What is the difference between skin resurfacing and a facelift?

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Skin resurfacing comes in two forms, chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing.

As we age, a few things happen:

  • First, the deeper layers of our skin loose collagen, and loose elasticity.
  • This results in thinning of the skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and a creepy feeling.
  • The superficial layer can also develop pigmentary irregularities also, the so called “age spots”.
  • At the same time, the skin continues to grow, and sag in part due to the loss in structural support of the underlying structures.

Skin resurfacing explained

Skin resurfacing involves treating the first problem we discussed: the loss of collagen, elasticity and pigmentary irregularities.  Skin resurfacing can be done in several different ways.

Chemical peels, and laser treatment are the most common methods, and dermabrasion can also be used in certain indications.    This involves removing part or most of the superficial skin, called the epidermis, and a top layer of the underlying dermis.  This forces the skin to produce a new top layer that has less age spots, pigment irregularities, and is tighter with more collagen production in the dermis.  The fine wrinkles and texture of the skin is much softer.

Results will vary depending on which resurfacing modality is used, the depth of penetration used, and the intensity setting used.  Different laser and chemical peels will each have their own unique depth of penetration, which can alter the amount of change produced and the down time required.  As with most other things, as the amount of change produced increases, the downtime required also increases.

Skin sagging and folds explained

If the problem is more sagging skin,  large skin folds and excessive skin, then a face or neck lift is the more appropriate option.

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is better for removing excessive skin. It also is useful for resuspending the underlying framework of the face and neck in a more suitable and youthful position.

A facelift does not actually affect skin texture, skin creepyness and loss of elasticity.  There are no changes to the pigment irregularities during a facelift.

Which modality is better?

Having said that, the results are long lasting for both modalities.  They both just have different indications.  Once the results have been obtained, you are now T-minus how ever many years you appear younger.

For facelift, the results typically take 7-10 years off of the actual age.

For skin resurfacing, the results can be just as dramatic, depending on the type of resurfacing used.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions about skin resurfacing or facelifts, and are considering these options, email me directly at info@drundavia.com to schedule a consultation.