Forever Young: Plastic Surgery for the Ages

Cosmetic dermatology is wonderful at improving facial and/or bodily features, but it is not permanent. Over time, you may need further treatments due to the effects of aging. So how can maintenance and treatment regimens help keep you looking as young as possible?

The area(s) treated by cosmetic dermatology will still age right along with the rest of the skin. Because of this, it can be hard to determine exactly how long the results a treatment will last.

Skin and Its Construction

The skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis (surface), the dermis (below the skin) and the subcutaneous tissue layer (below the dermis). The epidermis is home to skin cells, amino acid chains, and pigment. The top of the dermis is made up of dead skin cells. Exfoliation gets rid of these dead cells, and improves its appearance. The dermis also has other parts to it, like oil, blood vessels, and hair follicles.

The hypodermis has a very similar construction to the dermis, except that it contains fat as well. Connective tissue in both is supported by collagen fibers, which help support the skin in turn. Since collagen decreases as we get older, so does the elasticity of our skin. This can lead to thinning and sagging of the skin.

How Treated Areas Respond to Aging

Certain types of treatments can become more visible as we age. Breast implants are an example of this. If an untreated area has less collagen than a treated area, there may be more sagging in the untreated region. Remember, the treated parts of your skin or body may look better, but it will age just like the rest.

Losing Volume and Bone Mass

Facial bones lose their density over time, which may make the bone structure shift or otherwise change shape. The loss of collagen also plays a role. As a result, treatments like facelifts can result in distorted features in some people as they get older.

Laugh Lines, Crow’s Feet and Facial Movement

Due to the fact that we constantly move our faces throughout our lifetimes, we are bound to create wrinkles and other lines. This applies even after plastic surgery. Laughing, smiling, and frowning are still part of our non verbal expression as human beings, and this will affect the results of our treatment in the long term.

Treatment Plans

There are a number of ways to treat these changes in our appearance as time passes. Non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures may require ongoing visits. For instance, Botox lasts for three to six months. Restylane may last for six months or longer, while laser treatments may last up to five years or longer.

In the best of all possible situations, plastic surgery results will last for ten years or more. Neck lifts can last for five, while eyelid surgery lasts for ten as well. Mini or micro procedures will only last five years. Implantable devices can vary; for instance, breast implants have up to a 30 percent reoperation rate due to aging of the breast or the patient’s desire for larger ones.

Things to Keep In Mind

There are a few things you will want to consider as you plan your treatments and comprehensive treatment plan. These are:

  • Your doctor’s qualifications: How often has he performed this treatment?
  • How you will look in the future: Will this treatment affect your facial expression and movement?