How to age gracefully, according to a plastic surgeon

How to age gracefully, according to a plastic surgeon

We’ve all seen the photos of celebrities whose faces don’t look quite right such as exaggerated features that are borderline cartoonish. These unfortunate outcomes have even been the topic of shows like “Botched.” Many times, people seek out these cosmetic procedures to fight signs of aging and to pursue a more youthful appearance. But unless performed by a trained specialist, these cosmetic choices can go very wrong.

“To be able to do injectables safely, you must have a good understanding of facial and vascular anatomy,” says Dr. Elaina Chen, a board-certified plastic surgeon at Advocate Health Care. “But there are a lot of people performing these procedures who are not adequately trained.”

Getting over-filled, over-Botoxed or over-injected can sometimes be a fixable problem, but is often not an easy one, Dr. Chen says. When facial injections go wrong, it can be permanent and irreversible. This is why it’s important to seek out specialists trained in plastic surgery, dermatology, ear, nose, and throat (ENT), facial plastics, and oculoplastics.

“The most devastating thing would be for you to go in and all you wanted to do was plump up your cheeks a little and you come out and you’re blind on that side,” Dr. Chen says. “Complications can happen, but in a trained individual’s hands, they can act quickly to reverse or stop the blindness or tissue necrosis.”

If you’re looking to have a cosmetic procedure, it’s important to focus on aging gracefully with the input from a trained, board-certified professional who will help you look young in a natural way using subtle changes.

There are also ways to maintain a youthful appearance without injectables, Dr. Chen says.

Here are some of her tips for aging gracefully:
  • Use sunscreen
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid sun tanning
  • Don’t sleep on your face
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • When considering topical treatments, she recommends:
    • Using a daily, gentle moisturizer that is well tolerated by your skin.
    • Incorporating a retinoid or a retinol can help increase skin turnover, reduce fine lines, spots and acne.
If you’re considering medical intervention that is performed skillfully, she recommends:
  • Getting Botox or neurotoxin regularly, about once every three-four months
  • Choosing selective and strategic filler injection to rejuvenate rather than change your appearance.
  • Avoiding trendy, “minimally invasive” procedures as they can cause scarring and can make future surgical interventions, such as a facelift, a lot more difficult.

“Pick someone who will honestly tell you what you need and what you don’t,” Dr. Chen says. “Avoid anyone who is pushy and avoid being oversold. Choose someone who will not only focus on your safety, but also has your long-term goals in mind.”

Are you trying to find a doctor? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.