Do you know the difference between Botox, Chemical Peels, and injectable fillers?

January 22, 2021

Chemical Peel Benefits for Your Skin

With such a wide variety of options for looking younger -- Botox, chemical peels, injectable fillers and laser resurfacing -- would you know which one's right for you?

"A lot of people come to see me and they're not sure what to get," says Steven Yarinsky, board certified plastic surgeon with Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgery in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

For those interested in nonsurgical procedures, Yarinsky described some of the most common procedures being offered. Most can be found at plastic surgery practices or medi spas, he said.

Botox: Far and away the most popular option, Botox treats facial lines and wrinkles in the forehead, mouth and eye area that are a result of repetitive muscle contraction. Practitioners inject Botox cosmetic into the muscles along the treatment area using an ultra fine needle. Botox temporarily paralyzes these muscles, giving the face a smoother appearance. The procedure can be accompanied by some redness and minor swelling, but this dissipates in one to two days, and results last as long as three to six months.

Chemical peels: Chemical peels are another popular treatment. Peels reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the face, and also smooth scars and uneven skin tone. During peels, an acid solution is applied to the skin, causing injury and the gradual peeling away of the top layers of skin. Superficial peels, using glycolic acid, take about 15 to 20 minutes and usually affect only the top layer of skin and are often referred to as lunchtime peels. Results last a couple of months.

Injectable fillers: Gaining in popularity in the past few years, injectable fillers treat wrinkles and folds in the skin by replacing the body's stores of hyaluronic acid, a natural compound that plumps the skin and gets depleted with age. These procedures are known by a number of commercial names, including Hylaform, Restylane and Juvederm and usually last 30 to 60 minutes. Practitioners use a topical or local anesthetic to numb the area, and then inject the acid into the face along the length of the wrinkle, pausing periodically to massage the chemical in. In time, the acid binds to water molecules, increasing the volume under the skin's surface, and making skin look smoother. The procedure can cause some redness, stinging, and bruising, but these effects will disappear in a couple of days. The results last for 12 to 18 months.

Deep peels and laser resurfacing: For patients looking for more dramatic, longer-term results, a deep peel or laser resurfacing treatment might be a better option, Yarinsky says. Deeper peels, which use acetic acid or trichloroacetic acid, remove more layers of skin, but they also require a longer recovery time, usually 1-2 weeks. Deep peels take 1-2 hours, and are usually used accompanied by a sedative or even general anesthesia. As long as you don't damage your skin again, the results are long-term.

Laser resurfacing, or laser peel, works in a similar fashion to chemical peels, except high-energy beams of light are used in place of acid. The laser is absorbed by water molecules under the skin, causing the outer skin layers to peel away like an onion, revealing a smoother, healthier looking face underneath, Yarinsky says. The procedure lasts one to two hours, and usually uses a topical or local anesthetic. If the procedure is more extensive, the practitioner may opt to use general anesthesia. The procedure causes some pain and redness, akin to sunburn, which lasts a couple of weeks. Again, as long as you avoid future damage to your skin, the results are long-term.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

As a general rule, people with static lines even when their face is at rest are good candidates for fillers, whereas people with active lines are better off with Botox, he says. Injectable fillers are for people with depressions in their faces, especially around the mouth and cheeks.

Chemical peels and laser resurfacing are good for all-over rejuvenation, although Yarinsky prefers to use lasers because they offer more control, he says. He advises a thorough consultation with a professional to determine the procedure that's right for your face.

Want to avoid the needle entirely? Facial exercises are gaining attention because they promise great results without any medical intervention; however, Yarinsky isn't sold on their effectiveness: "Facial exercises really don't work, although there's a huge market for them."

To stay younger looking, Yarinsky advocates a healthy lifestyle. The main things to avoid are drastic weight loss -- which can cause sagging in skin -- tanning or sunburns, and smoking, says Yarinsky.

"Just by avoiding sun exposure and smoke or second-hand smoke, you're a step ahead of the game when it comes to maintaining a youthful appearance," he says.

Molly Belmont is a freelance writer from Albany.

www.sun-sentinel.com/health/fl-xpm-2010-03-10-sfl-skin-tips-030210-story.html

 


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