It would seem everyone has attempted to predict their own aging process at some point. What will we look like at age 40 or age 50? Will there be heavy jowling or lots of wrinkles, or both?
Dr. Peter Fodor has been asked before by patients if he can guess how they might age. “You can usually predict how people will age based on a number of things,” he explains. “These include the bone structure, the quality of their skin, whether they smoke or not, as well as genetics. You can look at sun exposure etc., and predict to a degree their aging process.”
Facial Wear and Tear
As noted by Dr. Fodor, some lifestyle choices can be a good indicator. The aging process will speed up when exposed to:
- Sun Damage
- Diet and Exercise
Ultraviolet rays from the sun will harm skin cells, leading to weathered skin much sooner in life. Precautions like wearing a protective hat and clothing and applying sunscreen can certainly hamper the damaging effects.
Likewise, smoking is harmful in nearly every way and especially damages the skin over a long period of time. The active ingredient in tobacco, nicotine, reduces blood flow while carbon monoxide in the smoke displaces oxygen in the skin, both combining to discoloration and dryness.
When limiting and protecting from external factors, anatomy and your own personal history take over to further predict the aging process.
Revisiting the Past with Photographs
Dr. Fodor asks patients to bring with them old photographs so that he may see through a window into what has changed thus far.
“You can do even better if you have the benefit of some old photos,” he shares. “Two or more photos years apart can tell you a lot more. It’s very interesting to do that.”
Taking a look at photographs can show where facial volume has been lost over a set period of time. Fat in the face is a major factor for a youthful and fresh look. Over time as volume in the face recedes, sharper features emerge from the underlying skeletal structure and can impart an older appearance.
Noting how much volume has left is a good indicator of where injectable fillers might be placed now or in the future. Fillers like Voluma restore the lost volume with a simple injection and can last north of a year.
Whatever the need or desire, ultimately a consult with a board certified plastic surgeon will give a patient good perspective as to where they are in the aging process and what could be done for them to delay it. With a host of non-invasive procedures and minimally-invasive injections, major procedures can be pushed further down the line in favor of smaller, quicker to recover from, but perhaps more frequently performed procedures. Patients nowadays have the option to control their own aging process with assistance from a well-qualified, board certified plastic surgeon.