Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation
Non-surgical rejuvenation covers a wide array of different treatments. These range from skin surface treatments through to muscle relaxing injections and facial sculpting using fillers. Facial aging affects a number of layers of our face and addressing any one alone will not result in an overall harmonious rejuvenation. Therefore thinking in a multi-dimensional approach can give us the best opportunity to achieve a harmonious and natural appearance. Using non-surgical means we have come a long way over the last ten years, particularly with our understanding about the aging changes that occur in the face. These typically relate to facial sagging, but also changes in volume to the face. The core injectable approaches for facial rejuvenation remains anti-wrinkle injections. Theses are particularly effective in the crows’ feet (smile lines) as well as the glabella region (the area between the eyebrows) and sometimes in the forehead (although one always has to be careful not to lower the brow when relaxing muscles in this area).
The second core non-surgical approach is to use hyaluronic acid facial filler. We have moved a long way from simply regarding filler as a product to be used for plumping out lips or masking deepening nose to mouth lines (nasolabial fold). We now appreciate that fillers can be used for facial sculpting to restore lost volume and supportive structures that have deteriorated with the passage of time. Fundamentally using filler to replace lost cheek volume (avoiding any so called “pillow face”) can restore a subtle youthfulness about the face. This is achieved by not only replacing the volume in this area but also supporting some of the sagging tissues and also slightly changing the facial shape from the squared off shape of an aging face back to the more heart shaped face of youth. Other key areas for consideration include the temples, jawline, chin and under eye tear troughs.
Skin resurfacing techniques ranging from medical grade skincare through to TCA peels and laser resurfacing are used to help improve skin tone, skin quality, irregular pigmentation and treat fine lines.
All of these alone can significantly improve and enhance facial appearance however, to obtain the maximum results, surgical procedures are often used in conjunction with these. Of course surgical procedures are only indicated once facial aging has reached a certain stage and there is no prescriptive age at which surgery is indicated. However every person should be carefully examined and recommendations made on a bespoke individual basis.
How Are Facial Injectables Given?
Most facial injectable treatments, including muscle relaxing injections and hyaluronic acid filler injections, are given without the need for local anaesthetic. In fact the filler injections come with local anaesthetic within the product so it helps to numb the area they are given to as the injections proceed. They tend to feel like small pricks or mosquito bites which, whilst not pleasant, are always tolerated well. These include filler to cheek bones and the undereye area (tear trough) as well as filler used elsewhere on the face. Botulinum toxin anti-wrinkle injections (or muscle-relaxing injections) are given in much smaller quantities and produce a mild sting as they are injected which settles very rapidly. The results of filler injection can be seen immediately whereas anti wrinkle injections take between three and ten days to produce their effect.
How Are Facial Skin Treatments Given?
Facial skin treatments range from medical grade skin care, through to facial peels and then on to ablative laser resurfacing. The medical grade skin care is effectively like a mild peel, and can be performed at home, with a dedicated routine. Facial peels are performed in the clinic, and can produce a more effective improvement in facial pigmentation, enhancement in skin quality and a softening of fine lines. For those with more severe skin damage and deeper wrinkles, treatment with an ablative laser is indicated. This should be thought of more akin to a surgical procedure. It is undertaken under a local anaesthetic, and produces a controlled depth burn, in order of the skin to regenerate and heal with an improvement to the wrinkles. It will not totally eradicate them, but it will make them significantly better.