Aging of the Face and Neck

Many women and men are concerned about the aging process and how they can prevent significant changes to their face and neck. Many seek the expertise of Dr. Mark Samaha who specializes in facial plastic surgery in Montreal.

Facial aging

Aging in the face is primarily caused by three processes occurring at the same time:

  • Loss of firmness or sagging of the skin and muscles
  • Loss of fat under the skin with hollowing
  • Fine lines and wrinkles that result in the skin appearing more textured on the surface.

Looseness and sagging of skin and muscle

Over time, muscles lose their firmness and begin to drop downward as a consequence of gravity, and the skin follows.

This leads to the droopy skin in the neck (turkey neck) and jowls (jowling). The nasolabial folds (the lines between the nostrils and the corners of the mouth) become deeper; Marionette lines (the lines between the corners of the mouth and the chin) appear; and a hollowing of the area under the eyes develops as the fat present there in youth sags downward with gravity.

Loss of volume

As we age, a significant portion of the existing fat layer beneath the skin is lost. This leads to a loss in both the smoothness and glow of the skin, particularly in certain convex facial areas like the cheeks and cheekbones and is a major cause of facial aging (see illustration).

Figure 1 of aging changes in the face

(a) Aging changes, including loss of volume, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and loosening of neck tissues are shown. (b) Correction of many of these changes through facelift and neck lift. A simplified illustration is shown here. Learn more about Dr. Samaha’s deep plane facelift and deep neck lift.

Loss of skin smoothness

As the skin ages, it’s progressively subjected to genetic and environmental factors. Some of the major causes of skin aging include sun exposure and smoking. Fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, and texturing of previously smooth skin start to appear with age.

Individual variation

Each of us has unique genetics that determine aging. Some individuals are fortunate to have excellent genes and appear years younger than their actual age. For many of us, however, a little help is needed.

Some people have experienced significant sun exposure while others may also smoke. Finally, each patient Dr. Samaha sees has their own goals regarding what they wish to improve in their face.

  • For example, a person with significant skin laxity who is fortunate to have had no volume loss may simply need to lift the droopy skin and muscle, with a deep plane facelift and deep neck lift to see a significant improvement.
  • Another may have firm skin but may have lost significant volume that has resulted in a hollowed look. In such a patient, restoring the volume is all that may be required.

Aging in the neck

Like the face, the neck area will also age over time. Under the skin of the neck on each side is a sheet of muscle called the platysma. When these platysma muscles lose their elasticity and firmness, they sag and drop, taking the skin with them. This often creates a “turkey neck.” The edges of the platysma muscles that meet in the middle form the two vertical bands commonly seen in aged necks.

As the skin droops with the muscle, it wrinkles and hangs down, sometimes to the level of the chest.

Finally, with aging, fat collects in certain areas of the neck, particularly under the chin. These fat collections can be under the skin but over the muscle, which makes them suitable to treat with liposuction; or these fat collections can be located under the muscle layer, which cannot be treated with liposuction and would require a deep neck lift to remove them from under the muscle layer.

An individualized approach is very important

Given all the variations and causes of facial aging, an individualized approach is extremely important to achieve a great result. Unfortunately, oftentimes practices take a one-size-fits-all approach to facelift and neck lift procedures, which frequently leads to:

  • Unnatural looking results
  • A failure to achieve any meaningful result
  • Results that only look good for the first few months

As an experienced facial surgeon who understands facial anatomy and the different processes involved in aging, Dr. Samaha assesses each patient to determine his or her needs. Once the assessment is complete, Dr. Samaha devises an individualized plan that aims to target each patient’s areas of concern. See Dr. Samaha’s excellent results by looking through his photo gallery.

Dr. Mark Samaha

Meet Dr. Mark Samaha

A double board-certified otolaryngologist whose practice focuses exclusively on facial plastic surgery, Dr. Samaha is highly qualified in facial aesthetics. Learn more about our physician and how he's carefully refined his skills to sculpt your beautiful face.

Meet Dr. Samaha Doctor credentials

Dr. Samaha looks forward to helping you discover your youthful best with facial plastic surgery in Montreal, Quebec. Request your consultation with Dr. Samaha online or call us at (514) 731-2525 to make your appointment.

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