Revitalize Your Appearance Simply and Safely

| Posted On Sep 09, 2014 | By:

Feeling rejuvenatedPeople often ask me if there’s a simple procedure they can try to look younger and more refreshed, but in a very natural way. We’ve all seen haunting images of celebrities who’ve gone a bit overboard with facial plastic surgery treatments, but most people just want to look more energetic or well-rested and not look like they’ve had work done. My answer to patients is “Absolutely!” Depending on your particular trouble spot, there are three very easy, quick options to enhance your facial appearance and help you look younger.

Addressing Dynamic Wrinkles FPS forehead.shutterstock_76973788

These are the wrinkles that show up when you move your facial muscles in a certain way—you are often unaware that they appear because you make them when you’re talking or expressing emotion.  For example, the frown lines between your eyes or the “stripes” across your forehead aren’t often as noticeable when we look at ourselves in the mirror. It’s only when we catch ourselves talking on video that we see those lines. However, with Facebook and social media, we are seeing more natural pictures of ourselves posted by friends, which can make us more aware of these lines and wrinkles.

FPS 11's.shutterstock_121371127The three most common dynamic wrinkle areas are the horizontal wrinkle “stripes” across your forehead, the vertical “11’s” between your eyes, and your smile lines around your mouth. These wrinkle lines can sometimes make you look upset or unpleasant—or simply tell your age more than you’d like.

Treating your dynamic wrinkles is usually done using Botox® or other similar products called Dysport® or Xeomin® (they are all the same active product, just different brands, although some people feel one brand works better for them than another).

The procedure can be done in a quick, 30-minute, in-office visit, and you can return to work or home immediately without any downtime. There are only two restrictions: you shouldn’t exercise or lie flat within 4 hours of the procedure. But beyond those, you can resume all other daily activities without further interruption.

The FDA has approved these products to last for 4 months, but that can vary slightly depending on the strength of your facial muscles and depth of your wrinkle lines. If you choose not to repeat the procedure, there is no downside other than those wrinkle lines returning.

Although your appointment would be scheduled for 30 minutes in order to leave time for questions, the procedure itself is very quick and relatively painless. The needle is very, very small – even people who hate needles are usually not phased! For Botox, the change is gradual – up to 2 weeks if it’s your first procedure – but most people see the results within 4 to 7 days.

Treating Facial Lines and Wrinkles that are apparent when at rest

Studies show that everyone loses baby fat in their faces as they age, and it’s that extra plumpness that gives a more youthful appearance. (It seems unfair, doesn’t it, that the one place we’d hope to hang onto fat is the one place we all lose it!) In its place, you can develop pronounced nasolabial folds (the lines that run from the bottom of your nose between your cheek and your upper lip), jowls, “puppet lines” (that run straight down from your mouth), hollowed circles under your eyes, or very thin lips. These lines get deeper with age, and in the case of the lips, they can get so thin that the pink part of the lip can start to disappear. Facial Fillers

Facial fillers are an easy way to restore fullness to your face. Just like the anti-wrinkle injectables, such as Botox, discussed above, a facial filler procedure can be done in a very short office visit and has the same, few restrictions: you shouldn’t exercise or lie flat within 4 hours of the procedure. I also caution that certain, more sensitive areas like the lips or around the mouth can swell slightly for about 24-48 hours or so after the procedure, so people should be aware and plan accordingly.

There are also different kinds of fillers depending on the person and the area of the face to be treated:

  1. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in your body. We often use this type of product for the lips. It can also be a good filler to try if you’ve never had this procedure done, as there is an enzyme we can inject to dissolve it if you don’t like the results – we’ve never had to do this, but it provides a comforting option, just in case.
  2. Calcium Hydroxylapatite is often used for the folds and wrinkles around the mouth and nose as well as an augmenter for cheeks.
  3. Sculptra is another exciting option that allows your body to create its own collagen. The effect is not as immediate as the traditional fillers above, but is especially appropriate for people with very deep lines around the lower face or very thin and hollowed faces overall (as opposed to a single trouble spot). Sculptra can be one of the most natural ways to soften these deep lines and give you back a more youthful, energetic appearance. It has been FDA-approved for medical patients for decades, and for cosmetic use for the past several years, too.

Improving the texture and quality of your skin

This gives you an overall more vibrant look to your skin. As you age, your skin can become more matted: you can lose that youthful glow, brown spots and age spots can appear, pores may be more visible, and your skin can become uneven in color and texture.

There are several ways to address these changes to your skin.

  1. A daily topical treatment for your skin: although there are many face creams that you can purchase over the counter today, knowing which one is right for you – and knowing it will be effective – is harder to discern with the number of choices available. If you schedule a consultation with us, we can expertly evaluate your skin, identify what you need, and recommend products for you, some of which may be OTC. However, if you want to make a bigger difference and see more dramatic results, we can also prescribe creams that may be far more effective than OTC options.
  2. A one-time chemical peel: we use a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the skin by removing the damaged outer layers. This is most helpful for people with facial blemishes, uneven skin pigmentation, age spots, dark patches and skin discoloration.
  3. Laser treatments: there are a variety of treatment options that can improve skin tone and texture; treat brown spots, acne/acne scarring, and facial flushing or rosacea; and remove facial hair.

If you are interested in any of these options or any facial cosmetic surgery, the first step is to schedule a consultation with us. When you come in, we will ask you to fill out a questionnaire that’s designed to help us identify your goal for the visit, your areas of concern, and your desired results. We can then outline a very comprehensive treatment plan and discuss the details with you. Additionally, I like to help my patients prioritize their goals by advising them on the one thing I recommend they do that would make the biggest difference—with the smallest amount of time and cost.

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About Dr. Linda Lee

Dr. Linda Lee is a plastic surgeon who specializes in the face and neck. In addition to Botox and fillers for facial rejuvenation, she also performs face lifts and neck lifts, rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery. Her practice also includes facial trauma repair and Mohs skin cancer reconstructions of the face and neck. Dr. Lee completed her residency training in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery here at Harvard Medical School, Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, and her Facial Plastic Surgery fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland. She joined Harvard Vanguard in 2013 and is on staff at Harvard Medical School, where she is actively involved in teaching Otolaryngology residents and medical students. She is a published author of several textbook chapters and papers on facial fillers and Botox, as well as rhinoplasty. Dr. Lee sees patients in our Facial Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Dermatology suite at our Wellesley practice. Her hospital-based procedures are done at Mass Eye & Ear Infirmary.

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