Face rejuvenation comprises a number of surgical and non-surgical procedures to remove the traces, life and circumstances have inscribed in our faces. They include face and neck tightening, Botox injections, dermal fillers, chemical and laser peeling. The individual combination of methods is decided jointly by patient and surgeon. In the consultation phase, patients should provide their surgeon with pictures of their younger self to give them an idea of the changes in appearance that occurred over the years.
Frequently asked questions about face rejuvenation:
What exactly happens to our face when we age?
Over time, our face undergoes 3 fundamental changes:
- Under the influence of gravity, the body tissue begins to sag. This effect is the more pronounced, the heavier the skin. It is most visible in the eyelids, the jowls, the neck and in deep lines running down from the nostrils to the corners of the mouth.
- Tissue volume loss leaves the skin thinner, the jowls lose their fullness, the eyes sink into their sockets, the tear sacs pile up on the lower rim of the eye socket, the midface becomes flatter, the skin extends beyond the jaw line and the once young and oval face becomes round and then square in appearance.
- With age, our skin loses its elasticity and – in particular under the influence of the sun – age spots form and skin lesions which, under unfavourable circumstances, may develop into skin cancer. Our facial expression or mimic is sculpted into our face in the form of deep lines like crow’s feet, forehead furrows and deep wrinkles between the eyes (“anger lines”), and the general ravages of time become manifest in countless small wrinkles.
Can the ageing process be slowed down?
The process is genetically encoded; good genes mean a later onset of the inevitable ageing process even under adverse environmental conditions. There are also differences between races: in thicker skinned Mediterranean people, the effect of gravity is stronger, while Nordic types, with their thinner skin, are more prone to wrinkling.
Within limits, the ageing process is subject to our lifestyle. Positive factors are sufficient sleep, a healthy diet, not too much sun, proper hydration, no cigarettes, moderate consumption of alcohol, avoiding stress, regular skincare, avoiding pollution and not too much makeup.
Which facial areas are distinguished in face rejuvenation procedures?
We distinguish three areas:
- The upper face: forehead, temples, eyebrows and upper lids. Here we counter the effects of gravity. Common methods are open or endoscopic surgical intervention to lift and tighten the skin, and Botox injections.
- The midface: lower eyelids, jowls and cheek bones. The purpose here is to correct, improve and restore the correlation of these three areas through tightening, and padding with dermal fillers. The methods are eyelid tightening (blepharoplasty), endoscopic tightening, silhouette lift, fat injections and other dermal fillers.
- The lower face: the lower jaw line, the lower lip and the neck. The goal of the surgical intervention is to lift sagging jowls, to enhance the lips and to smoothen the neck. The applied methods are liposuction and surgical skin tightening.
What non-surgical methods for face rejuvenation are available?
The most important non-surgical methods are silhouette lift, peeling, Botox and dermal fillers.
- Silhouette Lift: Non-absorbable polymer strands are inserted under the skin and fixed just above the hair line. The strands carry tiny absorbable cones that act as anchors for the skin tissue. This technique is simpler and far less invasive than a surgical face lift. It is particularly suitable for middle-aged persons whose skin shows the first signs of sagging. Local anaesthesia is sufficient for this procedure, it is easy to apply and the recovery period is short.
- Peeling: Face rejuvenation procedures address the issues of wrinkles and volume loss; they are not suitable for the repair of age-related damages to the skin. In the process, the top layers of the skin are carefully removed (by chemical or laser peeling, and microdermabrasion) and the growth of new skin is stimulated.
- Botox: The purpose of Botox injections is to calm the mimic muscles in order to prevent the formation of new wrinkles, and deepening of existing ones. Botox’ main area of application is around the eyes. It is particularly effective against crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and vertical lines between the brows (“anger lines”).
- Dermal fillers: With increasing age our soft tissue decreases. This loss is compensated with the injection of dermal fillers. Small scale injections can be applied in the surgeon’s office. A wide range of ready-to-use dermal fillers are available; they are easily and painlessly applied. The effect of fillers can be temporary or permanent.