When deciding to have any type of anti-aging procedure, whether it’s a minimally invasive option, such as laser skin resurfacing or an injectable filler, or something more involved, such as an eyelid lift or facelift, one of the big questions you might have is “how long will my results last?”
The life expectancy of your results might play a big part in deciding between one injectable or another and in deciding to have surgery instead of something less invasive. While nothing lasts forever, and you will continue to age after any procedure, understanding what to expect and how long to expect it can help you make an informed decision.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing treatments vary in intensity but generally produce results that last for several years. Technically, the changes to the skin created by a laser skin resurfacing treatment, such as Fraxel or a CO2 laser, are permanent. But since you will continue to age, the results you get after the initial treatment or series of treatment can seem to fade with time.
One way to prolong your results and get the most from your treatment is to be very careful to protect your skin from the sun. You should avoid any sun exposure for some time after the treatment, while your skin heals. Once the treated area has healed, you’ll want to be diligent about sun protection, making sure to use sunscreen daily and to avoid spending too much time outdoors.
The duration of your results also depends on what the laser peel is treating. Some signs of aging, such as hyperpigmentation and certain types of wrinkles, respond better to laser treatments than others. If you have a lot of lines created by repeated facial movements, for example, you might see some improvement after laser skin resurfacing. But, over time, if you continue to make the same movements, those lines will most likely reappear.
Another thing worth noting about laser skin resurfacing is that it does take some time for your results to be visible. The skin usually needs some time to heal after the treatment and it might be a few months before you see any significant changes.
Injectables, such as Botox and Dysport, which both contain botulinum toxin, and Juvederm, Perlane and Restylane, which are fillers made of hyaluronic acid, are often looked at as an alternative to surgery to reduce the signs of aging on the face. While Dysport and Botox can help reduce lines created by muscle movements, such as the frown lines between the eyes, and fillers can help smooth the lines by the nose and mouth, in most cases injections won’t take the place of surgery, in terms of what they do and in terms of how long they last.
Dysport and Botox provide results that last for the least amount of time. Typically, the results for either injection last for four months at the longest, after which a patient might decide to repeat the treatment.
Fillers often last for considerably longer. Many fillers that contain hyaluronic acid provide results that last for at least six months, if not up to a year. Certain fillers, such as Juvederm Voluma, which is used to add volume to the cheek area, are designed to provide results for at least two years. The same is true of Sculptra, a filler made of poly-L-lactic acid. Sculptra not only provides long-lasting results, it also produces results gradually, over the course of several months and a series of injections.
Whether a facelift or an eyelid lift, no anti-aging facial plastic surgery procedure can produce results that last for the rest of a patient’s life. Facelifts and other surgeries turn back the clock, but they don’t bring an end to the aging process. A number of factors also affect how long the results from the surgery will last, including the amount of aging a patient had before the procedure, the amount of sun exposure he or she has afterwards, and the technique the surgeon used.
Generally, the more skilled and experienced the surgeon is, the better the results, and the longer those results will last. Additionally, taking care of your face and skin afterwards, by avoiding the sun, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet, can help you prolong your results.
Whether you want to go the surgical route or prefer something less invasive, turn to a specialist to get answers to your questions and to learn more about you can expect from each procedure. At the Naderi Center in Virginia and Maryland, Dr. Jessica Kulak specializes in procedures that rejuvenate the aging face. She’s available to discuss your options with you and address any questions you have. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kulak in Virginia, call (703) 481-0002. For an appointment in Maryland, call (301) 222-2020 today.