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Alternative treatment options where injectable treatment are not advisable

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Broad spectrum sun protection is the foundation of younger looking skin, and all people should be advised to start protecting their skin from a young age. It’s said that the skin is a reflection of the internal environment so good nutrition and hydration and seeing a nutritional therapist might be a useful thing to do to improve the appearance of the skin. Good nutrition and hydration, combined with sunscreen and the use of anti-aging skin care products can help to improve the appearance of the skin and fight the aging process. Products might include hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and lipids.

Botulinum toxin injections are only licensed for those under 65 so anyone requiring treatment beyond this age would need to seek alternative treatment options. Cosmetic acupuncture may be an alternative treatment method. Cosmetic acupuncture aims to improve circulation of blood and body fluids, absorption of nutrients and excretions of waste thereby positively influencing general health. It also aims to increase cellular activity and stimulate collagen production when delivered into the lines and wrinkles in the face and may soften their appearance. Using hyaluronic acid face masks and infrared light therapy in conjunction with cosmetic acupuncture can enhance the effects of the treatment. There is not a lot of evidence other than anecdotal reports that this treatment is beneficial

Hyaluronic acid fillers are popular in younger women (for larger lips) and middle age as we start to lose volume of fat pads from the face and the cheeks, jaw line and neck skin begins to sag. However, they add volume and weight to the face and can widen the face over time, they can’t lift the face. Threads also do not have good long-term effects to lift the face with results for only about 6 months.

As we come into older age and the skin sagging becomes more pronounced hyaluronic acid filler may no longer be appropriate as they will lead to over filled and abnormal looks as people try to achieve a younger look with tighter skin. At this stage surgery may be the correct procedure to consider. Blepharoplasty and face lifts are becoming more popular in the aging face. Recent advances in surgical technique and lifting the face upwards rather than pulling the fascia laterally may improve appearance.

There are other treatments that can improve the appearance of the skin such as skin boosters, micro needling or collagen induction therapy either alone or in conjunction with platelet rich plasma or exosomes can help to improve the appearance and tone of the skin with patient’s reporting the result can last months

Lasers such as IPL can deliver light and heat energy into the skin that can reduce the appearance or red and brown spots which can again improve the appearance of the skin, but will do little to reduce facial sagging and wrinkle production. Caution would be needed with either micro needling and especially with laser treatments for people with Fitzpatrick type 4, 5 or 6 as they may stimulate the melanocytes leading to pigmentation.

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