There’s a new technique in town when it comes to using injectable fillers. It’s called “Airbrushing”, creating a softer look without the typical overblown, distorted looks known as “pillow-face or “fish lips”. Instead of injecting below the skin, the new method stretches the skin to pull the wrinkles out. With this technique, the plastic surgeon is the artist using a brush to create a new look on the skin’s canvass.
By Dawn Tongish
The Plastic Surgery Channel
The “Airbrushed” Look
Everyone has seen airbrushing in action used on a print picture to taper a waistline or erase a tattoo, but now that same technique has arrived in cosmetic surgery.
“It has made a huge difference and it lasts a long time,” says Carla Hudgins. The former model and spokesperson turned to a new technique called “Airbrushing” just before she turned 50 to erase fine lines around her mouth. Hudgins says nothing else she tried seemed to work, but the “Airbrushing” helped turn back the clock and accomplish the look she wanted.
“It has taken away the wrinkles and my lipstick is flawless.”
Hudgins says she tried creams and lotions, but nothing was effective at taking away the lines from aging. Most people like Hudgins want to look natural, not overly enhanced. Supporters of the “Airbrushing” technique say it offers an improved look, but not over done.
Natural, Not Overdone
Plastic surgeons are pleased with the natural-looking results patients are seeing from the new method. “Now we have this ‘Airbrushing’ procedure, where we can treat those wrinkles in the skin without the big crazy fish lips and pillow faces that you see on TV so much,” says Dr. Kevin Smith, a board certified plastic surgeon from Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Smith, who coined the phrase “Airbrushing”, has been using the cutting edge procedure for about a year. He says it is quickly becoming the “go-to” way to correct lost volume in the face because it is safe and easy. “With ‘Airbrushing’ it is like we put fluid in a dry sponge and it just plumps up the skin without the distortion while taking care of the wrinkle lines. It removes those areas where the lipstick bleeds.”
The “Airbrushing” process involves using reconstituting Juvederm Ultra XC to provide a thinner, more fluid gel that can be injected through a fine needle. It is then injected close to the surface of the skin, something like adding water to a dry sponge. This technique is sometimes done with local anesthesia, especially around the lip area which can be sensitive. The “Airbrushing” technique does take longer than typical filler injections, so a patient should allow more time for treatment.
Dr. Smith says the results are immediate and long-lasting. Patients have seen the injection last up to a year, and with another injection, the wrinkles are even less visible. Smith recommends the treatment be used with Botox as part of a good corrective skin program. Dr. Smith adds that research has shown the technique appears to stimulate the skin to generate collagen in the injected areas, making it appear youthful and vibrant.
Carla Hudgins is a big fan of the new technique and so are her friends, who can’t believe she has now reached the half-century mark. Each time Hudgins looks in the mirror, she sees an improved appearance and a younger looking face.
“They still can’t believe that I am 50 because I look so good with the wrinkles gone.” She plans to stick with the beauty plan.