What is midlife?
The term midlife is usually used to define an age and it typically defines someone between the ages of 40 to 60. However, there are some other qualities that can be used to describe people in their midlife. Most people in their midlife have reached their family and career goals and are mostly at a plateau that they will hold for the next 20 or so years. Most people in their midlife are very social, active, relatively healthy, still working at a maximum or near maximum capacity and within the public eye. If you ask them they will tell you that they feel young and energetic. To many these are their prime years when they have the money and the energy to work, enjoy life and have fun.
However, on the outside the aging process has gotten hold and has began to show itself and by the end of this period many of the subtle changes in the skin begin to become more apparent.
What are the aging changes that have occurred?
Although most people in their midlife feel young, their appearances are undergoing changes that they can see and some that they can’t. After years of sun exposure, the elastin in the skin begins to breakdown and skin recoil decreases. This is usually manifested with fine lines, wrinkles and excessive skin especially around highly mobile areas of the face such as the eyes, forehead and mouth. The thin muscles of the face also begin to become stretched by the force of gravity. This is usually manifested with deepening of natural facial lines such as the nasojugal lines (lines under the eyes), nasolabial lines (smile lines around the lip) and the marionette lines (lines at the corner of the mouth). Furthermore the tissues behind the muscle begin to push through and become apparent leading to features such as sagging of the jowels (bulges along the jaw line), herniation of fat around the eyes (bulges around the eyes), bands around the neck and hollowness of the midface. These changes are small at first but become more pronounced over the next few decades.
How can this process be prevented?
The aging process can NEVER be completely prevented. It can, however, be slowed down. One of the best ways to slow down the aging process is to limit exposure to chemical and environmental factors that would increase the signs of aging. These include, smoking, using harsh chemical and make-up on the skin and, of course, sun exposure.
Another way to slow down the aging process is to minimize the appearance of wrinkles caused by movement. These are the forehead lines, frown lines and lines around the eyes. This is typically done by injection of products that decrease the movement of the muscle for a brief period of time. With repeated treatment the wrinkles tend to fade away. These products include Botox, Dysport and similar treatments. This is usually started before someone enters his or her midlife. This way the youthful appearance can continue for a longer period of time.
Appropriate skin care products can also decrease the speed by which the aging process takes hold. The appropriate pharmaceutical products can decrease sun damage, reverse the aging process and stimulate healthy skin re-generation.
Fillers, although not preventative, can prolong the youthful appearance of our 30s. Done in a subtle but appropriate way, fillers can be a great adjunct to the above methods to slow the appearance of aging. These fillers can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months (Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane) or 1-2 years (Radiesse or Sculptra).
Finally, skin resurfacing procedures such as laser resurfacing or acid peels, can take away wrinkles, skin imperfections and restore the youthful and healthy appearance of the skin. However, at some point in the aging process most of these measures will not be able to achieve the desired results.
What is midlife lift trying to address?
The reality is that most people do not want to actually look like they are in their 60s. Especially when they feel young, healthy and energetic. They can, however, accept to look somewhere between 45 to 55 years old. However, Father Time will eventually catch up with everyone. The concept of midlife lift is to deliver results that help to sustain the duration of time that some one would appear to be in their midlife. The midlife lift in turn addresses the specific needs of patients to achieve this goal in customizable fashion based on each individual’s unique social setting, needs and desires.