There is a saying, “everything in moderation.” Generally this refers to consumables, but how does it translate into the field of dermatology and the industries of cosmetic and aesthetic surgery? As it relates to the treatments and procedures of the skin and the services we provide, is there anything we need to know?
One of the benefits of being a Tennessee Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (TSLMS) member is that we can help you sort through these types of questions, making good decisions on behalf of your practice and guiding your clients to look and feel their best. Another benefit is the reduced registration fee for our annual meeting and conference, SCALE 2019 Music City, taking place in May in Nashville. Here, trending topics in the field will be discussed, debated and demonstrated by some of the top medical faculty.
What is Skin Rejuvenation
As noted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, skin rejuvenation and resurfacing consists of “different treatment modalities used to treat the different aspects of skin damage. Laser resurfacing, mechanical resurfacing, chemical peels and injectable products can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles of the entire face or those that develop in specific regions of the face, such as the upper lip and around the eyes. These treatments can also be used to address pigmentation disorders, such as sun and age spots, and they can be used to improve the appearance of acne scars or other skin conditions.”
The treatments that fall into this category include:
- Laser and IPL (intense pulse light)
- Chemical (acid) Peels
- Ablative Laser Treatments (using fractional C02)
- Dermabrasion, or Mechanical Ablation
- Microdermabrasion, or Non-Ablative
- Injectable Dermal Fillers
- Botulinum Toxin
- Sclerotherapy (treats spider veins)
Typically, these fall into the non-surgical category. Some are more invasive than others, but all fall short of going under the knife. They are incredibly popular treatments with a growing clientelle. Lately the trends have gone the way of combination therapies.
What are Combination Therapies
As we noted in the article, The Most Effective Use of Combination Therapies, “The definition is a little bit different depending on the source. Combination therapies, or polymedicine, is essentially ‘a therapeutic intervention in which more than one therapy is administered to the patient. Examples of combination therapy include treatment regimens that involve administering several separate pills, each containing a particular drug, or single pills that contain several drugs.’ While this is most commonly applied to the prescription and use of drugs, any and all procedures and therapies that are used together fall into this spectrum of treatment.
Combination therapies exist in almost every medical field, and are no exception in the practices of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, aesthetic physicians and aestheticians. The most common type of polymedicine in our field is when non-invasive procedures are ‘stacked’ to treat signs of aged skin and also help to rejuvenate that same area of skin. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of known ways we can help our patients and clients become their most beautiful using this method.”
The ability to combine therapies has been a giant leap ahead for our industry, but it also comes with significant drawbacks if they are not performed properly. There is great danger in combining the wrong therapies, or doing too much, causing damage that was not intended. The good news is, while there are rare incidences of death following cosmetic surgery, including liposuction, the numbers have dropped dramatically since a slew of headlines ran in 2010 and 2011. The better news is that serious side effects, including death, are very rare in the field of non-invasive cosmetic procedures.
How Much Skin Rejuvenation is Safe
The answer varies from patient to patient. As it relates to products and cosmetics, this has recently gotten attention from the fashion and beauty world. Shape Magazine ran an article, 4 Signs You’re Using Too Many Beauty Products, in which they implore their readers to pay attention to what dermatologists are saying. Medical doctors who are experts in the field know the impacts of certain treatments on the skin. They can guide the individual seeking rejuvenation. So if you are unsure of what is the safest course of action for your patients, many of our faculty will be available to answer your specific questions as they relate to this topic at our annual conference. And, as a member you can always reach out to any of us at any time.