When considering cosmetic treatments it is important you understand the natural ageing process of the skin. Once you understand the basic concept of rejuvenation, you will be able to go forward and discuss your concerns. Your treating Dermatologist will then be able to formulate a targeted and individual treatment plan for rejuvenation. Let’s now begin by considering region by region.
A youthful forehead is line free and smooth. When we hit the early 30s, most of us will have a few lines which deepen with expression. Eventually these lines remain ‘static’ even though muscle movements are absent. Over time, these deepen to form ‘furrows’. The youthful volume of the forehead also decreases over time due to loss of tissue such as collagen. Skin texture becomes more uneven, as sundamage increases uneven pigmentation and sunspots. Oils glands may enlarge, which give rise to lumps, bumps and ‘barnacles.’ Advanced ageing of the forehead and temple areas are commonly seen in Queensland.
The eye region
This region is one of the first to show signs of ageing. The high UV index in Queensland contributes to wrinkling around the eye area. Fine wrinkles first form, followed by medium depth wrinkles. In the late 20s to early 30s ‘crow’s feet’ begin to form. These lines radiate from the side of the eyelids when you smile, however over time tend to become more visible at rest.
Eventually, skin laxity may give way to excessive wrinkling and loose ‘bags’ on both the upper and lower eyelid. Loss of collagen will also give the eyes a ‘sunken’ look and contribute to dark circle around the eyes.
The cheek area
In youth cheeks are plump, however with age and gravity, there is volume loss. This loss of volume is due to diminished fat, muscle and collagen. The descent of the cheeks causes formation of jowls at the jaw line and accentuates the groove between the corner of the nose and the corner of the mouth. Fine and medium wrinkling is commonly seen. Sun damage will worsen the effects of natural ageing, and contribute to brown blotches and rough dry scaly areas. Blood vessels will become more common, especially around the nose and cheeks. Skin texture becomes more uneven in the late 30s.
The lower face area
The main focal point in this region is, of course, the lips. The youthful fullness of both the lips themselves and the tissue above the lips decreases with age as the lips thin and appear to lengthen. The loss of volume is a major cause of the vertical wrinkling. Although this wrinkling is very much affected by our genetics, it is exacerbated by sun damage, smoking and how we speak. The vertical wrinkling of, and around, the lips is especially annoying for lipstick users as it tends to bleed into the creases.
The area in front of the developing jowl deepens with increasing years and begins to merge with the developing groove at the angle of the mouth. The chin itself becomes softer and seems to blur into the neck but may also appear a little pronounced as it tends to project further.
The neck area
In our 20s, the neck is very defined, free of horizontal and vertical neck banding. It has a good tight angle to the chin thanks to the platysma structural muscle. By the time our 30s come around, the definition of the jaw line softens as does the center area under the chin. The vertical and horizontal bands also become visible. In our 40s, this progresses with the neck often showing advanced signs of ageing when compared with the face.
Over time, banding of the neck area (vertical and horizontal) increases and the texture of sun-damaged skin becomes blotchy. Often it takes on a goose-like flesh appearance.
The change in colour and texture escalates, not only due to sun exposure, but also by the use of perfumed products. These effects worsen in our 50s and 60s. With further development of jowls and consequently the loss of the jaw line and chin/neck definition, neck laxity also becomes severe.
The décolletage/ chest area
This area is particularly prone to the harsh UV exposure of the Sunshine State. A sharp cut off is frequently seen between exposed and covered areas of the chest. Exposed areas are often redder due to enlarged blood vessels, brown blotchy pigmentation is also evident. Sunspots (rough dry, and scaly areas) may form in the mid 40s. Eventually, with the loss of collagen, the skin is leathery looking with obvious vertical wrinkles.
Hands are frequently exposed to the intense environment. Over time the skin on our hands looses skin tone. With the loss of collagen and connective tissue, veins and tendons start to show with age, eventually with this loss of layers under the skin, hands start to show a sunken appearance.
Pigmentation - brown spots and sunspots (rough dry areas) begin to form in the late 30s and worsen with time.