Managing Healthy Skin
The face is regularly exposed to the elements, including the harsh rays of the sun and moisture-evaporating winds. Our facial skin may also be prone to acne, rashes or allergic reactions or have been subject to an injury, any of which could cause a permanent scar.
However, today there are non-surgical treatments available for those who want to diminish or remove skin problems and attain a smoother, more refreshed appearance. These methods include using glycolic acid, which is a form of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that can be incorporated into facial preparations and used to eliminate rough or dry skin, and Retin-A®, a vitamin A-enriched cream that alters the skin at the cellular level and is used to erase wrinkles and spots from sun damage.
These treatments may be used alone or may be recommended to accompany a cosmetic surgery procedure, such as a facelift or a chemical peel.
What to Expect from Skin-Surface Treatments
Surface-repair treatments can improve your skin’s overall appearance, but they cannot do away with deep scars and flaws or stop all signs of aging. They do not offer the same effects as a facelift might. Overall, Retin-A® and glycolic acid treatments provide more modest results than most surgical approaches will.
Based on your expectations, issues and the goals you wish to achieve, your plastic surgeon can help you decide whether a skin-rejuvenating treatment of any type is right for you.
Planning for Treatment
Whether you’re interested in a surgical or nonsurgical skin treatment, it’s essential to choose a doctor with training and experience in numerous areas of skin management. The doctor you select should be comfortable with performing many different types of treatment or combinations of treatments to best manage your particular needs.
During your initial consultation, be as clear as possible about the goals you hope to achieve. Come prepared with any questions you may have. The surgeon should be open with you as well and be willing to explain what factors might necessitate choosing one certain treatment option instead of another, such as age, skin condition and previous plastic surgeries.
The doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical examination. Expect your surgeon to fully inform you about the treatment process you will be undergoing in detail, including the risks and benefits, recovery period and costs. Insurance often will not cover cosmetic procedures.
Where Your Treatment Will Be Performed
Your skin treatment will most likely be performed in a doctor’s office. Only when it is done in combination with a facelift or another surgical procedure will a hospital visit be required.
Your New Routine
Once your procedure has been completed, you will have to take steps to maintain the new look. It’s often as simple as incorporating a prescription cream or facial wash into your daily routine. That’s all it takes to preserve your fresh new appearance.