Last time we
spoke of drooping and how plastic surgeons improve it.
Now let's talk about a second type of aging
and what plastic surgeons can do about it.
If your grandparents were
wrinklers, you probably will be, too.
What we mean by wrinkling
is the same thing you mean the deepening lines
within the skin you can see when your face is at rest. We
don't mean the active expression lines we all have
when we smile or frown.
Most wrinkles fall between
two extremes. Fine wrinkles are velvety and show up on
the lower eyelids, around the lips ("my lipstick
runs") and between the brows. The very deep ones are
fixed and do not "pull flat" when the skin is
stretched, like the fine wrinkles do. They show up where
the expression muscles have creased the skin,
particularly in skin which has lost its elasticity. We
develop these first in the forehead, then around the
mouth and between the brows and, finally, all over the
cheeks, especially with advanced age. One woman said,
"My face looks like a prune just like my
Your particular kind of
wrinkling is usually inherited. All wrinkles deepen with
the passing years and will be speeded by sun, smoking and
Facial Rejuvenation: Resurfacing
Cosmetic surgical techniques are
getting better for wrinklers.
We treat fine wrinkling by
resurfacing the skin via one of these techniques:
dermabrasion, chemical peel, laser or heat-wiping. All
remove the old layers of skin so the skin looks younger
Dermabrasion uses a
rotating wire brush or diamond wheel; the chemical peel
burns the outer layers with acids; laser and heat-wiping
by a controlled heat-burn. In fact, the Austin-Weston
Center is the originator of the heat-wiping technique.
Deep wrinkling is a little
harder to treat. In addition to the techniques for fine
wrinkling, we may also treat these by: stretching the
skin, "threading" strips of your tissue
underneath or by injecting fat or collagen. Occasionally,
we trim out those wrinkles which have become deep furrows
like the smile lines beside the mouth
trading them for fine-line scars. We often need to
combine two or more techniques to get the best result.
The Upside / The Downside
These techniques work
well. Most patients tell us we improved their wrinkling
about 75% sometimes more, sometimes less,
depending on a variety of factors. We dont dare to
go for 100% of the wrinkles because the color of your
skin might lighten too much or you might scar or look
oddly tight. Most people want to look natural.
will have a burning sensation for the first few days,
varying from "awful" to "hardly
anything". After your procedure, we have you wash
and put ointments on the superficial raw area for five to
seven days until the thin crust washes away.
Your new skin is quite red, taking
one to four months to fade. Good makeup technique
conceals it. How sensitive it feels and how long it stays
pink depends more upon your particular skin than upon
which technique we use. Occasionally the treated area
darkens; it's temporary and we treat it with
For the first few weeks, a
little swelling within the skin makes your early result
look somewhat better than it will when healing is
complete. Even though some wrinkles will return as your
skin continues to age, you will always look better than
if you hadn't had it done.
A word on
lasers. Plastic surgeons are hoping laser techniques will
prove to be easier on you and more effective. We have
only been using lasers to treat wrinkling for a year or
two not long enough to really know. At present it
is more expensive than the other techniques. So far, some
patients are not as impressed with the results as they
and some are. It's still early.
Together, you and our surgeons choose which techniques are best for
your particular type of aging and for your kind of skin.
If your face both droops and wrinkles, as is often the
case, we can design your facial rejuvenation to improve
both at the same time.
The combination of an artistic and experienced surgeon, you as an informed patient
can yield lovely results for you.
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Harvey W. Austin, MD
Berlin MD 21811
Click to... Contact Harvey Austin