Aging with Grace: Common Dermatologist Treatments
If your algorithm is anything like mine, then when you open social media you’re bombarded with beauty products, tips, tricks, and yes – procedures. It seems like people are getting Botox younger and younger, and you need to have the perfect luminous skin of a 20-year-old at every point in your life. We’re here to tell you that you don’t – but you do have options. But with so many options out there, it can be confusing to tell exactly what they are, and what might work for you. We’re here to tell you the most common dermatological treatments out there to help minimize signs of aging, along with any potential risks and side effects.
Botox is made from a small number of bacteria that weakens or paralyzes certain muscles by blocking specific nerves. It can be used to help temporarily smooth wrinkles and fine lines and lasts about three to twelve months. There are also some therapeutic applications of Botox like treating chronic migraines, severe sweating, TMJ disorder, and overactive bladders. Botox does come with some potential side effects and risks like pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site, headache, flu-like symptoms, and an upset stomach. It may even potentially interfere with your emotional range!
People often get fillers and Botox mixed up, but they are different treatments. Dermal fillers are made up of a variety of substances, some naturally occurring, and others synthetic. Some of the most common ingredients are hyaluronic acid (HA), bovine (cow) collagen, and calcium hydroxylapatite. They are used to help create a more full or smoother appearance in the face, chin, cheeks, lips, and other places. Most dermal fillers are absorbed by the body over time, lasting anywhere from six months to five years depending on the ingredients. This means that people who want to maintain the results of their fillers will most likely need to redo them periodically.
The most common potential side effects of fillers are:
- Pain, redness, bruising, and swelling at the injection site
Other less common but possible side effects include allergic reactions, infection, raised bumps under the skin, unintended injection into blood vessels, and necrosis (tissue death).
This minimally invasive procedure helps to improve skin’s overall texture and tones. Microdermabrasion rejuvenates the skin by using an applicator with an abrasive surface to gently sand away the thick outer layer of skin. Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical procedure that is best for treating sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, acne and acne scars, and melasma. There are several different kinds of microdermabrasion including crystal, diamond, and JetPeel. Possible side effects include swelling, tenderness, and redness, although these usually go away a few hours after treatment.
Also known as the “Vampire Facial”, PRP micro-needling has gained popularity in the last couple of years for its ability to help minimize signs of aging along with acne scars – using your own blood! During your procedure, a syringe of blood will be drawn while your face is being numbed. The blood is then placed in a device called a centrifuge that separates the PRP from other parts of your blood. Then you receive micro-needling using a special roller or device that helps to stimulate new collagen production by pricking the skin. The PRP is usually massaged into the skin after, as it has better absorption after micro-needling.
Possible side effects include bruising and inflammation, swelling, and redness, sun sensitivity. Rare complications include infection and scarring, and a possible herpes outbreak if you have ever had cold sores.
It’s in the name, a chemical peel uses a chemical solution applied topically to remove, or “peel” the top layers of skin. After, the skin that grows back is smoother and may have decreased wrinkles, discoloration, and scarring. There are three different types of chemical peels, light, medium, and deep, depending on the needs of your skin. Possible side effects of chemical peels include scarring, redness, scabbing, swelling, changes in skin color, and infection. In rare cases, it could cause heart, kidney, or liver damage.
You Are Beautiful!
We’re not here to convince you that you need any of these treatments or that you should avoid them altogether. This is your body and your life, and only you can make decisions about how to approach things like dermatological treatments. There is no one right way to age, no matter what people around you are doing. Lines, wrinkles, sun spots, and cellulite are all a part of being human, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to interfere with the aging process aesthetically. Whether you like to keep it au natural or get an injection here and there – you’re beautiful no matter what!
Natasha (she/they) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.