Facial Rejuvenation Without Surgery
Natural facial aging is something we cannot avoid because several factors impact this process. Over time, particularly after about age 25, the skin stops regularly producing collagen and elastin, its thickness and elasticity decrease, and the muscles acting on it become more active. Together they markedly increase skin wrinkling. The hours we’ve spent without daily sunblock finally catch up to us in the form of further collagen breakdown, sun spots, abnormal blood vessels, and other damage. Loss of skeletal structure and fat may cause the eyes or cheeks to look hollow. These changes lead to ever-deepening lines and creases on the forehead, around the eyes, in the cheeks, and mouth. The neck may also show signs of aging such as thin skin, excess fat, horizontal lines, and sagging. None of these changes to appearance sound particularly exciting. At the same time, neither may surgery.
If you are interested in looking your best but do not like the idea of a major surgical procedure, you have options. In our Highland, NC office, we’ve helped many patients restore a friendlier, more youthful appearance using nonsurgical treatments. Dr. Buchanan has named this anti-aging approach Today’s Liquid Facelift and uses it regularly to achieve the optimal reversal without surgery of age-related cosmetic concerns, including those that affect the neck and hands. In many cases, ti provides improvement that not even surgery can achieve.
How We Can Help You Look Younger and More Vibrant
Three treatments are commonly used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles:
- Botox is the injectable treatment that is applied to dynamic wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are those that originate in the muscle. Though these lines can occur anywhere effected by the facial muscles and thinning, less elastic skin, the muscles on the upper face and around the eyes and some on the neck and chin can be treated without causing problems to eliminate the muscular component of the wrinkles. Botox is a neuromodulator that decreases muscle contractions so overlying skin can lie flat and smooth.
- Thin fillers are injectables that can be placed within the dermis to elevate fine to medium wrinkles. These products are different than Botox because they actually reduce or eliminate permanent wrinkles by adding volume to the skin layer just below the surface, pushing the wrinkle up. Though fillers have been called “dermal fillers,” since their development, this is the only time now that they are actually used intradermal. Either that or a slightly heavier filler is then placed just under the dermis perpendicular to the wrinkles to essentially thicken it and support it, reducing its tendency to wrinkle. This also supplies a scaffolding for the body to use when properly stimulated to build its own collagen to permanently eliminate the wrinkles.
- Adding tretinoin (Retin-A) or a good retinol and Obagi’s ELASTIderm to regular skin care for everyone 25-30 years old or older is the mainstay of wrinkle prevention or reversal. The tretinoin or retinol stimulates the skin to continue making collagen to maintain or recreate collagen and and prevent or reverse thinning. ELASTIderm is now the only product presently available that stimulates the production of elastic tissue in the skin to allow it to contract rather than wrinkling. Other modalities like Fraxel Laser or in office microneedling can also help stimulate collagen, but the retinols are still the mainstay.
- A leveling peel or laser can also significantly reduce wrinkling, but their 2 week down time make them less desirable than the above.
Lines and wrinkles are just part of the overall problem with facial aging. The loss of volume results in folds, depressions and loss of youthful contours. Although, if there is also too much extra skin, surgery may be the best answer, restoring volume deficits with filler or fat can frequently restore a youthful appearance alone. This is especially true in the mid-face where volume loss is frequently the worst.
Aging and sun damage can also result in spots, dullness, and red vascular collections. To restore vibrancy, and reduce these problems we use the Obagi Nu-Derm System to restore normal skin appearance and an IPL (a laser like machine) to treat the vascular problems and, occasionally the brown spots. Microdermabrasion and micro peels can also assist in the improvement. These are preferred techniques because they do not require much downtime if any at all.