In a previous post, Susan discussed the foundations of professional skin care, in particular, a patient's options for addressing the major effects of aging:
In this post, I will discuss more advanced procedures, that are not more important than the basics, but have more corrective and preventative capabilities than the topics discussed previously. While these procedures still aim to address the issues listed above, their ability to impact the issues above are far greater than the basics. More advanced procedures are still applicable to a wide range of patients, they are not only meant for a select type of condition; however, they generally (but not always) involve a larger investment on the part of the patient (both in down time and financially). These procedures should not be administered haphazardly, and one should always consult a trained practitioner they trust before investing in them. With that out of the way, I am very excited to talk about this topics because they are amazing procedures that can produce amazing results.
The Halo is the big sister of the BBL. Where the BBL is a non-ablative (does not remove skin) laser, the Halo is
a hybrid fractional laser meaning it uses both an ablative and a non- ablative laser at the same time.
The purpose of the ablative laser is to remove the outermost layers of the skin. These layers are where sun damage, fine wrinkles, pigmentation, and scars exist. As with many skin care procedures, the goal is to damage the skin, and the desired results come from the natural healing process. The non-ablative laser serves the same purpose as with the BBL, to further target pigmentation and skin non-uniformity, while also increasing the rate of recovery and tightening the skin.
The ablative nature of the Halo requires numbing, and is more painful than the regular BBL, though, the experience varies greatly between patients. Most describe the procedure as "spicy" but tolerable.
As you likely suspect, the cost for these dramatic results over the regular BBL is increased down time. Though the down time is really just social (you probably don't want to go to a wedding right after), and lasts 3-5 days for most people. Most of us in this industry recommend this yearly. The results of this procedure is referred to as the "Halo Glow" for good reason. Above is a day by day progression of my sister when she received a Halo! Look at those results!
A PDO thread lift is sometimes referred to as a "nonsurgical face lift" or a "lunch time lift", because it can truly take less than 30 minutes in some cases (after numbing, of coarse). The procedure is used to physically lift and tighten the skin using threads made of polydioxaone (PDO). PDO is the same material used for internal sutures during surgery.
These threads come in many shapes and sizes for a variety of uses, from lifting the skin in the face-neck-arm-legs to being used to augment lips! The typical usage is to insert several threads through a needle sized hole in front of the ears and below the temples, towards the lower face. These threads have tiny backwards facing barbs that insert themselves into the dermas, to allow the thread to be pulled up and back, removing slack in the skin. Try it yourself, place your fingers in front of your ears below your temple on the side of your face, and pull up and back. If you have significant movement in the facial skin, you may be a good candidate for threads!
Many people are intimidated by this procedure, but it is virtually painless (you are numbed) and your results are immediate, with gradual, continued improvement over the next 4-6 weeks. Over time, the PDO material is absorbed by the body, and collagen is left behind. The collagen then acts as the structure that keeps the skin in place. Results typically last up to two years. Check out the PDO thread results below! Notice areas like the jaw line where the skin has been drawn up tight.
The next advanced treatment option we will discuss is PRP/PRF injections. These injections involve drawing your own blood, spinning it down to concentrate the plasma ("liquid gold"), and then re-injecting the plasma back into your body. These treatment are very common, and not just in the aesthetics industry. People will often receive PRP injections into joints (like the knee) to treat pain and injuries. The concentrated plasma has many regenerative properties, and can help with darkness and lost volume under the eye.
Many people will opt for PRF injections under the eye in lieu of filler, as under-eye filler can result in many complications such as the appearance of "puffy" or "over-filled" eyes. As PRF is completely natural to your body, it does not have these issues.
You may have heard of PRP, but perhaps not PRF. In a nutshell, PRF has all the benefits of PRP, and more. The only difference between the two is the means by which the blood is spun, and stored before injection. PRF contains higher platelet concentration than PRP, and releases slower into the body, allowing for a more prolonged healing process that lasts longer. At Wellspring, we have converted 100% to PRF and no longer use PRP.
Another interesting difference is the patient discomfort during the procedure. PRP injections involve storing the spun blood in test tubes coated in an anticoagulant. This anticoagulant mixes with the sample and is injected along with the plasma. Many patients experience discomfort and pain due to this compound. With PRF, no anticoagulant is used, resulting in a more natural product, with less pain relative to PRP. While the results of a single injection are quite impressive, we generally prescribe a series of 3 injections 4-6 weeks apart for desired results that last.
Check out the results below!
The final advanced aesthetics treatment we will discuss is Kybella injections. Kybella is an FDA approved procedure to dissolve fat under the chin, i.e. the double chin. That's right, it just dissolves the fat away. Typically Kybella requires 3-6 treatments, 4-6 weeks apart.
A typical Kybella procedure involves a series of 20-30 small injections under the chin in rapid succession. The whole procedure only lasts 60 seconds or so. While numbing is applied, Kybella can sting during the procedure. It will feel like minor bee stings that get a bit worse towards the end as the volume of Kybella under the skin increases. However, once the injections stop, the pain stops.
Over the coarse of the next 7 days or so, you will be swollen under your chin, and will actually look worse than you started. That is 100% normal and expected. There are many byproducts produced by the interaction of Kybella and your fat cells. These byproducts cause a bit of swelling and need to be cleared out by the body.
After another 7 days, your swelling will reduce, and you will be back to where you started, however, over the coarse of the next month, you will notice a gradual, but certain, reduction in volume under your chin. In fact, many patients report they continue seeing improvements for 6 months to a year. The result is permanent fat loss under your chin, no more double chin!
Kybella takes some dedication. You will not be satisfied with one treatment. Many times, we will not treat a client just once, as we know it takes at least 3+ treatments for almost everyone, and we want satisfied patients. But the results can be a big game changer if you are a good candidate. Your jaw line will be more defined, and you'll be much happier with your photos. See the photos below for Kybella results after several treatments.
Don't let the title of this article intimidate you. These treatments are very accessible, and we perform them every week. If you are interested in any of these procedures, schedule a free consultation and we will talk about it!
As always, wear your sunscreen!
- Dr. Corey