We all know everyone ages uniquely – you and your closest friend will have different parts of your face begin to age at different times, at different rates, and with varying degrees of concern. But we can identify five of the commonest signs of aging, and you can determine for yourself which one(s) apply most significantly to you.
#5 – A sign of aging that we are all becoming increasingly aware of is photo damage or sun damage. Over the years, brown and red spots, wrinkles and general loss of tone, and pallor mark the aging, weathered skin. The best surgical treatment is laser resurfacing. This removes the damaged surface cells and stimulates both the growth and reorganization of collagen and elastin fibers. It provides exceptional results, and really turns back the hands of time. Non-surgically, the most important thing to do is protect your skin from UV (ultraviolet) damage through sunblock and hats. And, regular visits to your aesthetician for light peels and appropriate topicals can also make a substantial difference in the youthful look of your skin.
#4 – Jowls, those puffy little prominences of fat and skin along the jaw line that you can pinch with your thumb and finger, are terribly bothersome to many people, both women and men. The best surgical treatment is a face and neck lift which draws the sagging skin and fat upwards and backwards, smoothing the jaw line and lifting the cheek. This provides many years of improved appearance, and holds its results very well. Non-surgically, facial fillers such as hyaluronic acid (for example, Juvéderm® and Restylane®) can be injected in front of the jowl “hill,” filling the pre-jowl sulcus “valley.” This usually lasts 12 to 15 months and then can be repeated.
#3 – Droopy upper eyelids cause a tired, sad and old look to a person. They can also give a feeling of heaviness, especially at the end of the day. An upper blepharoplasty (eyelid) procedure removes the excess skin and, if necessary, trims redundant fat. This creates a more open, less tired, happier and more youthful look to the eyes, indeed, the entire face. And it is a “simple” procedure with no pain and a quick recovery. Non-surgically, neuromodulators like BOTOX Cosmetic® can be injected to raise the lateral eyebrow – this doesn’t actually reduce the eyelid skin excess, but does create a slightly more open look to the eye. Also, hyaluronic acid filler can be placed along the lateral brow, or sometimes in a deep upper eyelid crease, to provide a subtle, more lifted and youthful look.
#2 – Puffy lower eyelids or “bags” are often accompanied by dark circles and a “tear-trough” depression beneath the puffy fat. The best surgical treatment is an elegant transconjunctival blepharoplasty, where an incision is made behind the eyelid and only the redundant fat excised. In some cases the fat can be “transposed” into the tear-trough deformity to get the best result. From a non-surgical perspective, hyaluronic acid filler can be placed in the “tear-trough” to diminish the relative prominence of the fatty bags. And, sometimes, a combination of both surgical and non-surgical treatments provides optimal results.
#1 – You might not think so, but perhaps the most common complaint I hear from women is, “I just can’t stand the sagging skin in my neck.” We often call this a “turkey wattle.” The best treatment for this is almost always surgical – a neck lift which includes liposuction to remove excess fat, tightening of the lax muscle bands and removal of the excess skin through a face and neck lift. As a non-surgical treatment, BOTOX Cosmetic® injections can sometimes decrease the tightness and prominence of the vertical muscle bands. And radiofrequency therapy may, for some people, provide a mild improvement in tightening.
As you can see, there are many different ways in which we age. Each person has their own specific concerns as to what bothers them the most and what they would like corrected. The good news is that with today’s techniques and technologies we have a wide array of options to offer you to improve your situation as you feel it best for you.