Let’s Clear Up Cosmetic Confusion!

I often get messages on my Facebook page asking me, “What is the difference between X and Y?” So in this week’s e-newsletter, I’ve decided to clear up some confusing terms and treatments. Do you know the difference between a sun spot and an age spot? What about Fraxel and fractional lasers? How about BBL and IPL?

Let’s clear things up, shall we?

1. Age Spot vs. Sun Spot vs. Liver Spot – These are different names for the same thing. Excess sun exposure can cause the melanin in our skin to create these blemishes. Unless they are actively removed (with brightening creams, chemical peels, or IPL) they stick around for a long time. The term liver spot doesn’t mean the spots have something to do with the liver. The brown color reminded someone of the color of liver!

2. BBL (Broad-Band Light) vs. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) – These are also two names for the same thing. Both of these are great for getting rid of age spots! IPL treatments are some of the most popular treatments at YPS.

3. Thread Lift vs. Silhouette Lift – The Silhouette Lift is the brand name of the latest thread lifting procedure. The thread lifts became big approximately 12 years ago with the advent of barbed sutures. At the time, many doctors touted these mini-facelifts as the best thing ever. Within a couple years these treatments fell out of favor due to short-term results and long-term complications.

4. Fraxel vs. Fractional Laser vs. Fractionated Laser – Back in the 1990’s, the only effective anti-aging lasers were ablative, meaning they burned ALL of the skin in order to tighten it. These lasers were too aggressive, causing excessive downtime and side effects. Enter the fractional laser. Instead of burning all the skin off the face, it only burns a ‘fraction’ of the skin. Downtime is less and side effects minimal. Fraxel is a brand name for one of the most popular fractional, or fractionated lasers.

5. Facelift vs. Lower Facelift vs. Full Facelift – These are all the same thing. They target the lower face and neck region primarily, with some lifting of the cheeks (midface) and no impact on the forehead (upper face). A facelift typically includes a full necklift.

I hope this clears up any confusion regarding these popularly used terms!

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Posted in: Plastic Surgery News

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