As we age, gravity acts on our facial skin and soft tissues and is unforgiving. Everyone ages differently either from genetics or the way skin has been treated through the years. Factors such as sun, smoking, lack of sleep, environmental pollution, and stress can all age skin rapidly.
In your 20’s, you may begin to see the signs of collagen and elastin breakdown in the form of fine lines and wrinkles. This is a great time to start treating your skin with a medical grade skin care system with a tretinoin and stem cell growth factor creams, to build collagen and improve superficial wrinkling. Also using a daily SPF of at least 30 with UVA and UVB protection is imperative. A hydroquinone or other skin lightening product may be added to treat pigmentation or brown spots. This combination will ensure your skin receives the ingredients needed to ward off wrinkles, protect it from further damage, and make it look its best. Neurotoxins like Botox are also a good option to prevent wrinkle formation and deeper wrinkles in the future.
A common concern for women in their 30’s and early 40’s, besides wrinkling, is loss of facial volume. Over time, the jaw line and cheeks lose definition because of sagging soft tissues, causing the cheeks and jowls to sag and the formation of facial folds, such as the marionette lines, pre-jowl sulcus, and nasolabial folds. There are lots of fillers on the market that can fill folds and other areas where volume has diminished. Most filler last up to 9 months, but a new product out in the fall called Voluma will be the first reported to last up to 18 months. At a certain point, fillers may not be able to perform well enough to achieve patient goals and satisfaction, and surgery will become necessary to remove excess skin and lift deeper facial soft tissues back into place and may include a facelift or browlift.
Usually the first area affected by sagging soft tissues and age related changes to the face occurs around the eye, affecting both the upper and lower eyelids. One first starts to notice excess skin on the upper eyelid and puffiness or bags when fat under the eye starts to protrude and the cheek soft tissues start to descend. Fillers can be injected in the tear trough around the lower eyelid, to restore volume quickly and camouflage tired looking eyes. A blepharoplasty can provide excellent results by removing the excess skin in both the upper and lower eyelids and repositioning and contouring fat in the lower eyelid so that the tear troughs disappear forming a youthful smooth transition from the lower eyelid to the cheek. The incisions are inconspicuously hidden in the lash line and recovery time is a quick 4-5 days.
Aging is inevitable, but be assured there are viable options for slowing the process and correcting the issues. Consulting with a fellowship trained double board certified facial plastic surgeon guarantees you will receive the best recommendation for your unique issues.
Post provided by Benjamin Stong MD