PUBLISHED BY:

DR. TONI BARK

847.869.7740

Non-Surgical Facelifts Compared to Just Filling

Everyday, I notice women in the Chicago area who have had obvious facial filler jobs performed on them. They all look similar. Why is this and is it the only way to rejuvenate one’s face?

The answer to the second question is, no. The answer to the first question is twofold: Most doctors use fillers and botox to better their business model and bottom line. If the bottom line is the goal, then fillers are placed directly in the area of movement i.e. the wrinkles themselves, as this gives them the shortest lifespan and the patient will be back for more soon. However, their face is typically distorted and the laxity of the skin just moves backwards.

There are basic and advanced filler and botox techniques and most doctors use the basic techniques as they are faster and many more patients can be treated in a day. Typically, doctors never return for advanced training and are stuck with basic techniques.

I frequently write about less than excellent care in the general medical arena, due to limited time and or knowledge on the doctor’s part. This is also true in the medical aesthetic arena.

Thirty years ago, up until the last few years, facelifts were considered by many to be the best option for rejuvenation. This thought is changing due to the vast knowledge we have about facial anatomy in relation to the different types of fillers and collagen-promoters available on the market.

Volume loss is the most prominent feature we see with an aging face, therefore, replacing volume is key to rejuvenation. Understanding facial anatomy and structure as well as the different options of products on the market is necessary for obtaining desired results in one’s patients.

While it has been acceptable by many to have distorted features in order to remove smile lines or fine lines about the lip, I have never accepted this. In fact, I find the look displeasing to the eye.

The better options include small amounts of botox, enough to relax tension but not enough to freeze the face in adjunct with collagen promoters or large molecular fillers in the deep areas of the cheeks where the fat pads have been lost with age. However, this method is not as good of a business model for the physician, as patients use less botox and the deeply placed products can last 2 to 5 years. Most offices want the patients to return every few months for refills.

Again, I like to stress, facial rejuvenation should leave the patient looking rested and like themselves, albeit a few years younger. It should not leave them looking like another species or with distorted features.

My favorite products are Juvederm, Belotero, Restylane and Radiesse. The first three are hyaluronic acid which is a naturally occurring substance in our skin and leaves skin soft and smooth with no risk of allergic reaction. The last product is a calcium based material that promotes collagen growth over months and lasts indefinitely.

As far as skin tone and texture is concerned nothing works better than dermal needle rolling. While it sounds like torture, it is not. By inducing micro holes in the skin, blood flow is increased to the skin and the cells which produce collagen receive increased oxygen, resulting in increased collagen production. Products like growth factors or vitamin C can be used to help stimulate repair and reduce sun damage spots. And these products are water soluble so are not capable of working when simply placed on the skin as in a serum, one must needle them in .

It is perfectly fine to not partake in any facial rejuvenation but if one chooses to receive treatment, choose something that is natural looking and not going to require repeated frequent treatments. Don’t settle for looking less-than.