As we age, our appearance in the mirror seems to droop. Laxity of the skin and loss of underlying facial structure components such as bone and fat are the culprits. We asked an expert cosmetic physician, Nicole Norris, MD of Nicole Norris MD Medical Spa, to answer some of our questions about the best non-surgical options when we start to notice falling of the face and neck in the mirror.
What do you tell patients when they come in with concerns of sagging skin? “This is an extremely common concern among women and men when they come into my office seeking rejuvenation. The loss of skin thickness and or sagging of the skin starts at age 25 and is evident by age 40. After age 40, loss of skin collagen is about 1 teaspoon per year and is accelerated by smoking, sugar, and ultraviolet rays. When I assess a patient’s face or neck, I look at the health of the skin, and then the placement of underlying components such as bone and natural fat pads. The ideal shape of the female face is heart-shaped with the fullest and widest part being the cheeks and narrower at the chin and jaw. When our face ages it becomes square with the middle of the face and lower face being close to the same width. I tell patient’s that I have many tools in my toolbox to restore this ratio and depending on the severity, it usually takes several tools to correct it.”
Tell us about the “tools in your toolbox” that you recommend and what they do? “There are three components to face and neck rejuvenation: Lifting, Filling and Skin Rejuvenation. For lifting, when patient’s do not want a surgical face lift, I recommend a PDO thread lift. For filling, I talk to them about dermal fillers which are man-made syringes of collagen that are injected into areas of the face that need filling. Skin rejuvenation is probably the most important thing that we talk about and correction is dependent on the quality of their skin. The healthier and nicer the skin looks, the better results they will get with lifting and filling. Skin rejuvenation can be achieved with topical products, but sometimes also requires chemical peels, microneedling and laser resurfacing procedures.”
If a patient has the beginning of jowling in the lower face or mild to moderate skin sagging in the neck, what would you suggest? “PDO threads would be my answer! PDO stands for polydioxanone and is a synthetic absorbable surgical suture proven to be one of the safest materials implanted in the body. PDO threads have been used in cardiac surgery for years and used in the face cosmetically for the last 10 years. The sutures are place under the skin on a preloaded cannula which is like a tiny straw. Part of the thread is left outside the skin when the cannula is removed. That thread can be pulled on to lift the skin in the trajectory that lifts the fallen tissue the best. The suture will breakdown over a few months, but the lift will remain a year or more. The lift lasts even longer with healthier rejuvenated skin. Besides lifting, the polydioxanone stimulates neocollagenesis in the skin. This means that there is improvement in the skin texture and fewer wrinkles in the overlying skin where the threads are placed. Now that is a side-effect my patients like! This procedure is done in the office with local anesthesia and has little if any downtime. There can be risk of bruising and some swelling but otherwise there is very little risk to the procedure. A PDO thread lift in the upper face, lower face or neck is ideal, when you are not quite ready for a surgical face lift.”
If you are wondering if a PDO thread lift, would be right for you, Nicole Norris MD Medical Spa is offering complimentary PDO thread lift consultations in September as well as special pricing on the procedure if you watch Dr. Norris’ PDO thread webinar! Your PDO thread lift facial rejuvenation consultation will require a $99 deposit that will go towards the procedure that you and Dr. Norris determine is best for you. Call 815-780-8264 to schedule yours and learn more about the webinar Dr. Norris is broadcasting about PDO thread lifts in September.