Nearly everyone wants to look younger these days. People across the US, from metropolitan Los Angeles, California’s Inland Empire, the San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Florida, New York, Hartford, Boston, and Providence, RI have plastic surgery, or cosmetic surgery for facial rejuvenation every year. Even more have a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure to firm up an aging face. Should you entrust your face to any practitioner who advertises themselves as a “cosmetic surgeon?” Information provided by Dr. Gerald Ginsberg, voted one of New York City’s Best Doctors, can help you make a wise decision.
Editor’s Note: This article was reviewed by Dr. Gerald Ginsberg, Director of Plastic Surgery at NYU Downtown Hospital; Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at Cornell University’s Weil Cornell Medical College
Everyday experience and science agree that a good-looking face is a key to attractiveness. So, as faces start to age, millions of people seek to restore their natural good looks. Those who do face a confusing array of products and practitioners, all claiming the ability to “turn back the clock.” How do you choose one that will really deliver what they promise? How can you avoid wasting your money or ending up with disappointing results?
Can wrinkle creams help you look younger?
The good advice offered by expert doctors on this site can help you preserve an attractive face as long as possible. But, inevitably, time and gravity take a toll and even the best maintained faces begin to show signs of aging. Where should you turn for help?
There are many nonmedical beauty treatment spas that advertise their ability to help you look younger. Those that use high-quality, proven products may be able to effectively care for your face, but it seems unlikely that any will actually erase signs of aging. A 2011 Consumer Reports study of over-the- counter wrinkle creams, some quite expensive, found the results “underwhelming.” Reviewers wrote: “At best the products had a small effect, and not on everyone.”
Unless a truly dramatic breakthrough in over-the-counter topical creams takes place, it seems clear that the best way to achieve a truly younger look is with the help of a doctor.
Choosing the right doctor for you
When choosing a physician, it is wise to consider what’s making you look older. The causes for dark spots and light wrinkles may be found in the upper layers of skin. A dermatologist, who treats skin conditions, could be a good choice here.
Excess skin (common after weight loss), sagging jowls, deep lines and wrinkles, drooping brows, wrinkled eyelids or hollow cheeks often require some type of a surgical solution. A facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who specializes in the face and neck is often the best choice to treat these problems.
Not sure where your issues fall on this scale? A number of highly experienced facial plastic surgeons, including those featured on this site, offer a variety of solutions such as:
- Prescription-strength topical creams
- Nonsurgical collagen-stimulating devices that can tighten skin and accomplish minor lifting
J-Plasma skin resurfacing and subdermal skin tightening
- Long-lasting surgical options
Offering a wide range of facial rejuvenation methods can make “full service” facial plastic surgeons an excellent choice. Nothing can stop the aging process, so anyone who wants to look years younger for years may need progressively stronger treatment options to help them keep “turning back the clock.”
Having a doctor you know and trust, who well knows your face and offers many treatments can be a real asset.
Your doctor’s qualifications
Choosing a well-qualified doctor with plenty of experience in facial rejuvenation procedures is crucial. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery notes:
- There are many physicians today practicing plastic surgery who have received their formal training in another specialty — often a non-surgical specialty. These doctors may call themselves plastic surgeons, but they may not be trained in plastic surgery.
- Physicians who call themselves “cosmetic surgeons” could be trained in any specialty, including a non-surgical specialty, because anyone who has a medical license can legally call him/herself a surgeon even if they have no formal surgical training.
Thus, a key to choosing the right surgeon is finding one that is board certified in one of the right disciplines. Competent medical boards have certified them as experts. Those with the needed training include board certified plastic surgeons as well as board certified otolaryngologists/head and neck surgeons who have completed an additional fellowship in facial cosmetic surgery. There are very proficient facial plastic surgeons that may not yet be board certified, but if considering one it is wise to insist on a substantial level of experience in the procedure you’re contemplating (please note “Does Your Surgeon Have the Experience You Need?” on this website).
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery makes further wise recommendations:
- Finding a board certified cosmetic surgeon who has plenty of experience in your procedure of choice is critical to getting the results you desire. We all know that what one person finds beautiful may be unattractive to another. This is why it is so important to find a cosmetic surgeon that shares your aesthetic sensibility. For this reason, you can’t just trust a friend’s recommendation of a surgeon, or solely depend on the cosmetic surgeon’s experience. You’ll need to look carefully at the results for each surgeon you interview.
- You should compare each doctor’s results for the procedure you want to have, and think about whether those results appeal to you personally. Look at yourself carefully in the mirror or take a selfie for reference in finding patients that have similar qualities to you. Do their results look like you want to look after your surgery?
Clearly, choosing a doctor with recognized qualifications and a high level of experience in face and neck rejuvenation procedures will give you the best opportunity to achieve your goal of looking attractively younger. Those who offer a variety of treatment options are often in a good position to recommend a solution that’s best for your face and skin type. Take the time to do your homework and ask questions. Real experts will be glad to have you check their qualifications. A highly experienced facial rejuvenation specialist with whom you feel comfortable can be an excellent partner who can help you look as good – or better than – you feel.
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