Dr. Sue Ellen Cox of Aesthetic Solutions talks prejuvenation – the latest buzzword in the aesthetic field – and how the anti-aging strategy is all about non-invasive treatments
What does ‘prejuvenation’ mean?
Prejuvenation is a newer term in the aesthetic industry. In short, it means taking advantage of non-invasive treatments to prevent common concerns before they develop, rather than trying to reverse damage later. It’s an interesting concept, and in the long run can often be more cost effective for patients. Prevention is getting a lot more attention in the aesthetic community. Techniques for dramatic patient transformations are still the most popular of my lectures, but tips on reducing the likelihood of these concerns forming in the first place is gaining traction.
What are some of your favorite prejuvenation treatments?
Many treatments that address damage can be used to prevent damage. Botox, Fillers, Lasers, Peels, and medical grade skincare all play a role. The goal is to maintain skin quality, skin tone and texture.
The Clear + Brilliant is a gentle resurfacing laser that treats sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles and overall skin radiance. It has virtually no downtime – and is fairly quick. This is among my go-to’s for patients who want to improve their skin without disrupting their lifestyle, and is perfect to help prevent the need for more aggressive lasers in the future. RF Microneedling is another great option for patients who are starting to see mild skin laxity and want to take prejuvenation measures.
Probably the most overlooked form of prejuvenation is skincare. I recommend patients buy medical-grade topicals. Whether it’s from my office, or their local dermatologist, the higher percentage of active ingredients really makes a difference compared to over-the-counter products. If you aren’t using a Vitamin A and Vitamin C – then start!
Why not wait until you see more visible damage to do treatments?
You absolutely can. As a cosmetic dermatologist, I work non-invasively to renew and restore without a scalpel. Noninvasive medicine is wonderful, but it isn’t surgery and it can only do so much. Waiting too long to evaluate whether non-invasive treatments are appropriate often means a surgical solution will be a better option.
How does Aesthetic Solutions work with new patients to set them up for success?
With so many non-surgical options out there, I often meet patients suffering from information overload. I think the most important thing for new patients is to have an initial consultation that focuses on concerns rather than treatments. You don’t need a chemical peel – you need options for treating sun damage and solutions to prevent it from coming back. We want to understand what a patient is looking to correct, then explain options from there. 2D and 3D facial imaging play a big role in my consultations. I’m able to look under the surface of the skin at things like redness, pigmentation and volume loss, and craft a treatment plan that is specific to the patient, their skin and their concerns.
Dr. Sue Ellen Cox is a board-certified dermatologic surgeon, founder and medical director of Aesthetic Solutions in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dr. Cox runs an active clinical research center, and has performed clinical trials and pivotal studies on most neuromodulators and fillers on the market today. An author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, she serves on committees and boards for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the American Academy of Dermatology and various pharmaceutical and device manufacturers. Dr. Cox teaches cosmetic dermatology clinic to residents at the UNC School of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center, and is the current president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.