Let’s set the scene. It’s been a long day. You met your mom for lunch and she quickly asks if everything is okay. Faster than your irritation can manifest, she explains how tired you look. You feel tired but no more than you have been for the last fifteen years juggling a home, children, marriage, and friendships. You are a caregiver, you know this about yourself, and you have accepted the seemingly inevitable fate of being tired. Unfortunately, your mind can not help but circle back to the countless times that people who have known you for years suddenly ask about your ‘fatigue’.
You finally get home and take a warm shower. You close your eyes and let the water pour over your face, reminiscing on the energy and unexplainable confidence you had in your twenties, subconsciously wishing the fountain of youth supplied the water your shower head released. The very desire of days before your children stimulates guilt and you quickly dismiss the thought. You step out of the shower and lean in close to the mirror, peering at your skin. Is that yet another line forming near the crow’s feet? Smile. Relax. Smile. Relax. Frustrated, you open your bathroom cabinet that’s filled with lotions and potions that all read ANTI-AGING, COLLAGEN BOOSTING, AGE DEFENDER; all of which you have been diligently applying day after day. Some you picked up at the department store, others were recommended to you by a friend. You’re seeing a slight improvement (you think) but add up the cost and promises of all those serums, moisturizers and creams and you expect more!
Like so many men and woman I see on a daily basis, we feel like we just have to live with this struggle; that aging is simply a losing battle. You fear that your only option is to accept getting older or lose yourself in the world of cosmetic surgery and artificial appearances. While there is still some stigma associated with turning to cosmetic skin care treatments, like injectables, I am here to empower you to make your own decision. I am here to unveil your options and to say, chances are, more of your friends have turned to anti-aging injections than you thought.
Aging takes its toll in a number of ways, including expression lines that just do not seem to go away anymore, loss of fat volume, decrease in bone structure, gravity, and the big one – dark spots reminding you of the many summers chasing the sun. In fact, seventy-five percent of what you see in the mirror at 50 or 60 is due to sun damage.
So what are your options? The truth is, there is no one treatment that deals with all skin issues and what may be best for one person may not be best for another. The best way to decide is to have a conversation with a provider specializing in cosmetic treatments. Be honest with your provider and see if that honesty is returned. Like skin treatments, not all providers are created equally. During your complimentary consultation, make note if your provider takes the time to listen to your concerns and focus on your priorities. A provider that has your best interest at heart, will listen and help establish a personalized care plan with you. For most patients I believe a combination approach of ultrasound therapy, injectables and skin care can yield both natural and personalized results. Here are some options to consider:
1.Ultherapy (also known as Ulthera) is an ultrasound based procedure uniquely designed to lift and firm the sagging skin on your face, neck and décolletage. This innovative treatment provides micro-focused heating and vibration of both dermal and deep fibro-muscular layers of the skin, which could be previously addressed only by surgery. Furthermore, the method of treatment is guided by DeepSee technology (similar to diagnostic ultrasound commonly used during pregnancy); enabling your provider to evaluate the structures and tissue below the skin surface and personalize your treatment to your exact needs. Ultherapy is especially desirable as it stimulates your body’s own natural collagen building process, therefore lifting and firming your sagging skin. If you are between the age of 35 and 65 years, and and are interested in avoiding or postponing surgery this treatment is likely for you.
2. Injectables are also a great way to rejuvenate your appearance and restore your confidence. The injection of fillers under the skin can fill in deep folds, such as nasolabial folds (also known as “smile lines” or “laugh lines”), create more hydrated lips and pad out hollow cheeks and under eyes. Fillers gently restore the facial profile and structure to a more youthful one. As a result, skin can appear smoother and tighter. Hyaluronic acid filler, with brand names like Restylane and Juvederm, may sound scary however is a synthetic version of the hyaluronic acid naturally present in the human body. Hyaluronic acid is essential to anti-aging as it supports the formation and maintenance of collagen and is crucial to balancing skin hydration. Hyaluronic acid fillers maintain between six months to a year – although treating areas of the face that move less will last longer than those that move more, such as the lips.
3. Wrinkle relaxers like Botox and Dysport temporarily weaken muscles that are carefully targeted by injection. This process prevents the skin above the muscle from creasing with expression and in turn, soften the appearance of wrinkles. Wrinkle relaxers are effective on dynamic wrinkles or “expression lines”, such as frown (vertical) lines and surprise (horizontal) lines on the forehead. Wrinkle relaxers not only smooth dynamic wrinkles but also prevent additional wrinkles from developing. Although, wrinkle relaxers do not correct sun-damaged skin or lines caused by skin sagging, they can soften the skins overall appearance. The effects of wrinkle relaxers take a few days to two weeks to manifest, and generally last between three and four months.
4. Healthy skin care habits and regular skin care treatments are essential to anti-aging and protecting the investment you are making in your face. Like the heart and the brain, your skin is an organ. In fact, it is the largest organ in your body. Your skin needs to be protected and nourished in order to fulfill its vital responsibility of protecting you. When your skin is neglected or treated inappropriately, scars, age spots, wrinkles and sagging skin can manifest.
This is your life, you get to decide how to feel, and in turn what the world sees!
For more information on your options for anti-aging or to book a complementary consultation, please visit eliteaestheticsmd.com.
Elizabeth Aponté is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and active member of The American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery. Elizabeth has received numerous honors for her clinical excellence and research contributions within the field of Aesthetic Medicine and psychosocial influences on aging. Her dedication to her profession and undeniable passion for Aesthetic Medicine lead her to complete her residency in Aesthetic Medicine under the guidance of Ivy league-prepared plastic surgeons and general physicians. Additionally, Elizabeth hails from a unique background in medical-surgical nursing and obstetrics. She incorporates this training in her day-to-day practice by treating the whole person with the core belief that beauty truly manifests from the inside out. Elizabeth’s focus on aesthetic medicine has helped her develop as an exacting professional in the art and science of facial and body rejuvenation. She specializes in noninvasive rejuvenating techniques including wrinkle relaxers, fillers, skin tightening, fat reduction, hair restoration and sexual wellness. Elizabeth takes a special interest in creating natural results by utilizing only the gentlest techniques and a personalized approach to care. Elizabeth is thrilled to have joined Elite Aestheitcs, as she and Dr. Lieman practice with the same philosophy; provide top-level service to patients with the care of a friend and the cutting edge science of an expert, prescribing their patients with confidence each and everyday. Elizabeth takes pride in making each of her patients feel valued and well understood in their collaboration to meet their aesthetic goals