One of the more challenging issues facing medical spas is effectively treating the aging client. Once a person reaches their mid-40s to early 50s, multiple forces are at work that result in poor skin quality, loss of elasticity, and the development of static lines. Formulating a comprehensive, yet easily understood treatment plan for this population is crucial. If the plan is too limited, they likely will not see significant improvement and, therefore, assume the medical spa is not skilled or trustworthy. On the other hand, if clients are presented with a treatment proposal that is too complex, they may become overwhelmed and discouraged. Striking a balance will result in a happy and loyal client.
Both intrinsic and extrinsic factors cause skin to look worse over time. Intrinsic factors include genetics, diet, hormones, tobacco use, and certain medications. Sun exposure, pollution, and the products put on skin are external forces that impact appearance. Ultraviolet light exposure from the sun causes the accelerated breakdown of elastin fibers, hyperpigmentation, increased underlying inflammation, thickening of the epidermis, and, potentially, skin cancer. Tobacco use damages the small blood vessels in the body, leading to poor circulation in skin. Oxygen is necessary for healthy cell function, and poor blood flow leads to less available oxygen for cells. Many of these influences are within a person’s control, such as choosing to wear sunscreen and not to smoke, while others, like genetics, are beyond their control.
It is vital for medical aesthetic service providers to understand the aging process in order to know how to reverse it. Changes in bone, muscle, fat, and skin all contribute to aging of the face. Starting around the age of 50, bone loss occurs and is usually pronounced around the mouth, chin, and eyes. This results in skin puckering in these areas and a sunken-in appearance of the chin and the eyes.
Muscle movement leads to lines on the face that, with time, become permanent and are present even at rest. This is most commonly seen in the forehead, around the eyes, and in between the eyebrows. Etched lines at rest result in the appearance of angry or sad expressions.
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Dr. Lisa Jenks began her medical career in emergency medicine. In 2007, she transitioned into aesthetic medicine, opening Genesis MedSpa. Since then, she has grown Genesis into a 10-treatment room facility with a staff of 22. Under her direction, Genesis has won many awards as well as the Better Business Bureau’s Excellence in Customer Service Award four times. Dr. Jenks serves on the advisory board for Skin, Inc. and consults with physicians across the United States who are interested in a career in aesthetic medicine.