In a society that values youthful appearance and yet finds older people working longer, the desire to do whatever possible to stave off aging is strong.
Diane Colvin watched the clock ticking toward her 60th birthday and knew she wanted “a little revival” — and she didn’t mean the spiritual kind.
“My face was aging. I wasn’t sagging, but I wanted to continue to look like I was under the wire of 60, not over,” said Colvin, now 64, who had a lower face-lift done at age 58 along with eyelid surgery, called blepharoplasty, to get rid of excess skin, and a chemical peel under the eyes. She’s also had liposuction under her chin, soft tissue filler and Botox treatments.
“I just get a notion and I’ll call up and say, ‘Do you have room to get me in?’” Colvin said with a chuckle, admitting she wouldn’t want to count up the thousands of dollars she’s spent on plastic surgery to her face (not to mention the tummy tuck and liposuction).
“I just feel better because I look better and I feel younger,” said the retired school teacher from Abbottstown. “I guess I feel like I’m at the point where I can treat myself, and so I do. Just like I exercise and eat healthy, I want to do what I can to look as good as I can for my age.
An eyelid that sags with age can create a hood over the eye that can impair vision. in this case, blepharoplasty, which runs about $5,000, might be covered by insurance. This is the second-most popular cosmetic surgery nationwide.
The plastic surgeon makes a cut along the natural fold of the upper eyelid, removes the excess skin, muscle and fat and closes the incision with tiny stitches or skin adhesives. If the lower lid is being done, the incision might be made below the lashes or inside the lower lid.
“Humans interact at the eye level, so having improvements made here can really make a difference that makes patients very happy to have done it.”
A bump on the nose or a big nose
Correction of the “dorsal hump” on the bridge of the nose is the most common reason for rhinoplasty, the No. 1 cosmetic surgery nationally. This surgery, which costs around $8,000, can also add or subtract size and reshape the tip of the nose.
Typically the plastic surgeon makes cuts inside the nostrils to readjust the bone and cartilage under the skin.
Drooping cheeks, neck or jaw
A face-lift, often combined with a neck-lift to help restore the sharp angle of the jaw, involves removing excess skin and fat and tightening the underlying muscle and connective tissue.
“It’s extremely important to tighten not only the skin, but the muscles.” “If you tighten the skin too much, you will look like Liberace — smiling all the time — and people will know you had a face-lift from a mile away.”
A lower face-lift tightens the cheeks, jaw and neck. A full face-lift involves the forehead and upper part of the face. but, although you’ll see improvements, your face will continue to age. Another face-lift might be needed in eight to 10 years.
“By blending different laser energies, you heat the skin, which causes skin shrinkage and also melts the fat.” “It’s done under local anesthetic, which means the patient is back to work in a couple of days.”
There are at least 10 chemical peeling solutions that involve applying acid and peeling it off to rejuvenate the skin. new skin forms, which is often smoother. sometimes the procedure — especially deeper peels that involve more layers of skin — might cause a painful, burning feeling.
Laser treatments — where a laser beam destroys the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and heats the underlying layer (dermis) to stimulate new growth of collagen — are another option.
Facial scars, acne or rosacea
For facial scars left by anything from acne to an accident, deep dermabrasion or “sanding” with a special rotary machine is effective.
“Just as you can sand a rough piece of wood and make it smooth, we can sand the skin to lower the layer of the skin so the scar does not look deep anymore.” “We have great success with this.”
Laser treatment is another option.
Botox or Dysport injections do not remove wrinkles, but they are effective in relaxing the muscles that contract and cause vertical lines between the eyebrows, across the forehead and at the corners of the eye (crow’s feet).
A facial filler — an injectible gel that plumps and smoothes out skin — is a very popular choice for smile lines, cheeks and lips. formerly made of collagen, to which some patients were allergic, fillers are now made from hyaluronic acid. Treatments are usually needed every four to six months.
Laser treatments or deep peeling are the best way to remove deep wrinkles. Dermabrasion might also be effective for lines around the mouth.
Dark patches, “mother’s mask”
A skin lightener — a cream applied twice a day — is helpful for people who have been exposed to the sun and have dark patches on their face, or for “mother’s mask,” darkened areas around the eyes that can occur during pregnancy.It contains a potent chemical called hydroquione with other ingredients that bleach the skin. to be effective, skin lighteners must be potent and of prescription-strength.
Resurfacing techniques can also be effective.
Plastic surgeons might remove skin cancers on the face and reconstruct areas affected by the removal. often this involves using skin flaps, which means recruiting skin in the area of the defect to close the hole. It’s also possible to use a skin graft made from skin from behind the ear or neck.
A powerful diagnostic tool called dermoscopy uses a 10-power lens placed over a pigmented lesion that allows the dermatologist or plastic surgeon to look at the characteristics of the lesion to see if it has the propensity to elevate into melanoma.