As we age, we experience the loss of skin elasticity, as well as sagging muscles and fat. The most powerful correction for these aging processes is a facelift. However, a facelift procedure has the downside of being relatively involved and therefore requiring some recovery time. Therefore, many patients may be interested in less invasive alternatives to this procedure.
Many patients, especially younger ones, may want to start with injectables. Injectables such as Botox, fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane, and collagen or fat injections can counteract some of the wrinkling that happens as we age. They may even decrease overall wrinkling over time. Additionally, they can be used to fill in lost facial volume, where fat diminishes over time. This is helpful in locations such as the cheeks and lips.
Thermage is a relatively new treatment that works to tighten the skin. It works by applying heat to stimulate collagen production in the skin, which helps counteract some of the laxity developed over time. Lasers can also help tighten the skin, through mechanisms similar to Thermage. They can also work as a resurfacing treatment, refreshing the outer layer of the skin for a smoother, younger look. There are different types of lasers, and it is best to consult with your physician regarding which will best suit your needs.
There are also other surgeries more minor than a facelift that patients may want to try. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) or a brow lift can work on the upper part of the face. Cheek implants may be a consideration to help give the appearance of younger, lifted cheeks. Another currently popular procedure is the mini facelift, or mini-lift. A mini-lift works on the mid and lower face, but is a less involved procedure than a full facelift and usually produces less dramatic results.
If you are interested in discussing facelifts or facelift alternatives, contact Dr. Jessica Kulak of the Naderi Center for Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Care at (703) 481-0002 in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 in Maryland.