Double board-certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist (head/neck surgeon) Dr. Fernando Burstein has spent nearly thirty years performing cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery procedures ranging from cleft lip and palate repair to cosmetic rhinoplasty (nose surgery) and ear surgery on men and women of all ages. In our ongoing blog feature, Ask Dr. Burstein, we will have the opportunity to hear him answer some of the most frequently asked questions he receives about facial plastic surgery and anti-aging facial rejuvenation procedures.
QUESTION: All my life, I have loved spending time outdoors. In my youth, I was very active in athletics and I have even chosen a career that lets me work in the open air. However, after turning fifty, I have noticed that my skin is starting to look old and worn. I have a lot of brown spots and freckles, not to mention an overall uneven, “leathery” texture. I am afraid that a lot of this might be the result of sun damage, but I was wondering if there was anything that could be done to give my face a smoother and more youthful appearance.
ANSWER: Unfortunately, you are correct. The damage caused by ultraviolet radiation does not fade, but instead slowly accumulates over time, so it is extremely common for men and women in their fifties to start noticing damage after a lifetime of sun exposure. Not only does ultraviolet light cause the skin discolorations commonly known as liver spots, but it also breaks down collagen and elastin, essential substances that give skin its ability to shift, stretch, and then “spring back” to its original position. When skin loses its elasticity, it starts to wrinkle and sag. For patients who are suffering signs of premature aging as a result of sun damage, I often recommend skin resurfacing treatments like TCA chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing. These treatments work by gently removing the dead and damaged skin cells that make up the outermost layers of the epidermis, smoothing out the skin’s surface and exposing the more youthful looking skin that lies underneath. This procedure also triggers the body’s natural healing processes and increases the production of new collagen and elastin, improving the skin’s overall texture and elasticity.
Of course, every patient has their own unique health considerations, and every face reacts differently to the aging process, so I would also recommend that you come into my office for a full facial rejuvenation consultation. During that meeting, we can discuss your individual areas of concern, look over before and after pictures, and in some cases even use advanced computer imaging technology to preview potential results so that we can formulate a treatment plan that is customized to your specific needs. If you would like to learn more about the facial plastic surgery procedures that I perform, please contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein so that we can schedule an appointment. Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.