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What are the causes of ageing?

The passing of time brings the inevitable appearance of wrinkles, age spots, expression lines, and a long list of symptoms that come with age. Furthermore, an area of our body such as the face, which is exposed daily to environmental factors such as pollution, sun, cold, wind, etc., and to personal factors such as stress, not using moisturising creams that protect the skin the whole day, allergies, etc. also suffers from extra damage, which becomes a bigger problem the less we look after our skin. We are referring to dryness and tightness of the skin, to flaking, and to the appearance of scars as a result of acne or chicken pox, among others.

Ablative treatments

Fortunately, laser technology has made enough progress so as to have a series of treatments available for us now that solve all these problems.

The first treatment uses lasers known as CO2 and Erbium-Yag. During sessions lasting from 10 minutes to two hours depending upon the size of the area of skin to be treated and the type of laser used, these lasers will, by eliminating the upper layers of the skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and scars, eliminate all kinds of blemishes – including those relating to age – and in general give our skin a more attractive, youthful and healthy look.

However, even though this procedure only requires a local anaesthetic, there are some side effects which will take a while to disappear. As soon as the treatment is finished, there will be a slight inflammation in the area treated. This inflammation is temporary and will get better very soon. In the days immediately after, scabs and redness will appear that will last between one and six months. It is also possible that the skin will suffer variations in its sensitivity, and therefore care must be taken in the sun and when using make-up. In any case, the use of a sunscreen with high protection factor is strongly recommended for the six months after the procedure.

Furthermore, the associated risks can be many: allergies, scars, pigmentation changes, herpes or infections; although most of them are perfectly avoidable if you follow the advice from our team of dermatologists and the guidelines to protect and look after your skin.

Non-ablative treatments: IPL and Photodynamic therapy

A more ablative resurfacing treatment is not always necessary, as there are skins that have not suffered severe damage or who are not showing the most serious signs of ageing yet. Therefore, this Dermatological Clinic in Valencia can offer two rejuvenating treatments that are less aggressive.

The first is performed using IPL – Intense Pulsed Light. And the second is called photodynamic therapy, a treatment which combines a photo-sensitising compound called ALA, or 5-aminolevulinic acid, with light radiation which selectively destroys the damaged tissues.

• Dr. Gabriel Serrano Sanmiguel

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