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In today’s world, anti-aging awareness is on everyone’s mind. The big question I often get is, “When should I start working with a cosmetic surgeon to prevent future aging?” My answer is always the same: the sooner your cosmetic surgeon gets to know you, the better. We all know that once the first signs of aging appear, the process seems to progress quickly. In order to tackle the inevitability of aging in an aesthetically natural and appealing manner, we must first understand how our faces progress and change through time.

To begin with, let’s keep it simple and compare your face to the fabric on a chair: you first notice a small stain, which can be lightened to appear invisible. Over time that stain becomes more prominent and others appear around it, making the fabric appear even more stained. Then, one day, you notice the fabric isn’t as firm as it used to be, having lost its elasticity in some areas. Upon further inspection, your once plump and heavily cushioned chair has become saggy and sunken, exposing parts of the chair’s skeleton. And then one day, you attempt to sit on your chair and the sturdy framework that lent you faithful support all of those years, finally gives in and crumbles.

This is very similar to what happens to the face. The chair’s fabric is your skin, revealing the earliest evidence of discoloration. The plump cushion is like your youthful cheeks, which are made up of all the underlying muscles and fat. And, the framework, which holds it all together, is similar to your facial skeleton. These seemingly minimal changes in your framework are often masked through time by the superficial cushioning of your facial muscles and fat pads, until redistribution and loss of tissues reveal a frail structure.

Lastly, it is important to understand the implications of facial bone loss on the aging face in order to restore a natural youthful appearance. The facial skeleton experiences morphologic change, and an overall decrease in volume, with increasing age. As we approach our early 30s, bone density begins to experience a gradual rate of decline. The aging process happens simultaneously. The facial muscles and fat pads decrease in volume, while the skin that holds them together loses its elasticity, culminating in a true domino effect. From the top down, your temples appear more sunken which leads to the formation of heavy pads beneath your eyes, followed by folds around your mouth (laugh lines), which weigh down the corners of your lips resulting in jowls along your jawline and the appearance of a saggy neck.

If your goal is to age gracefully, and have a “less is more” approach, quick fixes are never the solution. Rather, starting earlier than later with your cosmetic surgeon will always yield the best results. This slow and steady approach involves maintenance through regular use of SPF and antioxidants to periodic laser treatments, fillers and neuromodulators.

Dr. Tamy Faierman is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Writer, Beauty and Wellness Expert, and founder of the Tamy M. Faierman Holistic Spa and Wellness Center. Her office is located at 17130 Royal Palm Boulevard, Suite 1, in the Windmill Professional Campus. For more information, please call 954-322-2742 or visit www.reshapeyourimage.com.

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