Cosmetic Expert Dr Dev Patel outlines the latest skin tightening treatments
Dr Dev Patel is a leading figure in the aesthetic world. Based in the historic Naval city of Portsmouth on the south coast of England, he is himself an ex-Naval Officer. Now he heads the multi-award winning clinic he founded, Perfect Skin Solutions, which draws patients from all over the UK and indeed abroad.
He is also a regular speaker at UK and international aesthetic medicine conferences, as well as a trainer at his own teaching facility, Perfect Skin Academy. Recently he has launched his own skincare brand, CellDerma.
So what is his take on skin tightening? “Firstly, we need to define what we mean by skin tightening. Personally, I do not class surgical procedures as tightening procedures. These are cutting skin out and or putting tissues under traction, to give a lifting effect which can be interpreted as tightening. However, the skin that is left behind is no tighter. It has just been placed under greater tension or stretch. The quality of the remaining skin is no better. With non-surgical options, I aim to improve the structural quality of the skin, thereby giving a tightening result.” How is this achieved? “Key structural proteins of the skin are collagen and elastin. These deplete in quantity and quality as we age leading to loss of elasticity and integrity. The key with treatments is to trigger the body’s natural ‘repair and regenerate’ processes without causing scarring; in effect, controlled wound healing. Energy-based devices are the answer but with thousands of brands available and tens of different technologies, it is a minefield for the unknowing consumer. The two main energies I use for skin tightening in my clinic are plasma and radio-frequency. With plasma, there is only one device I trust and that is PLEXR Plus. With over 20 years of research behind the device, I have been using it since 2014 (originally PLEXR) and performed over 1500 procedures with it, from blepharoplasties, to face and neck lifts and for a whole host of other concerns. It is super-precise and results in a very powerful triggering of collagen production and overall tissue regeneration. There is some recovery to go through with a surface crust and swelling but the results are worth it, peaking at three months. This remains one of my most popular treatments. The other technology is microneedle-assisted radio-frequency. I use the InMode platform which includes the award-winning Morpheus8. Enjoyed by many global celebrities, this treatment is the current hot favourite. It requires just 2-3 visits to the clinic and treatment for the face and neck takes about 20-30 minutes once the skin has been numbed with anaesthetic cream. Recovery is generally quite quick and any residual skin healing can be covered by foundation. Over the subsequent 3-12 months, there follows a holistic skin plumping and tightening.”
Dr Patel explained the science a little further: “The microneedles do result in minor mechanical damage which is useful in stimulating the repair process. However, their main purpose is to convey the radio-frequency (RF) energy into the skin, thereby bypassing the surface. Thus 100% of the energy can be delivered to the target depth, which can be adjusted depending on the requirement. It is now possible to go from 0.5-7mm in depth! Uniform heating of the tissues to a threshold temperature allows for controlled wound healing to commence. We are not just talking about new collagen and elastin; there is regeneration of the entire skin unit including blood supply. This is quite remarkable and one literally reverses the architectural changes that have occurred due to ageing, within the skin. I can also reach the fatty tissue in areas where there is an undesired amount of fat eg under the chin. The RF effectively shrinks the fatty tissue resulting in a more desirable facial contour.”
So what Dr Dev Patel’s favourite? “I can’t choose. For larger areas and more holistic results I prefer Morpheus8. There is also far less recovery time needed. However, for the most potent in skin tightening it has to be PLEXR. I will always go to this if my patient needs focal skin tightening. We recently introduced GF5 Bio-Regenerative Serum by CellDerma, to all our post-procedure protocols and patients recover even quicker now, meaning the treatments are even more acceptable.”
Perfect Skin Solutions has enquiries every day from people around the UK and even abroad, seeking one of these two treatments. The reputations of both PLEXR and Morpheus8 have spread far and wide and with Dr Dev Patel being one of the world’s foremost experts in medical gas-plasma technology (PLEXR) as well as a speaker and trainer for InMode, he and his clinic are the first port of call for many.