Understanding the Causes of Facial Aging

Cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery can accomplish many things, but perhaps the use for which it is best known is its ability to help men and women look younger.  For most people, the effects of aging are most apparent in the face and so the various anti-aging treatments that plastic surgeons can provide work primarily by addressing one of the three major components that contribute to facial aging: the loss of skin elasticity, the loss of facial volume, and the progressive damage to the skin’s surface.  Each of these factors can be best addressed by specific surgical and non-surgical plastic surgery procedures.

Understanding the Causes of Facial AgingLoss of Skin Elasticity

As we get older, the underlying facial muscles start to grow weaker and the skin gradually loses its ability to “bounce back” after being stretched out of shape.  This generally results in the formation of wrinkles, usually around areas of the face that move frequently, like the brows and mouth, and can eventually lead to loose, sagging skin around the jaw line and neck.  In the early stages, Botox® treatments can relax and smooth the facial muscles responsible for the formation of these wrinkles for several months, effectively halting their progression and delaying the point at which more extensive procedures may become necessary.  Later on, once sagging has become a more pervasive problem, cosmetic plastic surgery in the form of a facelift or neck lift can help tighten the facial muscles and remove excess, sagging skin, giving the entire face a more youthful appearance.

Loss of Facial Volume

Along with skin laxity, many also experience a loss of facial fat volume as they age.  Older skin produces less collagen and hyaluronic acid, the components that give younger skin its full and plump appearance.  As a result, many older faces often look gaunt or drawn.  Facial fillers, like Juvéderm® and Restylane®, can help restore some of the lost facial volume, filling in sunken areas and helping to alleviate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  In more advanced cases, a mini-facelift, combined with surgical fat grafting and fat transfer techniques can replace facial fat deposits using fat that has been removed, via liposuction, from other areas of the body.

Damage to the Skin Surface

A lifetime of exposure to environmental hazards like dangerous ultraviolet light and harsh atmospheric irritants can cause skin damage that gradually accumulates, until it eventually leaves the skin looking dry, cracked, and discolored.  A chemical peel or Sciton® laser skin resurfacing procedure can gently remove dead and damaged cells on the skin’s surface, revealing fresh, younger-looking skin underneath.  This effectively reduces the appearance of pigment irregularities, acne scarring, and general wrinkling and can even remove highly localized blemishes like sun damage, keratosis, and surgical scars.  By stimulating the skin’s natural healing and collagen producing properties, these procedures can give the skin a renewed and refreshed appearance.

No two faces age in exactly the same way, and so only a thorough examination can determine which of the facial rejuvenation procedures that we perform at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. might be right for your individual needs.  Contact us in Alpharetta, or at one of our other Atlanta area offices located in Sandy Springs (Northside), Newnan, or Cumming, to schedule a full consultation.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.