surgical scars, stretch marks, melasma (mask of pregnancy ) and other pigmentation. Numbing cream is applied to the skin prior to treatment to minimise discomfort but it is generally well tolerated by the patient. After a treatment the skin is red and swollen but normally settles in 36 hours. A course of five treatments is required with one month between treatments.

Intense Pulsed Light

This is a form of laser that emits light that is readily absorbed by blood vessels, heating them to a point where they are destroyed. It is used to treat facial redness associated with rosacea, and can also be used to treat thread veins on legs. A course of six sessions is needed with three weeks between each session. Redness improves gradually and patients must wear an SPF 50 during and after the treatment. There is minimal discomfort and no downtime associated with the procedure.

IPL photo-rejuvenation

In a photo-rejuvenation setting collagen and elastin are stimulated within the skin. It tightens and tones the skin improving pore size and pigmentation. Six sessions are needed with three weeks between sessions.

Hyaluronic acid fillers

Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally within the body, it holds water within the skin and gives it volume, and decreases as we age. These products are injected into the wrinkle to replace lost volume. It is used mainly for lines from nose to mouth and for volume enhancement in lips. The treatment takes about 20 minutes and numbing cream is applied to minimise pain. The effect will typically last six months to one year and will be absorbed naturally over time.

Sculptra

This is an acid filler that is injected into the skin to stimulate collagen and replace volume to smooth out lines and wrinkles. A course of at least three treatments is required, with one month between treatments. Sculptra gives a natural effect and lasts up to three years. It is usually recommended for patients over 40.

Gylcolic peels

Glycolic acid in varying strengths from 20 to 70 per cent is applied to the skin for three to five minutes and then neutralised. This dissolves the dead and damaged skin on the surface improving pore size, pigmentation and luminosity of the skin. With repeated treatments there is secondary stimulation of collagen which causes tightening and toning of the skin. A course of six treatments with 10 days between each treatment is recommended.

Sun smart behaviour

Sun avoidance is key to minimising skin ageing. Apply a separate SPF 30 to 50 every day. Children are most at risk as most sun damage occurs in childhood.

Lifestyle

Eat a diet rich in anti-oxidants such as fruit, vegetables, and green teas, avoid smoking and decrease consumption of alcohol.

Good skin care regime

Avoid perfumed and coloured cleansers, toners and moisturisers. Skincare varies with each individual, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist.

Retin-A

This is the only proven anti-ageing cream on the market and is only available on prescription. Retin-A decreases surface pigmentation, stimulates collagen and elastin in the dermis, causing plumping of the skin, and improves fine lines and wrinkles.

Dr Mulrooney MBBCH MSC Clinical Dermatology holds a clinic once a month in Galway in Dr Whyte’s, Fr Griffin Road. For more information phone 091 522011.

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