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If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought something about your face looks older or more tired but you're not sure exactly what it is, you might be experiencing volume loss related to fat pad aging. Fat pads are located below the skin's surface and help provide volume, facial contour and fullness. As we age, fat pads deflate and fall due to gravity.
What does fat pad aging look like?
Facial volume loss may appear as
Facial volume in the entire face decreases with age, leading to an overall deflated, tired look. That's when more wrinkles, folds, and sagging of skin appear. The goal for facial rejuvenation is to restore facial volume.
What causes facial volume loss?
The natural aging process and your genetics are the major causes of facial volume loss. Other environmental and behavior factors can exacerbate facial volume loss, however, including weight loss, stress, smoking, sun exposure, etc.
When does facial volume loss begin to occur?
While every person ages differently, many patients begin to notice signs of volume loss starting in their late 20s to early 30s. In our youth, fat in the face is evenly distributed, with pockets that plump up the forehead, temples, cheeks, and areas around the eyes and mouth. As we age, the natural supports of the skin begin to break down and fat pads may shift downward.
How can volume loss be treated?
Filler is a non-surgical option to treat volume loss. Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers are composed of synthetic hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring plumping substance in skin, that provide instant results with minimal to no downtime. At Meraki Medical Aesthetics, we use Juvederm and Restylane hyaluronic acid fillers.
Age spots (also called solar lentigines)
are small, flat dark areas on the skin. They vary in size and usually appear on areas exposed to the sun. Age spots are caused by overactive pigment cells in our skin that has been exposed to the sun for years.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
are the most common and most visible signs of aging. Collagen and elastin are the main support structures of our skin. Collagen provides structural support to the skin while elastin provides stretch, recoil and elasticity. Together collagen and elastin help keep our skin appearing tight and youthful. work. They are susceptible to environmental damage from sun exposure, smoke, pollution and other chemicals, as well as repeated facial expressions.
Treatment of Fine Lines and Wrinkles
What Causes Acne Scars?
When acne breakouts penetrate the skin deeply, they damage the skin and the tissue beneath it. As the acne clears, the body tries to repair this damage.
During the healing process, the body produces collagen—a substance that gives the skin support. If the body produces too little or too much collagen, you will see a scar.
The type of scar depends on how much collagen your body makes. If the body produces too little collagen, depressions or pits form as the skin heals. Sometimes the body produces too much collagen as it tries to heal the skin and underlying tissue. When this happens, a person develops a raised acne scar. This type of acne scar is more common in darker skin types.
Who Gets Acne Scars?
Some people are more likely to see scars when their acne clears. The risk increases when a person:
Although we know what increases a person’s risk of developing acne scars, it is not possible to predict who will develop acne scars. Even people who have all the risk factors may not scar.
It is, however, possible to prevent acne scars with effective acne treatment.
What Treatments Are Available for Acne Scars?
Resurfacing removes layers of skin, which allows the body to produce new skin cells.
Dermatologists use the following resurfacing procedures to treat depressed acne scars:
Resurfacing works well for treating acne scars that are nearly flat (not too deep). Even dermabrasion, which removes the top layers of skin and some of the middle layers, cannot effectively treat deep acne scars.
Best for: Depressed acne scars that are not deep. Useful for contouring scar edges to make scars less noticeable. Deep scars often require skin surgery and resurfacing.
Lasers and other light treatments can treat raised scars safely and effectively. Treatment with a pulsed dye laser (PDL) can help reduce the itch and pain, diminish color, and flatten a raised scar. For people with lighter skin, intense pulsed light (IPL) also may be a treatment option.
Best for: All types of acne scars
Microneedling with Radiofrequency
This treatment increases collagen production and tightens the skin, making depressed acne scars less noticeable. Individuals often require a series of 3-4 treatments spaced four weeks apart. This treatment is safe for all skin colors.
Best for: Widespread depressed acne scars. Sometimes, skin tightening effectively treats deep icepick and boxcar scars. Not a treatment for raised acne scars, which form when the body produces too much collagen.
Fillers can be used to safety and effectively plump depressed acne scars. Many fillers give us temporary results, which last between 6 and 18 months. Some fillers are permanent.
Best for: Treating a few depressed scars, but not icepick scars.
A dermatologist may recommend injecting medicine directly into the scars. This can soften and flatten raised, thick scars.
Getting the best results often requires repeat visits. These injections are usually given once every few weeks. How often you will need to return for treatment depends on the scar and many other considerations. You may need to return once every two to six weeks for a while.
Best for: Painful, raised scars
Acne scar surgery
Dermatologists perform acne scar surgery to reduce raised acne scars. This surgery can be performed in a dermatologist’s office.
To obtain the best results, acne scar surgery is often followed by another treatment.