Aging and Wrinkles
Time leads to characteristic changes in the skin of the face. Production of collagen (the protein the holds skin together) slows. Elastin (the material that provides elasticity and enables skin to snap back) also declines. A third factor in skin aging is turnover of skin cells. Production of new skin cells slows. In addition, dead skin cells don’t shed as quickly, causing them to pile up more on the surface.
The first signs of facial skin aging are skin dryness and the development of fine lines and wrinkles. The wrinkles eventually deepen to form noticeable creases, especially around the eyes, forehead and corners of the mouth. The skin may thin and underlying fat pads shrink, causing the eye sockets and cheeks to appear more hollow. Some people develop noticeable sagging of skin around the jowls.
The rate at which a person’s face ages is largely dependent on heredity. External factors also play a role. One of the most important outside factors in skin aging is sun exposure, which can accelerate breakdown of collagen and elastin and lead to the development of freckles, red lines and age spots. Smoking, facial expressions, gravity and sleeping position can also influence the development of lines and wrinkles.
Rejuvenating the Face: Pellevé™
There are many different treatments and procedures to rejuvenate the face and turn back the visual clock of time. One of the newer devices is called the Pellevé™ Wrinkle Reduction System. Pellevé uses radiofrequency energy to reduce the appearance of mild to moderate facial wrinkles.
To use the system, a conductive gel is applied to the area to be treated. Dina El-Sherif, Owner of Jardin Medical Spa in Bala Cynwyd, PA, says protective shields are placed over the eyes when aiming the treatment near the eyes and brows. Next, the flat tip of a hand-held wand is placed on the skin. The wand delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy through the skin, reaching the dermis, or lower layer of skin. The RF energy heats the dermis, which causes the collagen bundles to contract or shrink. In turn, the skin is tightened, smoothing the appearance of overlying wrinkles. The targeted collagen breaks down and is replaced by new, healthy collagen. The procedure causes no pain, though a patient may feel a warming sensation in the target area of skin.
El-Sherif says a treatment session for one area of the face takes about 45 minutes. While patients generally see some immediate results, tightening and improvement continue as new collagen is produced, generally over the next six months.
The cost of treatment varies. El-Sherif charges from $600 to $900/session. To maintain the effects, follow-up procedures are recommended every one-and-a-half to two years. She cautions that Pellevé doesn’t remove deep wrinkles, so some patients may still need wrinkle fillers or BOTOX injections.
AUDIENCE INQUIRYFor information on Pellevé™, go to http://www.pelleve.com
For general information on aging skin and facial rejuvenation:
American Academy of Dermatology, http://www.aad.org, or http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/index.html
BIBLIOGRAPHYAtiyeh, B., and S. Dibo, “Nonsurgical Nonablative Treatment of Aging Skin,” Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, May 2009, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 283-294.
Vartanian, John, M.D., and Steven Dayan, M.D., “Nonablative Facial Skin Tightening,” eMedicine, updated, March 18, 2009.
Zelicksonh, Brian, M.D., et al., “Histological and Ultrastructural Evaluation of the Effects of a Radiofrequency-Based Nonablative Dermal Remodeling Device,” Archives of Dermatology, February 2004, Vol. 140, No. 2, pp. 204-209.