By Dr. Philip Solomon & Nancie Heiber.

Dr. Philip Solomon MD, FRCSC, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon, practicing Facial Plastic Surgery in Toronto, is an expert when it comes to surgical procedures, but he’s also at the top of his field using energy devices for facial rejuvenation and anti-aging. Here’s what we learned about what these devices are and how they’re used.

Living Luxe: When we talk about energy devices for facial rejuvenation, are we talking about lasers? What types of devices are there in facial rejuvenation? 

Dr. Philip Solomon: Energy devices can include lasers, ultrasound therapy, light therapy and radio frequency. Each device targets the skin differently due to the varying delivery systems. Each laser has a different wavelength, and each wavelength has different physical properties that can target and treat different skin issues. Energy devices can be used as an alternative to surgery, in addition to surgery or to delay the need for surgery. 

Lasers, for example, target the surface of the skin, improving the tone and texture, while minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Light therapy uses intense pulse light to address pigmentation and vascular irregularities. Micro-needling with radio frequency penetrates the skin at a deeper level, targeting underlying tissue to help stimulate collagen production and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. Ultrasound therapy uses soundwaves to stimulate the dermis and, in some cases, deeper structures to elevate and lift sagging tissue. 

There is a huge range of energy devices on the market and not all are created equally. We have been working with many technologies for more than 20 years and we hand-picked the technology that best complements our surgical procedures.

Living Luxe: Let’s discuss the Micro-needling with radio frequency for skin tightening. What does this technology do and who is a good candidate? 

Dr. Philip Solomon: Micro-needling combined with radio-frequency heat targets the deeper layers of the dermis. Together, they cause trauma to the underlying tissue to stimulate the production of collagen necessary to improve skin quality. This delivery system contributes to tighter skin, a reduction in fine lines and overall healthier-looking skin. We also commonly technology to treat acne scars.

Morpheus8 is quite well recognized because it was one of the first to hit the market and it delivers results with minimal downtime. Additionally, this technology can treat both men and women ranging in age from their 20s to 70s. We have patients in their 30s looking to ward off signs of aging and use it as preventative treatment; we also have patients in their 40s and 50s looking for an alternative to surgery. And then we have patients using Morpheus8 for maintenance following facelift surgery to maintain their results.

Living Luxe: How does Micro-needling with radio-frequency heat compare to Laser Resurfacing and why would someone choose one over the other? 

Dr. Philip Solomon: Laser Resurfacing is a great procedure to address the skin’s surface — it tightens pores, brightens the skin and minimizes fine lines and deeper wrinkles. Laser is often used as an adjunct to facelift surgery or as an independent procedure to give the face a more youthful, refreshed appearance. The results are long-lasting, as long as the patient stays out of the sun and continues to use SPF regularly. Unlike lasers, Micro-needling with radio frequency is relatively safe for most skin types.

Living Luxe: We’ve heard about CO2 and Erbium Lasers. What’s the difference between the two?

Dr. Philip Solomon: CO2 and Erbium use different wavelengths, although there is some overlap between the two lasers, as they both treat fine lines, pigment and texture. At our clinic, we love using the CO2 around the eyes, while we find erbium most effective around the mouth. We often combine the two technologies and use them selectively for anti-aging treatments in conjunction with facelifts and eyelid surgery. The CO2 and Erbium both come with different settings, some of which are more aggressive and used in surgery, while others deliver a gentler rejuvenation treatment such as the Halo and Microlaser Peel. 

Living Luxe: Where does Pico Laser Resurfacing fit into the picture of skin rejuvenation? 

Dr. Philip Solomon: Pico Laser is a unique wavelength that is used to remove pigment such as tattoo or sun-damaged skin. It’s a powerful tool that is safe for most skin types and doesn’t require any downtime, which is what makes this technology so appealing. It also helps minimize fine lines and brightens the skin. It’s been a game-changer in laser technology due to the wide range of skin types and concerns it can address. Working in a multi-ethnic city, having multiple devices is essential to be able to help people achieve successful outcomes.

Living Luxe: Is there anything you want patients to know before undergoing one or more of these treatments? 

Dr. Philip Solomon: Laser technology can deliver outstanding results and can help reverse years of sun damage and signs of aging. We encourage our patients post-treatment to continue taking care of their skin using medical-grade skincare, SPF and to see us for maintenance treatments.

Patients need to do research and seek out specialists who have extensive experience in using energy devices. Laser technology, while an essential component of anti-aging therapy, must be performed by experienced and trained staff to avoid potential complications. Our team of nurses and medical aestheticians are very experienced, knowledgeable and highly skilled with the technology we offer at Solomon Facial Plastic.