As more and more patients look to non-invasive technologies and treatments to address the signs of aging, cosmetic physicians, such as myself, are tasked with finding inventive ways to improve skin texture and quality without significant downtime or risk. That said, the aging process is rarely a ‘one tissue issue’, it involves multiple tissues such as fat loss, loss of collagen, loss of bony structure to the face, and overlying skin damage. Therefore, in order to achieve the best results for my patients, I need to address what I like to refer to as the 3 “D’s” of aging: Damage, Deflation, & Decent.
Let’s look at each of these issues individually, followed by a discussion of various treatment options for each one.
Damage – Sun damage is responsible for almost 90% of the visible changes attributed to aging. The #1 concern here is obviously skin cancer development, but this damage is also responsible for wrinkle formation, loss of skin elasticity, as well as sun spots and broken capillaries. Smoking is probably the second greatest offender here as it will accelerate this damage exponentially.
Deflation – As we age, we begin to lose fat pads located in key areas of the face. Areas such as the temples, cheeks, under the eyes, and the chin are often affected by this fat volume loss. In addition, we lose bone as we age. As our bone resorbs, our eye sockets get wider creating a more ‘sunken’ appearance; the bone along our upper and lower jaw become more recessed, creating jowls, loss of lip definition, and a downturn to the tip of the nose.
Decent – To add insult to injury, after our mid-40’s we stop naturally producing collagen, fibrin, and elastin in our skin. As a result, our skin becomes thinner and won’t snap back as easily as it once did.
The combination of these three “D’s” results in a scenario where we no longer have the fat and bony scaffolding available to hold our skin in place and the loss of skin elasticity allows gravity to take over. The good news is that we can intervene in the aging process to keep our skin looking youthful as we age.
To correct deflation, we can add dermal filler agents such as Juvederm, Radiesse or Restylane. Another option is fat transfer. I’ve been utilizing the ALMI procedure (Autologous Lipocyte Micronized Injection) to harvest filtered fat for reinjection with great success. This process allows me to re-inject a liquefied form of fat which is rich in regenerative cells, along with Platelet-Rich Plasma, for further skin rejuvenation.
Correction of damage and decent can be harder to achieve, we need to not only re-drape the skin, but to also tighten the superficial skin laxity. To achieve this effect, I’ve been using the combination of PDO Threads (Nova Threads®), absorbable suture material inserted under the skin which adheres to the dermal tissues to accomplish a lifting effect. In addition, we can utilize a fractional CO2 laser to resurface the overlying skin, creating tightening of the tissues in addition to correcting the effects of sun damage by lightening age spots, creating a more homogenous appearance to the skin.
I’ve coined the term “The 3D Rx Procedure” when I refer to use of these three technologies, together, to reverse the 3 “D’s” of aging; ALMI to restore volume and regenerate the aging tissues, PDO Threads to combat skin decent, and the fractional CO2 laser to correct sun damage. I consider this 3-dimentional approach to be the trifecta of anti-aging! It easily takes 10 years off of your appearance, makes your skin tone more radiant and even, lifts, tightens, and re-volumizes in three easy steps.
As with any anti-aging regimen, routine maintenance is a recommended, but the results we can achieve are long lasting – with improvement from the laser and ALMI injections lasting up to 5 years!
Want to learn more? Schedule your free consultation with me today! 602-266-8144