There are hundreds of different facial rejuvenation treatments that can potentially help alleviate the various signs of facial aging, and among the most popular and effective are injectable cosmetics. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), cosmetic injectables like Botox® and facial fillers accounted for nearly 60% of all the minimally-invasive and surgical cosmetic procedures that were performed in the United States last year. When talking about these treatments, most men and women tend to lump them together into a single category, but even though they do have many similarities they actually work quite differently. Two key issues, the loss of skin elasticity and the loss of underlying fat volume, work in conjunction with the constant movement of the facial muscles to cause the wrinkles and skin sagging commonly associated with facial aging. Understanding how these two distinctive facial rejuvenation techniques address those two key issues can provide a great deal of insight into what makes their effects unique and can help you determine which course will give you optimal facial rejuvenation results.
Young and healthy skin is extremely pliable, and no matter how much it is stretched or moved it always springs back to its original position. However, as we get older, our skin becomes much less elastic and the constant movement of facial muscles under the skin’s surface creates distinctive wrinkles and folds that do not go away. Common signs of facial aging, like crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes and frown lines between the brows, are collectively called “dynamic facial wrinkles” because they are caused by repeated facial movement and can actually start showing up in our late 20’s or early 30’s. Botox® (and related medications like Dysport®) work by temporarily relaxing the facial muscles responsible for creating these wrinkles, which softens their appearance and can even prevent their return for an average of three to six months. If started early in the facial aging process, these products can even delay the formation of expression lines, effectively keeping the face looking younger, longer, and postponing the point at which more extensive facial plastic surgery procedures, like a facelift or brow lift, might become necessary.
Soft Tissue Fillers to Restore Facial Volume
The passing of years also tends to slowly break down fat deposits in the face. This is why a young face often appears full, plump, and rounded while an older face looks hollow and gaunt. The loss of facial volume also allows excess skin to sag and droop, forming nasolabial folds that extend from the bottom of the nose to the corners of the mouth, “marionette lines” that extend from the corners of the mouth downward to the lower jaw, and the small vertical lines that appear in the lips and around the mouth. Injectable facial fillers like Juvéderm®, Restylane®, or Perlane® work differently from Botox® related products in that they use hyaluronic acid, a substance that occurs naturally in young and healthy skin, to replace volume in specific areas of the face. This has the effect of “filling in” these lines and wrinkles and giving the facial features a more youthful “plump and rounded” appearance. Although this approach is very effective early on in the process, as the patient grows older and more volume is required fat transfer techniques often become a more appropriate treatment option.
If you are interested in facial injectables, or would like to learn about any of the other facial rejuvenation and anti-aging procedures we perform at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, please contact us in Alpharetta, or at one of our other Atlanta area offices located in Sandy Springs (Northside), Newnan, or Cumming, to schedule a consultation with one of the board certified plastic surgeons. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.