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How young is too young for plastic surgery?

Posted October 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

The American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery and American Society for Plastic Surgery both note trends in younger people seeking noninvasive treatments and plastic surgery.  Some of the most popular treatments are those that can be used preventatively.  Botox is a great example of a treatment that works well to smooth the lines that are present on the forehead and around the eyes for people.  Since it freezes the muscle movement, Botox can also be used to keep the lines from forming and becoming etched into the skin.  Therefore, we are seeing women in their 30s and even late 20s who are interested in Botox.  The idea is to keep the skin smooth and avoid resurfacing peels or lasers in the future.  Daily use of sunscreen with SPF 30 combined with sunblock is also critical in avoiding etched lines.  Some people feel that soft tissue fillers help keep lines around the mouth from becoming deep.  The fillers will keep the low areas filled in, can prevent etching from folding of the skin and can keep the person looking soft and full.  However, filler does not stop the gravitational descent that creates the lines.  Also, long term use can cause more visible and numerous vessels in the area and possible granulomas or firm areas.  Therefore, I prefer to use fillers for lines and folds that are static, meaning you can see them at rest, that are already present, not necessarily for prevention.

However, skin tightening treatments can be preventative for gravitational descent and are increasingly popular in people in their 30-40s and even 50s in some people.  These treatments are great for people who are just barely starting to see deepening in their nasolabial folds (parentheses around the mouth), cheeks that aren’t as high or laxity in the neck.  These include Ultherapy, Titan, Thermitight or Thermage.  These use different modalities to stimulate collagen over a period of 3-6 months and most last about 18-24 months.  Most people desire skin tightening to avoid a facelift or browlift in the future.  The results vary between the treatments, as well as between people, but can be very nice, particularly in the younger patient.

People will sometimes ask how young is too young for surgery.  Young people frequently seek surgery for their noses (rhinoplasty) and ears (otoplasty), but for obvious reasons not for aging prevention.  An evaluation by Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon is required to determine if surgery will be beneficial or appropriate.  Generally, the usual age range for surgery is 50-70s, but can be as young as the 40s if the person has lost a significant amount of weight (>50lbs) or reduced laxity in the skin.