Face Lift Alternatives
A Guide to Face Lift Alternatives
Fighting the effects of aging is a common attempt by many people to stay looking younger, and one of the most researched procedures is the face lift. Alternatives to this surgical procedure are available for those who are unable or unwilling to go under the knife.
Effects of aging on the face
Aging is a natural process that occurs to each individual although in varying degrees. Some people retain a youthful appearance well into their golden years, with smooth, unlined skin. Others acquire an aged look early in life; looking well over their actual age.
Contrary to popular belief, wrinkles, lines and crow’s feet actually begin because of facial expressions. Smiling, laughing, frowning, squinting and more start the process of these variations to the skin on our face. As we age, the lack of collagen in the skin, cause these “imperfections” to deepen, which in turn causes them to be retained in the skin. External forces are also responsible for a prematurely aged appearance, such as smoking and unprotected sun exposure.
Although it has become an increasingly popular procedure over the past 50 years, face lifts have actually been performed since the early 1900’s. The process has, of course, been perfected over time. The patient is administered anesthesia, varying from general anesthesia to local anesthesia combined with a sedative. During the face lift, the plastic surgeon makes an incision from the individual’s temple to the ear on each side of the face. The skin of the face is separated from the tissue underneath, and extraneous fat and skin are removed. The muscles of the face are tightened to enhance the patient’s overall appearance before the skin is repositioned on the newly structured face. Stitches or staples are used to secure the skin during healing, and the entire face is wrapped in bandages to encourage healing. Healing of the face will take several weeks and is generally a painful process that is eased with medication. The removal of the fat reduces sagging and provides the patient with younger looking skin.
The cost of face lifts often prevents many individuals from being able to pursue this type of surgery to enhance their appearance. In addition, the best results are realized from those who are in their 30’s or 40’s, as their skin is still flexible and resilient. Complications can arise from adverse reactions to the anesthesia used, scarring, numbness and infection.
Face lift alternatives
There are non-surgical options for face lifts. The benefit of younger looking skin without the overwhelming cost and the length of the healing period serve to attract many individuals to these alternatives. There are several types of non-surgical options, including laser, microcurrent and skin tightening.
- Laser face lifts. Uses laser technology to resurface the facial skin; removing lines and wrinkles. It can be used to resurface the entire face or specific areas such as the forehead or around the mouth. This method also serves to tighten the underlying collagen environment.
- Microcurrent face lifts. Electric stimulation is applied to the skin’s surface in 10 to 20 different session; increasing collagen production, elasticity and blood circulation to vastly improve the aging skin’s appearance. The benefits are in the non-invasive nature, no pain and a much lower cost; averaging about $100 per session.
- Skin tightening. Botox is probably the most common and well known of all face lift alternatives. Thermage is another method, using heat to smooth away wrinkles and stimulate collagen production. The treatments last approximately one hour and have few side effects.
Those who wish to rejuvenate their appearance often consider having a face lift. Often, the high cost and the fear of surgery prohibits many from having the procedure, yet they continue to desire a more youthful look. For these, the less invasive and non-surgical alternatives can produce great results with much lower costs and little to no pain.