Patients always ask me, what is the best treatment for wrinkles. That is complicated, as there are many factors that need to be considered when answering.
Today, we are talking about a treatment for those with fine to fine-moderate wrinkles that are barely apparent at rest.
Sure, one can use creams, and they do help. tretinoin (Retin A) has been shown to improve fine lines by 22%. Retinol products (this is my favorite), which are available without a prescription “may” have similar results. That may sound great, but it is barely appreciable by most patients unless they look at before and after photographs. Hyaluronic acid products hydrate the skin (this is my favorite), which temporarily reduces lines and wrinkles. Other products, such as peptides, also reduce lines.
I am talking about a procedure that only takes 10-30 minutes, has no real downtime, and has results of 50% improvement. Sound too good to be true?
The non-ablative fractional laser has become one of the most popular treatments for fine lines and wrinkles and for good reason. Most people cannot or do not want downtime associated with chemical peels or ablative lasers, such as the carbon dioxide and erbium YAG lasers. Who “wants” to be raw, peeling. or red for weeks?
Well, you don’t have to. The non-ablative lasers heat columns of skin instead of ablating (destroying) them. This results in redness that resolves in hours to a couple days. That’s it!
Sound too good to be true? Well, maybe. As it does not damage or heat the skin to the same degree as the ablative lasers or medium depth chemical peels (i.e. TCA or “Blue Peel”), more than one treatment session is needed (average 3-6). But, as it is reasonably comfortable, does not require sedation or nerve blocks, is a short procedure, and has no to minimal downtime, it is a small price to pay.
And, it often costs less than other procedures.