Many of us know a little bit about cosmetic surgery, some of us have even tried it, but do you know exactly what some of those common procedures actually are?
Starts at 60 chatted to Dr Dennis Millard, the owner of Utopian Cosmetics, a boutique medical cosmetic practice in Perth, Western Australia, to find out what it’s all about. Here’s what he had to say:
It’s never too late. The oldest first time patient was aged 84, and she ended up with amazing results. We can make improvements on all ages, however if they are better suited to have a face-lift or surgery, I refer these patients to one of Australia’s leading plastic surgeons for his opinion.
When dealing with older patients the only factor I explore further with them is if they are on other medication. There are a range of medications that wrinkle relaxers must be used with caution. There are also a range of medical conditions, which if a patient has, mean that Botox is unsafe to use. This is why it’s important to have a medical assessment by a doctor before having any procedures. For example, blood thinners do increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
Wrinkle relaxers are injections using fine needles to cause temporary weakness of the facial muscles that are the cause of negative expression lines. By weakening the muscles we can soften and prevent lines and wrinkles caused by the natural ageing process, poor diet and lifestyle choices, sun over exposure and smoking. Wrinkle Relaxers fix the root cause of a wrinkle, and last 3-4 months.
Dermal fillers replace volume in the face, in areas where fat and volume has been lost with time. This is due to the water retaining fibres in our body diminishing over time and thereby creating deep lines, sagging skin and depletion of lips, cheeks and jaw volume. Fillers are used to replace areas of lost volume in the cheeks, marionette lines, nasolabial folds, jowls, tear troughs, temples and lips.
There are many other uses for fillers and wrinkle relaxers, and there is a huge increase in using these products for medical treatments over the last five to 10 years such as the prevention of excessive sweating or migraines.
Treatments will be tailored to individual needs, and can be either minor or major. Generally speaking, the more treatments someone has, the better their results will be.
If an older person is coming in for a total rejuvenation we could assess if a Liquid Facelift would be suitable – also known as an 8-point lift. This is a minimally invasive, non-surgical approach to achieving a rejuvenated and youthful appearance. Using dermal fillers, the liquid face-lift relaxes wrinkles, softens facial folds, adds volume and lifts sagging skin to create a refreshed and vibrant appearance lasting up to three years. It is suitable for men or women who look older or more tired than you feel. While some patients choose to use multiple fillers in one visit, many patients decide to stage their treatments for a gradual improvement over time.
Fillers last between 12 to 36 months and wrinkle relaxers last between five to six months.
As far as wait times between visits, it’s best to wait two weeks after the initial treatment, as results may often take two weeks to completely become apparent.
Today it’s the medical uses of the drug that is outshining it’s origins as a cosmetic treatment, in part because doctors are getting a better handle on how to use it. The medical list includes everything from excessive sweating and neck spasms to leaky bladders, premature ejaculation, migraines, cold hands and even the dangerous cardiac condition of atrial fibrillation after heart surgery, among others.
Botox works by temporarily immobilising muscle activity. It does this by blocking nerve-muscle communication, which makes the injected muscles unable to contract. Paralysing muscle activity is how Botox can steady a straying gaze, eliminate an eyelid spasm or stop signalling from nerves that stimulate sweat in a person’s armpit. It can be used as a treatment for headaches, migraines, tooth grinding, eye twitches, and excess sweating.
As we age, loss of volume within the face results in deep, permanent lines ageing our faces dramatically. Dermal fillers can be used to restore lost volume and soften the area, and wrinkle relaxers can, well, relax those wrinkles! Other common treatments for those over 60 include:
Do your research. Ensure the treating clinician is a medical doctor with appropriate experience and qualifications. Be careful relying on Google rankings as these are often purchased and don’t represent the skill level of clinicians or clinics. Ensure treatments are individualised for your needs and requirements, and never be pushed to have a treatment if you aren’t comfortable with the person giving you a consultation.