As a facial plastic surgeon in Charlotte, I am constantly exploring the changes that occur in the face as we age. The causes of aging changes in the face are multifaceted, complex and not completely understood. During my consultation with patients, I emphasize that I have a few goals for those patients seeking anti-aging treatments. They are:
1) Enhance the natural beauty of the patient
2) Create a long term plan for graceful aging
There are 4 areas of the face that I believe are central in the changes to the face as we age. In this blog, I am going to discuss the each area and some of the treatment options.
Facial Feature Number 1 – The Skin
The skin is the canvas of the face. As we age, multiple changes occur in the facial skin. They include:
A) Fine lines and wrinkles
B) Loss of elasticity
C) Loss of collagen
D) Pigment changes
Youthful skin is smooth, tight, and even toned. Aged skin will detract from the overall appearance of the face. With this in mind, patients should always be protecting and/or repairing their skin. All patients should be on medical grade skincare and undergoing reparative treatments if needed. Common reparative treatments would include chemical peels, micro needling (Dermapen), or laser treatments.
Facial Feature Number 2 – The Cheeks
Youthful cheeks are smooth concave arcs that sweep from the temple to the nose. Attractive and youthful cheeks are shaped with fullness near the eye and a prominence approximately 1cm below the outer corner of the eye. This shape creates a surface for light to reflex and a structure that highlights the eyes. As we age, the cheek deflates and sags secondary to the loss of volume in the area. This creates depressions, flatness, and low cheekbone topography. To re-create smooth and high cheeks, patients have a few options depending on their stage of aging. Patients may need to add volume to the cheeks with in office injections using facial dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm Voluma, Perlane, Restylane, or Sculptra. Surgically, patients may need a cheek lift, cheek implants, or facial fat grafting.
Facial Feature Number 3 – The Jawline
An elongated, straight, and defined jawline is beautiful on all women at any age. Over time, the jawline becomes interrupted with jowls or loses definition due to an increase in fat in the neck. The skin begins to droop furthering the aging changes. The jawline can be improved using non-surgical tools to hide the jowls or strengthen the chin. This would entail placing injectable fillers on the jawline. Laser treatments to tighten and lift the skin can improve the jawline. The jawline can be improved with a variety of facial plastic surgical procedures including neck liposuction, chin implant, neck lift, facelift, or mini-facelift.
Facial Feature Number 4 – The Eyes
The one facial feature that reflects our emotions are the eyes. The eyes transmit approximately 80% of our non-verbal communication. The eyes are also one of the first features of our face that show aging changes. Changes that occur in the eye area as we age include:
1) Excess skin and heaviness of the upper eyelids
2) Formation of bags underneath the eyes
3) Creation of fine lines and wrinkles
4) Sagging of the eyebrows
5) Sagging of the upper lid
6) Loss of fat in the upper eyelids
7) Herniation of fat in the lower eyelids
There are many different non-surgical and surgical treatments to improve the eye region. Botox or Dysport can be used to soften fine lines or raise the eyebrows. Fillers can be used to hide eye bags, replace lost volume in the upper lids, or raise the eyebrows. Lasers and micro needling can be used to improve fine lines and tighten skin. Surgical procedures include brow lift, upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty, or ptosis repair (raise droopy eyelid)
As a facial plastic surgeon in Charlotte, I see patients in all stages of aging, with a variety of aging concerns and many goals. I believe that I can create natural and wonderful results if I can maintain or improve these 4 basic facial features in my patients. The art of facial plastic surgery is to be able to listen to patients and understand their goals to help guide them to their best facial rejuvenation options.