Skin Tightening Lasers - How Long Do Results Last?
Doctor Answers 5
Duration of CO2 laser results may last years
All fractionated ablative lasers such as Active FX and Fraxel : Repair which are CO2 based lasers will stimulate collagen growth. This is something that deep chemical peels can also do with downtime and tretinoin creams can do with no downtime.
Once you stimulate the collagen growth, this new collagen will last years, hence the prolonged results with these lasers. There is also a great fractionated erbium yag laser that does an amazing job on wrinkles and heals in 2 days instead of 3-7. So, I suggest:
- Find a doctor with a lot of training in skin such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon
- Find the right doctor with the right laser for your needs and
- Be prepared for great laser results with some downtime.
How Long Does Total FX Last...
As you may know, Total FX is a fractional carbon dioxide resurfacing that targets superficial skin layers with the Active FX and deep dermis with Deep FX. These treatments act to stimulate the growth of new collagen by creating a thermal injury. After the treatment, improvement will occur over a period of months.
But how long does it last? This depends on many factors. While the treatment will set back the aging clock on your skin, the clock continues to tick. The rate of aging that takes place will dictate how long it would take to return to the pre-treatment state. The rate of aging depends on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors include genetic influences. Extrinsic factors include sun exposure, smoking, skin care regimen, and other environmental forces. These aging mechanisms may be different for everyone, so the length of time any treatment will last will also vary. In general, it should take more than a year to age through the treatment- and it can certainly take several years for some people.
Total FX has yielded excellent results in my practice and patients have been very happy with this treatment.
Skin Tightening Lasers- Do Not Get Caught Up In Brand Names
First of all you should ask -"Do they really work?" I would urge you to find a responsible and knowledgable plastic surgeon and not focus on brand names as this is the least important part of your decision. As far as longevity- the six week results of your intervention are as permanent as anything in your body can be. you will continue to age depending on your genetics and environmental factors.
The problem with noninvasive skin tightening is that everyone wants it and everyone wants to believe it works. The result is practitioners of all sorts capitalizing on this demand. The truth about skin tightening interventions is that almost all of them work AND NONE OF THEM WORK. What I mean by this is that there are many ways to convert energy into heat inside or below the skin causing contraction. The problem is that to deliver clinically effective results the tissue needs to reach at a minimum 43 C which is uncomfortable and can be scary for the patient and the practitioner. This often results in ineffective treatment and wasted time and money. I have developed extensive experience with noninvasive technologies mot because I'm a fan but because my patients demand it. After using several "best in class" technologies to deliver definitive results, my patients were relatively pleased but I was underwhelmed. THis is why I started using a treatment that we call Maerckks Multimodal Therapy(MMT) in my practice. All this is is an intelligently designed multitechnology treatment customized for the individual patient. I use multiple diffferent frequencies and administration systems for radiofrequency delivery, three different ultrasound frequencies, infrared pulsed light, two different laser systems in concert to deliver immediate significant results that are hard to argue with and continue improving for weeks. I think the only way to get real results is to combine technologies under the direction of a plastic surgeon that understands the capabilities and limitations of noninvasive skin tightening. No one technology really delivers anything significant. Also realiize that even my MMT results that I am very proud of do not remotely compare to what I can achieve with surgery and the cost can approach or exceed that of surgery depending on location and individual patient findings
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The gold standard is facelift
Most tightening lasers work by heating up the dermis and stimulation collagen formation (we often
use ultrasound or radio frequency). The new collagen production can take up to 6 months to be
complete and the results can last for a few years (few studies have 2 year followup and clinically I have
seen efficacy up to 5 years in a selected patients) . However, the degree of skin tightening may be very
subtle and varies from patient to patient significantly. In other words, the results are not always
consistent and if you are looking for a significant improvement that is longer lasting, the gold standard is
a facelift. If you are against surgery, you may also want to look into InstaLift which is also a good
temporary lifting procedure with minimal downtime. I would urge you to get a consultation with a local
board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to help you assess your specific needs.
Lasers are used to superficially tighten skin
Lasers are used to superficially tighten skin. CO2 and Fraxel improve tighten skin but the results will vary greatly depending on the patient, their age, the skin type and the amount of correction required. Lifting and tightening is best achieved with Ultherapy which targets underneath the skin to tighten and lift tissue. One can combine Ultherapy (a non-invasive face lifting type procedure) with superficial skin lasers to get a longer term result and greater lift. These are good options since they are non-invasive treatments. Ultherapy has no down time.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.