Skin being the external most barrier of our body is at the mercy of many extrinsic as well as intrinsic factors such as sun, environment, stress, and personal habits. Skin aging is a part of the natural “Ageing-mosaic”. But ‘the fact of aging gracefully’ doesn’t hold true anymore. The new vibe is how to get rid of the ageing signs. We can help you to radically reverse the signs of ageing in a matter of few hours and sometimes even minutes. The anti-aging treatments and techniques can be both non-surgical and surgical and they will leave you with a healthy, smooth, younger, brighter, blemish-free and taut skin.
Anti-ageing techniques and treatments are a step-by step process, which comprise of various methods that target skin bio-revitalization and rejuvenation, augmentation and restoration of each skin layer individually.
Sun protection and proper intake of supplements such as Vitamins, Proteins, Minerals, Antioxidants etc. along with plenty of water hold the key to a healthy and radiant skin. There are various treatments available, most of which intend to ‘resurface’ the epidermis i.e. they remove the damaged epidermis and replace the tissue with remodelled skin layers and may also help in the formation of new collagen. Since they only work superficially, there will be limited improvement in the droopiness of facial tissues which can only be rejuvenated by surgical procedures or aggressive non-surgical procedures.
Non-surgical facial rejuvenation constitutes the following 5 R’s-
- RESORB- Aging causes reposition of the normal fat pockets which along with weight gain makes fat deposits in the cheeks, below the chin and the jowls look prominent. These do not disappear in spite of weight loss and remain prominent even if the tissues are pulled as part of a lift. The best way to non-surgically address these localized fat pockets is by Injection Lipolysis. Gradual reduction of the fat will prevent any increase in skin laxicity due to volume loss.Lipolysis injections help to get rid of the stubborn fat on the face by dissolving fat in the targeted area. It is used to treat areas such as double chin and prominent cheeks. Multiple sessions may be required every 4-6 weeks apart.
- REPOSITION- Aging, repeated weight loss and sun damage causes laxicity in the facial skin. This causes drooping of the eye brows, cheek fat pads causing prominent lines around the nose and mouth and jowls and neck skin looseness causing prominent neck bands. The only way these can be repositioned permanently is through a Face and neck lift surgery. The only procedure that can be closest to surgery is a Thread lift. Thread lift helps to reduce sagging around the cheeks, jawline, and neck. Special threads such as PDO threads are used to hold skin and facial tissue in place. These generally produce noticeable results almost immediately and the results may last upto a year. This is undertaken as a walk-in and walk-out procedure with minimal or no downtime. Further improvements can be achieved by adding more threads as and when there is skin laxicity.
- REVOLUMIZE- Volume is lost in many areas of the face as we grow older. As we age, the natural collagen and elastin in the skin lessens, as cells lose their ability to produce more of their youthful component. The skin becomes dryer, thinner and less able to fix itself. When we’re born, we have plentiful amounts of hyaluronic acid (HA) in our body, but as we get older this store of HA diminishes, leaving the skin less well supported, and so lines and wrinkles develop. The areas that lose volume include; the cheeks, the eyebrow, and the lips. As the cheeks sag and lose volume, they descend from their usual high position in the face near the eyes, to a lower position. This leads to the formation of nasolabial folds (the folds from the corners of the nose to the mouth), oral commissures (the folds just beneath the corners of the mouth), and then jowls (the skin that sags beneath the jawline). This leads to a squarer appearance to the face. By lifting and smoothing targeted folds and wrinkles by adding subtle volume, dermal fillers can make a difference to a person’s appearance, giving them a fresher look.
Vampire Facelift- The newest trend in people wanting a non-surgical improvement to their face albeit temporary (lasts for a few months) is the Vampire Face lift. This involves a combination of using Hyaluronic acid fillers to add volume to the face and at the same time adding the growth factors from patients own blood (Thus the term Vampire). The Filler when injected takes up fluid from the surrounding cells, thus providing the necessary hydration as well as provide a filling effect in the areas of volume loss. These may last upto 8-10 months, depending upon the type of filler used.
- RELAX- Repeated animation of the facial muscles can present prominent lines around the eyes and forehead. These are due to repeated expressions causing lines of animation.
Botox (Botulinum toxin) injections can reduce the visible aging changes by targeting the dynamic facial lines and wrinkles. It is used in the treatment of exaggerated frown lines, glabellar lines or crow’s feet, prominent neck bands. These injections need to be repeated every 3-4 months.
- RESURFACE- The cells of the skin surface are constantly being replaced by younger cells from the deeper surface of the skin. As we grow older the dead skin cells accumulate and cause aging of the skin. Skin ablative procedures are used to replace the superficial skin cells with healthy new skin cells.
Chemical peels cause ablation of defined skin layers provoked by inflammation of epidermis and dermis, thus leading to repair and regeneration and lead to an even toned and tight skin. It leads to exfoliation of the dead skin layer and also lightening of spots and to remove the uneven skin tone. The deeper peels also lead to collagen remodeling as well thus giving a firmer look.
Microdermabrasion is a “lunch-hour” skin resurfacing procedure. It is a manual exfoliation procedure that targets exfoliation of dead skin cells with the use of diamond or aluminum oxide crystals and the end result is a refreshed look. Multiple sessions when taken every 2-4 weeks apart will result in a firm look as well.
Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for skin rejuvenation. PRP contains a high concentration of platelets rich in various Growth Factors. PRP induces synthesis of collagen and other matrix components by inciting activation of fibroblasts and help in rejuvenation of the skin. It helps to give a firmness and healthy look to the skin.
Various Lasers are available that help in skin rejuvenation, resurfacing and tightening. To name a few, there are Q-switch lasers, IPL lasers, , Fractional CO2 laser, radio frequency etc. These lasers act by a selective, heat induced denaturalization of dermal collagen which further leads to subsequent reactive synthesis, thus help in skin rejuvenation by a controlled form of skin wounding which ultimately aims to achieve a more youthful appearance after the wound heals. They help to reduce or even remove discoloration and also give a firmness to the targeted areas as well.
Use of RADIOFREQUENCY for skin tightening (FACETITE)– Radio frequency has been approved for lifting and tightening the skin on the forehead, face, chin, neck and now in the upper chest areas ( décolletage). This technique uses the energy to stimulate tightening of deeper layers of the skin. People can see an appreciable difference at 1 month but the best results are seen after 3 months.
Microneedling utilizes the skin’s natural healing process to reduce skin imperfections and helps in restoration of a smoother and clearer complexion. This technique creates microscopic “injuries” in the skin using an instrument which contains numerous fine, short needles which trigger a healing cascade and promote production of new collagen and elastin helping in regeneration of healthy and new skin cells. It is helpful to treat acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage and rough skin texture.
Finally a word about Surgical procedures-
Surgical options include Facelift, Brow lift, Neck lift and the Mini-face lift along with fat grafting. Blepharoplasty can be done to get rid of the under eye bags. A rhinoplasty can bring about an overall difference in the facial structure as well. These procedures are now done using a minimalistic incision so that the recovery times are faster and people can now get back to work as early as a week.
By: Dr Mohan Thomas Senior Cosmetic Surgeon, Cosmetic Surgery Institute