Understanding Facial Aging

Serving Dothan, Alabama and Panama City, Florida areas

We all get older, year by year, and there's no stopping it. But just because we get older, it doesn't mean we have to look older, more tired or less attractive. You don't have to look your age--you should look as young as you feel, as young as you want others to see you. Understanding facial aging can help you head off some of the changes that make you look older than you'd like and help what can be done to make you more attractive It can also help you understand which rejuvenation treatments will work best for the specific changes affecting your appearance.

Cosmetic plastic surgeons are the only medical specialist that all thoroughly trained to evaluate and treat all cosmetic problems of the face, breast and body.  They have a variety of non surgical as well as surgical treatment modulations to help improve you.

We provide this page for informational purposes, but we are more than happy to discuss the information in a personalized consultation, when we can also explain how these changes are affecting your face and what you can do about it. To schedule your consultation, please contact the Feagin & Owen Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center today.

The Elements of Facial Aging

Your face ages because of several factors. This includes:

  • Changes to the skin due to aging, genetics, and damage
  • Loss of facial volume
  • Changes in other tissues like facial ligaments
  • Gravity displacing tissues in the face
  • Excessive fat accumulation

These changes combine to transform your face from an attractive, youthful, energetic one, into a tired and aged appearance. However, you can either diminish or reverse these effects with many different facial treatments.

Skin Changes

As we age, our skin changes. It loses elasticity and becomes dry and thin. As a result, the skin loses its ability to flex and then resume its original shape. It begins to retain lines where expressions cause it to fold. Wrinkles form all over the face. The skin gains a translucent, creepy appearance.

Some of the skin changes are due to environmental damage, primarily sun damage. You can prevent sun damage by keeping out of the sun as much as possible, wearing a hat that blocks the sun, and using sunscreen whenever you have to be out in the sun.

Other skin changes are due to a loss of nutrition supply to the face. You can reduce the impact of this by utilizing a recommended skin care regimen.

In addition, the skin's normal process of rejuvenation slows as we age. When we are young, the cells of the skin turn over quickly, so every individual skin cell is young. When we are older, the process slows, so that the individual skin cells on the surface are older, more damaged by the environment. You can counteract these changes using laser skin resurfacing or other resurfacing treatments that can stimulate the skin's natural rejuvenation process.

Loss of Facial Volume

With age, the body changes its patterns of fat deposition. The face loses priority, so it begins to lose fat, especially in the upper portion, the forehead and around the eyes. This is worsened by the displacement of tissues by gravity (see below), creating a haggard, worn, or tired appearance. This can be countered using dermal fillers (e.g. Juvéderm or fat grafting).

Changes in Facial Tissues

It's not just skin and fat that changes. Even the muscles and ligaments change. Some of the facial ligaments can lose elasticity like the skin. This contributes to the displacement of facial tissues. Where the ligaments retain their tautness, it can create facial grooves as some tissues descend while others do not. These grooves can be concealed using dermal fillers.

The muscles also experience an important change with age. All our muscles become conditioned to repeated responses and will anticipate routine contractions. In the face, this means some of your muscles will begin to anticipate some of the routine actions that accompany facial expressions, including contracting the brow, squinting the eyes, and pursing the lips. This leads to the formation of permanent folds where there should only be temporary ones. As the skin changes, these folds also become inscribed in the skin. The best treatment for relaxing these over-enthusiastic muscles is BOTOX® Cosmetic.

Displacement of Tissues by Gravity

Gravity works constantly to pull everything on the body downward. This is true of the breasts (and the reason why breast lift is such an in-demand treatment) and it is true of the face. Over time, gravity, aided by a loss of elasticity in the skin and ligaments, can displace the tissues of the face. In the upper face, the brow and eyelids can begin to sag, creating a tired or angry appearance. Hanging skin and fat in the lower face create jowls causing loss of the definition of the chin and jawline.  Deep facial folds are also created around the mouth and nasolabial area.

The only good solution to tissues displaced by gravity is facial plastic surgery. Eyelid surgery corrects drooping of the eyelids, while brow lift corrects a fallen brow. Face lift and neck lift correct the effects of displaced tissue in the lower part of the face.

Excessive Fat Accumulation

One of the first signs of facial aging is that your eyes get puffy.  This is caused by increase of fat in the upper and lower lids.  Fat also accumulates in the jowl area and in the neck area.  This causes loss of the definition of the neck and makes the chin appear weaker.

How Feagin & Owen Combat Facial Aging

At the Feagin & Owen Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center, our board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Charles Feagin and Dr. William Owen, have the training, skill, and experience to recognize and understand the different factors contributing to your personal aging process. We can recommend the best treatments for you to get the results you desire, namely a youthful, refreshed, and natural appearance.

To learn more about facial aging and how we can help, please call or email the Feagin & Owen Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center today.