“Beauty Boot Camp”

Looking Young Again in a Hurry

By Kimberly Moskowitz, MS, MD

I recently treated a beautiful lady who, in her young 50s, halted her successful professional career and went back to military boot camp in order to serve our country in Afghanistan.  Her years living in Florida unquestionably took a toll on her skin but the hard desert sun of the Middle East especially showed no mercy.  When I saw her during our initial consultation, her skin was yellow and leathered by the recent years of sun damage.  She had noticeable lines around her mouth, deep crows feet, and dark sun and age spots.  In her 50s, she was in top athletic shape and still undeniably pretty but the ravages of the sun & time had stolen a few years from her appearance. As I often do when first meeting with patients, I let myself imagine what this beauty bombshell looked like in her 20s and 30s.  She said to me, as many do,  “I don’t want to look like a different person, I just want to look as young and healthy as I feel”.  She had less than 2 months before her next deployment to Afghanistan so we had to work quickly.  Together we laughed about putting her through “Beauty Boot Camp”.

Beauty boot camp began with a Fraxel Repair laser treatment on her face and a series of Fraxel Restore on her arms for stretch marks and tightening.  Fraxel Repair was perfect for her because it provides dramatic results without prolonged down time or complications.  Most patients achieve maximum results with a single 30- minute treatment that is performed comfortably in my office.  These results wipe the slate clean at any age, making your skin ten years younger, on the inside and out.  The Fraxel Repair CO2 laser has been referred to as the “greatest breakthrough treatment for wrinkles and sagging skin”. It is considered the “gold standard” for treating moderate to deep wrinkles and all aspects of sun-damaged skin including sunspots, sagging skin, dilated capillaries, textural abnormalities, irregular pigmentation and enlarged pores.  Fraxel is also used to treat acne and surgical scarring.

Fraxel technology uses an optical tracking system that precisely reads the contours of the face and body to safely deliver thousands of microscopic columns of laser energy, as deep as 1.6mm into the dermis where our collagen resides.  This heat energy destroys old unhealthy cells in the dermis and epidermis and causes immediate contraction and tightening of the skin.  This stimulates the body’s natural healing process to replace aging cells with healthy new ones.  Treated skin contracts immediately and fibroblasts are stimulated to secrete abundant, plump new collagen.  Overlying skin immediately becomes tighter, supple, and more youthful.

How much of a difference does Fraxel really make? As I greeted my patient for her 3- week follow up visit, just a month before she returns to Afghanistan, her smile says it all.  Her skin is Fresh and pink…soft like a baby’s bottom and no longer yellow-stained by the sun.  Her sunspots are gone, but a few around her temples, that I erased with IPL in less than 5 minutes. As with most patients after their Fraxel Treatment, she looks stunning, natural, and eight to ten years younger than she did 3 weeks ago.  Although her crows feet and frown lines are barely visible after the Fraxel, I did perform Botox on these areas 1 week before she left for Afghanistan because she will likely be squinting in the sun.  The goal after any major rejuvenating procedure is to preserve the amazing results and continue the age-reversing process with simple daily care.  I gave her a year’s supply of Skin Medica sunscreen SPF 30, and she bought enough Dermal repair, Retin-A, and Glytone face wash (glycolic acid for daily exfoliation) to keep her skin smooth and tight.  If she follows this skincare regimen, I expect that she will look 2-3 additional years younger when she returns next year.

How long will the results of Fraxel last? The answer is up to you and how well you take care of your skin for the rest of your life. Depending on your age and lifestyle you may desire a lighter Fraxelä Repair or Fraxelä Restore maintenance treatment in 3-10 years.   “Beauty boot camp” is the quick fix to take you back to where you want to begin again.  It is a new starting point….not the finish line.  Your skin will continue to age but if you take care of it, it will continue to look nearly a decade younger than if you had not had the treatment at all.

My patient easily survived “beauty boot camp” and is now on her way back to Afghanistan.  As she did when I met her, she radiates beauty from the inside out but now she finally looks as young and healthy as she feels.  I am truly awestruck by her commitment and devotion to our country and for remembering to take care of herself in the process. The truth is that the beauty of who we are on the inside and out is in the long haul.  Sometimes it is the space that we free up when taking care of ourselves that makes room for us to serve others.

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