Aging and the face: How to prevent or correct the appearance of age
It’s a given that our appearance changes as we age, particularly in our faces — but what age-related changes can we prevent, or perhaps correct?
As a facial plastic surgeon with MultiCare, I help patients with congenital, traumatic and cosmetic concerns of the face, nose and neck. Here are some common questions about facial aging concerns, prevention strategies and treatments to consider.
What happens to our face as we age?
As a person ages, structural and functional changes happen in both the skin and the tissues, ligaments, muscles and bones that support it.
Aging skin is characterized by decreased elasticity, fine and coarse wrinkles, rough skin texture, pigment changes and the formation of red spots.
Genetic and environmental factors can either slow or accelerate this process.
How can we prevent the look of aging?
Some of the changes that happen to our faces as we age are natural, driven by time and genetics. Other changes are caused by environmental factors such as ultraviolet and infrared radiation from prolonged sun exposure, extreme weather, smoking and other toxins. Stress, both mental and physical, can also contribute. You can lessen the effects by:
- Avoiding excessive exposure to weather (wind, sun, extreme heat/cold)
- Using retinoid cream
- Avoiding chronic stress
- Getting enough sleep (7-8 hours)
- Avoiding smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
There are also therapeutic techniques that can help, referred to broadly as facial rejuvenation.
What is facial rejuvenation?
Facial rejuvenation is an art and science dedicated to the prevention and treatment of aging in the face. It includes techniques to relax wrinkles, selectively tighten or relax facial muscles, remove or lift excess skin, and build or restore collagen, elastin or hyaluronic acid.
The four basic tools of facial rejuvenation are relaxing, refilling, lifting and resurfacing:
We relax overactive wrinkle-producing muscles in the face with neuromodulators such as Botox. This is one of the most popular techniques of facial rejuvenation. Results can last up to three months, but longer results are possible after repeated use.
Lost volume in the cheeks and around the eyes can be refilled with facial fillers or structural fat grafting.
Facial skin laxity can be lifted and repositioned by removing excess tissue via surgical techniques such as an eyebrow lift or facelift.
Skin texture and pigmentation can be managed by resurfacing the skin with a laser or chemical peel.
Whether one of these treatments is right for you will depend on your specific situation. If you’re interested in one of these techniques or learning more, it’s best to discuss your options and goals with a plastic surgeon.
To make an appointment with Dr. Shvidler, call 253-792-6660 or find a provider near you.
About The Author
Joseph Shvidler, MD, practices at MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park and is a double board certified ENT/Facial Plastic Surgeon. He has performed more than 500 nasal surgeries during his career. He has also developed highly successful individualized treatment strategies for his nasal obstruction patients.More stories by this author