"Shocking" Your Skin Might be the Key to Getting Better Results

Skin-brightening and pigment-reducing treatments are a mainstay in every doctor’s toolbox. And while standby treatments like peels, lasers and microneedling aren’t going anywhere, some dermatologists are taking these procedures to the next level to “shock” the skin and get even better results.

According to New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD, who practices the technique, skin can become accustomed to or not respond the same when the same treatment is used over and over. Just like anything in life, too much exposure to something can cause it to become less effective over time.

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“In order to not plateau, I interject different modalities to stimulate new forms of repair,” she says. In doing so, the skin is ‘surprised’ when it’s treated with something unexpected and has to heal differently in order to maintain results. “For example, if a patient is really like the results of microneedling, we will change it up and do a session with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a peel or a different laser depth. Addressing pigment with different technologies forces the skin to repair differently each time.”

The surprise that the skin gets allows for dramatic results. For example, if unwanted pigment is the problem, Dr. Russak explains that the melanocytes found on the superficial layer and as deep down as the basal layer (the deepest level of the epidermis) are penetrated to deliver powerful brightening agents at different depths for an effective difference.

But, the theory doesn’t hold true for just in-office procedures. “The same goes for your skin care regimen. Lines like Defenage activate the body’s master stem cells for multi-age correction. I use it as my go-to booster quarterly,” says Dr. Russak.

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