Getting Older, Getting Better: Part III - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/10/05

Getting Older, Getting Better: Part III

Did you know that women tend to age faster than men? Age can sneak up on you unexpectedly. But that doesn't mean we have to give in. Many women are choosing to fight it all the way. You are never too young or too old to combat the signs of aging.

Technology is available for those who want to be growing older and getting better.

It was girls' night out at Plastic Surgery Associates for the annual Skin and Body Expo, a chance to take a look at ways to minimize the effects of time, like injections for fuller lips. Collagen used to be the big thing, but now it's Restylane.

"It tends to look better, less lumpy," said Dr. Scott W. Vann. "Many advances, same price lasts twice as long."

Patients hope that puffing out their lips will stretch the fine lines that form around the mouth. This procedure requires a local anesthesia to numb the lips, then the skin-filling agent is injected around the lip line with a very fine needle.

The effects of Restylane filler are noticeable immediately, but no so with Botox. "It takes Botox two or three days to show up," explained Dr. Barbara L. Davies.

For many women, the eyes are the first to show signs of aging, making the paralyzing effect of Botox a popular treatment. With this there is no anesthesia, just a few minutes with an ice pack and then Dr. Davies goes to work.

"Muscles make you frown," she said. "We're going to paralyze those."

Botox is a toxin used in minute doses. The ice is returned to reduce any swelling or aging.

Down the hall, a chemical peel was turning a woman blue. An acid solution is applied in layers to remove the dead, dull surface layers of skin on the face, eventually revealing fresh new skin that will be tighter and more radiant, with reduced fine lines. The color helps the technician to see how the skin is accepting the acid so she knows where she has applied it and when it is time to stop.

These are all out-patient procedures that work for a limited time and then have to be repeated.

How fast your skin ages depends on three things: your age, genetics and lifestyle. Nineteen-year-old Lindsey, at the event with her mother, definitely has age on her side and it looks like genetics as well. But her lifestyle of high sun exposure will eventually work against her.

"The sun that's terrible for your face but it looks cute right now," she said. "Find out how to prevent it later, I want to be cute now."

She fully intends to rely on technology to counteract any aging in her future. "Definitely, my cousin had eye surgery and a face lift, they're great. That's why they're here so you can look cute when we're young and then look younger when we get older, right?"

At age 69, Nancy Rowland agreed. She was still glowing after her latest face lift just last year. But these are medical procedures your insurance company won't pay for.

"14 to 15,000 dollars, it was worth it, save for that gift for your golden years," she said.

Reported by: Jody Chapin, jchapin@wtoc.com

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