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What's the Best Age for a Face-Lift?

 What's the Best Age for a Face-Lift?

Lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity are all inevitable parts of aging. Collagen and elastin, two structural proteins that give your skin strength and resiliency, start declining in your mid-20s and continue to diminish with each succeeding year.

That doesn’t mean you have to accept the inevitable. Several cosmetic treatments that can help you recapture your youthful glow, at least for a little while. These include Botox®, dermal fillers, laser skin resurfacing, and microneedling, to name a few. But all of these need to be redone within a relatively short period to maintain results, leaving you looking for something more permanent.

At Oral & Facial Surgery of Mississippi, board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Michael Nichols and our staff offer surgical face-lifts to our patients in Flowood as a semi-permanent option to rejuvenate the lower two-thirds of the face. Many patients wonder what’s the best age for a face-lift procedure — here’s the answer.

Who is a good candidate for a face-lift?

Face-lifts, medically called rhytidectomies, address the visible signs of aging on the lower part of your face and jaw. They lift and tighten the skin and the underlying muscle, addressing deep lines, creases, and sagging skin and giving you back your youthful contours.

There’s no “ideal” age for a face-lift, but Dr. Nichols achieves the best results in patients young enough to still have good skin quality and elasticity, those generally between 40 and 60. Patients should also have good overall physical and mental health and realistic expectations about the results.

You should understand that face-lift surgery has some limitations. While it can radically transform your lower face and neck, it won’t improve upper face issues, such as crow’s feet, droopy eyes, and frown lines, and it won’t repair sun-damaged skin. To address these concerns, Dr. Nichols may recommend adding upper facial cosmetic surgery like eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) or a brow lift for more comprehensive results. Combining a face-lift with other nonsurgical techniques is also an option.

The face-lift surgery

How Dr. Nichols proceeds with your face-lift depends on your unique anatomy, skin tone, and aesthetic preferences, all of which he discusses with you during your initial consultation.

The doctor generally makes incisions behind the ear and in the hairline to reduce the appearance of scarring. He tightens the underlying soft tissue and muscular layers of the face before removing any excess skin and closing the incisions.

If you have a neck lift at the same time, he makes a small incision below the chin, tightening the skin and muscular layers of the jaw to create a smoother and tighter jawline. He may also use liposuction to remove excess fat and enhance your contours.

We generally perform face-lifts in our outpatient surgery suite under IV sedation. That means you can go home the same day as your surgery. We have you wear a facial support bandage for the first week to reduce the swelling and keep you comfortable. You can start to wear makeup by the second week, and after two weeks, you can return to your normal daily routine.

Your results will be apparent immediately following the surgery, with no loose or hanging skin, better skin texture, and a reduction of deep wrinkles and creases. And the results look completely natural, so no one will know you’ve had work done after you heal.

Maintaining your results

If you’ve gone through the trouble of having a face-lift, you’ll want to maintain your results as long as possible. Remember to protect your face from the sun for at least a few weeks, as you’ll be prone to sunburn. Staying out of the sun also helps your scars heal more quickly.

Over the long-term, maintain a healthy, stable weight since significant changes can cause your skin to become stretched and lax again. Also, adopt a consistent, quality skin care regimen; not only will it keep your skin healthy, but the skin will also be less prone to new sags and wrinkles. For most patients, face-lift results last about 10 years

If you’re in the 40-60 age range and are bothered by lax skin and deep facial wrinkles, a face-lift may be a good option. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, give our office a call at 601-282-9290.

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