The Ageing Process

The ageing process is an inevitable phenomenon that affects the entire body, with the face being one of the most visible markers. This process involves changes in skin texture, loss of facial volume, and alterations in the underlying bone structure. Understanding these changes, including the role of collagen and elastin reduction, as well as intrinsic and extrinsic ageing factors, is essential for dermatologists to provide effective and individualised treatment plans.

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Key Points

What Happens to the Face as We Age?

The ageing process in the face is multifactorial

  • Skin Changes – Reduction in collagen and elastin leads to wrinkles and sagging. Skin becomes fragile, rough, and may develop benign (or malignant) tumours.
  • Fat Redistribution – Loss and descent of fat pads result in volume loss and deepening of folds.
  • Muscle Changes – Muscles may weaken or hypertrophy, causing deep lines or sagging.
  • Bone Resorption – Changes in bone structure can lead to a less defined facial contour.
  • Intrinsic Ageing Signs – Fine wrinkles, itchy dry skin, loosely hanging skin.
  • Extrinsic Ageing Signs – Skin dryness, laxity, wrinkling, skin fragility, lentigines, seborrheic keratoses, freckling and age spots, thinning of the skin, decreased elasticity.

Typical features of facial ageing include

  • Fine Lines and Wrinkles – Particularly around the eyes, forehead, and mouth.
  • Sagging Skin – Due to loss of elasticity and gravitational pull.
  • Volume Loss – Noticeable in the cheeks, temples, and under the eyes.
  • Jowling – Sagging of the lower face and jawline.

Dermatological Interventions

Dermatologists address ageing facial changes through various interventions.

  • Topical Treatments – Retinoids, antioxidants, peptides, alpha-hydroxyl acids, niacinamide, and Vitamin C to improve skin texture, elasticity, and reduce irregular pigmentation and fine lines.
  • Injectables – Fillers to restore volume, especially in cheeks, lips, and under-eye areas. Botulinum Toxin for dynamic wrinkles.
  • Laser and Energy-Based Treatments – Laser resurfacing, RF Microneedling, and other technologies to improve skin texture, tone, and tightness.
  • Surgical Options – Facelifts, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), neck lifts for more significant changes. Such surgical procedures are performed by plastic surgeons.
  • Other Treatments – Chemical peels, HydraFacial, vascular and pigment laser treatments.
  • Lifestyle Recommendations – Sun protection, smoking cessation, healthy diet, exercise, and proper skin care to slow the ageing process.

Expectations and Outcomes

While dermatological interventions can significantly improve the appearance of ageing skin, it’s important to have realistic expectations. The goal is often to achieve a more refreshed and rejuvenated appearance rather than trying to completely reverse the ageing process.

Our results speak for themselves

Unfiltered and untouched standardised 3D Vectra before & after photographs of consenting patients at Melbourne Skin & Dermatology. Individual results may vary. A thorough consultation is required before treatments.

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