Tackling the Signs of Aging03/25/2022 11:31AM ● By Heather Cuellar
Dr. Parker at Radiance Medical Aesthetics and Wellness Spa says people ask for two things when they come to her with concerns of aging: they want to look different, but they also don’t want to look different. What does this mean, and how do we achieve this?
Dr. Parker theorizes they actually want to look rested, a more rejuvenated version of themselves, but aren’t aware of how to make that happen. Part of what Dr. Parker does first is to educate her patients about what happens to their faces as they age and what they can do about it.
The Three Parts of Aging
There are three main parts of aging. The first part is lines caused by muscle contraction. One of the most common areas of concern is the area between the eyebrows that form vertical lines. Commonly referred to as “11’s,” this is generally considered a negative expression. The lines become permanent as the skin bends repetitively every time you furrow your eyebrows, essentially breaking the deep layer of skin like a scar, much like creasing a piece of paper over and over in the same place.
The second part of aging is lines and shadows caused by volume loss over the years. We lose volume by losing bone mass and essential fat pads as we age. Women tend to lose the top third of their face (cheekbones), and men tend to lose the lower third (strong jawline). The deep fat pads of the face shrink and become dehydrated as we lose hyaluronic acid as the years go by. This leads to hollows under the eyes and lines from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth and jowls.
The final part of aging is the changes that happen to the skin itself. Our epidermis (top layer) gets thick and sticky, and our dermis (deep living layer) gets thin as it loses collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. This leads to saggy, loose skin with fine lines, large pores, and rough texture. In addition, we start showing the years of environmental damage with unsightly brown spots and broken capillaries.
How You Can Address Aging
Neuromodulators are the answer for lines caused by muscle contraction. There are four neuromodulators on the market, but Botox and Dysport are most commonly used. When injected, they temporarily cause the muscles to stop moving (for about four months). This prevents the repetitive trauma to the skin and allows the body to heal the lines or “breaks” in the dermis. This is an ideal treatment for those pesky lines in the forehead or the crow’s feet. Botox and Dysport are very safe medications, and the injections take just minutes. Over time, the body can fill in the lines until they are nearly imperceptible to the naked eye.
Gel fillers made up of hyaluronic acid (similar to the same hyaluronic acid our bodies naturally make) rehydrate and lift the face to help with undereye circles, jowls, marionette lines, and nasolabial folds. The body will break them down over about one to two years. In other areas, other fillers can be used to firm and tighten the skin by stimulating collagen production. The filler itself disappears in three months, leaving behind your own collagen.
For the last part of aging, the changes to the skin itself with pigmentation and skin laxity, we turn to energy-based devices to help us. Certain lasers can get rid of sunspots, broken capillaries, and dark, rough patches of skin. Other lasers and microneedling can smooth the skin’s surface and tighten the skin.
Skincare Is Not Just for Aging
The treatments offered by Radiance are not just for those who would like to soften and fix the damage done by the years and the environment, but also for those who would like to prevent it. People as young as their early twenties could benefit from preventative Botox because it would stop the harsh lines from ever forming in the first place. In addition, it’s imperative that you protect your skin from the elements—the first step is always to wear sunscreen.
Remember, healthy skin is pretty skin!
Radiance Medical Aesthetics and Wellness Spa
5399 Williston Road, Suite 101