Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on May 15, 2018 10:00:00 AM
Yes, your reflection in the morning mirror still resembles you, but the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) changes you’re seeing are less and less appealing. Because your face is the most fragile and exposed part of your body, it’s likely to be the first place to betray your age. Maybe years of soaking up skin-damaging UVA/UVB rays and unhealthy choices such as smoking, drinking, junk food noshing, and poor skin care practices have taken their toll. Or perhaps you’ve been blessed with good genes, maintained healthy lifestyle habits, and stayed sunscreen savvy for decades, but still find yourself face to face with Father Time. Either way, you’re ready to take action, but you have no idea where to start.
Fortunately, there are more successful cosmetic enhancement options today than ever before to help you save face and age with grace. From traditional cosmetic surgery, to cutting edge (but scalpel-free) laser procedures, to advanced radio frequency/laser skin treatments to injectables, there’s an anti-aging solution available. “Literally, most anything at all that you’re unhappy with, it can be fixed,” says renowned cosmetic facial surgeon Dr. Carey Nease. “It’s simply a matter of how much time, money, and effort you want to spend for your best results.” Dr. Nease says there is no one-size fits all formula for facial rejuvenation because each patient is unique, with specific needs, expectations, and desired outcomes. But based on typical issues patients face, he says there are some general cosmetic enhancement guidelines for the most beneficial choices you can make at various stages in life.
30’s – Mid 40’s
Patients in their 30’s and 40’s usually need some volume and fullness added to their face, as well as skin imperfection correction, when those early signs of aging begin to surface. Uneven skin tone and texture, diminished elasticity, pigmentation and sun spots, dull or dry skin, and fine lines or wrinkles forming around the eyes, forehead and mouth can be discouraging. But the good news is that these problems can be corrected with non-invasive laser procedures, minimal to aggressive skin treatments including radio-frequency technology, medical grade chemical peels, and injectables paired with daily use of a high-quality skincare product line. Here’s a list of what works:
Botox injections around the eyes, forehead and brows to smooth fine lines and wrinkles; repeated every three to four months to maintain appearance
Juvederm injections to fill in mouth creases and add volume to cheeks and lips; typically repeated every 6-12 months
Medical grade chemical peels like Salycyclic Acid and TCA to rejuvenate skin and erase sun damage; repeated periodically to maintain appearance and a youthful glow
Laser treatments including Fractional CO2 and Erbium lasers to tighten, lift, rejuvenate, erase wrinkles; IPL to correct redness, sun damage and improve skin texture/tone; HALO for discoloration, tone and texture; Picosure and/or micro needling with Platelet Rich Plasma for increasing skin elasticity, collagen production, erasing discoloration and removing wrinkles; varies per patient but all can be repeated for further improvement
Radiofrequency treatments (FaceTite) to tighten and lift; targets specific areas including neck, jowls and lower face; immediate results continue improving over the first year and last up to 3 years
Late 40’s and 50’s
Entering the mid 40’s and 50’s the results of aging become more evident and along with adding volume and correcting aging skin issues, tightening and lifting facial tissue is commonly recommended. Former fine lines around the eyes, mouth and forehead have become deeper wrinkles and the eyes, lower face and neck show more signs of sagging. More invasive cosmetic procedures and treatments are now necessary to reverse the effects of age. For truly successful results at this stage, Dr. Nease typically recommends laser assisted facelifts, lower face and neck lifts and/or upper and lower eyelid surgical procedures combined with injectables, laser/radio frequency procedures and intense skin treatments listed above.
Laser face lift targeting deep tissue to remove wrinkles, scars, and sun damage along with surface layers to tighten and lift the face; recovery takes only three to four days, there are no incisions, no scars and no general anesthesia is needed; results can last three to five years
Laser assisted Revalift to provide mid-range rejuvenation to the lower face that’s more extensive than laser face lifts; fat is melted in the jowl and neck area while small incisions are used to remove skin, place sutures and tighten the face for lasting results; incisions are carefully hidden in the hairline, around the ears and under the chin; requires only local anesthesia and IV sedation; perfect for patients with moderate sagging and excess skin as well as moderate lines around the mouth; seven to 10 days of downtime; results last five to seven years
Surgical Neck and jowl sculpting (i.e., lower face and neck lift) tightening skin and muscle to lift the neck and contour the jowls as laser liposuction of excess skin is combined with incisions for longer lasting effects; can be combined with a silicone chin implant to strengthen and contour the jawline; lasts up to 10 years
Upper and lower eyelift to treat sagging skin, deep wrinkles and puffy “fat pads” or hollowed out areas under eyes; precise incisions are used to remove excess skin; needs only local anesthesia and light sedation; involves little to no pain; heals in seven days and lasts up to 10 years; often combined with Botox, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, fat transfer or brow lift
Fat transfer to add volume to cheeks, eyes and brows as fat is harvested via “mini” liposuction from the abdomen, thighs or knees then processed and transferred to needed areas; commonly performed alongside both laser assisted and surgical procedures; uses local anesthesia and/or light IV; no incisions, scars or associated pain; recovery is only a few days; results last three to five years
Platelet-rich plasma (Platelet Rich Plasma) technology to separate growth enhancing platelets and plasma from red and white blood cells creating a serum that’s injected into deep skin layers; improves surgical procedure outcome, promotes faster healing after laser resurfacing and allows for longer-lasting results; used in conjunction with facial surgeries and also with in-office skin treatments such as micro needling where serum is injected into surface skin layers.
60’s and Beyond
Truth be told, there is somewhat of a tipping point when it comes to complete facial rejuvenation – that point comes when surgical intervention is the only way to eliminate the loose, wrinkled skin identified with advanced aging. “Only surgical tightening will significantly lift sagging skin at that stage,” says Dr. Nease. Still, an overall approach to combating the effects of severe aging is key; yes, a facelift will take care of sagging skin, but it won’t take care of wrinkles that must be addressed with fat transfer and/or injectables or tackle advanced surface skin issues like years of intense sun damage, discoloration or redness. Usually an upper eye or lower eyelid procedure is needed as well and when combined with a full facelift, injectables and skin laser/light treatments, patients can turn back the clock 10, possibly 15 years.
Full cosmetic facelift to eliminate excess skin and wrinkles in the cheeks, neck and jowl areas to smooth appearance and restore a visible jawline; lifts and smooths the brow and eye area; incisions are made along the upper hairline, sides of face hidden around the ears and also under the chin; scars are minimal, well-hidden and heal in about 14-21 days
Upper and lower eyelift to treat sagging skin, deep wrinkles and puffy “fat pads” or hollowed out areas under eyes; precise incisions are used to remove excess skin, needs only local anesthesia and light sedation; involves little to no pain; heals in seven days and lasts up to 10 years; often combined with Botox, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, fat transfer or brow lift
Brow lift to treat advanced signs of aging in the forehead and brow that can’t be corrected otherwise; aligns and raises brows by repositioning the skin and tissue to reduce drooping or sagging above the nose and brows; takes a week to recover and lasts up to 10 years; less common now due to injectables and advanced laser resurfacing techniques able to correct brow position
It’s important to note that while the actual cosmetic surgical procedure techniques used for complete and upper/lower facelifts have remained similar in the past several decades, Dr. Nease says what is different are the advances in laser and skin treatment technology that can accompany these surgical options, such as the fractional CO2 laser resurfacing and Platelet Rich Plasma treatments. These are now standard additions to most surgical procedures and are also some of the most effective options when used as stand-alone treatments outside of surgery because they are so transformative. As such, Dr. Nease encourages everyone interested in their appearance to consider these in their overall cosmetic enhancement treatment plan.
Now that you have a general idea of the options available to help you beautify and “save face” at every stage of life, consider the areas where you’d like to see improvements. Then call SSA at 423-266-3331 for a complimentary consult with Dr. Nease on how to get started today!