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New York - Skin rejuvenation procedures now are being accomplished with the help of some new technology - and a few not-so-new techniques that have undergone their own rejuvenation.
And according to David J. Goldberg, M.D., an internationally recognized dermatologist, skin-rejuvenation procedures are more in demand than ever - due largely to the fact that more people than ever have reached an age to consider them.
"The baby boom generation - people born in the decade or so following World War II - is getting older and more eligible for skin rejuvenation procedures," Dr. Goldberg says. "Every eight seconds a baby boomer turns 50, and there are more than 80 million baby boomers who are potential candidates for skin rejuvenation procedures."
Collagen formation In the first category, new technology has given birth to a new concept in collagen formation.
"Laser resurfacing is the time-honored approach to forming new collagen, and it's proven to be a very effective procedure," Dr. Goldberg says. "The problem is, laser resurfacing results in terrible wounds that take a long time to heal."
The new concept, fractional photothermolysis, is a more refined laser treatment that rejuvenates skin by means of thermal impact at microscopic sites, as opposed to the larger areas of impact characteristic of standard laser resurfacing.
Skin tightening In the skin-tightening category, Dr. Goldberg discussed the ThermaCool™ TC, a radiofrequency device developed by Thermage, a company based in Hayward, Calif. He says the ThermaCool is the only non-invasive device that tightens tissue, and that though the procedure is not new, recent studies - some of which Dr. Goldberg has conducted - reveal a new, more effective way of carrying it out.
"What we have found is that three or four passes at lower settings over the treatment area are more effective results-wise and less painful to the patient, as compared with a single pass at a higher setting," he says, specifically stating that three passes at a setting of 13.5 causes greater collagen change than one pass at a setting of 17.
Skin tone Dr. Goldberg says photorejuvenation has become the preferred and proven method of achieving improved skin tone.