When we first talked to Louisville, KY, dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD about the go-to treatment she relies on for youthful skin, she was 44 years old and a microneedling devotee. Back then, she said: “Just like everyone else, I have the normal aging skin worries: fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots, larger pore sizes and sunken eyes.”
As a skin care expert, Dr. Cassis has always had access to a multitude of noninvasive options for facial rejuvenation. Back in her 40s, she chose microneedling as an easy and effective way to treat the common signs of aging. Today, at 50, she still follows the same protocol she did in her 40s, leaving her with a complexion that makes her look decades younger than her actual age.
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Using a small, roller-like device with tiny needles, microneedling works by making miniscule holes spaced apart in a given area of your skin. This creates a controlled skin injury that your body will respond to by sending collagen and elastin to heal the entire area. “When the trauma happens to the skin, it is forcing collagen remodeling,” says Dr. Cassis. “There is some slight pain associated with it, so we make patients sit with numbing cream about 20-30 minutes before the procedure. But beyond that, it’s a very safe, effective and fast treatment. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. Afterward your skin is very raw, swollen and a little bloody. You will have very specific skin care instructions to follow after the procedure. Sun avoidance is an absolute must!”
The collagen and elastin heals the damaged area and smooths out minor scars, flattens out fine lines and wrinkles, and promotes elasticity in the skin. “I love the glow it gives my skin,” adds Dr. Cassis. “My brown spots have diminished, and under the layers of skin that peeled off after my treatment, I can see an improvement in my fine lines.”
“My after picture was taken eight days after the procedure, and I am very happy with results,” says Dr. Cassis. “Most people will need a series of three treatments about a month apart. Results are ongoing and it really depends on what you are trying to treat. It’s a great option for acne scars, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.”
The cost for a microneedling treatment varies by the physician, geographic region and the complexity of the procedure (some use radio frequency, platelet-rich plasma and special serums). “In Kentucky, the cost is about $300, plus the cost of the post-op care, which is about $100,” says Dr. Cassis. “Everyone will react differently, so make sure you are having this done in a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s office.”
Now that she’s turned 50, Dr. Cassis says her microneedling with PRP treatments have paid off. For maintenance she recommends two microneedling treatments a year along with Sculptra injections to improve skin texture and glow. “Recently Sculptra has been clinically proven to improve skin quality, which we’ve known for quite some time. In addition to microneedling I recommend someone in my age group also have Sculptra injections with a qualified injector, as well as hydrating facials like HydraFacial or Bela MD. Hydrating facials focus on replenishing moisture to the skin, providing intense hydration through various techniques like masks, serums, and moisturizers. This can improve the skin’s plumpness, smoothness, and radiance.”
Dr. Cassis stresses that following a dermatologist’s personal anti-aging plan can be helpful for others because it is based on expert knowledge, however everyone should have their treatments tailored to their individual needs. “The best approach is through gradual and natural-looking improvement and promoting a youthful appearance without drastic changes,” she says.
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