Known for diligent attention to detail and exceptional client relationships, Dr. Arash Akhavan is the founder of Manhattan’s famed Dermatology & Laser Group and in short time has become a legend of cosmetic medicine in the New York City area.
As summer winds down, and people head back to the city, back to real life, and back to (ugh) reality, Social Life Magazine wanted the skinny on what separates the good from the great in the area of cosmetic surgery.
One thing we hear often is that patients who want realistic and lasting results really should consider a cornucopia of possible treatments.
It’s true. Too often the practitioner takes a singular approach to treatment — over-reliance on one cosmetic procedure modality, whether injectables, surgery, lasers, or something else. This mistake can be due to the physician’s inexperience, or the physician’s and/or patient’s poor sense of aesthetics. Also, in many cases, due to the high cost of many devices and products used in cosmetic procedures, some practitioners may not have the devices and products necessary for providing a complete, natural-appearing aesthetic solution for their patients.
Tell us about your solution.
The solution to this problem is our trademarked STL Method, which stresses the importance of approaching every cosmetic concern with an effort to smooth and tighten the skin and underlying structures, and lift treated areas against gravity. To smooth-tighten-lift the face, neck, or body we use a variety of techniques depending on a patient’s individual needs and the area being treated. For example, in one area, we may use a combination of lasers, injections, and creams; in another area, we may use ultrasound and radio frequency-based devices, threads, and growth factor injections. We have set recommendations that over a decade of experience have proven effective in specific cases, and we would love to discuss them with you.
Let’s focus on the face — when summer’s over that’s where a lot of people want to make some improvement.
Our goal for the face and neck is to smooth away fine lines, tighten the skin to make deep folds less apparent, and to lift the skin to reveal the beauty of the normal contours of the jaw bone, chin, and cheeks.
We do this by:
1. erasing sun damage and building collagen and elastic tissue in the superficial skin;
2. building collagen in a deeper layer of connective tissue called the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system), producing a skin-tightening effect;
3. restoring volume to areas where it has been lost; and
4. lifting the skin against the muscles and bones beneath.
What does this involve?
First of all, everyone is different, but it’s possible that some combo may include a combination of fractional resurfacing lasers with or without microneedling, PRP injections, and Botox for muscle-induced wrinkles; generating broad swaths of new collagen across both the superficial skin layer and deeper collagen layers; and lifting the sagging tissue back into place.
So, what’s involved in smoothing?
The superficial skin is managed through a combination of fractional resurfacing lasers with or without microneedling, PRP injections, and Botox for muscle-induced wrinkles, all paired together with a good at-home skincare regimen that includes regular use of sunscreen, antioxidants, and skin brightening creams.
Let’s keep going — how about tightening?
To tighten the skin, we need to generate broad swaths of new collagen across both the superficial skin layer and deeper collagen layers. These deep layers of collagen are too deep to get to through the surface using lasers or microneedles. The way to get to these deeper layers is by using radio frequency or ultrasound wavelengths of energy. In our office we use both. The heat that is generated in the deeper skin safely stimulates collagen production uniformly over broad areas of skin, effectively shrinking skin that has been stretched out through aging and returning it closer to its natural size.
And last but not least, lifting?
As we age, the skin and subcutaneous fat loses its firm attachment to the underlying facial muscles and bones and starts to sag with gravity. A key part of facial and neck rejuvenation is lifting the sagging tissue back into place. This can be achieved by a combination of replacing lost volume in the deep fat and muscle layers with fillers and rebuilding the collagen in the deep attachment of the skin to underlying tissue through use of ultrasound technology. Further lifting can be achieved by use of biocompatible and absorbable PDO (polydioxanone) threads that stimulate collagen production; the threads themselves are degraded by the body over the course of six months without any scarring.
It sounds like it can be complicated.
That thinking is a barrier for many people, but most people find their procedures to be very manageable. People just need to take the first step and get a consult!
Arash Akhavan, M.D., F.A.A.D.
The Dermatology & Laser Group
200 West 57th Street, Suite 510