Necessity is the mother of invention. In the beginning, fluorescent and incandescent bulbs replaced open fire and the torch and soon a variety of fancy illuminating devices followed. Then a distinct category of artificial light, a.k.a. laser opened an era that uses light for a whole range of new purposes. The original computer had two large cumbersome vacuum tubes; now its great grandchild takes you around the globe in a flash.
Meanwhile, changes in viewpoints and preference also contribute to development. Traditionally regarded as inevitable and sometimes respectable, signs of aging are now rather viewed as something to be overcome by treatments. Koreans in particular tend to see youthful good looks as a symbol of competitiveness and spontaneity.
Various methods of wrinkle treatment
We can largely classify methods of rejuvenation into three. Firstly, plastic surgery by stretching wrinkles flat through skin incision. Secondly, camouflaging the sunken face with filler or injecting BOTOX. Finally, renewing skin components collagen and elastin by stimulation with laser and/or radiofrequency.
Recent years have seen dramatic developments in wrinkle treatments, now called “Anti-aging treatments”. Whereas earlier treatments solely depended on surgery, newer treatments tend to go beyond the simple stretching of a wrinkle, remodeling on the molecular level.
Plastic surgery, stretching skin or injections – diversity in methods
In the field of plastic surgery, wrinkles are basically corrected by stretching the skin. Face lift is a prototype; targeted to correct saggy cheeks and chin, it involves separating the skin and muscles and stretching the skin. Facelift can directly work on wrinkles, resulting in the most conspicuous effect compared with other methods.
To flatten forehead wrinkles, brow/forehead lift is a safe and more convenient procedure performed through an endoscope with shortened recovery time. Incision is only 1 to 2cm long and avoids damage of blood vessels and nerves. Freed skin is reattached with an absorbable implant called Endotyne that you will not feel afterwards.
Easy-lift using specially designed elastic threads are for those with heavily sagging and wrinkled skin who don’t want to go through more invasive surgery. Done without incision, it requires relatively brief operation time and short period of recovery.
There are also the ways in which we can stick to the syringes and do without knife. Botox and fillers are now collectively called petit plastic surgery. Botox is injected around the brow, eyes, forehead etc, to temporarily paralyze the muscles that contract to cause wrinkles and its effect lasts 3 to 6 months.
Filler also requires injections, to fill the hollows left by age rather than to paralyze. Most widely used filler product Restylane is composed mainly of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is eventually absorbed by the body and takes up about the equal volume of water to retain that final volume over time. It is effective in fine wrinkles around mouth, under the eyes, frown lines and forehead.
If you have an aversion to the idea of Botox or fillers, you can always turn to your own fat to transplant as a filler material. Treatment is individually adjusted to comprehensively improve one’s image.
In dermatology, our chemical peels and lasers fight wrinkles by bringing out your skin’s natural powers to regenerate.
Wrinkle treatment by peeling.
Chemical peeling has been used for wrinkle treatment along with plastic surgery. Newer peels now spare us of the tedious period of regeneration time that causes great inconvenience to normal life. There have been recent advancements in prompting recovery; the Seaweed peeling is a fine example made safe with natural deep-sea minerals as main ingredients. Its regenerating, toning and moisturizing properties allow fast recovery after treatment and improvement in skin complexion is superior to other chemical peels.
Diverse lasers, personalized treatment for wrinkles region
Steady effort was made to discover ways to diminish wrinkles without leaving scars of operation or interruption to everyday life. The effort was rewarded with Thermage using radiofrequency; no incision and one session bringing about the same effect of deep peeling.
Thermage the monopolar radiofrequency device can transfer strong energy deep into the dermis and subcutaneous fat to diminish wrinkles while sparing the surface layer of the skin, the epidermis. It works by contracting the existing old collagen to form a scaffold for newly regenerating collagen and to stimulate the production of latter, finally giving the saggy face excellent tightened looks.
Radiofrequency does not irritate the sensory and motor nerves, and has a property not to reflect or backscatter much, which means more effective energy concentration is achieved in comparison to lasers, ensuring comfortable treatment and satisfactory results.
Eye by Thermage specifically designed for thin and sensitive eyelids can be applied to early symptom of blepharochalasis which was been traditionally corrected by surgery.
Refirme is for fine wrinkles and delivers infrared energy to the upper skin and radiofrequency to deeper skin. Diode laser emitting infrared ray and radiofrequency intersect around the depth of 1.5 to 2.0mm and forms the “hot spots” of strong heat energy, thus causing collagen fiber to remodel in deep skin.
Matrix IR combines 915mm diode laser and RF, and is mainly used around the eye by penetrating strong energy into the dermis, leading to collagen regeneration. The combination will form 6 matrix thermal bands and energy is distributed evenly to the separate bands to minimize side effect that can take place in a single spot setting.
RF equipments like Thermage, Refirme, Matrix IR are made safe through contact or sprayed cooling devices to protect the surface of skin, before and after shots. Unlike peels, no prolonged redness is observed and risk of bacterial infection is nil. Make-up can be applied immediately after treatment.
In addition, there are many lasers in the market for personalized treatments.
Refine is a 3rd generation Fraxel used commonly for neck wrinkles. A variety of spot sizes was provided for Refine and the individual adjustments it allows maximize the effect and minimize the potential for pigmentary side effects.
Exelo2 laser can treat both the epidermis and the dermis simultaneously and it is expected to give the same effect with laser peeling. What distinguishes Exelo2 is that it treats the entire skin repairing the dermis and shedding the ragged epidermis as well. Other ‘microablative’ lasers act by strong heat stimulation to dermis without dealing with the epidermis. Exelo2 can improve fine wrinkle, decreased elasticity, irregular pigmentations, big pores, and scars.
Trend of Wrinkle treatment now in Korea
In Korea, general public prefers that a cosmetic procedure cause no inconvenience to everyday life, no risk of scarring and require short recovery time. Nowadays, skin redundancy on the body also made the wish list to be treated. We have long wanted to get rid of forehead wrinkles and cheek folds, but saggy neck, drooping jowls, wrinkled hands are also getting attentions now.
Picky demands soon leads to research and development. Korean specialists are steadily publishing articles and presenting to prestigious international conferences. ANACLI dermatology & plastic surgery clinic, with its specialized centers, serves as a mentor in the field of rejuvenation. ANACLI is a renowned institute where specialists from different countries, especially those from South-East Asia, continuously pay visits to learn specialized plastic surgery techniques and share academic communication as well.
Dr. Ji Ho Ryu, graduate from kyung-Hee University School of Medicine
In 1991 and received master and doctor’s degree in 2000 Dr. Ji Ho Ryu is currently dermatologist at anacli dermatologic clinic, Seoul, Korea he announced the thesis “308nm xenon-chloride eximer laser in the treatment of vitiligo” (Philippines Manila, 2004), “A comparison of L-1 mediated PDT and Perfecta mediated PDT in the treatment acne vulgaris in pre-treated state with glycolic acid” (16th EADV Austria Vienna, 2007) and “ Autologous epidermal grafting and 308nm xenon-chloride eximer laser in the surgical treatment of stable vitiligo” (65th AAD, USA, Wasington DC, 2007) He Makes efforts to improvement patient’s life quality. For more information on him and his work. Visit www.anacli.co.kr