combination therapies – the key to treating the aging face – part 1

We are all aging. It is a fact of life of which we are reminded every time we look in the mirror. Everyone ages differently, based on our genetics (intrinsic aging), and our lifestyle choices and environment (extrinsic aging). All of these factors paint the canvas of the skin we see today.

For this reason, we all show different signs of aging through the years; this means that each and every patient must have a unique regimen designed just for their skin type. We as clinicians must tailor professional treatments as well as daily care and be able to customize through the years in order to maintain long-term relationships. For example, if you first meet a patient at age 20, certainly the products and treatments you recommend for them will have to change as the patient progresses through their 30s, 40s, 50s, etc.

We must also be able to recognize just how much topical products and professional treatments will accomplish, and be able to recommend other types of treatments that will work alongside their current regimens.

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Let’s look at the bones of the face. Just as the bones of the spine and other parts of the body begin to lose mass, so do the bones of the face. As we age, our orbital bones become wider and the temple area also becomes hollow, for example. In addition, we lose adipose and other supportive tissues, such as collagen and elastin. All of this contributes to sagging skin. Since we cannot replace the bone loss, we can use dermal fillers to stimulate the collagen production to fill in the areas where bone and tissue loss has occurred. These types of treatments give a natural ‘lift’ to the face without the risks associated with surgery, or are an alternative to those who are not quite ready for surgery. There are also other types of fillers that will help with fine lines and wrinkles that can be used in conjunction with dermal fillers.

If you are not working in a medical facility where these types of injections are performed, consider building a referral relationship with a practitioner who does. Injections of any type won’t address skin health, hyperpigmentation, rosacea or other common skin conditions, as will regular professional treatments and continued use of SPF and daily care products. By combining therapies as our patients age, we will not only retain them for many years to come, but they will value their clinician’s ability to suggest other beneficial treatments available to them.


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