Where There Is Stress, There Are Wrinkles Women have a lot on their minds. Work and family top the list, but these days the economy is taking its toll on women in more ways than one. Visalia Times-Delta reports a recent study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that it's not just genetics that determine how we age. Stress, and particularly how we deal with it, can also dictate aging. Whether it's the economy, work or coming to terms with life-changing events such as divorce, women deal with stress differently. Some eat, some lose their appetite all together. Some reach for a martini or find that antidepressants help. This study found that when women introduce certain factors into their lives, they interfere with the aging process. Clearly things such as smoking and sun damage can cause dramatic increases in the age of our appearance. But this study found that divorce, use of antidepressants and dramatic weight loss/gain affect aging, primarily because the face loses volume. It's up to women to choose whether to deal with stress differently or rejuvenate the face in other ways. Soft tissue fillers and Botox injections, as well as surgical procedures like a Beverly Hills facelift, can reverse these trends. Question: How much does a person's heritage dictate how they age? Answer: Quite a bit. A good example is that darker-skinned individuals have less sun damage because the pigment in their skin absorbs ultraviolet light, that portion of sunlight that causes skin damage. Q: What are some factors that contribute to the aging process? A: Some of the biggest things that you can control are smoking and sun exposure — sun exposure is harmful for obvious reasons, but smoking is more complicated. Holding a cigarette in your mouth can lead to wrinkles around the mouth. The nicotine decreases blood flow to the skin leading to changes that accelerate aging. The toxins in the smoke get into the blood stream and also contribute to aging. Either way, Beverly Hills plastic surgeons say avoiding these can make a big difference. Q: What are the best preventive measures women can take to slow aging? A: There are various options available for improving the appearance of existing wrinkles. A good skin-care regimen, including glycolic acids and Vitamin A derivatives (Retin-A, Retinol, etc.), will help if used faithfully. Chemical peels will improve skin texture and smooth wrinkles. Soft tissue fillers like Restylane, Radiesse or Sculptra can provide more fullness in treated areas. Botox smoothes wrinkles in areas where muscle function causes the wrinkles. Microdermabrasion helps to exfoliate the skin. Even corrective otoplasty Beverly Hills plastic surgeons point out, can help achieve a younger look for a patient’s face. Finally, the more invasive procedures like laser resurfacing and face-lifts may be needed depending on the extent of improvement desired. Discussing your concerns with someone who can provide all of these options gives the patient the information to decide what is best for them. Q: In this economy, what are some of the more economical surgical procedures that correct aging?
A: Botox and fillers create improvement with a much lower cost than an operation. However, my personal feeling is that the operation that creates the biggest "bang for your buck" is the upper eyelid lift (upper blepharoplasty). Opening the eye area creates a dramatic improvement in the signs of aging for a much smaller cost than a face-lift with only two weeks down time and most people won't be able to tell you had an operation. They will say that you look more awake and refreshed without knowing why. Q: Do you have any advice for patients on how to make surgical procedures affordable in these times? A: Work with your provider to see what options they offer and don't hesitate to investigate on your own. Your Beverly Hills ear surgery specialist may be willing to set up a payment plan where you can essentially "save up" for your procedure. For example, you'll pay installments on an interest-free basis until the total cost of the procedure is covered, then the procedure can be done. Others have financing options available that allow you to get a procedure and make payments on it later. Such options are more costly.
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