It happens to all of us: We get older and our aging shows on our face, skin and hair. Here are some common concerns and potential ways to address them.
Signs of aging:
• Skin – age spots, wrinkles, large pores, loss of elasticity, sagging, and loss of clarity.
• Hair – thinning or receding hair line in both men and women.
• Loss of facial volume – Youthful faces are full and convex. Aging causes loss of volume in skin, fat and even bone, causing shadows and hollows.
• Sagging brow – brows sag with age, particularly the outer brow. There should be an arch between the middle and outer 1/3 of the brow.
• Upper eyelids – excess skin and even fat occurs with age causing a “tired” appearance. Sometimes excess skin covers the lashes.
• Lower eyelids – bags and/or excess skin may develop. Dark circles are usually shadows from volume loss and/or protruding fat pads.
• Crow’s feet – wrinkles lateral to the eyelids usually from sun damage and animation. Also, frown lines and forehead furrows.
• Lips – aging lips thin, and the distance between the nose and upper lip elongates. The corners of the mouth may turn down giving a sad appearance.
• Jowls – these develop from loss of volume and elasticity.
• Neck – excess skin and/or fat develop. Platysma muscle bands may occur.
Treatment for aging features:
• Good skin care. We prefer New Youth Cosmeceuticals combined with resurfacing with lasers, e.g. CO2 or less-invasive lasers (Cool Peel Laser) or a Hetter Peel is very effective.
• Hair transplant with micro-grafts, preferably FUE (follicular unit extraction) with Neograft, or strip excision technology called FUT.
• Fillers, such as Restylane products (e.g. Lyft), Juvederm products (e.g. Voluma), Sculptra, and Bellafill, the longest lasting filler, can be used and often in combinations for the best overall results.
• Brow lift – under local or general anesthesia according to the extent of the procedure
• Upper lid lift – usually local anesthesia. Very rewarding for more youthful appearance.
• Lower lid lift to remove skin, fat pads or both. Laser resurfacing or Hetter peel can be done at the same time to remove fine lines.
• Botox or Dysport – for crow’s feet, frown lines, forehead furrows, and even elevation of the corners of the mouth and diminishing mouth wrinkles.
• Fillers in lips can add volume and/or reduce wrinkles. A minor lip lift procedure can also be done with inconspicuous scarring under the nose – an excellent procedure when indicated, called a “buckhorn” lift.
• Jowls – facelift is usually indicated. Improvement can also be achieved non-surgically with fillers on each side of the jowl along the mandible and with micro-liposuction of the jowl.
• Sagging neck, a mini- or full facelift is sometimes best. When the problem is only fat, liposuction with Renuvion (to reduce loose skin) works very well. Excess neck skin can also be removed with a direct vertical excision.
E. Ronald Finger, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon with offices in Savannah and Bluffton. fingerandassociates.com