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Face Lift

How Effective Is A Face Lift?

Last modified: 
22/03/2012 - 14:29

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

The positive effects of a face lift can last for years, but it's important to realize the limits of the procedure.

  • Face lifts address only the face. Other procedures may have to be done to achieve the desired effect.
  • Face lifts correct deep wrinkling and sagging of the tissues. Fine wrinkling, such as that around the lips, must be corrected by a skin resurfacing technique such as a chemical peel, liposuction, laser resurfacing or dermabrasion.
  • Face lifts do not stop the aging process. Over time, signs of aging may reappear.
  • How long a face lift last depends on
    • Lifestyle choices such as alcohol and tobacco use
    • Environmental factors such as sun exposure
    • Heredity

With a healthy lifestyle, the effects of a face lift may last for 10 years. In some cases, the improvements are permanent.

Nice To Know:

Camouflaging Cosmetics

Bruising can last as long as three weeks after cosmetic surgery and scars can take several months to fade. Skillful use of cosmetics can disguise the bruises and scars and help you return to your normal routine.

Cosmetics can often be applied to hide scar lines as soon as sutures are removed. The cosmetics must be hypoallergenic and fragrance free. They should be bought fresh with fresh clean applicators. They should also be creamy enough so they won't pull against fragile skin.

Three kinds of cosmetics are recommended for disguising temporary effects of surgery:

  • Concealers: used to hide healed incision lines, scars, and bruises. They go on before the foundation.
  • Color correctors: used to disguise the yellow discoloration of bruises or the redness that follows facial resurfacing. These tints are also applied under the foundation.
  • Contouring colors: ordinary foundations or pressed powders bought in light and dark shades and applied used to create the illusion of depth when tissue is swollen. Contouring can make cheekbones look higher and can minimize a swollen nose or chin.

Liposuction Of The Face

Liposuction of excess fatty tissue of the face can be done through incisions made for other cosmetic procedures such as a face lift. Fat is removed from the face through a narrow tube called a cannula. This allows the skin to lie flatter. Fat suctioning is most often used to remove jowls and double chins.

For more information about liposuction, go to Liposuction.

Laser Resurfacing

Lasers can also be used to treat the entire face or in combination with lift procedures to produce a comprehensive rejuvenation.

Laser resurfacing can be used to treat:

  • fine lines and wrinkles, including crow's feet around the eyes
  • brown spots and splotchy discoloration
  • scars

Laser resurfacing should not take more than two hours. It is usually done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthetics and an intravenous sedative to relax the patient. A topical anesthetic cream may also be used. Repeat procedures are sometimes required.

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Face Lift

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.