If you’re like most people, when you look in the mirror you may not always be happy with what you see. As we get older, sun damage, age and gravity eventually begin take their toll. That is particularly true in the dry heat of Inland Empire, north of Los Angeles., where I practice. Some people’s facial aging is minimal – perhaps some fine lines and wrinkles. Others may have large jowls, pronounced wrinkles and deep lines that clearly call for a facelift plus laser or j-plasma skin resurfacing. But what if you don’t fall into either category? How can you know what you’ll need to get the younger look you want?
Editor’s Note: Dr. Brian Machida is a highly experienced, expert, board certified facial plastic surgeon. He taught for years at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Machida is the Medical Director at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario, CA in California’s Inland Empire north of Los Angeles.
A qualified, experienced facial plastic or plastic surgeon can correctly determine what you need. Here are some ofthe various tools at their disposal as well as the facial aging issues they treat best:
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles can be treated with laser skin resurfacing and radio frequency (RF) skin tightening. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. At my Inland Empire clinic, STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario, California we offer all of the options outlined in this article, depending on your individual needs:
RF skin tightening is the gentlest treatment for fine lines and wrinkles. The RF device will beam precisely tuned radio waves at your face. This will cause the collagen in your skin to contract and tighten the surface of your skin. In addition, the heat generated by the radio frequency waves causes your skin to increase collagen production. This can eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. While RF skin tightening causes mild discomfort, a treatment package may require 3-5 treatments to get results. Treatments may need to be repeated several times during the year to achieve sustained results.
Laser skin resurfacing, in contrast, produces results with just one treatment. Fractional laser resurfacing is designed to affect fewer cells to reduce discomfort compared to traditional lasers. This treatment removes thin layers of old, wrinkled skin to reveal the younger-looking surface below. It can also remove or lessen the appearance of scars and sun damage. You will need pain medication to treat soreness for up to 2 weeks.
Deeper Lines and Folds
Deep Lines can be very effectively treated with J-Plasma skin resurfacing. This treatment uses electrically charged helium gas (plasma) to remove outer layers of wrinkled skin. It’s much cooler than laser and produces mild post treatment discomfort. This treatment is exceptionally good at tightening skin. It does this better than any other technique I have ever seen. J-Plasma skin resurfacing is superior to RF or laser treatments when it comes to tightening skin, but has twice the downtime associated with CO2 lasers. It does cause redness that can last for several weeks. You will only need one session to see incredible results.
Deeper Folds can be treated with fillers. These require no downtime and get immediate results. These work best for younger patients with otherwise smooth skin. Fillers are generally made from substances your body naturally manufactures. This usually eliminates post-procedure problems. The downside is that your system will absorb the filler. To maintain your great new look, injections will need to be repeated on a schedule – usually one year after the original procedure.
If you have sagging jowls, few treatments can compare with a good facelift. Where J-Plasma or laser skin resurfacing and RF treatments will firm up your sagging skin, a facelift will also tighten the underlying muscles and the membrane that overlays them. This is important, because if sagging muscles are your issue, no amount of skin tightening will work for long.
A facelift can get rid of jowls, wrinkles, deep lines and even a double chin.
A good facelift can last for up to 10 years – or even longer. Depending on your needs, there are several options available from experienced facial plastic and plastic surgeons. At my practice, STC Plastic Surgery in Inland Empire, California, we offer several facelifts, including a full facelift, a Mini-Lift and the Lifestyle Lift, depending on your needs. And if you combine J-Plasma skin resurfacing or laser skin resurfacing with it, you’ll get the best new look available.
Experienced facial plastic surgeons (or plastic surgeons that specialize in the face and neck) can offer many options – nonsurgical and surgical – to help you get rid of wrinkles, deep lines and jowls. Fillers, RF skin tightening, Laser skin resurfacing, J-Plasma skin resurfacing and facelift procedures all work well, depending on your needs. These are often surprisingly affordable, even in metro Los Angeles and Inland Empire.
Depending on your goals, your degree of facial aging, your budget and your personal preferences, an experienced facial cosmetic surgeon can provide an option that will work well for you. If you’re wondering what would work best for you and your situation, why not speak with an expert doctor in your area. Then you can find out the best solution for your wrinkles, jowls or other facial aging. The younger, more attractive look you want might be quicker and easier than you think.