Surgery-free solution to a skin tight face

May 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A facelift without the scalpel? A new minimally invasive treatment is promising to help you tighten your skin without surgery. The treatment involves very precise doses of heat delivered under the skin and doctors say the damage caused by that heat actually produces a beneficial tightening effect.

Carole Rea didn't like the lines she was seeing in the mirror but she wasn't ready for a surgical facelift. Instead, she opted for an alternative.

"What I'm concerned about when I look in the mirror in the morning, what I'm seeing is my whole face is sagging down," Rea said.

"It's something to do the firming, tightening and hopefully bring that nice line back I had before," Rea said.

Rea went to the office of plastic surgeon Dr. James Newman, who treated her with a new, minimally invasive treatment called evolastin.

After first numbing her skin, he used a handheld device containing a row of tiny needles. Placed on the skin, the needles pierce the skin into the dermis layer. There, they release heat, created by radio frequency energy.

"And we know when we produce energy in the skin to a certain range, we can get collagen to contract and we can get elastin fibers to improve and increase in volume," Dr. Newman said.

He says the energy causes slight injury to the dermis, prompting it to regenerate fresh collagen. The goal is to create a plumping effect in problem areas like the jaw line.

"It basically stimulates the body to come in and repair those structures, so you're not seeing a net increase in tissue, but you're seeing tissue that's improved," Dr. Newman said.

Ev Corzberg is a 60-year-old aerobics instructor. She was also worried about her sagging neck and jawline and tried the evolastin technology.

Corzberg said the treatment tightened up her skin. "It'll save me a couple of years before I need a full face lift," she said.

The treatment requires no incisions. But while it's effective at tightening targeted areas, Dr. Newman cautions it will not produce the same results as a face lift.

Dr. Newman says the procedure runs about $3,500 and is not covered by insurance. He says most patients are able to return to work in about two days.


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