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Wrinkles: a guide to wrinkles

What role does cosmetic surgery play in the fight against wrinkles?


What role does cosmetic surgery play in the fight against wrinkles?

A facelift was the traditional way to rid your face of wrinkles and to some extent it’s still the go to cosmetic procedure for mature women.

Professor François Disant explains, “some wrinkles can only be remedied through cosmetic surgery. Expression lines appear when the skin no longer has the capacity to return to its place after undergoing repeated muscular movements”.

These days cosmetic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists advocate preventative non-invasive procedures to patients who are many years away from needing a full face lift.

Several techniques exists for smoothing out mild to medium wrinkled or lined skin that are non-invasive and non-surgical and still produce incredible anti-aging results. Some (such as Botox) can be used before wrinkles appear to restrict the muscle movement - apparently this results in the area never getting damaged enough for a wrinkle to appear although it has not been scientifically proven:

Non-invasive procedures

•    Abrasion techniques:

Procedures such as peeling, CO2 laser, microdermabrasion, resurfacing, etc treat deep wrinkles around the mouth and eye contour area. They aren’t painful but healing can take a little while. Redness can occur and last for a few weeks but some such as mild acid peels have no downtime and don’t cause redness. These techniques can produce mini miracles to the skin’s appearance but they must be performed by cosmetic surgeons or trained dermatologists.

•    ArteFill:

A mixture of collagen and plexiglas. It’s a sort of implant which is injected like collagen. Its use (judged dangerous by certain experts) requires tests to be undertaken beforehand.

•    Botox:

Brow lines occur as a result of muscles between the eyebrows contracting. It’s possible to smooth them out through Botox injections which paralyze the muscles in question. Paralyzing the muscle before the onset of wrinkles is said to help prevent the wrinkle ever developing but does result in a glazed and expressionless look. The injection needs repeating approximately every 5 months.

•    Collagen:

Used to correct wrinkles over 4 to 8 months. There’s little risk of allergic reaction and the injection is as pain free as a needle in the face can ever be.

•    Fat injections:

Under local anaesthetic, fat is removed and then re-injected into the hypodermis. Part of this fat will be grafted. This technique allows lines around the nose and mouth to be smoothed out or the cheeks to be plumped for roughly 6 months.

•    Fraxal:

The Fraxal re:store® Dual Wavelength System a non-invasive laser treatment that resurfaces skin combating lines, wrinkles, sun damage, age spots and acne scarring.

•    Hyaluronic acid:

Produces similar results to collagen. See Dermadoc for details.

•    Injectables:

Dermal fillers such as Restylane, Prevelle, Cristal, CRM, Evolence, Hydrafill, Hylaform and Teosyal (to name a few) are all materials (often in gel form) which are injected into wrinkles and lines and then smoothed out by hand to plump the wrinkle from the inside making the skin smooth again. This has to be done by a professional doctor or dermatologist nurse such as those at the Harley Street Clinic! Don’t risk it otherwise.

•    Isolagen:

Your own skin cells are harvested (usually from behind your ear) and then grown in a lab. Once they're ready they can be injected back to promote collagen production and tissue growth. This procedure is not yet FDA approved.

•    Pellevé:

The Pellevé wrinkle reduction system (available at Dr Rita Rakus’ clinic) is painless and works with gentle heat to iron out wrinkles from deep within the skin. Incredible results last about six months.

•    Thermage:

A non-surgical facelift that has also been customized for use on the eyes at Dr Rita Rakus clinic. A deep-heating technology that stimulates renewal of collagen.

Implants / Invasive treatments

•    Goretex:

The same stuff they use to make raincoats. A synthetic material that has little risk of allergy and enables deep wrinkles to be corrected and lips to be reshaped but requires an incision and stitches.

•   Softform & Ultrasoft:

Used to in heart and abdominal surgery, this material is also inserted via incision. The effects are immediate and permanent but the implants can also be eaily removed if required. The implants can be felt under the skin though of the two Ultrasoft is less noticeable.


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