Latest posts by Kelly Kirby (see all)
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Signs of facial aging
Participants in my “Ask the Doctor” survey indicated that loss of elasticity, sagging skin and facial hollowness are major concerns with regard to facial aging. As I mentioned in my last “Ask the Doctor” post, as we age loss of facial fat can create hollowness and concavity of the cheeks, temples and eye sockets. Click here to read the previous “Ask the Doctor” post.
As a 49 year old woman, I personally have witnessed these changes to my face. In addition, the loss of facial volume has created visible folds around my mouth sometimes referred to as smile lines or marionette lines. I am very proactive in caring for my skin and spend a minimum of 20 minutes per day executing a targeted antiaging skincare routine. This being said, my face has continued to lose volume at an increasing rate over the last two years.
The truth that beauty companies don’t want you to know
In a nutshell, cosmetic companies are going to promise you “surgery-like” results and whatever else you want to hear to make you buy their products. This is something that frustrates me greatly and a driving factor in my current career choice as a beauty professional. While certain ingredients can help mask the appearance of a fine line or skin imperfection they are not able to undo serious signs of aging…
- There is NO topical product that can reduce deep wrinkles.
- There is NO topical product that is capable of erasing a wrinkle once it has formed.
- There is NO topical product that can lift sagging skin.
Non-surgical options/Dermal Fillers
Liquid facelifts have become increasingly popular in recent years. A liquid facelift is a treatment where dermal fillers are injected into the face to add volume and smooth out fine lines and small wrinkles. The treatment can be very effective for the right patient with the right doctor. Before being injected, do your homework. Seek services from a qualified, experienced injector. A thorough knowledge of facial fat pad anatomy, vascular changes and nerve endings is key to understanding where to properly do the injections.
What did our experts say?
When I presented these concerns to Dr. John Connors and Maggie Schreck, his PA they explained that over time, due to our genetics, environmental exposures and skin type, our skin ages, thins and loses elasticity leading to wrinkles. In addition, we also experience changes in facial fat loss and a decrease in bone volume. These changes do not occur over night. If these changes are addressed early they can be treated non-surgically which can delay the need for major surgery as facial changes progress.
For patients with significant volume loss and/or sagging skin in the cheek or temple area our experts, Dr. Connors and Maggie recommend Sculptra, a poly-L-lactic acid that replaces collagen lost during the aging process. Sculptra is also their treatment of choice for patients looking for a gradual change. Sculptra is the only facial injectable approved by the FDA to last more than 2 years. Unlike traditional fillers which provide temporary, superficial results, Sculptra is a natural collagen stimulator that is injected approximately 3-6 times, spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart. Sculptra creates a more natural appearance by triggering natural collagen production for results that improve over time.
Cost of Sculptra treatment
Sculptra treatment will vary in cost depending upon how much of the medication is used and the depth of the desired results. The usual cost for each Sculptra treatment typically ranges between $700-$1000. For maximum effects, 2-3 treatments are recommended.
If patients are looking for more immediate changes, Dr. Connors and Maggie prefer to use hyaluronic acid, either Voluma or Restylane Lyft. These fillers are used to revolumize the middle portion of the face, cheeks and temples which will reduce the appearance of sagging skin (patients typically come in complaining about prominent nasolabial folds, marionette lines, hollowing of mid-face). These fillers can produce dramatic results however, our experts caution patients on “over-filling” these areas. As conservative injectors, Dr. Connors and Maggie prefer a more natural appearance versus the “puffy” look they see occasionally as a result of poor technique and less than artistic hands.
Kelly’s experience with dermal fillers
As I mentioned in my last “Ask the Doctor” post, I recently received treatment with dermal fillers from Dr. Connors’ Physician Assistant, Maggie Schreck. Maggie specializes in Cosmetic Injectables and Non-Surgical Aesthetic Rejuvenation and is a respected mentor in her field and sought after resource for injectables corrective work.
During a lengthy consultation with Maggie, we discussed my desire to add volume in the hollow areas of my cheeks, temples and eye sockets. I also expressed my hesitancy to move forward with dermal fillers due to the unnatural look I often see in women that have received cosmetic injections. In particular, women with overfilled cheeks and lips that look too unnatural for my personal taste. Maggie was very patient with my questions and thoroughly explained how different fillers have different particle sizes that should be considered when receiving dermal filler injections. For example, Restylane Lyft, a dermal filler by Galderma is often used for added fullness in the planes of the cheek due to its large particle size however, she would never use Restylane Lyft in the lips. For natural looking fullness in the lips, Maggie recommends a product with small particle size, Restylane Silk, the first FDA approved filler for the lips and lines around the lips. I felt very confident and comfortable with Maggie’s expertise in facial anatomy and extensive knowledge of cosmetic fillers and decided to trust her judgment to address my facial aging concerns.
I am thrilled with the results of my treatment with dermal fillers! The results have been so gradual that my kids didn’t even notice a change but I certainly do and I look forward to seeing increasing improvement in the coming weeks.
To date I have had 2 treatments with Sculptra and am scheduled for my third treatment in February. I received Restylane Silk injections in my lips to balance diminishing lip size, especially in the upper lip. As you can see in the images below, the changes are very subtle but that is what I prefer. Restylane Silk is the smallest particle size of all the fillers hence, it promotes a much more natural look than other dermal fillers.
I will continue to update you with details of my treatment for signs of facial aging via my blog as well as my examiner.com articles. If you are interested in discussing non-surgical ways to address signs of facial aging I highly recommend Maggie as well as Dr. Connors. To schedule a consultation call 770-691-2877. Be sure to tell them I sent you!!
Sending peace, love and happiness to all,