Besides excessive sun exposure and smoking the most common cause of facial aging is the gradual loss of fat in our face. Fat loss begins early in our twenties and continues throughout our lives. Not only does fat waste away, a change in the quality and quantity of the skin’s elastin fibers and collagen results in a slow diminishing of the skin’s elasticity. Bone mass diminishes with age and facial muscles begin to atrophy. Naturally, this slow aging process alters facial structure and results in a collapsed appearance of the mid-face and cheekbones. Bone loss is most pronounced in the 70s and 80s and the majority of bone resorption occurs around the base of the nose and center of the face.
Fat loss occurs in specific facial areas that are prone to fat resorption: the cheeks and areas around the brow and eyes. The lips and temples are affected next. A quick look in the mirror will let you know if fat loss is adding years to your appearance. As you look at your face answer the following questions:
1. Has your face become square?
2. Are your cheeks sagging?
3. Do you have hallow troughs under your eyes?
4. Does your skin appear to be falling off your bones?
5. Is the area between the sides of your eyebrows and hairline sunken?
6. Are the corners of your mouth turning downward?
7. Do your lips roll in, making it difficult to apply lipstick?
8. If you get the lipstick applied does it seep into the fine lines above and below your lips?
If you have answered yes to any of the above, there is a good chance that volume loss is the source of your aged appearance.
The best ways to restore facial volume and stimulate collagen formation depends on two factors the amount of fat lost and the degree of skin laxity.
The Quick Fix
If you have minimal skin sag and facial deflation the use of hyaluronic acid fillers and collagen stimulating injectables are a fast and easy way to treat the problem. Certain facial areas may be corrected with thinner fillers such as Beletero, Juvederm or Restylane. However, larger areas with more pronounced volume loss will require a heavier filler that combines a more viscous hyaluronic acid with or without calcium hydroxyaptite such as Radiesse, Scuptura Aesthetic and Juvederm Voluma C. These fillers provide subtle improvement, results last between six to eight months.
The Natural Option: Your Own Body Fat!
Micro-liposuction is used to harvest fat cells from your hips or abdomen. The fat is washed and concentrated prior to injection. Fat transfer is a minor surgical procedure, and there are a few days of downtime but the results are well worth it.
The cost benefit proves advantageous if your condition requires multiple filler injections. Fat augmentation varies with each patient but usually lasts five to ten years, and the skin has an incredible smooth, healthy glow.
If you have loose skin and have also experienced volume loss, the best options are a face-lift or Ultherapy combined with structural fat grafting or the more viscous fillers. Utherapy is a beneficial skin tightening procedure for patients who have minimal skin laxity or cannot have surgery. A face-lift: micro, mini or standard removes excess skin. The micro face-lift requires only a small incision above the ear.. The mini and standard face-lift reposition underlying facial support structures and fat, creating a firmer look. A face-lift, in combination with fat grafting, not only tightens the skin but also fills in deep wrinkles and areas of depression. Your face is not only rejuvenated, it looks more youthful.
There are different ways to treat and restore volume loss. An individualized approach that is planned with your board certified plastic surgeon will yield the best results.