Every Monday, my blog will be addressing a skin care question that will be answered by my friend and dermatologist, Dr. Jo Lynn Herzog. Last week’s topic dealt with the importance of daily moisturizer with sunscreen and nightly moisturizer with retinoid. For today’s post, Dr. Jo will answer the following question from one of my readers:
I am 45 and already see many changes in my skin and face. I don’t want to go the plastic surgery route, but I do want to know what other options I have for maintaining a youthful appearance.
Dr. Jo Lynne Herzog, M.D.
As we age, our face naturally takes on certain characteristics. Lines and wrinkles. Loss of volume and fullness. Skin discolorations and scarring. Most, if not all of these changes are inevitable. They are natural, normal, and part of the life cycle. Nontheless, these changes can be disturbing or frustrating. There are several common responses that I see from my patients.
Some choose to fully accept the changes. They are not interested in cosmetic procedures but are happy to grow old gracefully and naturally. Some choose to fight aging “tooth and nail” and utilize every cosmetic and surgical procedure they can afford. Others choose a middle ground, choosing to address only the areas that bother them most and doing the specific procedures that make them look and feel their very best.
My philosophy is that a woman should look rested. Natural. Vibrant. In most cases, I can use non-surgical methods to achieve this, as the common factors that cause a face to look old are all easily addressed with non-surgical means.
Here is an overview of the most common skin problems and the recommended solutions:
Problem: Lines and wrinkles caused by facial movement or expression.
Solution: Botox, dysport (another type of botox), and some fillers.
Problem: Loss of volume, sunken areas, stationary lines and wrinkles (visible whether the face is moving or not).
Solution: Various fillers. There are numerous fillers available, and determining which ones to use and where can change from patient to patient. A careful consultation with each patient is important to determine which protocol to follow when using these injectables.
Problem: Scarring, skin discoloration, hyperpigmentation.
Solution: Laser treatment, chemical peels, skin lighteners, and various prescription treatments.
Before you consider cosmetic procedures of any kind, carefully consider 1) what areas of your skin are problematic, 2) what bothers you the most, and 3) how far you feel comfortable going with cosmetic procedures. Any procedure, whether it be a facial or a chemical peel or botox, is highly personal. You must feel at peace with what you are doing and comfortable with the amount of time and money it might require to maintain results. These procedures do not last forever, and a “hit or miss” approach–jumping from deal to deal or doctor to doctor–will ultimately leave you dissatisfied. The best approach is to find a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon and stick with him or her. A strong relationship between you and your practicioner is definitely in your best interest.
For those of you who would like to learn more about some of the options discussed above, Dr. Jo will be hosting an event at Brookwood Dermatology on April 20th from 12:30 until 2:00. She will be demonstrating some of the aforementioned procedures and explaining in more detail about each one. Light lunch will be served, and someone’s name will be drawn to receive a free chemical peel or microdermabrasion. I hope to see you there! Please reply as soon as possible, as space is limited.