Treat BOTH Types of Facial Aging
There are many ways to classify the effects of aging, particularly on the face, but in practice it helps to divide the effects of aging into two types: the type helped by surgical methods, and the type helped by non-surgical methods. Although there is a lot of overlap, think of surgery as better at addressing the effects of gravity while non-surgical treatments are better at addressing the effects of sun damage (photoaging). One could argue that another effect of aging, volume loss, is neither related to gravity or sun damage. Volume loss is addressed with both surgical methods (fat injection) and non-surgical methods (filler injection).
Surgical rejuvenation is exemplified by facelifting, which addresses the gravitation drop of the jowls, and the redundancy of the neck skin and underlying platysma muscle. The surgical procedures of brow lift and blepharoplasty address the drop of the brow, the redundancy of the eyelid skin, and the loosening with age of the deeper eyelid structures.
Non-surgical rejuvenation is exemplified by injectables, both fillers and neuromodulators, and light-based treatments such as IPL and laser. For sun damage, IPL (intense pulsed light) and microablative CO2 laser can do what surgery cannot. Pigmentation, blotchy skin, and fine lines are improved, and with the Smartskin microablative CO2 laser, thickening and modest tightening of the skin will also be seen over time.
Because “both” types of aging are typically seen together, it is best to consider treating them both. Leaving sun damaged skin untreated while correcting the jowls and loose neck is not the best strategy for looking younger! Although I will not perform the Smartskin fractional CO2 laser simultaneously with a facelift, other surgical procedures such as blepharoplasty can be done at the same time as the Smartskin. We will work to put together a safe and logical treatment plan that may or may not be completed in one day.
We will be having an event in March to highlight the Smartskin microablative CO2 laser. Be sure you are on our email list to receive the date and details!
– Dr. Douglas Mackenzie, Santa Barbara, CA