If you want healthier skin but do not want to undergo surgery to achieve it, there are plenty of alternatives available to you. In fact, there are so many options that choosing just one may be difficult unless you carefully compare the pros and cons of each type of non-surgical treatment. Below is a comparison of several treatment types, but first let’s examine the goal of such treatments.
What Non-Surgical Skincare Methods Seek to Accomplish
Your body has natural internal healing capabilities. In the case of your skin, certain hormones and proteins can be made within your body to strengthen it. However, levels of those substances naturally become lower as you age. The drop off of some of those substances can easily contribute to skin problems you may experience as you get older.
Most non-surgical skincare methods are designed to either strengthen and fortify existing elements in your body, such as collagen, or to force your body to start producing more of those elements again. However, the ways in which those goals are accomplished vary quite a bit based on the specific type of treatment involved.
Ablative Versus Non-Ablative Skincare Procedures
Ablative skincare procedures include any skincare methods which impact the outer layer of the skin. Many forms of lasers for tattoo removal and other cosmetic purposes fall in the ablative category. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are also categorized as ablative non-surgical procedures. Many ablative procedures can also treat multiple skin layers, but skin infections and other side effects can occur if post-procedural care instructions are not carefully followed.
Non-ablative skincare procedures are treatments which do not have a major impact on the skin’s surface but instead treat the underlying layers. Some types of laser devices are non-ablative. Other non-ablative skincare methods include intense pulsed light therapy (IPL), radio frequency treatments, and ultrasound therapy, also known as Ultherapy.
Benefits and Limitations of Specific Ablative Procedures
It is important to understand that not all procedures in a specific category have the same benefits and limitations. For example, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are both ablative procedures, but they can have drastically different results and recovery times. You may feel completely normal shortly after a mild microdermabrasion treatment, but a chemical peel may involve a slow recovery, depending on the intensity and materials used during the treatment. Ablative laser treatments typically require very little downtime, but you may have to avoid sunlight for quite a while after such a procedure, and your skin may be more prone to developing infections for a short time.
Benefits and Limitations of Specific Non-Ablative Procedures
Non-ablative skincare procedures have varying benefits and limitations just like ablative techniques. For instance, radio frequency and Ultherapy treatments come with very few risks or side effects. However, the results of such procedures are typically less noticeable or don’t last as long as results achieved by ablative skincare techniques.
Other Things to Consider When Making a Skincare Decision
Before you choose a skincare technique or combination of techniques you must consider more than just how the techniques work. You must also think about the downtime you will have to endure for certain procedures, the initial costs, and whether or not ongoing treatments will be required. It is also important to talk to your skincare clinician to see if you are even a candidate for certain skincare treatments because some procedures are only designed to treat specific skin types or ailments. Only by weighing the benefits against the risks and also factoring in your budget can you determine which skincare option or options you should try.