MANHATTAN, NEW YORK – When it comes to clearing and smoothing your skin fast, if you’ve been trolling the drugstores, supermarkets and DIY recipes on YouTube, chances are you haven’t experienced any REAL results.
That’s because you were looking in the wrong places. If you want fast, visible results, your best bet is to pay a plastic surgeon a visit.
“People try the cheaper, less invasive route first, but all they end up doing is spending time and money waiting on a miracle that isn’t found on a shelf or their fridge,” says Dr. Andrew Miller, a top Manhattan plastic surgeon. “When patients come see me for the first time they are shocked to learn that effective procedures aren’t as scary or costly as they envisioned.”
Where did you go wrong?
Chances are you’ve been drawn in by drastic before and after photos and touching testimonials from people who had tried everything without results. But low and behold, they found it – that one product or homemade concoction that actually works. The next thing you know, you’re signing up for a year’s worth of Proactive or spreading last night’s leftovers on your face and crossing your fingers.
Why topicals don’t work – fast?
Most topicals – over-the-counter, prescribed or homemade recipes – work, just not fast. They take time to yield visible results and often, never drastic ones.
“Their concentration of active ingredients is much lower than that what is available to physicians,” says Dr. Miller, a NYC facelift specialist. “Higher concentrations and mechanical resurfacing are fast and effective, but also run a risk for scarring when not left in the hands of an experienced administrator – preferably a physician or surgeon. They are also the only way to provide significant improvement in severe cases.”
So what DOES work, you ask?
The following procedures are safe and yield fast – sometimes instant- improvement of skin clarity and texture.
We’ll start with the least invasive:
- Intense pulsed light therapy – Low on pain and high on results, IPL therapy improves skin tone by zapping redness and discoloration. This “photo facial” is ideal for rosacea sufferers, sun damaged skin and post-hyperpigmentation caused by trauma or fading acne blemishes.Results can be seen instantly and improve with subsequent procedures – usually performed in four-week intervals.
- Microdermabrasion and dermabrasion – Microdermabrasion uses fine crystals to resurface the skin similar to – but safer and more controlled than – a sand blaster. This procedure is ideal for people looking for a “lunch time” glow or desiring to improve their acne, scarring and discoloration.Smoother, glowing skin is revealed instantly and after approximately seven sessions, fresh skin should be visible.Dermabrasion is simply a more intense version of microdermabrasion.
- Chemical Peels – Glycolic peels work similar to topicals such as Retin-A by causing the skin to exfoliate its outer layer, only faster and deeper.These peels take just a few minutes in-office and approximately three days later, you will notice your dull, outer layer of skin beginning to peel.Like the previous procedures, improvement becomes more dramatic with each subsequent peel.
- Fraxel resurfacing – The gold standard in acne scar removal, clarity and texture improvement, the Fraxel laser provides fast and substantial improvement.The Fraxel laser works by removing tiny cylinders of skin at the treated sites.”What makes the Fraxel so effective is that it actually removes portions of damaged skin while leaving behind just enough undamaged skin to promote rapid healing,” says Dr. Miller. “What’s even more fantastic is that this process – the damage and healing – can actually induce collagen production, further improving skin tone and texture.”
As a bonus, by removing portions of skin and reducing the skin’s surface area, fine lines and laxity can also be improved.
This procedure is obviously more invasive than others and requires approximately three days of downtime. Afterward, you will need to diligently protect your fresh, pink skin from the sun to prevent hyperpigmentation.
Makeup can be worn immediately to cover pinkness, which will fade over time as the skin rejuvenates itself.
Severe cases of acne scarring may require multiple procedures to achieve desired improvement.
All of these procedures can be used to treat any area where improvement is desired such as the face, neck, chest and hands.