Part 1 in a 2 part series
You work out to stay physically healthy. You read, watch movies and attend lectures to stay mentally fit. But then you see yourself in the mirror and you don’t look nearly as young as you feel. As more seniors are defying the limitations of aging, they also want to roll back the clock when it comes to their outward appearance. According to Dr. Richard Erlichman, a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, “seniors are now the largest growing group of patients by age category.” And it’s not limited to cosmetic surgery alone, seniors are also taking advantage of fillers, Botox and other anti-aging services and products.
But should we bother? There are certainly some people that think that it’s futile to try to slow down the aging process. It’s true that no matter what we do, our appearance will change as we get older. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of tweaks that will make you feel better about the way that you look. So what are some of the most popular anti-aging techniques that are being utilized?
Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels
Microdermabrasion is a light cosmetic procedure that uses a mechanical medium for exfoliation to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells from the epidermis. Chemical peels are also designed to remove the outermost layers of the skin and can improve texture and reduce scarring. Both procedures are relatively safe and recovery time is minimal.
Botox and Fillers
Botox is the only FDA-approved treatment to temporarily reduce frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines. In cosmetic applications, it is considered safe and effective and the smoothing of wrinkles is usually visible three days after treatment and is maximally visible two weeks following injection. The treated muscles gradually regain function, and generally return to their former appearance three to four months after treatment. Other types of non-invasive procedures include Dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma and Sculptra which can help to diminish facial lines and restore volume and fullness in the face.
While peels, fillers and Botox are generally safe and don’t require a lot of recovery time, cosmetic surgery can pose risks and can take weeks to months to fully heal. The main types of cosmetic surgery used to improve appearance include facelifts, eyelid surgery and browlifts. Although the name facelift may give the impression that it applies to the entire face, it only treats wrinkles and loose skin on the lower third of the face as well as the neck. For deep forehead wrinkles or “frown lines” between the eyes, a brow lift is the ideal procedure. Eyelid surgery (also called an eye lift or blepharoplasty), reduces bagginess from lower eyelids and removes excess skin from the upper eyelids.
Since each of these procedures provides unique benefits as well as various levels of risk, it is very important to speak with your doctor and also to do your own research. In part two of our series, we will provide a list of resources as well as tips to think about prior to deciding what procedure to have and where to have it performed. And while there is truth in the saying that, “you only look as good as you feel”, the opposite can also be true, “you only feel as good as you look”. Either way, you (and only you) can decide what will help you to be the best version of yourself.