Sometimes, you have a skincare or aging concern, but you don’t have the time for a long treatment or for a recovery period that will last several days or weeks. While once upon a time, your options for anti-aging were limited to surgical options or more invasive procedures, the variety of options available today mean that you can schedule a treatment even if your time is extremely limited. In some cases, it’s possible to schedule a treatment over a lunch break or at the end of your work day, and still be home in time for dinner.
No matter what your major concern is, from wrinkles to sunspots, or from excess fat to acne scars, there is a minimally invasive treatment available to help you deal with it.
Intense pulsed light, often abbreviated IPL, is a type of laser treatment that can help reduce the appearance of discoloration on the skin, such as freckles and sun spots, rosacea, and broken capillaries. The treatment is also helpful for people with very fine lines or wrinkles.
IPL has several advantages over more damaging types of laser skin resurfacing. First, the light beam used in the treatment does not damage the outer layer of skin. Instead, the beam is directed at the lower layers of skin, meaning that the recovery time is a lot shorter and any discomfort is minimal. After IPL, the majority of patients can head right back to their regular activities.
Another advantage of the treatment is its duration. In most cases, a single IPL treatment can take 45 minutes or less. The trade off is that many people need a series of treatments, between three and six, to get the results they are after. Still, for most people, the idea of coming in for several 45-minute treatments, with no downtime needed after each one, can be a lot more bearable than the idea of enduring a laser treatment that takes several hours and only requires one session.
Along with providing instant results in many cases (there are notable exceptions, such as Sculptra and Botox), the claim to fame for many injectables is that the treatment takes less than an hour and can be administered over a person’s lunch break.
In most cases, it take between 15 and 30 minutes for a surgeon to perform an injection. How often a patient needs to return for an additional injection depends on the type given. Some options, such as Sculptra, require a series of injections, spaced out over the course of several months. Others, such as Juvederm Voluma, require just one treatment and will provide results for up to two years, at which point you can choose to repeat the injection, or choose another option.
A very superficial type of microdermabrasion, dermaplaning involves dragging a surgical blade over the surface of the skin, to remove any fine hairs and the outermost layer of skin cells. The procedure is quick, has no downtime and produces results that are instantly visible. Depending on a patient’s preference, dermaplaning can be performed on its own or as a treatment to prepare the skin for a more in-depth treatment, such as dermabrasion or a chemical peel.
Although a single dermaplane treatment is quick, most people decide to have them performed on a regular basis to help maintain their results and to keep the skin feeling smooth. While the treatment doesn’t make hair come back thicker or coarser, people can be put off by the way the fine hairs feel as they start to grow back in, making them more likely to schedule repeat treatments every few weeks.
Liposuction isn’t the only option for people looking to reduce the amount of excess fat they have on their bodies. Another, considerably less invasive option is CoolSculpting. The treatment destroys areas of fat by freezing them. Over the course of a few months, the body flushes out the destroyed fat, creating a slimmer look.
While some CoolSculpting treatments can be performed in about an hour, the actual duration of the treatment depends on how many areas the patient is having treated. The larger the area to be treated, the longer the treatment. In some cases, treatment can take as long as six hours. There is the option to break out the treatments in to a series, so that you don’t have to endure several hours of freezing.
No matter how many treatments you have, or how long each treatment lasts, the recovery period after a CoolSculpting session is very brief. The majority of people are able to drive home afterwards and can go back to work or other activities right away.
Looking your best doesn’t have to mean hours spent in surgery or days spent in recovery. Dr. George Bitar and Dr. Robert Centeno offer a number of quick, non-surgical treatments at the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute near Washington, DC. They are able to help you choose the treatment that meets your needs and that fits into your schedule. To learn more, call (703) 206-0506 today to schedule a consultation.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.