Non-surgical alternatives to a facelift
Few treatments are as effective at eliminating facial wrinkles and sagging than a facelift. As your skin loses its collagen and elasticity and your once youthful skin begins to age, a facelift works to tighten and reposition loose or droopy skin and wipe the years away—however, a facelift isn’t for everyone.
If you’re looking for a way to treat wrinkles and sagging and restore a more youthful appearance, there are a range of non-surgical alternatives that can be highly effective at reversing or slowing the signs of facial ageing.
Dermal fillers aren’t only used to create fuller, more luscious lips—they can also be used as an effective way to treat lines and wrinkles. By injecting small amounts of hyaluronic acid into carefully selected areas of the face, the filler adds volume to elevate the facial features and hold skin taut.
Using filler underneath the eyebrow will tighten loose or sagging eyelids, filler added to the cheeks can address drooping jowls or fillers used on the chin can treat crepey skin on the neck. Able to be used on almost every area of the face including the lips, cheeks, mouth, chin, jowls, frown, furrow, forehead and eye area, fillers can be used to fill and smooth most facial lines and crevices.
The key difference between a facelift and rejuvenation using dermal fillers is the longevity of the results. While a facelift will provide long-term results, dermal fillers will fade away gradually over 6 to 9 months, requiring ongoing treatments to keep you looking your best.
Autologous Fat Transplantation works in the same way as dermal fillers to refresh and rejuvenate the face and skin, however, it uses the patient’s own fat as the filler in place of hyaluronic acid.
The non-allergenic properties of the fat transfer technique is a major drawcard for many patients. For patients who are known to react to synthetic filler treatments, autologous fat transfer provides a more natural alternative that can achieve the same end-result.
The treatment is quite simple—usually performed in our clinic on a walk-in walk-out basis, the fat is extracted by liposuction using a local anaesthetic, before being processed to remove excess fluids. The fat is then injected into the treatment areas in the same way as regular dermal fillers with the effects noticeable immediately.
The results of fat transfer treatments are also likely to last significantly longer than regular dermal filler treatments, with the effects often noticeable for several years following treatment.
Many patients also decide to combine their autologous fat transfer treatment with stem cell therapy which substantially increases the survival and growth rate of the transferred fat, as well as providing additional recovery and cosmetic benefits.
Co2 or Erbium Laser
Carbon dioxide (Co2) laser resurfacing is another non-surgical treatment option which is often used as an alternative to a facelift. Using a light energy laser, the treatment works by removing thin layers of the skin to stimulate the production of collagen and tighten the skin.
The real beauty of Co2 laser is the ability to adjust the intensity of the treatment. Working in a similar way to Fraxel laser treatments, Co2 laser has the advantage of being able to reach a much deeper level. While the superficial settings are ideal if you want softer, smoother skin, if you’re considering Co2 laser as an alternative to a facelift, it is likely you will need a deeper treatment which can take longer to heal.
If the recovery time is a significant issue for you, you may be better off opting for an Erbium laser treatment. While it’s similar to the Co2 laser (they are both ablative laser treatments), the Erbium laser doesn’t produce as much heat which minimises damage to the skin, resulting in a shorter recovery. While Erbium laser is an effective way to tighten the skin, it won’t be as effective as a deep Co2 laser treatment or a facelift.
An added bonus of the Co2 and Erbium lasers is their ability to also treat a range of other skin abnormalities including scars, warts, age spots and pigment or discolouration caused by sun damage. They can also be used on other areas of the body which can be telling of your true age such as the hands, décolletage and chest.
Factor 4 or PRP Therapy
Factor 4 and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy can also be highly effective non-surgical alternatives to a facelift. Both treatments harness the power of the blood’s natural anti-inflammatory, growth and repair factors to treat wrinkles and crepeing skin, however, there are a few differences between the two treatments.
Containing four times more growth factors than any other blood-rich injection product, Factor 4 (also known as autologous anti-ageing serum) works by harvesting some of the patient’s own blood and incubating it for between 6 and 9 hours to produce a plasma super serum. The serum is then separated from the blood in a centrifuge and stored at -18°C ready for use. The serum can then be applied over several treatments as an injectable or with skin needling or fractional laser.
PRP therapy works in a similar way to Factor 4 treatments, however, the key difference is that the serum produced using PRP also retains platelets from the harvested blood which is known for its additional healing properties. The serum can be particularly helpful in healing connective tissue, developing new blood vessels and increasing collagen production. Unlike Factor 4 treatments, PRP is also performed in a single treatment.
Find out which treatment is right for you
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