Boomers, if Father Time has his way, we're all headed for wrinkles. As our skin ages, it naturally looses volume becoming more susceptible to lines and sagging.
I'm noticing problems on my forehead, in particular. I blame it on one too many bad haircuts colliding with my 50ish-skin. You see, I've always worn bangs, and when they're too short (like now) I often catch myself lifting my brows to bring them closer to my hair.
According to skincare expert Dr. Deborah Longwill, genetics and years of muscle movement from raising your eyebrows (in my case), smiling, chewing and crying can lead to tissue breakdown, water and collagen loss, and changes in your skin's elasticity. Sun exposure, cigarette smoke, pollution and other external factors can also cause textual color changes.
How can we turn back the hands of time? We asked Dr. Longwill to give us the scoop on treatments that can help "fix" and stall the aging process.
Dr. Deborah Longwill, board-certified general and cosmetic dermotologist
Dr. Deborah Longwill,
board-certified general and cosmetic dermotologist
To regain a more youthful look, consider cosmetic procedures and facial fillers designed to noticeably soften wrinkles and folds, improve skin texture, restore lost volume to the face, and refine facial and body contours. First, however, you must realize that no one cream, injection or procedure can solve the problem on its own. You'll often get better results by combining different treatments.
Also, determine your objectives and time constraints. Are you looking for a subtle change with no downtime or a more complete solution that requires a recovery period? That decision will help your doctor recommend the best plan for your needs. Then it's important to understand your options.
The beauty of Botox
Botox is commonly used to lessen muscle contractions. Not a "facial filler," this widely acclaimed prescription medicine is injected into the muscles (usually between the eyebrows) to remove frown lines on patients typically 30 to 65 years old. Botox can also help soften forehead creases and crow's feet around the eyes.
Botox works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected sites, reducing muscle activity that causes the persistent lines to form between your brows. You can see Botox's full effect about two weeks post-injection and results last up to four months. Averaging around $15 a unit, Botox treatments can cost $450 to $600 since most people need 30 to 40 units. Of course, this number varies depending on the severity of issue.
Before and after Botox injections
What's all the fuss about facial fillers?
FDA-approved dermal hydraluronic acid gels, also known as facial fillers, can diminish moderate to severe facial wrinkles, folds, scars, lip feathering and uneven facial contours without invasive surgery. They include:
· Restalyne - Instantly restores skin volume and fullness and corrects mild to serious facial wrinkles and folds. Often used on fine lines or the lips, it's injected in tiny amounts with an ultra-fine needle so there's little to no discomfort. Plan to schedule treatments twice yearly as Restylane's effects last about six months.
· Perlane - Softens deep wrinkles and facial folds. Perlane's hyaluronic acid supplements your body's natural, age-depleted supply. Because Perlane has larger gel particles and is injected deeper into the skin, results can be seen for six months to a year.
Before and after Perlane injections
· Juvaderm Ultra and Ultra Plus - Instantly replenishes skin volume and smoothes away facial wrinkles and folds under eyes, around the mouth and in the lips. Juvaderm, the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid filler, delivers natural looking and feeling results. It lets you enjoy smoother, younger-looking skin for about six to nine months.
· Radiesse - Lifts saggy skin by filling volume into the cheek and jaw line. The ideal choice for total facial contouring, Radiesse can enhance your existing features and help defy age and gravity. Unlike other facial fillers, Radiesse encourages collagen growth and continues to work over time, helping your body create its own naturally younger look.
· Sculptra - Corrects mild to severe smile lines, plumps wrinkles and restores facial volume. Injected below the skin where wrinkles or fat loss have occurred, Sculptra is clinically proven to increase skin thickness by up to three times. It works gradually to replace collagen lost during the aging process, giving you a healthier, more youthful appearance. Three to six treatments are generally recommended and results can last up to two years.
Facial filler costs range from $550 to $800 per syringe (the number of syringes needed depends on your skin type and issue). And remember, it's common to need a combination of treatments as well as a yearly maintenance program to see the desired results.
Selecting a doctor
Today, both dermatologists and plastic surgeons perform age management procedures. Before making a choice, research candidates' face sculpting skills and results. A doctor's reputation and your comfort level with their office should always trump price.
Prevention, early diagnosis and rapid treatment through facial fillers are the cornerstones of age management. Working with your doctor, you can design a plan to improve and maintain your skin, achieving a more youthful look that's a great first step towards maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
Lead by board-certified general and cosmetic dermatologist and baby boomer Dr. Deborah Longwill, the Miami Center for Dermatology (MCD) is the leading cosmetic rejuvenation center for South Floridians. Dr. Longwill and her MCD team specialize in age management, natural results and minimal recovery time.