Hundreds of patients come through our offices each month seeking to address cosmetic concerns. Often, they relate to the signs of aging, such as sagging jowls, hooded eyelids, and lines and wrinkles. When addressing these concerns, it is important that patients understand the nature of aging. Not only how it affects appearance by why. When we start at the root cause of cosmetic aging, we can better understand why no singular treatment, even surgery, can correct all problems.
Historically, the signs of aging have been topical solutions. Ancients used milk baths to promote beautiful skin. More recently, science has developed more powerful topicals such as medical-grade retinoids, hyaluronic acid, lasers, and other high-tech energies. In every one of these instances, the skin can look a little better and become a little stronger. However, long-term beauty is only possible with maintenance. This is why.
Aging does not happen on the surface of the skin. It happens in the dermis, where cells called fibroblasts live. Fibroblasts make collagen and elastin, proteins that then form the skin’s foundation. Collagen is a firming protein, whereas elastin is flexible and allows the skin to stretch and contract. These are vital characteristics that, when lost, lead to sagging, rough, deflated skin. Up until about age 30, our fibroblasts are humming right along, making all the collagen and elastin we need and then some. After that age, these cells go into relative dormancy. When they do, the body’s use of 1 to 2% of existing proteins each year sends us into depletion, where we begin to see the signs of aging.
To truly meet the skin’s needs over time, our job is to keep those fibroblasts stimulated. This means maintenance because no treatment can wake up fibroblasts for good. Each treatment that is performed can stimulate fibroblast activity that lasts up to six months. However, depending on how severe the signs of aging are when treatment begins, several sessions may be needed just to restore an optimal baseline.
If you’ve ever wondered why beauty treatments are “sold” in packages, this is the reason. Beauty isn’t once-and-done, so your treatments can’t be, either. To learn more about the services we offer, contact our Pottsville or Hazleton office.