Jul 20 2010
Has Technology Made the Facelift a Relic of the Past?
Facelifts seem like old news. I mean, facelifts are so 1980s. Today all the buzz is around non-surgical facelifts, liquid facelifts, or lunch hour threadlifts. Everyone seems to promise that you can get facelift results without all that mucking around with surgery or waiting for you body to heal. Sounds like a great deal, right? Of course it does. But is it the truth?
The Facelift Is an Advanced Technology
The modern facelift was developed in the 1970s and grew to popularity in the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean it’s old technology. After all, cell phones and personal computers first became popular in the 1980s, but they’re not exactly old technology. Although they have not changed in terms of their basic function, cell phones, PCs, and facelifts have all continued to develop.
Like cell phones and PCs, facelifts have become smaller and more powerful. Advances in surgical techniques and recovery methods have allowed facelifts to give better, more natural-looking results with a shorter recovery time than ever.
If you are looking into cosmetic procedures at all, chances are you’ve heard about many different procedures that promise to be as good as facelifts, only without surgery. Many of these are scams, but some of them are legitimate alternatives that have reasonable tradeoffs against the facelift procedure, and should be considered. Perhaps the most successful facelift alternative is injectable fillers, originally collagen, but nowadays they are more likely to be hyaluronic acid, a natural material that is found in skin, spinal fluid, eyes, and streptococcus bacteria. Botox, commonly promoted as a facelift alternative, actually targets completely different areas than the facelift. Whereas a facelift works on sagging skin and facial folds in the lower face, Botox is most successful in remedying crow’s feet and wrinkles in the forehead.
Other facelift alternatives include skin and subcutaneous fat treatments, such as Thermage and some components of the Sciton platform. These treatments actually apply light or radio energy to the skin in a fashion that penetrates below the surface into the subcutaneous layers of fat. These treatments can loosen the tissues of the skin and fat, causing them to rearrange themselves slightly and contract. With these treatments, some people see significant tightening of the skin and alleviation of facial wrinkles. Not everyone sees the same results, however, and doctors have not yet assembled a consistent profile of who will see the best results.
Nothing like the Real Thing
The truth about these facelift alternatives, though, is that they are all wannabe facelifts. If you have significant skin laxity and wrinkling, large jowls, turkey wattle, and other signs of facial aging, the best possible treatment is a facelift. A facelift can reduce lax, hanging skin and reduce wrinkling in the lower face, especially around the mouth. In addition, the results of a facelift are long-lasting. A facelift doesn’t stop your face from aging, but some patients see results from their facelift for ten years after the surgery. When you compare that to injectable fillers or Thermage, which may need to be repeated every six months or more, the facelift has a definite advantage. Perhaps the best way to approach these other treatments is as a possible complement to the facelift, like a laser and a lift, in which light treatment of fine wrinkles supplements the facelift remedy of deep folds and hanging skin.
If you want to experience a remedy for lax facial skin, deep facial folds, and a jowly appearance, you should consider all the alternatives, but the most reliable treatment is the facelift.
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