Reversing signs of aging, such as hollows in the face and sagging skin, can seem like an impossible task. Without surgery, many people think they will never see the smooth tight skin they had in their younger years again. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are several non-surgical procedures that limit invasiveness and allow patients to reap the benefits without putting in any downtime.
Nearly everyone has heard of Botox, the wildly popular wrinkle treatment that has been smoothing lines and creases of the face for the past 10 years. While highly effective and approved by the FDA, there are still some misconceptions that surround the injectable drug.
Botox is made from purified botulinum toxin and injected into the face to safely treat frown lines, crow’s feet, and other dynamic wrinkles caused from the repetitive contraction of muscles. When injected, nerve signals are blocked and wrinkling associated with expressions like squinting and furrowing the brow does not occur. The skin is relaxed and becomes visibly smoother during the time the muscles are temporarily paralyzed. Results typically last 3 to 4 months before additional Botox injections are needed.
The Botox procedure is simple and pain free. A topical anesthetic or ice can be applied to the treatment area if desired, but otherwise no anesthesia is needed. A series of small injections are made in the muscles that the physician and patient would like to restrict, taking a total of about 10 to 15 minutes. The effects of the treatment take 1 to 2 days on average to see and will continue to improve for the first few weeks and up to 30 days. Following treatment, no downtime is required and patients may continue about their day as usual.
Dermal fillers are injectable materials placed under the skin to increase the volume of a certain area of the face, such as the cheeks, hollows under the eyes, skin creases, and lips. They are often needed to smooth wrinkled skin or add fullness as collagen production slows with age. Fillers are able to refine desired facial features and deliver a more youthful appearance.
There are several fillers on the market, each offering its own benefits. The effects of fillers can last from several months up to 2 years, depending on the product used. Juvederm, for example, is a smooth gel filler composed of hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the body. It is used to treat wrinkles around the nose and mouth and can deliver natural-looking results which are immediately noticeable and last for up to a year. Sculptra is a synthetic material made from poly-L-lactic acid that gradually improves the appearance of areas of the face where collagen loss has taken its toll through volume loss and the formation of folds and wrinkles. Other favored fillers include Restylane, Radiesse, and Perlane.
Like Botox injections, the dermal filler procedure is quick and involves little to no discomfort. A needle is used to gently insert the substance under the skin. Most treatments are completed in less than 30 minutes in the doctor’s office. The small injections cause no need for downtime and patients do not need to return until it is time for re-injection to continue the desired results.
Dramatic results that suggest the face has looked youthful all along are achievable with Thermage. Thermage is a cosmetic therapy procedure that addresses loose skin in the jowls, neck, around the mouth and eyes, and in the forehead. After treatment, the appearance of sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles is significantly improved. The skin tightening technique will also reduce cellulite, leaving behind a smoother, softer look without using invasive means.
Thermage takes approximately 1 to 2 hours to complete and does not require a recovery period afterwards. Anesthesia is not needed since the procedure is pain free. Rather than use surgical incisions or perform injections to get the desired effect, the surgeon uses radio frequency to heat the deepest layers of the skin. The surface of the skin is left unaffected by the RF energy, which encourages an increase in collagen production that slows with age. By supporting the body’s ability to make collagen, the tissues are tightened and appear healthier with better tone and texture.
Although the name can sound scary to some, whether because of visions of a blood sucking monster or because of a fear of invasive surgeries, a vampire facelift is neither. Vampire facelift is a revolutionary procedure using advances in science and technology to deliver effective cosmetic results.
Patients undergo a procedure which uses their own blood. Plasma is prepared by separating it from the red blood cells in a centrifuge. Once prepared, the platelet rich plasma is utilized for its growth factors and ability to stimulate collagen growth for tissue regeneration. Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane or Perlane, are first injected into the areas of the face where additional volume is wanted and the platelet rich plasma immediately follows. The filler will eventually fade after several months, but the plasma will have continued effects due to the permanent and natural growth of collagen and cells. The procedure typically lasts one hour from start to finish, with no downtime following the injections.