At some point, almost every woman (or man) wishes a particular wrinkle could just be wiped away. A facelift is effective, but it’s a pretty big investment. You may be surprised to learn how easy, effective, and affordable some of the newest nonsurgical procedures are. We talked to Charles Woodward, MD, a facial plastic surgeon, to learn about the latest in nonsurgical facial rejuvenation.
What are good, relatively inexpensive alternatives to a facelift?
Injectable fillers and anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox are popular, effective, and affordable. You will notice a difference immediately. Your friends may, too, though often they are unable to put a finger on what is different.
What are fillers and anti-wrinkle injections used for?
Anti-wrinkle injections like Botox are neuromodulators that decrease the activity of the muscle group that is creating a particular wrinkle, such as the “11s”—the two vertical lines—between your eyebrows. Neuromodulators are typically used to rejuvenate the upper face. Fillers are for the lower face. They restore volume to those areas—particularly around your mouth—that have started to lose elasticity and fat, which causes you to look older.
My face is looking older because it’s losing fat?
In part, yes. Your facial bones also start to remodel over time, which changes the look of your face.
What is the cost and the recovery time for fillers and wrinkle injections?
The cost varies, but the average is around $500 for a treatment. You could go back to work after an injection—there is essentially no recovery time.
Do you treatment men too?
Absolutely. About 15 to 20% of my patients are male.
Is there more I can do beyond Botox and fillers, short of a facelift?
We are learning that with some new filler products we can accomplish more lifting of the face, similar to a facelift. There is a technique called a liquid mid facelift, in which we fill in the hollows under the eyes and around the nasolabial folds (the lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth). This procedure can really help stave off a facelift. In fact, some people come in for a facelift and try this first. They have the opportunity to see changes without surgery, and then they can decide if they want something more permanent.
How long do the injections last?
Neuromodulators such as Botox typically start to wear off after around four months, though they may continue to offer a softer appearance for longer. Fillers typically last about six months before a touch-up is appropriate. A liquid mid facelift can last 12 to 18 months or sometimes longer.