My face is falling! My face is falling! If you feel like paraphrasing the old folk tale when you look in the mirror, but you’re too chicken to ‘go under the knife,’ take heart. New non-surgical and non-invasive procedures can reduce signs of aging without the need for surgery, anesthesia and downtime. And if you’re concerned about pain, you can relax. Most new treatments are not only painless, they are often so relaxing that patients actually fall asleep, according to Dr. Zach LaBoube of InsideOut Wellness and Acupuncture
Although non-invasive procedures can enhance appearance at almost any age, the best results occur on skin that has some resiliency, says LaBoube. “If you start when you’re younger, while your skin still has some vitality, you will see better results,” he says. “The microcurrent facelift is a good example. It’s very effective for patients in their 50s but I have patients as young as 30 who just love this treatment.” The procedure uses gentle electrical stimulation to trigger the body’s natural skin enhancement chemicals at a cellular level, explains LaBoube. Patients see visible firming and contouring, and improved blood circulation. Microcurrent ‘facial sculpting’ is popular in Hollywood across a range of ages (fans include Liv Tyler and Michelle Pfeiffer) and not just for the ladies (Mel Gibson is also a facial sculpting enthusiast.) In addition to aging skin, microcurrent technology is also helpful for the treatment of blackheads, acne and scar reduction.
Some older skin enhancement procedures, particularly those that utilize certain types of lasers, are not an option for Asian or African-American skin tones, or anyone with a suntan. But advances in ultrasound technology have eliminated this concern, says Dr. Richard Maack of Synergi Med Spa. “Ultrasound face tightening is one of the most exciting advances we’ve seen, and unlike many other skin treatments, the ultrasound can be used on all skin colors,” he says. “It’s been the hottest thing in Asia for three years, and just received FDA approval in the United States last September. It uses medical ultrasound that works deep below the surface without harming the outer layer of skin, for firming, tightening and lifting.” The ultrasound technology can be used anywhere on the face, says Maack. “Patients see a more defined jaw line and improvement of sagging skin on the cheeks. When used on the forehead, it reduces sagging skin on the eyelids for a more open, refreshed look.” Most patients require only a single treatment, Maack explains, and because the ultrasound stimulates the growth of new collagen, the full effect continues to build for three months. “It’s also the only skin rejuvenation procedure that allows imaging of the tissue before it is treated to ensure absolutely precise results.”
While many new non-invasive procedures focus on the face, Zerona® is for patients seeking body reshaping without surgery. “Zerona® utilizes cold laser technology to emulsify fat by opening pores in the fat cells and allowing the fat within the cell to be carried away by normal bodily processes,” explains Dr. Richard Moore of The Lifestyle Center. “It is the first non-invasive procedure to effectively remove excess fat.” Patients are scheduled for six treatments, every other day, for 45 minutes each session. Like other non-invasive technologies, Zerona is painless, requires no anesthesia and no recovery time. “The laser treatment is augmented with nutritional supplements for the best results,” says Moore. “Patients are guaranteed to lose a minimum of three inches over the course of treatment, but a loss of 6-8 inches is more common. Maintenance of the results depends on an individual’s lifestyle following the procedure.”