The Ageing Process:
The ravages of time and gravity correlate with ageing changes in the human form. From physiological to anatomical changes, the face manifests this with changes in the skin and supportive tissues. Pigmentation, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and support of the underlying musculature and facial bones occur from degeneration and shrinkage.
Several classification systems are used to describe the facial ageing process, but as a rule of thumb range from mild to moderate to severe. In essence, the face undergoes a continuum of shrinkage with an expanding outer sheath of slackening skin. In mild ageing, there is slight slackening of tissues with mild wrinkles and laxity. Early changes around the periorbital area show a slight hollowing and an oblique groove under the eye to the mid cheek (tear-trough depression), with a hint of a groove from the outer nasal corner to the lip commissure (nasolabial fold).
In the later stages of ageing this line deepens, alongside the trough at the outer corner of the lips (marionette lines), more descent of the cheek fat pad as the cheek-bones start to resorb and shrink. The lips start to narrow horizontally, with an increase in lip height, and visible lip lines appear. The skin slackens further, with the loss of contouring at the jaw line, first frontally, then moving laterally (jowls).
Lift & Volumize:
Traditionally, facelifting via invasive or minimally-invasive methods has been confined to three-dimensional methods of pulling on skin and its deeper supporting structures. This, however, only addresses the laxity and sagging of the overlying skin envelope. With our better understanding of the changes with ageing, we know that the decrease in facial volume due to diminishing mass of bone, muscle and fat needs to be addressed concurrently to attain youthful proportions.
Restoration of this volume (volumisation) coupled with traction is known as a 4-Dimensional Facelift (4D-Lift). The 4D-lift can be achieved through minimally-invasive facial contouring using a combination of fillers and threads. Fillers such as Teosyal® Ultimate remain the most popular option for volumisation giving immediate results with minimal risk and no downtime. The range of today's comprehensive range of hyaluronic acid fillers allow pinpoint specificity in matching filler to anatomical location. Troughs, hollows and folds which betray the ravages of time are filled. Peaks, cheeks and lips which may be mere shadows of youth past are enhanced.
Traction for sagging faces can be applied with minimally-invasive Silhouette Lift® threads. Threads have evolved leaps and bounds from the free-floating, barbed lines of a decade ago. Silhouette thread techniques require anchorage to exert the stronger pull necessary for eliminating deep folds. Three-dimensional absorbable cones, unlike barbs, do not buckle under the greater demands of lifting heavy jowls. Jawlines lost under the disguise of sagging skin are rediscovered. Cheeks flattened by gravitational descent are concentrated and elevated to young cherubic heights. In the hustle and bustle of modern day living where time is of the essence, the minimally-invasive 4D-lift is becoming increasingly popular due to its short downtime and its dramatic, yet natural results.
Dr Colin Tham, Asia HealthPartners
The article above is meant to provide general information and does not replace a doctor's consultation.
Please see your doctor for professional advice.