Genetics, lifestyle, and even the choices we make in our youth have profound effects on the dynamics of the aging process. All of these subtle factors can significantly affect skin texture and pigmentation, sun tolerance, or even healing. In part one of my facial rejuvenation series I discussed my overall philosophy for approaching anti-aging treatments. It is my belief that understanding a patient’s history in detail is vital before a treatment plan suited to their specific needs can be developed. No matter what your history of lifestyle, there are basic components to facial aging that must be considered and understanding these components individually allows us all to begin to manage the aging process more effectively.
Component: Skin Laxity
As we age, the muscles and skin of the face lose their natural elasticity. Like a rubber band, when stretched over and over, can no longer return completely to its original size and shape, skin can also become “stretched out” or “lax.” These lax tissues of the neck and face descend due to gravity and natural muscular wear and tear. This may manifest as a deepening of the lines that run from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth, a drooping of the brows, jowls, and neck, or as a sagging and folding of skin and soft tissue. Traditional surgical options were once limited to facelift, brow lift, and neck lift procedures, but now a myriad of surgical and non-surgical options are available. Depending on the degree of your muscle laxity, fat volume, and skin elasticity, non-surgical or combined surgical and non-surgical treatments may be appropriate.
One particularly effective treatment option I offer is Ulthera® skin tightening. Sometimes referred to as a skin tightening system, Ultherapy® uses ultrasound technology to target deep tissue with high frequency sound waves. This lifts and tightens loose skin while stimulating collagen production to tone lax muscle. Ultherapy® is FDA approved for treating areas above the brow, under the chin and around the throat and leaves treated areas looking younger and more lifted without the need for surgery.
Component: Loss of Facial Volume
Along with skin laxity, many patients experience a loss of facial fat volume, or deflation, as they age. The plump, full lips and cheeks associated with youth seem to droop and sag, like a balloon gradually loosing air, contributing to the gaunt appearance often associated with old age. There are several options for improving facial volume in selected areas that can be incorporated as part of your facial rejuvenation plan.
Less invasive approaches including facial fillers, collagen-based injectables that work to counteract the natural effects of “deflation,” smooth out fine lines and wrinkles by restoring volume. My nurse practitioner, who has completed extensive specialized training in dermal filler techniques using Juvéderm®, Voluma™ and Restylane®, performs non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures for patients aged eighteen and up. The procedure itself generally takes about 10 to 15 minutes, and is relatively painless with the recent FDA approval of facial fillers with lidocaine (a local anesthetic). Results can last from four months up to years depending on the type of injection you choose as well as the dedication you put into maintaining the best results.
Individual plans can and should vary depending on each individual patient’s needs and outcomes. Everyone ages differently and deserves a customized treatment plan that provides the best results. If you are interested in learning more about facial rejuvenation or even working with me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, on your own individualized treatment plan, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. Also be sure to connect with Dr. Burstein on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news. Check back regularly to follow the next part of Dr. Burstein’s facial rejuvenation series.