A new year, a new you...or just a refresher course...
After a lot of time in the sun...we were so not loving those 'freckles' -three on one hand-two on the other-that "magically" appeared on the back of our hands.
Even with being sunblock fanatics and wearing hats-our skin probably got more sun ray hits than ever before with all the triathlon training/golfing/hiking we ended packing into the warm weather months.
With little time for downtime-of course meaning no time---we opted for what is known as a Cutera Limelight Facial™ that's a "non-invasive" pulsed light treatment- 3 settings available-good for fair to medium skin tones... that fades the brown spots, nixes the telangiectasia (tiny veins) and overall facial redness-via, typically- 1-3 treatments.
Our go to gal-Clarissa is a highly skilled practitioner who works with Dr. Z. Paul Lorenc M.D., F.A.C.S. a few days a week. And we feel very strongly-very, very strongly in fact- THAT...even these so called non-invasive lasers require a trained individual to not only prevent any unwanted side effects-but is also knowledgeable enough to get real results...being able to 'read' a skin's reaction while undergoing treatment-and knowing when to repeat laser passes, move on etc---
We didn't do anything to "prep" our skin though there is a protocol to avoid retinoid/glycolic skin products about two weeks prior---and knowing that it kinda feels like rubber bands snapping on our skin-the pain factor was minor...so no Advil necessary for us.
We did wear goggles during the about half hour treatment we had-with cooling gel applied prior to being zapped by what is a laser device that looks like a high tech wand.
Although our face was a tad swollen afterwards-we immediately applied some make-up and resumed our regular day right away---though we can see how some might want to hang out a bit with an ice pack applied to treated areas- for about five-ten minutes.
Over the next 10 days-the dark spots on the back of our hands-scabbed (tiny ones) ---then fell off-no big
---What else we thought was pretty cool-little spots we never noticed-actually darkened- then completely faded away without scabs. YES!
What little redness we had in our face-completely faded-pretty much right away. We have a very fair skinned gal pal-typical Irish coloring who had a "mottled complexion" and a lot more redness---she had 3 treatments bout 3-4 weeks apart-and her skin now looks porcelain perfect.
Treatments are customizable-hence a skilled practitioner is really worth it...and might spare one having multiple treatments by getting "it" right the first time.
Awhile back-there was an article in the NY Times written by a gal who was not thrilled with what she saw as her sagging neckline.
Her choice Ultherapy---tightened up her skin where she wanted it --and so we learned from a "completely different energy" than other lasers like Thermage- that also aim to tighten the skin...according to Dr. Andrew Jacono M.D. FACS---a New York (City/Long Island) based plastic surgeon- we met with.
Like ultrasound -the energy is focused ---and targets the deeper layers of the dermis and muscle/SMAS layer--- to actually tighten the muscles underneath the skin-that droop-and stimulate new collagen growth. The skin SKIN itself-meaning the top layer we see/touch-isn't effected at all by the ultrasonic energy. Interesting.
"You can see it work right off the table," Jacono noted-in his experience with Ultherapy. The lifting effect can be immediate...and most patients should see increased tightening-meaning, definite improvement- over three months time as the tissue underneath the surface of the skin heals and generates more collagen. That's if the Ultherapy was done correctly.
We decided to try it ourselves...though without much jawline sagging at all (some would say none), we did not expect dramatic results in that area. FYI: Dr. Jacono -in his experience-sees about a "30% improvement" in patients with the right kind of skin (note ethnicity does not matter at all)- for the treatment. That group of potential patients doesn't include older, weathered skin with excessive sagging-where only plastic surgery will do. And smartly as he told us...30% on a youthful 40 year old who wants to shave off a few years, lookwise- is different than 30% improvement- for an 80 year old who might want to look like a vivacious 60 year old again.
Even with four Advils and half a Percocet---as pre-medication treatment-truth be told-our about 50 minute (about), Ultherapy treatment hurt---on a scale of five- up to ten on our thinner skin area-the brow right above the outside corner of our eye sockets. We read online that some patients get lidocaine shots in their faces- to block the pain-we get that completely. Though we thought about a stiff martini too-might help just as well.
Dr. Jacono performed our treatment himself...PLUS he has a great sense of humor which helps-as he kept telling us what to realistically expect-having undergone Ultherapy himself.
We would never even dream of going to any ole' spa for this. Dr. Jacono had his eyes on the Ulthera® System's control unit's imaging screen-"reading" how the energy waves hit our skin, knowing exactly how many passes to take in a certain area via a handpiece that transmitted the energy...when to repeat a section and how aggressively-a skill that needs to be learned thoroughly.
Considered to be noninvasive procedure targeting soft tissue with precision and consistency-we could still REALLY feel the heat, literally, seep into our skin's deeper layers. In fact, our friend with Radiesse filler in her nasial folds (those furrows from the end of her nose to the corner of her mouth) ---was counseled that Ultherapy might "dissolve" the Radiesse---another reason to talk to a skilled Doctor---who won't try to oversell one on this procedure-or any other.
Our face was swollen a bit afterwards---something that lasted under 24 hours-and we did nothing else special afterwards-and did not experience any burning or tightening feeling except in parts of our neck-and barely noticeable at that. Since the top skin isn't effected-makeup can be applied right off...and we actually went out afterwards, no problem.
Results wise---well, as stated prior-our neck didn't really sagged-but interesting-our eye area lifted-something we didn't even think we would see---and not weird wide eyed. Subtle. More like we cleverly tweezed our eyebrows-something we don't do.
Our closest equivalent - we guess-is comparable to some people who get Botox right above their eyebrows to get a lift to the outer area...and get more of an arch...
We were told that the procedure -Ultherapy--- lasts one to two/three years--- but that in reality-it depends on how one ages---unlike fillers that can def fade away with time.