Aging Skin

aging skinWith a quick look at someone’s face, we can often get a good idea of the person’s age. Exactly what is it that we see that gives us this information? Many of us would like to be seen as younger than our actual age. What changes are available to us, and how do they work?

The process of aging is complex, involving three important factors:  facial volume loss, dynamic and static wrinkles and folds caused by the repetitive movement of facial muscles and laxity induced by the force of gravity.

As we age, various functions in our bodies and in our skin change, and exposure to the environment can affect facial appearance, too. Age related changes include rough skin with dilated pores, fine lines and wrinkles, newly prominent blood vessels and skin discoloration, skin growths, facial redness, loss of elasticity, bone loss, and gravitational effects including loss of volume of the skin. The secret of success in applying cosmetic facial rejuvenation techniques lies in understanding the varying processes of facial aging.


When we discuss aging and the effects it has on the skin, we can discuss the 4 Ds:

  1. Deflation: this refers to a loss of volume under the skin and is best dealt with by fillers.
  2. Descent: refers to a drooping caused by a loss of elasticity. This is best dealt with by surgery such as a facelift.
  3. Degeneration: aging texture and coloration, etc., and best dealt with by chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and lasers.
  4. Dynamic: the lack of tight skin allows it to move around and fold, causing wrinkles, and, for many, is best dealt with by botulinum toxin treatment.

Remember, the viewer is taking in some combination of those “4 Ds” and seeing the combination of aging processes. If we only consider modifying one of these, the viewer will still be tipped off by the others, so a combination of methods may yield the most striking results.

The newest techniques involve the combined use of lasers and injectables with less emphasis on the face-lift as a ‘cure-all’. Lasers serve to improve pigmentation, smooth lines and wrinkles, and decrease the ruddiness and redness of aged skin, and the injectables improve the volume, thus improving two of the “4 Ds”. The pulsed dye laser is one of the best cost-effective cosmetic treatments to improve sun-damaged skin. You can read more about fillers here.

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aging hands