Among the changes in skin with aging, the loss of skin elasticity is one of the most important. Skin elasticity determines the tone of the skin, the ability of the skin to remain firm and resist stretching. The loss of elasticity leads to sagging, wrinkles and folds.
Cosmetic Surgery cannot restore elasticity. With various surgical procedures we can remove extra, stretched out skin, which can improve shape and contour, and reduce some folds.
When we do lifting procedures, we may pull the skin tight, but how tight the skin remains is a function of elasticity. No matter how tight we pull, the skin must return to its resting tone. After surgery, this happens gradually over several weeks.
For example, when people try to see what a Denver facelift might do for them, they will pull their face with their fingers by their ears. The resulting stretch will lift jowls and pull away some extra skin, but it also stretches out wrinkles and fine lines. The smoothening of fine lines and wrinkles can be deceptive. It results from the immediate and active stretch placed on the skin. Even if the skin looks just like that right after the facelift, the skin can’t hold that degree of stretch for very long, and gradually (over several weeks) relaxes.
The degree of tightness (or relaxation) that the skin then maintains is determined by the amount of elasticity or tone in the skin, and not how tight the skin is pulled at the time of surgery.
Of course, pulling too tight (or too often) can result in an unnatural appearance.
So how do we best treat wrinkles?
More in my blogs and on my Denver plastic surgery website about skin care, lasers, chemical peels and skin resurfacing.