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Enhanced Cosmetic Procedures Plus New At-Home Treatments Give Patients More Options
Date:11/13/2008

which is the cornerstone of many skin rejuvenation procedures -- is continually evolving. Fractional resurfacing is one of the newer laser technologies that gives dermatologists the option to safely treat patients with more extensive skin damage. Dr. Hirsch noted that the main benefits of fractional resurfacing are increased collagen production that creates more dramatic results to improve the appearance of skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars, doing so with considerably less downtime than other older invasive laser technologies.

In addition, laser technologies used to treat vascular lesions -- such as port-wine stains and other birthmarks -- have greatly improved over the years. This allows more patients to benefit from treatment, especially infants. For example, the pulsed dye laser selectively heats abnormal blood vessels within the port-wine stain without injuring the surrounding skin.

"It is simply best practice for a dermatologist trained in laser technologies to determine if a patient's birthmark is conducive to treatment and how early and aggressive the intervention should be," added Dr. Hirsch.

A number of new fillers have been introduced in recent years to replace lost volume in the skin and to shape and sculpt areas that show signs of aging. Where once natural collagen was the only filler available, now the advent of synthetic collagens, several hyaluronic acids, L-polylactic acid, and calcium hydroxyapatite allow dermatologists to correct signs of aging from sunken cheeks to fine lines around the eyes and lips. "Fillers represent the most visible area of cosmetic procedures where new products have really expanded the menu of choices available for very specific skin problems," said Dr. Hirsch. "Different kinds of fillers can address specific kinds of facial lines, specific kinds of aging and shaping of the face."

Botulinum toxin, most widely known for its ability to diminish wrinkles and other faci
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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