One day, you’re looking in the mirror and a few lines and wrinkles that weren’t there yesterday have suddenly appeared on your face. Your pores seem to have doubled in size overnight or you’ve noticed a few spots that weren’t on your skin before. While you might not be ready for surgery, you aren’t stuck living with the lines, wrinkles or spots, if you’re unhappy about their appearance. Learn more about the non-surgical options available to you.
Wrinkles form in one of two ways. Dynamic wrinkles develop after years of repeated movements. Frowning, smiling, and lifting your eyebrows lead to creases and lines by your eyes and forehead. You could keep your face completely still for decades and still develop static wrinkles. These lines develop as your body produces less and less collagen, the protein that gives your skin structure, and less hyaluronic acid, a sugar that helps keep skin plump.
If you’re beginning to notice dynamic wrinkles, an injectable such as Botox can help reduce them. Botox injections last for around three months. During that time, the main ingredient keeps specific nerves from communicating with the muscles that cause the movement that leads to the wrinkles. Since you’re not folding or creasing your skin for several months, the wrinkles fade.
You can treat static wrinkles, on a temporary basis, with an injectable filler. While Botox blocks nerve signals, an injectable filler, such as Belotero, replenishes lost volume. Some fillers, such as Radiesse, restore volume and stimulate collagen production, providing longer lasting results.
A loss of volume doesn’t just lead to static wrinkles. It also makes the face look leaner and older. Volume loss typically occurs in the cheeks, but it also occurs in the lips. Certain fillers, such as Sculptra, are designed to restore lost facial volume.
Sculptra is a bit different from other injectables, not only because it is meant to add volume, not fill in lines. It works gradually and many patients need a series of injections, spaced a few months apart. The results typically appear over the course of a few months and can last for up to two years.
People who are concerned about thinning lips often consider lips injections. Usually, fillers made of hyaluronic acid are used in the lips, as the substance provides a soft, natural looking and feeling result. It’s also possible to use a patient’s own fat to increase the volume in the lips. The benefits of hyaluronic acid are that it’s relatively predictable, can be reversed if a patient doesn’t like it, and results typically last for about six months. Fat transfer is less predictable, meaning that some of that fat might be reabsorbed by the body. But, results tend to last longer and can be permanent.
Resurface the Skin
It’s not just volume loss and wrinkles that can age you. Changes in your skin’s texture can also add years to your look. There are a number of resurfacing treatments that can help improve the texture of skin by minimizing pore size, removing skin irregularities and helping to reduce lines and wrinkles.
Resurfacing treatments come in a variety of strengths and intensities. Chemical peels, for example, can be very mild in strength, providing superficial results, or very strong, providing deeper and more noticeable results. The same is true for laser skin resurfacing treatments, which can be non-ablative, meaning they don’t damage the outer layer of skin and have a shorter recovery time. Laser treatments can be ablative, too, meaning that they do cause damage, providing more dramatic results but also requiring a longer downtime.
Now that you know what non-surgical treatment options are available, the next step is to decide which options are best for you. One way to do that is to meet with a facial plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Stephen Smith. Dr. Smith will take a close look at your skin and discuss your concerns with you, before recommending treatments. It could be that you’d benefit from a filler and Botox injection, or that a resurfacing treatment, followed by an injectable, is the best option for you.
Dr. Smith is a fourth generation plastic surgeon practicing in Central Ohio. To learn about your options, call (614) 678-7180 for a consultation today.