Why do I need to come back for additional treatments? This is a question many people have when they express a desire to improve something about their skin. In particular, we hear this from patients wanting to correct the signs of aging. Except for dermal fillers, there are very few, if any, modalities that can instantly improve appearance. On that note, even dermal fillers have to be repeated to maintain what they achieve. Some people may wonder if they are being upsold by their medspa or dermatologist when they are given a recommendation of a series of treatments. This is not the case. Here, we discuss why it may take multiple treatments to address the signs of aging.
Beauty is Skin Deep, but How Deep is the Skin?
The beauty that we see is on the epidermis, the uppermost layer of skin. Where the appearance of the epidermis originates, though, is in the dermis, a deeper layer of skin. To get to the dermis, it is necessary to get through the 4 layers of the epidermis, which can be up to 2mm thick. The reason we need to get to the dermis is because it is in this layer of skin where fibroblasts live. Fibroblasts spend about 30 years producing ample collagen and elastin to support the upper layers of skin as well as to heal the cuts and scrapes we get growing up. Their hard work wears them out and, around age 30, these cells no longer produce the skin-firming and nourishing proteins they once did.
Without new infusions of collagen and elastin, the skin eats up its supplies of these proteins to the tune of 1 to 2% a year. The tipping point can arrive sometime around age 40, after which it feels like the skin ages at an accelerated rate. It isn’t that the skin is aging faster, it’s that it needs new collagen and elastin to maintain its firmness and flexibility. Professional treatments are designed to bring dormant fibroblasts back to life so the ongoing need for proteins is met.
When we wait until the signs of aging have begun, we are working our way back to baseline beauty. This can take 2 or more initial treatments to achieve. Once we have our baseline, though, beauty becomes a matter of maintenance. Studies suggest that fibroblasts may need a kick-start about every 4 to 6 months to revive new production of collagen and elastin.
Beauty is a commitment that can be more easily met when you know what is needed. To explore how we can help you sustain resilient, youthful-looking skin, schedule a consultation at our Lake Charles office.