Take a moment to think about what it looks like for a person to age. Chances are the first image that came to mind was one of a wrinkled face, perhaps with hollow eyes and jowling around the lower cheeks.
The effects of aging are very apparent on the face for a few reasons. First, there is the simple truth that we show our faces to the world day after day. Exposure to sun and other elements takes its toll, and this is compounded by the fact that the skin on our face, especially the eyelids and neck, is some of the thinnest on our bodies, so it is more likely to show signs of aging early on. Plus, we tend to look more closely at our faces than we do the rest of our bodies, so we tend to notice signs of aging as they develop.
Aging causes fundamental changes in the skin, soft tissue, and skeletal structures of the human face. As we get older, our skin loses elasticity due to repeated sun exposure as well as intrinsic factors such as slowing collagen production and a decreased ability to hold moisture. This leads to wrinkles and folds in the face and neck, along with dark spots and textural problems.
There are also changes in the soft tissue structures underlying the face. Aging leads to volume loss and redistribution of the facial soft tissues, mainly fat and muscle. This results in hollowing under the eyes and cheeks. At the same time, this loss of structural support causes facial tissues to sag, resulting in an accumulation of skin near the brow, jawline, chin, and neck.
Just as aging causes fundamental changes in the skin, soft tissue, and underlying structures, facial rejuvenation treatments need to target these layers to be effective. This often means pairing one or more procedures to address age related changes more comprehensively. For example, a facelift can address sagging underlying tissues to restore structure, fat injections can help replace lost volume in the soft tissues, and laser treatments or injectables can help to smooth wrinkles and address aging on the skin’s surface.
It’s never too early (or too late) to begin addressing facial aging, either. Even patients in their early 20’s can benefit from a quality skincare regimen to protect the skin and postpone age-related changes, while a facelift or neck lift can address more advanced aging to help older patients look years younger.
If you are concerned about the effects of aging on your face, I would be happy to discuss your options to restore a more youthful appearance. Feel free to contact my office to schedule an appointment.