Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Commented

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Skin Care Guide: Part 2

Dermatologists Offer Anti-Aging Skin Care Treatments

Creams, peels, lasers and more

Laser power

For a wide variety of repair jobs, dermatologists use lasers that zap the skin with light or heat. Lasers can remove dark (but not light-colored) hairs from the chin or upper lip, "liver" or age spots, and broken capillaries or spider veins and rosacea.

Most laser procedures involve multiple treatments over a period of weeks, and then touch-ups after a year or more. Lasers can scar or permanently darken or lighten your skin, and people with dark skin are at greater risk of unwanted color changes, warns McKeehen.

There are different types of lasers, big and small, and they differ considerably in how much downtime they require after the procedure.

A dermatologist may use a photosensitizer — a chemical that makes your skin more sensitive to light — to enhance the laser's effectiveness. If so, you must be very (very) good about staying indoors and away from all sunlight for a couple of days after the procedure, or you will risk a serious burn, says Jeffrey Orringer, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Also, some illnesses and medications make you sensitive to light and would prohibit you from getting laser treatments.

Cost: Between $1,000 and $3,000, but the costs can be much lower for less-involved treatments.

Frequency: Three to five times over several weeks; touch-ups after a year.

Recovery time: Varies depending on treatment, but up to two weeks of redness; skin can have a severe sunburn reaction.

420_line

Tighten up

To decrease wrinkles without surgery, dermatologists are applying heat, in the form of "radio frequency." One technique, Thermage CPT, "truly tightens the skin," says Debra Jaliman, a dermatologist in New York City. "It's like shrink-wrapping," she says.

The original Thermage didn't work, Jaliman concedes, which gave the procedure a bad name. With the new version, you get about 10 percent tightening initially, and additional tightening over the next six months. Just how much more varies from person to person. The older you are, the more-limited results you will get, Jaliman says. She adds that smokers don't do as well as nonsmokers, "and the more sun damage, the less dramatic results will be."

Cost: $960 to $3,500.

Frequency: Once is usually enough.

Recovery time: Full activity may be resumed immediately.

Tina Adler writes about health, science and the environment.

You may also like: Part 3 of AARP's Skin Care Guide:  Botox injections and beyond. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Health Blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives, nutrition and losing weight. Do