Put on a New Face with Facial Rejuvenation

Facial rejuvenation is a new and exciting field performed by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists and otolaryngologists. It consists of skin resurfacing, Botox, dermal fillers and surgical procedures that tighten the skin and give it a more youthful appearance.

Skin Resurfacing

The three most common techniques for skin resurfacing are chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser treatment. All three methods remove layers of skin and allow the normal healing process to occur which results in a firmer and more youthful appearance with the reduction of fine lines. Chemical peels use caustic agents to remove the skin and the depth of penetration is controlled by the duration, strength and application technique of each treatment. Dermabrasion uses a rapidly spinning wheel with a roughened edge similar to very fine sandpaper.  This is used to remove the top layers of skin. Finally, laser therapy is becoming more common today for skin rejuvenation. Lasers are beneficial in that they allow for precise control of ablation depth. The two different types of lasers are Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) and carbon dioxide. They differ in the level of penetration, with the carbon dioxide laser penetrating deeper with each pass. Some physicians will use the lasers together to get the desired effect.

Surgical Options

Surgical correction of droopy eyelids, also known as dermatochalasis or ptosis,is probably the most common eyelid rejuvenation procedure. This procedure is known as a blepharoplasty. It involves removing the extra skin from the upper eyelids. It takes about an hour to perform and can be done under local anesthesia in the office or at a surgery center. In some instances, insurance will pay for the procedure if significant visual field loss can be demonstrated. A lower lid blepharoplasty involves removal of the extra skin from the lower eyelid. It is typically performed to remove or lessen the appearance of sagging skin under the eyes. This procedure is not covered by insurance as it does not cause visual impairment.


Botox and Juvederm are injectable skin rejuvenation products. Botox is botulinum toxin that when injected lessens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It lasts for three months and then it has to be repeated. It is also used to treat spasms of the eyelid. Juvederm is another injectable that is used to flatten smile lines around the mouth and nose. It lasts for a year before it has to be repeated.

What’s new?

On March 1, Allergan, the leading aesthetic medical provider, released Latisse, a prescription treatment for eyelash hypotrichiasis.  Eyelash hypotrichiasis is a lack of or inadequate eyelashes.

Latisse is a new prescription medication that promotes fuller, longer, darker lashes. Latisse is the first treatment for eyelash hypotrichosis. It has been rigorously studied in controlled clinical trials. As well, the active ingredient is bimatoprost, a safe and effective treatment currently used to reduce eye pressure in glaucoma patients. For years, eye care providers have noted that patients using bimatoprost developed thicker darker eyelashes as a side effect.

How is it applied?

Latisse is applied once daily via a sterile applicator to the base of the eyelashes on the upper lids. Approximately 80% of patients noted thicker fuller lashes within 16 weeks and some patients noted improvement in only eight weeks. Latisse costs about $120 per month. Its effects are not permanent and continued treatment will be needed for continued effect.

What are the side effects?

The side effects with Latisse are minimal with mild eye redness, itchiness and skin darkening occurring in three percent of patients. All of these side effects resolved when treatment was stopped.

If you have any further questions or would like to try Latisse, contact your ophthalmologist or plastic surgeon.