Would a TCA peel or an erbium laser treatment be better?

I appreciate your question and here are some ideas about how to evaluate this! The answer really lies in what you’re trying to improve with a TCA peel or erbium laser treatment.

First things first:

  • What are you trying to accomplish and what are your goals? For example, are you more concerned about the beginning of  jowls? Is the texture and/or wrinkling bothering you more? Are you wanting your face to look tighter and more lifted?   Is it more the aging process around the eyes? Are you wanting your face to have more “glow.”
  • Think about establishing some priorities first? For most of us, including me, some things bug us more than others. This is helpful to know for planning. Most of us don’t have completely unlimited money or time, so it makes sense to prioritize, rather than try to improve everything at once. We wouldn’t expect to go from 30 lbs heavier than we want to be, and out of shape… to looking like Ernestine Shepard in 3 months. If you haven’t seen her videos (spoiler she’s 80), you might want to look.  🙂
  • Set a realistic budget. If you want to improve your eye area, soften your frown lines, improve volume which improves jowls, and get that “glow” back, a yearly budget of $1,000 won’t be be nearly enough. More on budget below.

How to Prioritize:

  • First, only you can do that! Your doctor can give you a ton of information and options to help you make good choices, but… she/he can’t make the decision for you.
  • We like the gradual approach in our office because it builds trust and the relationship between provider and patient first!  We usually vote for starting with smaller things and then gradually working up to bigger things, once confidence is established.
  • Smaller things are… a great skincare product regimen which gets skin cells more active again, protects them from damage from UV light and damage to cell DNA ,and starts the repair process. Or, little Botox/Dysport for a deep frown line, crow’s feet, or forehead. Or, one syringe of a filler to soften a lines around the mouth and chin or lift the cheek a little.
  • Once confidence is building and results being achieved for a reasonable price, then perhaps consider a gentle laser or medium peel to improve texture or wrinkles. For example, this might look like a medium depth TCA peel (a light TCA or glycol peel at age 64 will give almost no result), or an erbium laser that’s on the gentle side, or an IPL/Broadband light to reduce redness or dilated blood vessels.
  • Larger procedures, but also with more results, might be a CO2 laser or a more aggressive Fraxel… that sort of thing.

I’ll do a post soon on how to budget and approximate costs.

Hope this helps, Dr. I

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