Treating wrinkles from the inside out

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There's a new way to get a facelift without surgery. (KFSN)

Celebrities have many options to get red-carpet ready, but they can't spend a lot of time recovering from cosmetic treatments. Now there's a new way to get a facelift without surgery, and you don't have to be in Hollywood to get it done.

Jacki Adams says her skin tells the story of her two lifetimes. She was a popular model in the 1980s whose face was featured on the covers of magazines like Vogue and Elle. But later, she took up rock climbing, exposing her face to years of sun and wind. Now she's returning to modeling and acting, and wants to look her best.

"I prefer to look good for my age, rather than look another age," she said.

To smooth out some of her lines, Adams turned to dermatologist Christine Lee in Walnut Creek. Dr. Lee helped pioneer a new skin treatment without surgery.

"It is like an inside out facelift," said Lee.

Dr. Lee uses a non-ablative laser called the Fotona SP Dynamis. She says it safely delivers targeted heat from inside the mouth. The goal is to tighten the soft tissue on the inside, resulting in a smoothing effect on the surface of the skin.

"So when you go inside the mouth, what it does is causes immediate contracting, and that tightening makes this nasal/labial fold by the side of the mouth seem like they're plumping up," said Lee.

She begins the procedure by concentrating the heat first on one side of the face from the inside, then on the other side. The laser evolved out of technology developed for dental procedures, and Dr. Lee says there's no record of side effects such as burning.

While the plumping can actually be seen during the treatment, Dr. Lee says a percentage of it will subside when the skin recovers. Most patients need to undergo several treatments to see a full smoothing effect but the results can last for months.

"So it does some of the things a filler does but appears much more natural, and you're not having to inject a foreign substance in your face," she said.

The session takes about half an hour. Before and after photos show the smoothing around Adams' mouth and cheek area after several treatments. Each treatment costs about $1,500.

Adams says she's now ready to step back into the spotlight.

"Oh my gosh, this is fantastic, really, really great," she said.

Dr. Lee says most patients will need two to three sessions, but she says the results last longer than other non-surgical procedures, and the price is about the same or less than the yearly cost of getting injectable fillers.

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