By Jennifer Niskanen
The number of non-surgical treatments for facial and body rejuvenation continues to expand. Dr. George Anterasian of the Santa Monica Laser & Skin Care Center in Santa Monica, California (http://www.maryleeamerian.com/) first became interested in these treatments because they reduce downtime and make recovery easier. Dr. Anterasian has obtained tremendous experience in the field of non-surgical facial rejuvenation and body contouring by continuing to limit his cosmetic practice to only the best of the non-surgical procedures.
“I love faces. I’ve been working on faces for over 30 years. I truly enjoy making someone’s face look its best, and I am an expert in non-surgical facial rejuvenation. I’ve worked in this area of medicine since 2003, when the first important non-surgical skin tightening device came out. That was the Thermage device, and during the 12 years since then, many new devices have been developed. Usually every year, something new comes out. Because of my focus on these non-surgical treatments, I’ve been able to carefully evaluate each new treatment as it became available and incorporate only the best of them into my practice,” George Anterasian MD.
Patients today often prefer three non-surgical procedures to a single aggressive treatment that carries a week to ten days of recovery. According to Dr. Anterasian, “The best results are achieved when treatments are combined together. For example, skin resurfacing with the Fraxel laser can be combined with Botox and dermal fillers. If it’s done right, you shouldn’t be able to tell that someone has had a facial rejuvenation procedure. The face just looks fresher, brighter and younger.” These treatments are safer too, without the need for general anesthesia, and when properly done, always give a result that looks natural and rejuvenated.
The approach to facial rejuvenation has changed significantly over time. “The patients coming into an office in 1990 would probably be treated with a facelift and a peel to make the skin look better, and that’s about all that could be done back then. There was very little else available. That facelift would probably have at least ten days of true downtime. But in 2015, most likely those same patients would be treated completely differently. They would have a laser resurfacing procedure to rejuvenate the skin. That would be done with a Fraxel dual laser. They might have a skin tightening procedure such as Thermage. They would receive Botox to reduce lines and wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes, and dermal fillers to improve lines, wrinkles and folds, or Voluma to enhance the cheekbones. None of these procedures have any downtime, and the patients need not interrupt their lifestyles,” George Anterasian MD.
Innovations in laser and light-based skin treatments consistently improve fine lines, wrinkles, broken capillaries, sun damage, and brown spots. They also make the skin smoother and brighter with a more even color, even improving acne and other facial scars.
According to Dr. Anterasian, even if you are very young, it is important to start with a good skin care program. In his practice, skin care programs commonly use Retin-A and other ingredients like antioxidants, vitamins and peptides to protect the skin from free radical damage, stimulate cellular turnover, and boost collagen formation. In addition, a good vitamin serum, an eye serum and a rejuvenating cream are very good for making the skin look healthy and beautiful. A good moisturizer and regular sunscreen use are also absolutely mandatory because ongoing sun exposure is the number one cause of premature skin aging. Over the long run, a good skin care program will help prevent the signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles and sunspots.
But even if you have a good skin care program, in sunnier locations ongoing sun exposure is almost unavoidable. That’s why laser treatments are popular to help the skin look its best. Dr. Anterasian reports that such patients usually have around three treatments the first time their skin is treated and then a maintenance treatment of about one treatment a year after that. Patients might get a little red or swollen from the laser treatment, but they don’t have to stay home.
Lasers can also be used to treat acne scarring, once active acne has been controlled with a combination of medications, creams and lotions. “Acne scarring can be treated with a series of no downtime laser treatments that will give a significant improvement in the acne scarring. Usually it’s four or five treatments, about a month apart. The laser we use for that is called the Fraxel laser, and it gives a very nice result. Patients are very happy with the outcome of that treatment. But before we treat the acne scarring we have to control the medical problem first; we have to control the active acne,” George Anterasian MD.
The timing for when patients start facial rejuvenation treatments has also changed. Facial rejuvenation treatments today are started much earlier in life in order to prevent the actual formation of wrinkles rather than waiting for wrinkles to form and then treating them. Dr. Anterasian explains that this approach has been given the term “prejuvenation.” He says that the early thirties is often a reasonable time to start injections of Botox to prevent formation of wrinkles between the eyebrows.
Other major tools in Dr. Anterasian’s skin treatment arsenal include the diverse options now available in the world of dermal fillers. The trick is to choose the right filler for each job. Dermal fillers are one of Dr. Anterasian’s cornerstones of facial rejuvenation. “With all the different kinds of dermal fillers available, we can now accomplish incredible things in facial rejuvenation that only a few years ago could not be done. We can treat very fine lines by placing a little filler just slightly under the skin. We can reach the medium depth folds and wrinkles to soften and reduce those as well. And, we can inject a filler like Voluma deeper into the tissues to enhance the cheekbones and improve the jaw line and give a beautiful natural appearing cosmetic result,” George Anterasian MD.
In a medical breakthrough, over the last four or five years non-invasive techniques have also been developed to remove fat. CoolSculpting was the first non-invasive option developed for fat reduction. It freezes the fat for one hour. This injures the fat in such a way that the body has to get rid of the fat over the next two to three months.
“CoolSculpting treatments established the fact that fat could be removed and the body shaped and contoured in a completely non-invasive manner, without liposuction and without surgery. Coolsculpting was the first treatment to accomplish this. After Coolsculpting proved it was possible to reduce fat non-invasively other technologies were also developed to do this. Today, there are radio frequency technologies that reduce fat non-invasively. There are also ultrasound technologies. These non-invasive technologies have significantly reduced the need for invasive procedures like liposuction. This is a welcome development for patients,” George Anterasian MD.
The whole world of non-surgical fat reduction and body shaping is growing and changing rapidly. In the next few months, Dr. Anterasian also reports that there will be a brand new treatment added to the list called SculptSure. It will utilize a laser for non-surgical fat reduction, usually in only one or two treatments. Again, this is an example of a state-of-the-art move towards just the type of non-invasive treatments that Dr. Anterasian specializes in. Research and development obviously continues, allowing him to meet the needs of his patients without downtime or recovery. His aesthetic eye and sense of balance allow him to combine modern laser treatments with a growing variety of fillers to consistently achieve natural looking results that patients desire. That’s what makes his practice truly outstanding.