Anti aging treatments are available when normal over the counter (OTC) creams and lotions are not enough. Normally it is the case with OTC topical lotions that they work in preventing the signs of aging. If you are using an OTC solution to remove fine lines and wrinkles they work subtly and because of their weakness as a consumer product it will take consistent application over a lengthy period of time before any visible differences become apparent.
Normally as we age there is what people call the 7 signs of aging, which actually came about from a survey done with women. They are,
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Skin dryness
- Rough skin texture
- Age spots and blemishes
- Uneven skin tones
- Visible pores
- Dull looking skin
The list is by no means comprehensive or even a scientifically well researched checklist, but it does serve its purpose as a starting point as to what we all start to see as we grow older.
Common Anti Aging Treatments
If you really want to get rid of wrinkles than there are a range of anti aging treatments available to you. In general selection of a treatment will be based on your
- Personal preferences for treatment
- Down time/discomfort or side effects
- Location of wrinkles and how deep they are
Surgical and Misc Treatments
- Dermabrasion/Microdermabrasion. Basically involves removal of a layer of skin using mechanical means. In practice it consists of sanding down a layer of skin so that a fresh new layer can take its place. This is an abrasive technique that will leave your skin red and irritated with formation of scabs or some swelling that may last for more than a few days. A more gentle treatment is to go for microdermabrasion that works on the same principles but instead uses aluminum oxide crystals to sandblast your skin to remove only a really fine layer of skin. Local swelling and redness will be reduced but at the cost of repeated treatments to maintain the subtle changes.
- Laser, light source or radio-frequency treatments. Instead of using an abrasive technique, you can opt for an ablative technique to wound the skin instead of removing it. Lasers work on two levels, the first is to destroy the top layer of skin and the second to heat the underlying layers of skin to stimulate the production of collagen. As your wound heals your skin will reform tighter and smoother. Similar to dermabrasion there is discomfort and downtime of months before your skin is fully healed. You can opt for a nonablative laser treatment which spares the top layer of skin and instead only heats the underlying layer to stimulate collagen an elastin production. Similar techniques can be applied using radiowaves, which are less intense than lasers.
- Chemical facial peels. Another method is to use chemicals in a controlled manner to burn off a layer of skin. No abrasion is required and chemicals are advantageous as they can ensure an equal controlled and consistent burn. Like other methods, removal of the top layer reveals fresh skin underneath that will be smoother and less wrinkled. A number of applications is generally required before you will start to notice fading of wrinkles and age spots.
- Botox. Unlike the previous treatment options, Botox works by relaxing the muscles under your face. In effect cause your muscles can not contract lines on the eyebrows and forehead will smooth out and appear less wrinkled. Botox is not a permanent solution, results last for about 3-4 months and it requires repeated injections to maintain results.
- Fillers. For deeper wrinkles, instant results can be achieved by injecting a filler material to plump out and smooth wrinkles. Common materials used include, body fat, collagen and hyaluronic acids. The injection of material may cause redness, swelling and bruising around the treatment site. Similar to botox, fillers are actually absorbed back by the body and require repeat treatments every couple of months.
- Face Lifts. The most invasive procedure is to go under the knife and have a surgeon remove excessive skin and fat. This is the most permanent solution that is also followed by long healing times. Results will last longer anyway between 5 to 10 years.
Not all anti aging treatments will be appropriate for you and it requires a proper consultation with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon before the right treatment is selected.
Anti Aging Treatments Resources
- Anti Aging Treatments Basic overview from Mayo Clinic