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Non-surgical facelifts: the modern-day elixir of youth

Melior Clinics non-surgical facelift treatments

Non-surgical facelift treatments such as Botox injections, chemical peels and Silhouette Soft are now a viable and popular alternative to often painful and expensive surgical procedures. But how do they work, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of non-surgical facelift treatments over traditional cosmetic surgery? In this article we’ll discuss the three non-surgical facelift treatments that we offer – Botox injections, chemical peels and Silhouette Soft – and reveal how each beauty treatment works, why it might be a better option than other facelift treatments and what kind of results you can expect to achieve.

Botox Injections

The cosmetic effect of botulinum toxin (BTX-A) on wrinkles, frown lines and laughter lines was originally documented by Richard Clark, a plastic surgeon from Sacramento, California, and published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1989. Clark was the first plastic surgeon to treat wrinkles using the pure protein produced by the Clostridium Botulinum Bacterium, and his innovative approach to non-surgical facelifts and aesthetic treatments paved the way for other forms of non-surgical cosmetic treatments to be adopted by those in the facial aesthetics field. Clark’s report documented his treatment of a patient who had a history of surgical cosmetic procedures, and described how he treated the frontalis on one side of the patient’s face in order to re-balance a unilateral facial nerve paralysis.

Clark’s work on non-surgical facelift treatments opened the door for others to research the subject further. In 1992, Canadian husband and wife ophthalmologist and dermatologist physicians, JD and JA Carruthers, were the first to publish a study on BTX-A for the treatment of glabellar frown lines. Similar aesthetic effects had also been observed by a number of independent groups including Columbia University, and in April 2002 the FDA announced regulatory approval of botulinum toxin type A (Botox Cosmetic) for the purpose of reducing the appearance of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows. Following FDA approval of Botox injections, cosmetic use of botulinum toxin type A has become widespread and is now a popular option for those seeking non-surgical facelifts.

Ever since it was approved for use as a non-surgical facelift, botulinum toxin has proven to be an effective and extremely popular alternative to cosmetic surgery with people from all walks of life. A major advantage of Botox injections over traditional cosmetic surgery is that there are fewer restrictions as to who can receive the treatment. Candidates for surgical facelifts should ideally have supple, elastic skin and be in reasonably good health. Also, if your skin has excessive sun damage you may take longer to heal and more scar tissue may form. Botox injections, however, are available to almost everybody regardless of skin type or fitness level.

Botox works by blocking signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. It is most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines. When the botulinum toxin is injected into the muscles surrounding the brow area for instance, those muscles can not “scrunch up” for a period of time. They are paralysed. So the wrinkles in that area, often referred to as furrows or frown lines, temporarily disappear. The effects of the treatment are not permanent – lasting anywhere from three to eight months – and within days there is a noticeable improvement in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Although Botox injections are primarily used as a non-surgical facelift, it can also be used to treat a variety of other medical conditions including eye squints, migraines, excessive sweating and muscle spasms.

Chemical peels

The use of chemical peels to rejuvenate ageing skin is one of the most popular non-surgical facelift treatments available. The concept of using a chemical agent to resurface the skin and reduce the appearance of acne, blemishes and wrinkles dates back to the time of Cleopatra, who purportedly bathed in sour goat’s milk to help beautify her skin. Unknown to her, the lactic acid contained in the milk was the active ingredient providing her with a rejuvenating chemical peel.

Modern usage of chemical peels as a non-surgical facelift treatment began at the turn of the century when George Miller MacKee, a dermatologist, experimented with using phenol to treat facial scars. Eventually, these procedures began to attract widespread attention due to the remarkable skin rejuvenation results that were achieved. Scientific investigation was finally undertaken into the aesthetic properties of chemical peels, and a growing number of respected cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists began to offer them as a viable alternative to surgical procedures.

The primary objective of chemical peeling is to remove the outer layers of aged and damaged skin and encourage rapid regeneration of skin beneath. Wound healing and skin rejuvenation occur at an increased rate while potential complications such as scarring and pigmentary changes are minimised. These dead skin cells are replaced by healthier ones, allowing the skin’s own clarity and tightness to resurface, making the skin appear smoother and healthier.

A well-tolerated non-surgical facelift treatment, chemical peels rarely produce erythema or inflammation. Patients can therefore resume their normal daily routine more quickly after a chemical peel than after laser surgery or dermabrasion. Skin healing following a chemical peel is relatively painless and occurs within seven to ten days. With all types of peel you may need to use specified homecare products to help prepare your skin and ensure that it is in optimum condition prior to the chemical peel. You may also need to use specified homecare products after your peel, all of which can be provided by Melior Clinics.

Silhouette Soft

Silhouette Soft is a brand new skin rejuvenation and non-surgical facelift treatment with a double-action lifting and collagen regeneration effect. Also known as the one-stitch lift, Silhouette Soft provides an instant natural lift, a redefined face, restored volume and reduced wrinkles using an entirely re-absorbable suture. The treatment is virtually painless, the effects are immediate and results can last up to 18 months.

When women are asked what they consider their two main signs of facial ageing, the answer is invariably loss of skin tone and the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and creases. These common signs of ageing are due to the loss of collagen, a protein that ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of tissue. With age, collagen diminishes and the skin becomes less firm. The face also loses fat and heaviness accumulates under the chin and the lower cheeks.

Combating the effects of ageing means restoring smoother, more toned skin and a more shapely face. To meet this dual requirement, Silhouette Soft combines two aesthetic actions: lifting and regenerating. The lifting effect is immediate and discreet as it is the result of compressing and elevating tissue as the suture is adjusted. After the suture is inserted, pressure is applied to the treated area to reshape the surface of the skin and make it visibly smoother. The regenerative effect is gradual and natural: once the suture is applied, the polylactic acid acts on the deeper layers of the skin and helps increase the volume of saggy areas, restoring shapeliness to the face gradually and perfectly naturally.