Surgery vs. Laser
If you are thinking about some facial rejuvenation and not sure what would be the best procedure for you, there are a few things to consider before choosing the best option.
First, evaluate whether it is skin texture or wrinkles that need to be addressed.
Texture would include brown spots, sun damage, fine wrinkles and large pores. If it is only the texture of your skin, then laser might be a good option. There are many lasers on the market that resurface the skin, removing years of sun damage and spots. Some of them are, Fraxel, Active FX, Deep FX, Pixel, and IPL. Chemical peels can also remove some of the very fine lines and give the skin a smoother appearance.
Also, topical treatments such as retinoids and skin lightening agents will help lighten dark spots and increase cellular turn over.
There are 3 types of wrinkles, dynamic, static, and wrinkle folds.
Dynamic wrinkles are caused by movement and expression, such as smiling, and squinting. These are mostly found around the eyes and on the forehead. Botox injections to these areas initially can help prevent these wrinkles from turning into static wrinkles. Sometimes a brow or forehead lift is needed if the brow has dropped over time and with age.
Static wrinkles are prolonged dynamic wrinkles. These wrinkles stay on the face and are apparent when there is no movement of the face. Smoking, poor nutrition, genetics and sun damage can contribute to static wrinkles. They are also caused by a loss of elasticity, and can have a crepey, fine line appearance. Laser treatments can be a great option if there is still elasticity in the skin and there is not a lot of apparent sagging and deep folds.
Wrinkle folds are deep lines usually around the mouth. Filler such as a Hyaluronic based product such as Restylane, Perlane,Juvederm and Voluma can temporarily fill these folds, with re-injection needed every 3 to 9 months. Fat transfer to these areas is another more permanent option. Deep wrinkle folds will require surgical intervention such as a midface or facelift. Also, sagging skin in the neck usually requires a necklift combined with a facelift if needed.
Some people have a combination of all three types of wrinkles. A cosmetic dermatologist can help you with topical treatments and non-invasive options if you do not wish to go under the knife. A plastic surgeon can help you with some lasers and all of the surgical options.
Sometimes a combination of laser and facial surgery is performed. This is something to discuss with your surgeon and dermatologist so that a personalized treatment plan can be made just for you.