Aging is the number one enemy when it comes to a person’s facial appearance. With aging comes wrinkles, unwanted lines, sagging and rubbery skin, and excess fat in unwanted places, all of which contribute to give a less youthful, less lively, and more importantly, less attractive appearance. And because the face is the primary area that shows the identity of the person, and a critical component in social interaction, it is important to keep the appearance of the face as youthful and as attractive as possible.
Over the centuries, mankind has tried its best to maintain youth and vitality, some sort of quest for immortality. Several methods, some, bordering on outlandish, have been tried and tested through the years, but it is only during the modern age that success has been achieved.
While these techniques have not stopped aging, they have surely proven themselves in the fight against its effects. This collective group of procedures that help combat the ravages of time on our faces is called facial rejuvenation.
What is Facial Rejuvenation?
Facial rejuvenation is any cosmetic or practical medical procedure that restores the youthful appearance on a person’s face. They do this by adjusting or restoring facial symmetry, restoring skin elasticity and appearance, removing wrinkles and unwanted lines, removing “senile spots”, excess fat, restoring the hairline, and making many subtle adjustments, among others. Some of the most advanced facial rejuvenation techniques even change the facial bone structure, because of recent discoveries showing better understanding on how aging facial bones can affect a person’s appearance as they age.
The list of facial rejuvenation procedures has grown since plastic surgery became more widely accepted in society. Techniques have been refined and developed, with new methodologies being introduced on a regular basis, ensuring that, as technology in other fields advances, so do the techniques employed by the plastic surgery industry.
What causes facial deterioration?
Many factors increase the effect of aging, adding to the deterioration of the appearance of the face. Some of the major causes of facial deterioration are:
Weather and the elements : Sunlight, constantly changing temperatures, the wind, and pollution in the air can combine to have adverse effects in the aging in a person’s face. UV rays from the sun can easily damage the skin, and contact to the air’s pollution can cause irritations, rashes, and accelerate the look of aging.
Physiological changes : Changing hormones due to medication and developing or existing medical conditions can contribute to the deterioration of the face’s appearance.
Unhealthy lifestyle : Excessive drinking and smoking, unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, and incomplete personal hygiene can all contribute to the effects of the aging process.
Genetics : Genes can greatly affect the face’s appearance, and its ability to maintain its youth and vitality. People who have a healthy lifestyle, have proper grooming and hygiene, and take the necessary precautions when going outside, can still find their skins and appearance severely showing signs of aging because of their genes.
These factors all contribute to the effects of aging on the face, which is why it is very beneficial for people who wish to maintain their youth to undergo any of the multiple facial rejuvenation procedures available today.
Examples of Facial Rejuvenation Procedures
There are many facial rejuvenation procedures being offered today, treating everything from facial bone structure, skin diseases, skin resurfacing, dental problems, hair and hairline problems, and many more. Here are some examples:
This is the most general facial rejuvenation procedure, which gives an overall rejuvenation to the entire face. The procedure involves using surgery to remove excess facial skin, tightening underlying tissues (if applicable), and then redraping the remaining skin on the patient’s face. Usually, this also involves the neck, resulting in a general rejuvenation of the facial area.
The facelift is performed by making an incision just in front of the ear that extends all the way into the patient’s hairline. This incision continues underneath the ear, going into the hairline that ends on the back of the patient’s neck. Once the incisions are made, the skin and tissues are separated from one another by using a scalpel or scissors. This is usually done in the target areas, commonly on the cheeks and the neck. The tissues are then tightened using sutures. Once the desired tightening has been achieved, the skin is then redraped, with any excess skin being removed at this point. Once complete, the incisions are closed with medical staples, and recovery can begin.
An alternative to facelift, BOTOX is considered to be the most popular cosmetic procedure in the country, reaching around 3.8 to 4 million people getting the treatment every year. This procedure is primarily used to fight wrinkles, unwanted lines, forehead furrows, frown lines, and many more. However, in recent years, BOTOX has been used to treat many other ailments, including fixing problems with eye coordination, muscle spasms, curbing severe armpit perspiration, even migraine headaches and knee and hip osteoarthritis.
BOTOX is a quick and painless procedure, done in an outpatient basis and usually without the need to use anesthesia. Some patients can request topical numbing creams to further reduce the feeling of the needle prick. The surgeon first marks the key points of injection, then the takes an syringe, and injects the BOTOX chemical into key points of the face, which will depend on the patient’s problem areas. The BOTOX filler then acts on the muscles’ nerve endings, preventing it from contracting and causing further wrinkles.
This procedure is an example of what’s called “skin resurfacing”, another category for facial rejuvenation. This procedure uses “scrubs”, tiny particles blasted from the dermabrasion machine that gently breaks up dead skin, revealing younger, healthier skin underneath. This procedure is ideal for teens with acne problems, or for people with other skin complications, such as scars, hyperpigmentation, clogged pores, and can even remove fine lines and wrinkles. It is a non-invasive procedure that can be done quickly and requires no anesthesia whatsoever.
Before dermabrasion/microdermabrasion can be performed, certain precautions must be followed a few days before the actual treatment session, like the discontinuation of certain topical creams, and not having any sun exposure. If this criteria has been met on the day of the treatment, the doctor, with the patient sitting or lying down, will use a device that sprays crystals on the face, gently scrubbing away at the area that needs to be treated. The whole procedure lasts around 10-30 minutes, depending on the amount of work needed. The patient can have some redness in the treated area, but it is normal.
Laser Skin Rejuvenation
An alternative to dermabrasion or even microdermabrasion is this procedure, laser skin rejuvenation. It is one of the most advanced facial rejuvenation procedures today, which is non-invasive, but very effective in dealing with unwanted lines, eliminating dead skin, and rejuvenating the face. It causes little to no discomfort afterward, compared to other skin resurfacing procedures, and what’s more, there is very little to no recovery time needed. The only things to consider are that darker skinned patients might take longer to regain normal pigmentation after the treatment, and that people who are prone to scarring or have certain skin disorders have to be evaluated by the dermatologist first.
Like microdermabrasion, laser skin rejuvenation needs some preparations days before the actual treatment. This comes in the form of creams and lotions that prepare the skin, and in some cases, oral medications that are either antiviral, antibacterial, or anti-yeast. If the conditions are met, the procedure takes place. Patients will usually be given either a topical or local anesthesia, and some sedation that keeps the patient awake, but not entirely aware.
The doctor then uses a laser over the area to be treated, moving it in certain manners depending on the result that is needed. The laser vaporizes old skin to reveal the newer layers underneath. The type of laser used depends on the amount of work needed, the depth of the skin that needs to be revealed, and the availability in the area. The treatment lasts around 30 minutes to one hour, and might take around two to three sessions to fully achieve the desired result.
These are just some of the most popular examples of facial rejuvenation procedures.
After treatment care
Care and recovery after a treatment depends on the procedure done to the patient. In general, cosmetic surgeons will almost always give certain restrictions to the patient that they need to follow during the next few days or weeks after the treatment. The more invasive the treatment, the longer the recovery time.
Doctors will also almost always prescribe proper medication that needs to be taken diligently. This is to avoid any of the possible complications that might follow after the treatment. If a patient follows the guidelines correctly, recovery can be hastened, and the chances of developing complications can be lessened.
Another thing to consider is to follow regular check ups, if needed, or required by the surgeon. This will ensure that the doctor can monitor the progress of the recovery, and catch any complication that might be present before it gets worse.
Following these guidelines, and any other, more specific ones given by the doctor, will help in a speedy recovery, less complications, and overall, yield a better result for the treatment the patient availed.
Possible risks and complications
Like all plastic surgery procedures, facial rejuvenation procedures all have inherent risks and possible side effects. Procedures that require surgery, like the facelift, brow lift, neck lift, or any other lift that uses incisions, are primarily risk infection. Pain that can range from mild discomfort to severe pain is also a risk. Bleeding is also possible, along with swelling and bruising, especially in the area where the incisions are made. To combat this, doctors will usually prescribe the proper medication and pain killers, and will give the patient a series of precautionary measures to prevent the incisions from reopening.
Non-invasive treatments might not need surgery, but still have risks as well. Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion can cause skin irritations and minute bleeding in the treated areas. People who are prone to scarring might get small scars in the treated areas. Chemical peels that are mixed improperly or have a stronger intensity than desired can cause hyperpigmentation, skin irritation, and some pain in the treated area. Laser surgery can cause change in pigment, skin irritation, and scarring. And for BOTOX, in rare cases, patients can have severe allergic reactions to the chemical Improper application of BOTOX can also cause asymmetry to the face.
Costs of procedures
Costs of these facial rejuvenation procedures vary depending on a number of factors, ranging from area of clinic, skill of doctor, materials used, area to be treated/severity of the case, and demand.
BOTOX is one of the most popular procedures because it is also one of the cheapest. The cost can range between $125 to $500 per treatment of the area.
Facelifts, on the other hand, can range between $6,000 to $15,000, depending on the amount of anesthesia used, the facility fee, the surgeon’s fee, and the amount of work that needs to be done.
Laser Skin Rejuvenation can cost between $1,400 to $2,200 per treatment, depending on the kind of lasers used. There might be extra costs for makeup covering after the treatment, and any other medication or creams.
Microdermabrasion can cost between $75 to $150 per treatment. This can stack up, because a patient may need between 5 to 10 treatments in total, depending on the severity of the case.
The other facial rejuvenation procedures will range in between these numbers. Patients who wish to undergo any of these facial rejuvenation procedures, but do not have liquid cash to do so, can get cosmetic surgery financing from any number of different institutions.