Facial changes associated with aging can be seen as early as in your 20s. These changes are characterized by: skin damage, wrinkles, fat atrophy, and tissue descent.
The most superficial structure in our face is the skin. The skin receives cumulative sun damage that can start to manifest in our 20s as: loss of elasticity, changes in skin tone and texture, presence of fine wrinkles, and the infamous sunspots. The best treatment for these changes is PREVENTION. Daily sunblock use with an SPF of 30 or above is recommended even if you are just driving to work.
Skin care could seem overwhelming with the amount of products available in today’s market. The most important thing is to develop the habit of using your products on a daily basis. Improvements in your skin may take a minimum of 4-6 weeks, and consistency is the most important factor. A good start up kit would consist of: a facial sunblock SPF 30 or above, oil-free facial wash, topical vitamin C, Retin-A or retinol-based product, and a moisturizer. When it comes to skin treatments, the most common are: facials, oxygen-based treatments, chemical peels, laser treatments, and microneedling. The use of platelet-rich plasma combined with microneedling techniques, also known as a “vampire facial,” has gained popularity and the results seen are promising when it comes to skin texture improvements.Dr. Rodriguez-Feliz is a plastic surgeon at Miami Plastic Surgery and MedSpa. He is fellowship trained in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Miami Plastic Surgery and MedSpa was founded by Board Certified plastic surgeons Drs. Michael Kelly and Carlos Wolf.
Wrinkles are one of the more obvious signs of aging. Fine wrinkles are very superficial and can be improved with a good skin care regimen. Wrinkles that form when we activate our facial muscles are known as “dynamic wrinkles.” These types of wrinkles respond well to neuromodulators. Botox is the most commonly used neuromodulator in the world. There are 2 other neuromodulators for sale in the U.S. and these are Dysport and Xeomin. The most common areas for Botox injections are: forehead, in between the eyebrows, and along the sides of your eyes (crow’s feet). Deep wrinkles that are commonly seen in patients even at rest may not respond as well to neuromodulators and a combination treatment with fillers may be required.
Fat atrophy is one of the most significant problems seen in the aging face and is associated with tissue descent as well. Some of the most commonly known soft tissue fillers are: Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma, Sculptra, Radiesse, Perlane, and Belotero. The most popular fillers are those that are made of hyaluronic acid (HA) as they have great biocompatibility and blend well with the patient’s own soft tissues. They can also be dissolved almost immediately if the patient were not to like the results, which gives them some type of comfort.
Fat transfer using the patient’s own fat is another popular technique used to restore volume and lift soft tissues in the face. This technique is commonly used in patients undergoing a surgical procedure such as a facelift or a blepharoplasty. The fat is harvested from the abdomen and is most commonly infiltrated in areas such as: the temples, cheeks, nasolabial folds, and/or peri-jowls area. Different to HA fillers, fat transfer is a one-and-done procedure.
Science has provided us with tools to restore changes associated with facial aging so that our minds and body can age gracefully together.