Anti-aging treatments can do a handful of things—from tightening and lifting to slenderizing and augmenting—but not one can do it all explains Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby. In her experience, patients today are savvy about the noninvasive possibilities that exist but aren’t fully aware it may take a combination of treatments to get the result they desire.
“With everything that we do, there’s not one device or one injection that’s going to work by itself,” she says. “If you get Botox in the forehead or around the eyes, it’s not really going to do anything for your lower face. Even in areas where you get neurotoxin injections, you may still have wrinkles. When you go see a cosmetic expert, you have to understand that your treatment plan may encompass more than one modality.”
According to Dr. Allenby, you should avoid choosing from the treatment menu until your provider has identified your unique concerns. “If I have a 35-year-old come in and say that they feel like they look tired, then I need to evaluate if it’s skin laxity, if it’s wrinkling, or if it’s one particular area that needs lifting and tightening. You may think an injectable treatment is the best answer, and we may use fillers to add more shape, but we also have radio-frequency devices for tightening tissue, lasers for skin tone, peels for texture and skin care for long-term repair.”
The Right Body Combos
While patients are increasingly more familiar with facial procedures, like injectables, threads and lasers, Dr. Allenby says in the body contouring arena, there is a lot of confusion about what devices can and cannot do. “In the last five years we’ve only had a handful of quality body solution launches, which is a big part of why people don’t know that there’s more than one modality.”
At her second practice, Bodysquad, Dr. Allenby addresses a myriad of concerns with nonsurgical fixes that recontour and reshape the body, and she often combines treatments to optimize results. “Even with CoolSculpting, based on what you need, it might require multiple handpieces and/or multiple sessions, it really depends on the concern. Does the patient need to build muscle or core strength? Is there a skin laxity issue? Is there dimpling? We have a variety of treatment options, like the muscle stimulator CoolTone and new FDA-cleared and approved cellulite busters Qwo and Resonic, and radio-frequency devices for wrinkly legs and arms. Frequently we use more than one device to get the smoother, leaner, tighter look we’re going for.”
Correctly diagnosing the problem is step one, deciding what combination will correct those concerns is where the conversation with your doctor comes in. “At the end of the day, it goes back to the basics of medicine, diagnosing and what needs to be corrected before we can agree on how,” she says. “We have all of these new treatments we never had before, so I don’t expect people to know what’s available and what we’re capable of improving—that’s where I come in. However, it is important for patients to approach how we treat the body the same way we treat the face.”