At some point you may start to feel like you like “tired”, or that things are sagging, looking “heavy” or like they’re “falling”. You may notice this as undereye circles or hollowing under the eyes, heavy folds around the nose going towards the cheek, or a less defined jawline. You know this is what you’re seeing when you take your cheeks in your hands and push your skin up from the area around your chin and up towards your ears. Although you may not need a “facelift” surgery, it’s when you start to feel like your face needs a little pick me up of some sort.
When you’re young (kids and teenagers), you have the most bone, collagen, fat, and thickest skin that you’re ever going to have. Your skin looks amazing – tight, lifted, smooth, etc. As you get older (starting in your 20s), you start to lose more bone, collagen, elastin, etc. than you make every day. With less structure and support, your face starts to slide downwards. It happens gradually, and to some extent, you may even look more attractive early in the process, as you move from a baby-fat face to a more lean, sculpted face. Beyond that point though, the face moves into a phase of looking more aged, more tired, and heavier as you lose more tissues.
We typically see these changes in the face – especially along the jawline, in the cheeks – mid-cheek, by the nose, and upper cheeks start to flatten out around the eyes.
How do we treat smile lines, jowels, and volume loss?
A lot of this has to do with volume loss. At Steele Dermatology, we use a variety of fillers to provide fullness and substance.
Lifting the skin without a facelift – instalift, ultherapy, microneedling, and Thermi are devices that we use to target the skin and beneath to stimulate new collagen and elastic tissue to lift the skin. If it’s early in the process, these devices work well on their own, and if you have a little more extensive tissue sagging, then they may be used with fillers.
Injectable fillers are used to add volume to areas of the skin where it is lacking. They can be added where fat, collagen, or even bone has been lost or where you want to augment your appearance like to sharpen a jawline, to improve chin projection, to lift your cheeks or shape your nose. Today’s fillers are usually hyaluronic acids but can also be collagen, calcium hydroxyapatite, or your own fat.
Instalift falls in the category of a thread lift. The threads go underneath the skin and grab the underside of the skin and can be threaded in a way that lifts the jawline, cheeks, and neck. The threads are biodegradable so they naturally dissolve in the skin over time, but in the meantime, your skin has made collagen around the thread to give a semi-permanent result.
Ultherapy is an in-office procedure FDA approved to lift and tighten the skin. It uses ultrasound energy to stimulate the tissues to make new collagen and importantly, elastic tissue to lift and tighten, especially along the jawline and neck. The treatment creates natural and long-lasting significant improvements because it causes your body to make it’s own collagen and elastic tissue – especially to treat wrinkles and lines on the chest.
Sculptra is the non-filler, filler. It’s an injectable that consists of tiny microspheres suspended in saline. The microspheres stimulate collagen to form around them over the course of several weeks. The end result is lasting volume. It is a natural-looking result because the volume is your own tissue. It can help keep the cheeks and mid-face looking lifted and youthful.
ThermiSmooth is a non-invasive radiofrequency based treatment that smooths and tightens skin on the face and body. Over the course of several treatments, the skin becomes tighter and smoother as you develop new collagen and elastic tissues. Treatments are delivered anywhere from a few days to a few weeks apart for the best results. The energy will keep the face looking smooth and lifted.
With offices conveniently located in Atlanta and Alpharetta, Steele Dermatology offers several expert treatments to reduce the appearance of smile lines, jowls, and volume loss. To learn which treatment may be right for you, schedule an appointment or give us a call at (770) 464-6000.