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A defined or chiseled jaw line is the sign of youth. But, as we age and accumulate sun damage, a turkey neck or jowls can appear.

So, can a quick lunchtime, painless procedure, with no down time, the answer for you?

Pat Driscoll, 56, noticed something she did not like - the skin hanging around her neck and jaw line.

'I caught a glimpse of myself in pictures and I thought that, 'Gosh, do I really look that old? Yikes.' So it just kind of bothered me that there was so much like excess skin and just droopiness,' said Driscoll, pointing to her jowl area.

But she did not want to have surgery or a laser treatment that would require a lot of healing and downtime.

'I'm not trying to look like a 20-year-old. I just want to look the best, be the best I can be for my age range, and I am very happy with that,' said Driscoll.

Five years ago Wrinkle Free Friday took a first look at new technology called the Titan, an intense pulsed light, set to reach the deepest layers of your skin.

It heats it up, causing your natural collagen to shrink and tighten while stimulating new collagen to grow over the next few months. That fills in wrinkles over time. Doctors were using it on the brow, face, neck, knees, elbows, buttocks and abdomen after pregnancy and areas after liposuction.

There's no surface peeling, redness, pain or scabbing, so you can do it on your lunch break and go right back to work. Now lately, doctors have been using the Titan on people who just want to tighten up the jaw line.

'For a patients between say 35 and maybe 55, depending on the patient and the integrity of their skin and their bone structure, I think they can get very nice results with these technologies,' said New Orleans Dermatologist Dr. Mary Lupo.

But Dr. Lupo said the treatment is not a replacement for surgery and you should expect results to be less dramatic than if you go under the knife.

'I think that Titan is something that is really more of a preventative than a corrective. And I think when you use it on patients, who are say 40 and just beginning to notice that little bit of 'jobble' [sic] here and there, little bit of sagging here, that you can see some very nice results,' added Dr. Lupo.

'The most recent studies with Titan showed about a 10 to 12 percent improvement in lifting the jaw areas. So I always tell patients, if you are willing to accept sort of subtle results, and you may not be a surgical candidate, or want to have a surgical procedure, these things do have a place, I think, in the treatment of our patients who are desiring improvement in contour,' said Dr. Patricia Farris, a Metairie Dermatologist and spokeswomen for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

There are older patients in their 60's and 70's who have used the Titan. Some do well, but others don't. The results are inconsistent at that age and on heavier patients.

'If a patient has very heavy, heavy jowls, this type of technology is not going to be enough to give a lift. But in thinner patients, in patients who have a little bit of hanging and a little bit of sagging I think you can get very nice results with no downtime and substantially less expensive than surgery,' explained Dr. Lupo.

So will other people notice a 10 to 12 percent difference in a patient?

'You know, if you look at the before and after studies on Titan and they have a couple of before and after photographs, I mean they are very subtle improvements. So I don't think people will come up to you and say 'Wow, what have you done?' But I think they will be subtlety appreciable results,' said Dr. Farris.

And that is what patients say they notice. People think they have lost weight or they need less contour make up since their jaws are more chiseled.

That is what Dr. Lupo's patient, Pat, is noticing too.

'The results are not extremely dramatic,' said Driscoll. 'But it is noticeable. It is subtle, the kind of thing where people think you look better but they are not certain why. You just look kind of glowing and refreshed.'

The Titan costs substantially less than other procedures, about $300 per session. Three to five sessions are needed.

Every couple of years patients can get a maintenance session and the positive effects will accumulate.
 
Editor's Note: Dr. Patricia Farris is no relation to Medical Reporter Meg Farris

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