The best way to create a more youthful appearance is to really understand how the face ages. Simply put, we age in three main ways. Once you understand this, you can predict and guide all recommendations that facial plastic surgeons make. These three ways we age in the face are: damage to the skin, loss of volume, and sagging tissues.
Damage to the Skin
As we age, the skin becomes thinner, loses elasticity, and begins to reveal the havoc that environmental damage (sun exposure, smoke exposure, genetic tendencies to wrinkle, etc.) has wreaked. The sun plays the largest role in aging the skin by creating wrinkles, sunspots, and skin cancers. Genetics and the
complexion of your skin play a large role in how your skin ages.
Skin color is a direct result of the amount of the pigment, or melanin, that we have in our skin. Melanin can protect the skin cells from the UV (ultraviolet) light damage of the sun. Sun exposure is the primary risk factor for developing skin cancer. Dark skin can still develop skin cancer, but the risk is lower than those with less melanin or fairer skin. Hence, the darker your natural skin complexion is, the less the sun will damage your skin. It is much more common to see significant sun damage in those with lighter skin. Regardless, all people should protect themselves from the sun if they want to maintain youthful-looking and sexy skin.
Wrinkles are more likely to develop when the skin becomes damaged and loses elasticity. Excess sun exposure can also cause skin irregularities in the form of sunspots, liver spots, or pigment changes.
Smoking is another major culprit that ages the skin. “Smoker’s lines” are the result of the damage smoking does to the skin, as well as the constant pursing of the lips. Women ask us, “What can I do about my lipstick bleeding into my lip lines?!?”
The primary goal is prevention: wear sun protection, avoid smoking, and eat vegetables that nourish your skin. When someone is past the point of prevention, we treat and prevent additional aging changes of the skin with the following procedures:
• Botulinum toxin to relax muscles that create wrinkles.
• Chemical or laser resurfacing of the skin.
• Dermabrasion, or “sanding” of the skin.
• Dermal fillers to plump wrinkles.
Stay posted for part 2!