The Fountain of Youth Needn’t Be Costly or Invasive

The Fountain of Youth Needn’t Be Costly or Invasive

Written by Jamal Bullocks, M.D. on Feb 21, 2015 11:30:00 AM

I talk to many patients each week who would like to do something to help slow down the aging process. Too much sun, smoking and air impurities can wreak havoc on skin, but many people think addressing these issues will be costly, dangerous or painful. The truth is, there are minimally-invasive, affordable alternatives to facial rejuvenation that do not require lengthy recovery times.

Camouflaging Aging

There are a few procedures that fall under the minimally-invasive category, but the most common ones are chemical peels, laser resurfacing treatment and injectables. Chemical peels and laser resurfacing remove skin layer by layer essentially removing fine lines, uneven skin tone and acne scarring. While minimally invasive, these procedures have longer recovery times, ranging from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the depth of the treatment. Injectables, containing things like hyaluronic acid or botulinum toxin (widely known as Botox®), are usually administered during an in-office visit. All of these procedures are meant to camouflage aging – they cannot replace a full-fledged operation, but they do provide a temporary alternative to facial rejuvenation without surgery.

Freshen Up with Injectables

botox-injection

Injectables, especially injections of Botox, temporarily prevent signals from nerve cells to muscles, and this keeps those muscles from contracting. This process is called chemodenervation. It typically takes up to 72 hours to take effect and for patients to notice a difference, but the effects typically last from four to six months, depending on the state of the skin before your treatment. The appearance of lines and wrinkles diminishes as the muscles are forced to relax, and as muscle contraction gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles will reappear. These procedures are the least invasive and quick procedures we can provide. Basically we are able to pull the medication off a shelf, administer a shot during an office visit and send the patient on their way. The whole thing lasts less than 20 minutes and you can return to your normal schedule almost immediately.

It’s Never Too Early

I think there’s this pervading myth that procedures like Botox injections or chemical peels are only for people over a certain age, but truthfully, this type of procedure, like almost any minimally-invasive facial rejuvenation procedure, works best when they’re used as soon as you notice that you’re exhibiting those signs of facial aging – and this can be as early as your late 20s. The bottom line is that the more you’re out in the sun and the more you use the muscles in your face, the more those signs of facial aging will show. That’s why it’s best to use these procedures as preventive maintenance. They may keep you from either needing a more involved surgery in the future, or it may push that surgery back a significant amount of time.

It’s Your Skin – Ask Questions!

Despite the negativity that may be prevalent in the media, it’s really important to remember that plastic surgery procedures, especially these minimally invasive ones, are safe if the surgeon you’re working with is trained correctly. If you’re interested in a procedure, ask a lot of questions – as many questions as you need for you to feel comfortable.

Do you have any questions about minimally invasive facial rejuvenation procedures? Have you undergone a procedure and want to share your story? Comment below and get involved in the conversation!

Bullocks_JamalDr. Jamal Bullocks 
is a board-certified Plastic Surgery specialist whose clinical interests include reconstructive breast surgery, cosmetic surgery for men and women and body contouring after weight loss. 

 

Topics: plastic surgery, skin damage from sun exposure,, brown spots,, anti-aging skin care, chemical peels, wrinkles, injectibles, botox

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