Looking Younger with Lasers and Energy Devices

Posted on May 15, 2017

When a patient first walks into the clinic, most of them would simply say, “I want to look younger.”  But just what is the definition of an aging face? From a layperson’s perspective, I have heard patients point to the dark spots on their faces, or refer to the “jowl lines”, or perhaps the furrow on their forehead as something that makes them look old. Some patients would point out that their skin is “rough and uneven” due to scars on their faces as a result of previous bouts of teenage pimples.  Still others would point to the “turkey neck, double chin and looking “worn and tired” as a descriptive term to the so called aging face.


Universally, a younger looking face would be described as having fuller cheeks, bright, smooth and glowing skin, and the absence of or the minimal appearance of wrinkles and folds.   Dermatologists worldwide recommend the use of various topical skin care products such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, tretinoin, and chemical peels combined with soft tissue augmentation products such as fillers, botulinum toxin injections along with adequate sun protection as ideal practice, but agree that lasers and energy devices are better at going deep under the skin where a majority of the problem lies.


Cosmetic procedures that involve longer downtime is now a thing of the past. With the current trends in dermatologic procedures, there are now a multitude of in-office, “lunch time” beauty treatments that do not have much downtime and deliver on their promise. These non-invasive options are now becoming more and more popular as patients opt out of surgeries.  As of 2016, a survey done by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons noted that utilization of minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures rose by more than 3 percent by last year.  An astounding 15 million procedures were done in the USA alone, 3.7 million of which were from lasers and energy devices.  The surging popularity of lasers is a testament to the efficacy and safety of these new technologies.


Experts also agree that rejuvenating one’s face not only lies in being able to address the top layers of the skin giving a smoother overall skin texture but also involves addressing the lines and wrinkles of the face caused by the breakdown of the collagen found deeper into the skin as well as the muscular and bone remodeling that occurs as one ages. Thus, there is a need to have a multi-step approach to be able to provide a total rejuvenating treatment to address the aging face in the modern world.


Treatment options like wet microdermabrasion, erbium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet laser (Er:YAG Laser) and infrared device are just some of the non-invasive procedures that can precisely address what one may need.  Wet microdermabrasion is the newest microdermabrasion technology that has been added to the armamentarium of beauty treatments available right at your fingertips. It works by infusing hydrating, lightening and rejuvenating solutions on the skin while removing dead skin cells. This results to brighter, “photo-ready” skin in just a few minutes. It is one step shorter to a brighter youthful glow allowing you to squeeze in this treatment into your tight schedule.


For patients with wrinkles and scars, one may opt to choose an Er:YAG laser to address such problems.  The Er:YAG laser in fractional mode allows the laser beams to go down deep into where the wrinkles and scars are without much damage to the outer layer of the skin. It creates narrow columns deep into the skin to stimulate new collagen formation while allowing efficient wound healing to create smoother and softer skin. With the resultant smooth skin, this allows light to reflect off the skin giving the patient a brighter and smoother looking face similar to having highlighters placed on strategic points on the face by a makeup artist.  The laser technology also offers versatility and allows the physician to precisely tailor each treatment session based on the patient’s skin condition, therefore maximizing effectivity while lowering possible side effects.


Patients with sagging, loose skin need to look no further than having an infrared device to do the lifting. This works by delivering infrared energy into the deeper layers of the skin thereby causing skin tightening and renewal of collagen loss, giving you an overall lifting effect without having to go under the knife. As a result, shadows cast on the face due to skin laxity on the nasolabial area, sides of the mouth and underneath the eyes and skin laxity on the neck are addressed resulting to a more youthful look in just a few minutes.


These treatments are now available at St. Luke’s Aesthetics and are performed only by the board-certified Dermatology consultant staff members of The Philippine Dermatological Society. It is best to consult any one of the dermatologists in St. Luke’s Medical Center for a more detailed and comprehensive assessment to get that youthful glowing skin that everyone is sure to be envious about.


Dr. Jacqueline Lulette Ty So is a clinical and cosmetic dermatologist who took her Dermatology residency program at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital.  She is a fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society. She obtained her medical degree from St. Luke’s College of Medicine-William H. Quash Memorial and her undergraduate studies were completed at the University of Santo Tomas, B.S. Medical Technology. She works as an active consultant in St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City.