August 2008

What Causes Facial Aging?

What causes facial aging? In addition to the accumulation of years, genetics play a major role,
along with sun exposure, smoking, and harsh weather.For some people the eyes become the earliest indicators of facial aging. Excess upper eye skin can be smoothed with surgery. Under-eye hollows are caused by the loss of fat or volume, resulting in a gaunt, older look. These flaws can sometimes be corrected with fillers, although eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) often offers the best solution when both the repositioning of under-eye tissue volume and the removal of excess skin are called for. Under-eye “bags” are caused by too much volume or the weakening of tissues over the fat. Surgery is usually required to correct this condition as well.

Changes in facial volume — gain and loss of fat in certain areas on the face — are generally responsible for later effects in facial contour and skin laxity. Attention to these changes in volume is an essential part of a successful facelift. The power in the lift is achieved with repositioning the underlying supporting tissues. Gentle removal of excess skin completes the restoration of the facial contour.

Today’s media buzzes with reports of the “lunchtime” facelift and other short procedures that entice those who want a fast and easy path to facial improvement. Plastic surgeons are advising a combination of less invasive treatments whenever feasible. With more options now available, it is sensible to start small and stage further procedures as dictated by time and need. However, prospective patients should know that injectables and lasers have their limits. A facelift still provides the longest-lasting results and corrects the widest array of concerns for many patients.

It’s essential to me as a plastic surgeon that my patients feel comfortable with their choice of procedure from their first visit onward. I devote special attention to educating patients about their various treatment options as well as helping them understand the risks and benefits of each. My goal is to guide every patient through through a treatment experience that will affirm their choice to feel better about their appearance and themselves.

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