One of the things we love most about our patients…they do their research! From reviewing before and after images, and testimonials to studying the latest articles and trends in skin care, we know how important your decision is when choosing the right treatment for you. That’s why we want to share as much information and knowledge with you as possible.
We’ve created the “Real Life. Real Experiences.” blog series, so you can follow patients through their skin care journey. You will get to know personal details about these patients, their desired needs for treatment and what they think about their experience with Derma Health. This first article was written by Lisa about her recent experience with Exilis Ultra Laser Skin Tightening. Enjoy!
GETTING OLDER IS A MIXED BLESSING.
With age comes wisdom, perspective, acceptance and a general letting go of many things that don’t seem to matter anymore. These days I’m more concerned about relationships, health, living a balanced lifestyle, work, giving back, and being the very best version of myself. And while I am not one to obsess over my looks, I can’t deny that ageism is alive and well in our society, which makes the obvious signs of aging even more daunting. Now that I’m in my mid-50s, I can see these signs slowly emerging. My formerly angled jawline now has a slightly square shape (the beginning phase of future jowls). Rings are beginning to form around my neck and it’s starting to look a little crepey. And fine lines and wrinkles are forming near my mouth and at the corners of my eyes. Of course it’s all inevitable. I’m fine with the idea of aging but if I’m completely honest, I’d still like to slow down the process as much as possible.
There are a lot of skin care options out there and it can be confusing. Which treatments make the most sense?
CHOICES. CHOICES. AND MORE CHOICES.
Surgery is out. I don’t want that stretched, pulled, crazy Joan Rivers look. And even though Jane Fonda, who is in her 70s, has obviously had plenty of “work” done and looks absolutely gorgeous these days, she’s in her 70s. For me, that still seems like a long way off. I’m looking for less invasive, more subtle, natural results.
I use good topical skin care, but I know these products won’t get me the results I’m looking for because I’ve been using quality products for years. Topical treatments only penetrate the top layers of my skin. They’re important, but they aren’t enough. Fillers are an option and I have many friends and colleagues that have seen great results with these treatments. But again, this feels too temporary for me and I know once I start I’ll need constant “refills”.
I’ve been hearing a lot about collagen and how it serves as a key support structure in the skin. In my research I learned that collagen helps form a fibrous network upon which new cells can grow. While we are born with an abundance of collagen, we stop producing this vital protein in our mid to late 20s. From there, our collagen levels begin to drop by 1-2% a year. When combined with environmental factors like exposure to sunlight and questionable dietary choices, such as consuming a lot of sugar, collagen becomes dry, brittle and weak. All of these factors lead to aging skin. If I’m going to see lasting results, I’m going to have to address the foundational concern: my declining collagen.
Fortunately, there is hope. In my research, I’ve learned the growth of collagen and elastin can be stimulated through laser therapy. There are a lot of invasive and non-invasive options out there, but since I’m looking to tighten my skin, I kept my focus there. That’s when I discover Exilis Ultra.
Exilis Ultra combines radiofrequency and non-focused ultrasound to deliver heat and energy deep below the surface of the skin. Clinical tests have shown this FDA approved, non-invasive treatment improves skin laxity, reduces wrinkles, causes full thickness collagen remodeling and also increases elastin production. The heat removes damaged collagen and stimulates our body’s natural healing response, which makes our collagen producing cells more active. It’s also working. Realself.com shows that Exilis Ultra has an 83% Worth It rating with many satisfied clients reporting excellent results on the full face and neck areas.
Intrigued, I made an appointment at Derma Health’s Glendale Clinic with Tatum, one of the Aestheticians there who specializes in Exilis Ultra. I decided I would start with Exilis around my eyes, mid and lower face and neck as these were my main problem areas.
Tatum told me to drink plenty of water three days prior to my appointment. When the body’s tissues are hydrated, they can more effectively absorb the heat allowing it to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
On appointment day, I showed up without contacts, make up or jewelry. Metal implants or metal of any kind (including underwire bras) are not allowed near the treatment area. I changed into the paper bra and robe provided, then Tatum affixed a grounding pad to my back to ensure all of the energy from the laser was directed to the treatment area.
Tatum cleansed the skin on my face and neck and explained that she would start by applying a thin layer of gel to my neck. She would then apply the handpiece to the right side of my neck in a circular and back and forth pattern for 7 minutes. Throughout the procedure the handpiece would create an energy/heat pulse at 30 second intervals which allowed my skin to cool slightly between pulses. The goal was to quickly heat my skin to 40-45 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and keep it at that level throughout the treatment to deeply penetrate the layers of the skin. Tatum planned to work the lower right side of my neck for 7 minutes, then move up to the right side of my face for 7 minutes. Then repeat each area again for an additional 7 minutes for each section.
She then took the handpiece, turned it on and began moving it along my neck in circular pattern. Initially she started each section at a slightly higher setting to ensure the skin reached temperature quickly. Exilis feels like a hot stone massage when the hot stones are first applied to your skin. There is a definite heat sensation on the skin and at times, in certain places, the skin can become quite sensitive to the heat. But since Tatum was moving the handpiece quickly, the treatment remained tolerable.
After finishing the right side, we moved over to the left side. Repeating both the neck and side of my face twice for 7 minutes for each section.
After finishing each section, Tatum wiped the excess gel from the treated area before moving on to the next. Exilis is a great treatment for crow’s feet, undereye wrinkles and sagging eyelids. After applying gel around my eye, Tatum moved the handpiece under my eyes, over to the crow’s feet area and up and around the top of my eyebrows and then directly underneath them. She avoided my eyelid and eye socket as this area has very thin, delicate skin. We finished both the left and right areas within the 7 minute time period, repeating each twice. Then I was done! Overall, the entire procedure took about 90 minutes to complete.
Tatum removed the gel, cleansed my skin, then applied a sunscreen for the drive home. There was no pain, tenderness or change at all to how my skin felt right after treatment. My skin was slightly pink, much like I just finished a good sweaty workout. My skin color was normal within the first hour.
NOW WE WAIT
It takes 90 days for full collagen regeneration, so I probably won’t notice anything initially. I will also need two more treatments at 3-4 week intervals for achieve my final results. Every time I have a treatment, my body will create more collagen in these areas, resulting in plumper, smoother, tighter skin.
Overall, my Exilis procedure was quite comfortable. The only discomfort occurred when each section of my skin was initially getting up to the correct temperature. And the discomfort was simply heat. I’m excited to know that I’ve started the process of renewing my skin from the inside out and look forward to seeing the results of my initial treatment. I’ll be sure to share before and after photos in 90 days.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR EXILIS TREATMENTS FOR THE FACE:
- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER: Half your body’s weight in ounces every three days prior to treatment. Note: coffee, soda and tea are dehydrating.
- WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES: You’ll be lying on a treatment bed for about and hour and a half.
- TAKE PHOTOS: Your Derma Health Provider will take photos prior to your treatment. Since results won’t appear until 90 days post-treatment, you’ll need to get after photos done so you can compare images.
- BE PATIENT: Exilis Ultra is not plastic surgery. The results are subtle and appear over time. You’ll probably need at least three treatments at 3-4 week intervals for full effect.
- EXILIS ISN’T FOR EVERYONE: Exilis is not plastic surgery. It won’t be a good solution for deeply aged skin. It’s not for the morbidly obese, and it’s not a cure for those with a lot of excess skin. Ask your skin care provider to provide a skin analysis to see if this would provide the results you are looking for.
- DON’T FORGET TONE & TEXTURE: Exilis is best used in combination with other treatments that address the tone and texture of your skin. These include non-ablative and ablative treatments like Microneedling, Resurfx, Active FX and Featherlight, IPL Photofacial, and VI Peels. Exilis doesn’t remove sun spots and although it does address textural issues like crepeness it’s primary benefit is skin tightening.