What Makes People Look Older?
Most likely, one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about plastic surgery is its ability to make people look younger. There’s no stopping the passage of time, and sooner or later, we all start showing signs that we’re getting older. This can manifest in several ways, but the most apparent are probably the changes that occur in the face. Fortunately, there are targeted cosmetic techniques, both surgical and nonsurgical, that are designed to remedy the main signs of facial aging.
As we age, many of us experience a loss in facial volume that often gives the face a gaunt, unhealthy look. This is because, over time, the skin tends to produce less and less of the biological mechanisms that keep it taut, plump, and youthful (namely, collagen and hyaluronic acid). Furthermore, the upper portions of the face tend to lose fat, while the lower portions tend to gain fat—almost as if gravity is redistributing our facial fat downward. The resulting sunken-in look is one of the tell-tale signs of older age, as well as a common issue that brings people into Atlanta Plastic Surgery.
Effective nonsurgical ways of addressing this issue include facial fillers, such as Juvéderm® and Restylane®. These products fill in sunken areas and can lessen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. For more severe cases of facial-volume loss, a facelift that utilizes fat transfer, or fat grafting, can be extremely effective. This technique uses liposuction to remove fat from one part of the body, which is then purified and relocated to increase volume elsewhere. People rarely consider that adding fat to their face might make them look better, but fat is a major component of a youthful, healthy-looking face.
Another tendency that makes people look older is the gradual loss of skin elasticity. Older skin has less elastin (one of the main proteins that give the skin its elasticity) than younger skin, making it decreasingly able to snap back into place when it’s stretched. As gravity steadily pulls the skin downward, the result is often loose or sagging skin around the neck and/or jawline. The loss of skin elasticity also causes wrinkles to form in certain areas of the face, especially those that move frequently (such as the brows and around the eyes).
In addition to helping with loss of facial volume, facial fillers can also help minimize wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, Botox® is one of the most well-known and effective nonsurgical ways to delay imperfections on the upper third of the face caused by expression lines/constant motion. A Botox® injection relaxes muscles in the face for 3-4 months. More pronounced or advanced cases of facial wrinkles can be addressed with a surgical facelift or neck lift, in which one of our surgeons tightens the facial muscles, repositions facial tissue, and removes excess, sagging skin. This provides a more permanent and extensive solution that gives the entire face a more youthful and invigorated look.
In addition to the loss of facial volume and skin elasticity, signs of aging may be caused by the accumulation of environmental damage to the skin’s surface. Factors such as extended sun exposure and atmospheric irritants can cause the skin to appear dry, cracked, and discolored over time. Skin that’s damaged in these ways can often be revitalized through nonsurgical means such as a chemical peel or Sciton® laser skin resurfacing.
These are only some of the main causes and solutions to facial aging. To determine which procedure is right for you, contact one of our Atlanta Plastic Surgery locations to schedule a consultation today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest plastic surgery news and updates.