Skin rejuvenation involves a number of surgical and non-surgical methods that can reduce skin damage over the years and make it less noticeable.
Why does our skin age and how do we slow down this process?
The role of the skin is to constantly protect us from external environmental influences and to prevent dehydration and overheating of our body. As such, skin has a very dynamic cell life. It constantly replaces old cells with new ones. New cells push the old ones towards the surface of the skin.
As we age, the process of cell division and skin renewal gradually slows down while traces of damage caused by various internal and external factors accumulate, becoming more noticeable.
Internal factors include genetic predisposition, metabolic disorders and hormonal status. A drop in estrogen leads to cell dehydration, increased sebum accumulation and easier cracking of the skin. Imbalance in sugar intake, diabetes or insulin resistance reduce cell proliferation, their renewal. They inhibit wound healing and lead to intense itching and thinning of the skin.
External factors that contribute to aging and skin damage are different, but the most significant is continuous exposure to the sun, i.e. to UVA and UVB radiation. This is the cause of as much as 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging. The consequences, but also the first noticeable skin changes caused by the sun, appear very early, after the age of twenty.
UVA radiation penetrates deeply into the skin and causes genetic mutations of cells, while UVB primarily causes skin burning and deep wrinkles.
Cigarettes, alcohol, environmental pollution, restrictive diets with a lack of protein, excessive sugar intake, extreme temperature changes and long-term stress significantly contribute to the appearance of the skin. According to Japanese studies, changes of the skin around the eyes are noticeable after only one night with less than 5 hours of sleep.
All these factors contribute to skin aging, appearance of wrinkles, changes in pigmentation and eventually loss of youthful appearance and skin texture.
How can we slow down skin aging?
Skin aging cannot be completely stopped but it can be significantly slowed down.
Proper care, sports activities, adequate nutrition (reduced alcohol and sugar intake, increased protein and antioxidants intake) as well as getting enough sleep are crucial for the health of our skin.
Daily routine must consist of facial cleansing using mild agents that will not dry out the skin and which will enable the removal of makeup residue as well as small particles of soot and dust. Hydration is mandatory, according to the season and age. SPF 15-25 creams should be used for sun protection in the city, and SPF 30 to 50 creams on holidays.
We must also remember to protect the skin of the body, not just the face. Indoor tanning provides an attractive complexion but in the long run it has serious adverse effects on the skin. It is believed that only 15-30 minutes of indoor tanning is as dangerous and harmful as staying in the sun all day. After just one indoor tanning session the risk of developing melanoma is more than twice as high.
Intake of antioxidants through proper diet, supplements and creams neutralizes free radicals and rejuvenates the skin.
What are the conditions and symptoms that indicate the need for skin rejuvenation and that can be eliminated with various treatments?
Static wrinkles: These are wrinkles that are easily visible at all times. Deep or shallow, they do not change significantly with facial movements. They are caused by exposure to sun over the years and loss of skin tone.
Dynamic wrinkles: These are lines that appear as cuts when moving the muscles on the face and are further deepened by certain movements or expressions.
Pigmentation: Freckles, sun spots, melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation are most often caused by prolonged sun exposure or hormonal imbalance.
Redness and broken capillaries: Blood vessels seen on the surface of the skin often appear as red or purple spider-like lines. If there are many small capillaries, diffuse redness is formed.
Loss of skin tone: After the age of 30, the production of coenzyme Q10 stops and the production of collagen and elastin decreases. The result is gradual thinning of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. As the skin does not have any support underneath and it is less elastic and firm, it starts to hang a little.
A consultation with a dermatologist is desirable when we start thinking about rejuvenating procedures. Different treatments can be used for different skin problems, and the best results are usually obtained with the right combination of treatments.
Signs of aging include the appearance of spots, capillaries, redness, fine lines, enlarged pores, deep mimic wrinkles, excess skin and changes in the contour of the face, lips, eyelids. Depending on the type of change, skin type and age, the dermatologist will choose the optimal combination of treatments and procedures.
Treatments can be grouped into two categories: non-ablative and ablative.
Non-ablative treatments include:
- Mesotherapy, a procedure that involves injecting antioxidants directly into the skin.
- PRP, a treatment that uses the power of one’s own platelets to stimulate collagen production.
- Laser treatments that do not damage the skin barrier. They are usually performed on the layer of skin that is rich in blood vessels and stimulate fibroblast activity by gently warming them. These treatments simultaneously remove the newly formed capillaries and even out skin colour.
- Dermapen is a procedure that involves creating hundreds of micro-punctures in the skin that make the skin cells wake up and start producing extra collagen. There is no peeling after the Dermapen treatment but the redness can last up to 3 days.
- Radiofrequency lifting uses a deep tissue heating system. If it is performed on the surface of the skin, the heating of the inside of the skin cannot be higher than 45 degrees, so a series of treatments is required. Endodermal lifting is a method of radiofrequency lifting that is performed inside the skin. The temperature reaches 45 to 65 degrees, so one treatment is sufficient for a noticeable result.
Ablative treatments involve disruption of the superficial layer or deeper layers of the skin. Skin peel is a controlled skin injury that alarms all recovery systems. After recovery, the skin is significantly rejuvenated. One ablative laser treatment is considered to provide the same result as three to five non-ablative laser treatments. It is a great misconception that this type of treatment leads to thinning of the skin. If the treatment is carried out properly, the effect is exactly the opposite.
- Chemical peels can be performed using different acids in different percentages depending on the desired main outcome. Every type of acid stimulates the production of collagen, even the one found in daily care creams. Some are used more for blemishes and some for scars.
- Fractionated CO2 laser is the number one method for rejuvenation or treatment of scars, enlarged pores. A single treatment with this laser gives the result equal to five non-ablative laser treatments or three treatments with other types of ablative lasers.
Facial volumization is a completely separate method of facelift with fillers. This method allows us to compensate for the atrophy of the facial bones which occurs with age. We can correct deep wrinkles or make up for adipose tissue. There are various fillers on the market as well as biostimulators but the only completely safe way of this type of rejuvenation is rejuvenation with hyaluronic acid fillers. Read more about full facelift with hyaluronic acid.
Botox is irreplaceable in rejuvenating the forehead and eye area, and very suitable for neck treatment. It is the best and most cost effective anti-wrinkle tool.
Face and body maintenance has become part of the culture in the modern age. There are a number of different methods. We can use them differently depending on the condition but also on the sensitivity of the patient.