In the realm of facial plastic surgery, age is in some ways little more than just a number. But, in other ways, it does matter. For example, many surgeons won’t perform rhinoplasty on young teenagers or children, as the nose is still growing. While otoplasty, or ear surgery, can be performed on adults, the ideal patient is often still a child.
The same is true at the other end of the spectrum. While the belief persists that facelifts are intended only for the very old, in most cases, that’s just not true. In many ways, the younger a patient is when a facelift is performed, the happier she or he will be with the results and the longer those results might last.
Condition of Your Skin
More than your age, the state your skin is in plays a big role when it comes to deciding if now’s the right time for a facelift or if it is worth waiting. The goal of a facelift is to make you look more alert, refreshed and youthful. You won’t get that type of result if you already look pretty youthful and refreshed.
When considering a facelift, it’s all about finding the sweet spot in the aging process. Your skin should be starting to show some signs of aging, most notably sagging and some looseness. But, you don’t want to wait until the skin is very loose or has lost most of its elasticity, as the surgeon might not be able to do very much with it at that point.
A few factors come into play when it comes to your skin’s condition. Your genes play a role, for one thing. If your mom or dad had loose skin and a jowly look in their late 40s or 50s, you might consider a facelift sooner, rather than later. But, if older members of your family generally didn’t start to have sagging until much later in life, you might not.
Your habits also affect your skin’s condition. If your parents had substantial signs of aging in their 40s and early 50s, but also spent a lot of time basking in the sun, without sunscreen or were heavy smokers, those two factors play a big part in the aging process. If you aren’t a smoker and avoid excessive sun exposure, you might not display signs of aging so early. On the other hand, if your parents didn’t smoke or sunbathe and looked youthful for a long time, but you are a tanner or a smoker, you might see some signs of aging sooner.
Even if you’ve just turned 40, if you are starting to notice some looseness in your skin, it can be worth it to discuss your options with a surgeon.
How You Feel
How you feel overall also plays a part in determining whether or not a facelift is a good pick for you at age 40, 50, 60 or even 70. While older people generally have more health issues, which can make elective surgery a non-option, you’re less likely to have those same health problems when you are younger.
Even if you’re a hearty 60 or 70-year-old, your body isn’t what it used to be. Typically, people are better able to bounce back from surgery when they have a procedure performed in their younger years.
One of the better reasons to consider having a facelift at a younger, rather than an older, age, is that you are more likely to see the results and you’re more likely to see those results for a longer period of time. A small study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2011 found that patients who had a facelift before the age of 50 tended to be happier with their results shortly after the procedure and in the long run.
What About Less Invasive Options?
Since the amount of aging you might have on your face at age 40 or 50 is generally less than the degree of aging you’ll have around age 60, you might wonder if postponing a facelift and exploring a less invasive option is the way to go. While minimally invasive options, such as the S-Lift, or non-surgical options, such as Botox or fillers, might seem like a better fit when the signs of aging are still minimal, they do have drawbacks. One of the big drawbacks is that the results won’t last nearly as long.
Even if you still consider yourself young, a facelift might be the right option for you. Having the surgery performed when the signs of aging first appear can give you a jumpstart when it comes to looking youthful longer.
If you want to learn more about a facelift or explore your other options in the Palm Beach area, contact Dr. Michael Schwartz. Dr. Schwartz is a double board certified surgeon who specializes in facial plastic surgery. Call 561-228-5888 to schedule your consultation today.