Cosmetic plastic surgery is now more than a $10 billion a year industry in the United States that has seen increases in number of procedures across all age groups. The largest growing population of patients, however, are those in their later years. Due to Americans being healthier, living longer and being more active later in life, millions of them want their looks to keep pace with how they feel. As a result, many are turning to cosmetic surgery to help them look younger and feel better about themselves.
In 2010, over 600,000 Americans age 65 or older choose to undergo some form of cosmetic surgery. Compared to ten years ago, that is a five times increase in number of procedures done. However a significant of these procedures, and a big reason for the large surge in numbers being done, is not actual surgery. In the interest of of wanting to look younger and fresher, many are going the injectable route choosing such popular products as Botox and Juvederm. While not as effective as surgery, they do help give one an extra edge in their appearance by decreasing frowning and plumping up certain wrinkles and folds.
Such injectable procedures involve only a minimal amount of discomfort by being placed right under the skin. Between wrinkle reduction and tissue plumping, these injections help give the face a smoother more youthful appearance. These are all procedures that can be done fairly quickly with a limited recovery time and are more economical options compared to surgery. When combined with a variety of available skin refreshening procedures such as chemical peels and light laser resurfacing, one can really take off a few years with next to no recovery or downtime.
While injectable treatments have lead the way in number of procedures for older Americans, ironically they are not the most effective given the amount of aging changes that are usually present. Injectables are more effective in younger patients simply because they have less wrinkles, lines and sagging skin. This is why surgery is also growing in numbers for the Baby Boomer generation with popular procedures being eyelid tucks, browlifts, and face and neck lifts. These anti-aging facial plastic surgery procedures can be done alone or, ideally in combination with surgery, to remove loose and sagging skin that creeps its way across our faces as we age.
We all look for that extra something to look and feel better as we age. My older and more mature patients clients are traveling, playing sports, exercising and doing all of the right things in life to look, feel and stay young. But, unfortunately as we age, all of the activity and exercise won’t make your face look any better. Looking better requires a effort, just of a different kind than that of feeling better.
Dr. Barry Eppley