Wrinkles and lines aren’t the only signs of aging that can be discouraging and affect our self-confidence. An often surprising result of aging is a loss of volume in areas that used to look plump and youthful, like the cheek and cheekbone areas. If you’re experiencing a flattening of these once prominent features, there are solutions. Call Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery & MedSpa in Vero Beach, FL to talk about the volume restoring properties of Radiesse.
Why Do Our Faces Lose Volume?
Many of us aren’t ready for this loss of volume and often don’t realize it’s happening until one day we look in the mirror and see our once prominent features have flattened. The most common reason for this loss of volume is age.
When we’re young, we have plenty of this fibrous protein. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and makes up 80% of our skin. In our dermis, or middle layer of our skin, collagen works with elastin and hyaluronic acid to create a smooth, strong and tight foundation for the rest of our skin to adhere to. The top layer of our skin, the epidermis, has a perfectly smooth scaffold on which to lie, making our complexion smooth and free of wrinkles, lines or folds.
Our deepest layer of skin, the hypodermis, is where we store most of our body fat and where it fastens the skin to the underlying tissues. This layer also houses our fat pads that give us our plump cheeks and prominent cheekbones. Collagen helps to keep this layer of fat in place. There are fibroblasts of collagen here, keeping it strong and full.
Elastin is a protein responsible for keeping our skin and other organs flexible. Organs like our heart and lungs need to constantly move and then go back to their original shape. The same is true of our skin. Elastin keeps our skin returning to its natural position after we move, make expressions, pull and tug on it. It is also what protects our face from gravity. Elastin, along with collagen, holds those fat pads in place in the hypodermis layer of our skin. Without it, they would slide and migrate downward.
This is a naturally produced sugar that keeps our skin and connective tissues hydrated and lubricated. Without it, our eyes would be dry and our joints wouldn’t be lubricated. Hyaluronic acid is also what keeps skin young and supple. It seems like young skin rarely looks dry even if the person is a little dehydrated, and that’s because they have plenty of hyaluronic acid, which holds 1000 times its weight in water. It also attracts moisture from surrounding tissue, so skin always looks dewy and radiant.
What Happens As We Age
Around the time we turn 20, we lose production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid at the rate of about 1% per year. When our collagen declines, the strength each layer of our skin depended on to stay in place weakens. This leads to the appearance of lines, wrinkles and folds as the surface of our skin falls into these weakened areas. Losing elastin means our skin can no longer hold everything together because it loses some of its strength and ability to bounce back.
Under the surface of our skin, the deep layer of fat and fat pads doesn’t have the strong layer of protein to anchor to. This can cause them to slip downward. The reason our faces get heavier at the bottom and thin out at the mid to upper face is because our fat pads are sliding. Elastin and collagen are no longer keeping them in place.
The Change in Our Facial Structure
Aside from the pads of fat changing position, we just lose fat in general. It’s thought that by the time we turn 55, we’ve lost nearly 40% of our facial volume. This happens naturally, though there are choices we make that can speed up or slow down the reduction of this layer of fat. Things are usually worse if we’ve been:
- Yo-Yo dieting
- Spending extended unprotected time in the sun
- Engaging in excessive, high-impact exercise
Losing elastin means our skin can’t hold the deepest layers of fat in place anymore and they start to migrate to the bottom of our face. We also lose bone density, so the high cheekbones that contributed to our sculpted look lose prominence and add to volume loss in our face.
Dermal fillers are the number one treatment for restoring lost volume to the mid to upper face. Many dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid suspended in a smooth gel. These can be injected into hollowed or flattened areas and instantly plump parts of the face like the cheeks, cheekbones and temples. The results can be transformative and restore youthful contours and shape.
Hyaluronic acid fillers don’t change the makeup of the skin. They just plump it and then are naturally absorbed by the body from three to nine months later. There is an innovative dermal filler, Radiesse, that actually gets the body to produce more collagen, making the results look just as natural but last much longer than with traditional dermal fillers.
What Is Radiesse?
Radiesse is made from calcium hydroxyapatite microspheres suspended in a water-based gel. These microspheres contain calcium and phosphate ions just like those found in bones and teeth. Like typical fillers, Radiesse is injected into areas of lost volume and immediately plumps up the area, but that’s where the similarities end. Once in place, those microspheres trigger your body’s natural healing response, causing it to increase its production of collagen.
Collagen fibroblasts will completely envelop the microspheres, and then the body will naturally metabolize them. What they leave behind is an entire area of new collagen that will keep producing strong and healthy fibers. The results from this treatment can last between one to two years depending on the patient’s age, the condition of the skin and area, lifestyle and natural collagen production rate.
Is Radiesse Good for Cheeks and Cheekbones?
This is one of the most popular treatment areas. When we’re young and we smile, the apples of our cheeks move with our face and give us a youthful plumpness. Over time, our smiles become less plump, which also means we have less volume when our faces are at rest. The same is true of our once prominent cheekbones.
If you were born with a great bone structure, you may have gotten used to having high and prominent cheekbones. As time goes by, you lose the fat layer that contributes to your contours and you naturally lose bone density. The combination of these aging factors can leave us with flattened features and even a hollow or gaunt look.
What Else Radiesse Can Do
When expertly injected by Dr. Durkin, this dermal filler can restore just enough volume to give us the youthful contours we’ve lost. He can provide the lost volume to the cheek and cheekbone areas while taking care not to leave his patients over-plumped. The results are naturally youthful contours and lines.
This filler is also a go-to for both men and women who would like volume restored to the brow areas and lateral temporal areas. Over time, these areas lose volume and can appear very bony and out of proportion with the rest of the face. This dermal filler can restore natural-looking volume and symmetry to the face.
Lines, Wrinkles and Folds
Restoring large areas of volume isn’t the only use for this filler. Radiesse is amazingly effective on moderate-to-severe lines, wrinkles and folds on the face. These are the lines that are a result of lost collagen in the dermis layer of our skin. Weakened areas form crevices as our faces move and the surface layer of our skin falls to form lines, wrinkles and folds. When injected into these areas, wrinkles and folds are immediately plumped up.
The microspheres go to work under the surface triggering the production of collagen, so the results last much longer than with typical dermal fillers. When collagen is produced, so are elastin and hyaluronic acid. The combination of all three just adds to the natural-looking results.
The Back of the Hands
Our hands can betray our age almost as quickly as our faces can. The structure of our hands is much thinner than other places on our bodies, and when we lose volume from this area, they can very quickly show veins, bones and ligaments. Our skin is thinner on our hands, and the loss of collagen just makes it even thinner.
This treatment can be injected into the back of the hands to immediately restore volume and help your hands create more collagen. Your skin will become more opaque while your ligaments and bones become less visible. The result is more youthful and plump hands.
What to Expect During Treatment
When you and Dr. Durkin have your consultation, he’ll examine your areas of concern and talk through the results you’d like from treatment. Once you both decide this is the treatment for you, you’ll make an appointment. All injections are done by Dr. Durkin, who is a board-certified plastic surgeon.
We’ll apply a numbing cream to the area just to ensure you’re comfortable throughout your session. After 20 minutes, we’ll wash the cream from your face with a Clarisonic brush that also gently exfoliates the skin. Dr. Durkin will then perform a series of injections to the treatment sites. Once your treatment is complete, there is no downtime. You can immediately go back to work or your social routine. We’ll send you home with any specific post-care instructions the doctor has for you.
The results are immediate. You’ll walk in with your areas of concern, like lost facial volume, wrinkles and folds, and you’ll walk out looking years younger with natural but transformative results. As your body absorbs the product, your results won’t change because collagen is being produced, keeping your results natural-looking and long-lasting. Most clients will see results last a year or more.
There are some things you can avoid to prolong your results as long as possible. Avoid these things to support your results:
- Unprotected sun exposure
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Excess sugar and processed foods
- Prolonged, unmanaged stress
- Poor sleep habits
Call for Your Consultation
The only way to get back the youthful contours and profile you miss is to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Durkin. You don’t have to live with flattened or hollow features. You can have back the prominent cheekbones and apple cheeks of your youth.
Contact Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery & MedSpa in Vero Beach, FL, where we’re committed to the safety, comfort and privacy of each of our clients. We provide an unwavering standard of care and an impeccable level of service while helping each client meet all their aesthetic needs.