There’s a reason we all focus on wrinkles: they’re obvious! When you look in the mirror, you can see them right away—they’re not hiding.
Wrinkles have been getting all the attention for years in facial rejuvenation treatments. The catch? They’re not the only culprit behind aging. Facial volume loss has also been shown to be a huge factor in aging. Plastic surgeons have known about this for years, but only in the last few years have volume loss treatments become mainstream. Here’s what you need to know about how facial volume loss affects the way you look—and what you can do about it.
Changes with Age
As people get older, it’s typically harder for them to lose body fat. The irony is that as our metabolisms slow down and make us more likely to gain weight, our faces start losing fat and volume. Even as early as age 30, we start experiencing signs of facial aging. Many men and women notice their first real wrinkles during this decade. It’s also when facial volume loss begins to occur.
Facial volume loss is a gradual process. You don’t notice it until it’s already happened. You look in the mirror and notice that your face looks tired, gaunt, hollow and…aged. Volume loss even plays a role in developing wrinkles. “Static” wrinkles and deep folds stem from loss of fat, hyaluronic acid, and collagen in the skin. Everyone ages at a different rate, but facial volume loss affects almost everyone to some degree.
Treatments for Volume Loss
Since facial volume loss involves the body’s natural components, treatment involves replacing them. Facial fat, hyaluronic acid, and collagen all play a role in maintaining a youthful glow. Since each patient has unique concerns, the treatment must be customized to suit those needs. The two most popular treatments for facial volume loss are facial fat transfer and hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers.
Facial Fat Transfer
A fat transfer is a surgical procedure that takes fat from one area of the body and relocates it to the face. Facial fat transfer rejuvenates the face by replacing lost facial fat volume, lifting and plumping up the sagging areas. Usually, fat is taken from areas like the hips, thighs, and stomach. These are common “problem areas” with excess fat. Then, the fat is removed using gentle liposuction techniques. Finally, it is purified and injected into the areas of volume loss.
Because the fat is from the patient’s own body, there is no risk of rejection. The fat can establish itself in the new location permanently. While not all the fat will survive in the months following the treatment, the cells that do survive should remain long term. Patients love this natural procedure for its beautiful results and long-lasting rejuvenation.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Hyaluronic acid fillers have become wildly popular in the last few years. That’s not surprising—they’re convenient, accessible and give patients great results! HA fillers work by injecting a synthetic hyaluronic acid gel into the skin to restore volume. Since HA is a naturally-occurring substance, the results appear very natural.
Patients can come in for a treatment and be on their way in just a few minutes. HA fillers are temporary, but long-lasting. New formulas like Juvederm Voluma XC that have been developed especially for volume loss and deep folds can last up to two years before another treatment is needed. There is no downtime, and patients see results immediately.
Volume loss treatments bring youth and life back into the face. Rejuvenation often makes patients look more awake, alert, and vibrant. The changes are so significant that many people gain more confidence and self-esteem. Replacing lost volume is a relatively simple process, but the results can be incredible.
Which Treatment is Right for You?
If you’re struggling with the effects of facial volume loss, then you’re probably not looking or feeling your best. Finding the right treatment is important, and you can’t make that decision without the help of an expert. The only way to get personalized advice about your treatment is to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon. He or she will be able to assess your volume loss and make recommendations based on your goals.
Dr. Edward Buckingham is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who uses minimally invasive treatments whenever possible. Dr. Buckingham works every day to give patients the beautiful, natural results they seek. If you’d like to learn more about fat transfer or HA fillers at Buckingham Center in Austin, TX, call 512.401.2500 today to schedule your consultation.