If you recently had a facelift surgery, it is important to take steps to protect your results and maintain your new, youthful look. When your facelift incisions have healed and your surgeon has given you the go ahead to return to your normal routine, take appropriate steps to make sure your lifestyle and health habits help support your results.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help ensure your skin stays firm and full, and to flush out wrinkle-causing toxins. Remember, that “eight glasses of water a day” rule is only the minimum. Caffeine, outdoor activities, and exercise all require extra hydration to make sure every part of your body, including your facial tissues, is healthy and functioning properly. Proper hydration will keep your face healthy at a deeply, cellular level, and help maintain a naturally “glowing” appearance.
- Avoid sun exposure: If you plan to be outside between 10am and 1pm, always use a sunscreen with at least a moderate SPF to safeguard your skin from direct exposure to sun, and reapply frequently. Keep a hat in your purse or car, and make sure to use it if you stay outside for more than a few minutes. Solar radiation can cause wrinkles and undermine subcutaneous tissues, resulting in a dried, leathery look. And the “age spots” that result from years of sun exposure can quickly compromise the age-defying effects of a facelift.
- Stop smoking: Smoking is one of those red flags that cause many surgeons to think twice about performing a procedure at all, and for good reason: smoking causes serious problems for tissue and vascular health. What that means for you: slower healing and a higher risk of complications. But recovery concerns aside, smoking thins tissues and creates wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, making your skin look much older, much faster. The best way to protect yourself from the risks and the ongoing aging effects of smoking is to quit months before your procedure.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Significant weight gain or loss can compromise the elasticity of the skin over time, causing delicate facial tissues to sag. Big weight fluctuations can also cause hormonal fluctuations and a whole host of other, smaller issues that can subtly impact your results. To avoid losing the firm, smooth facial contour from your facelift procedure, it is best to achieve your goal weight prior to surgery, and put in the time to prevent big weight fluctuations afterward.
A facelift does not “stop” the effects of time completely — only turn back the clock several years — but with appropriate care after surgery, you can do a lot to make sure your youthful results last as long as possible.
Dr. Alexander received his Medical Degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, one of the country’s first medical schools, and then had five years of intensive general surgery training at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, serving as chief resident in 1993-1994. There he was one of two residents honored “Outstanding Teacher” by the Whitehead Society.
After becoming Board Certified in General Surgery, Dr. Alexander attended the University of California San Francisco, one of the premiere Plastic Surgery programs in the United States. There he completed two additional years of residency training in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Alexander is double board certified in Surgery and Plastic Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Alexander specializes in facial rejuvenation, and was the first surgeon in California to perform the QuickLift,™ a revolutionary surgical procedure that takes years off the face with less downtime than traditional facelifts. He is a specialist in chemical peels and laser surgery and was selected to author the chapter “Facial Resurfacing” in Plastic Surgery, the premiere textbook of the specialty. He also specializes in facial cancer reconstruction and endoscopic, minimally-invasive procedures, publishing his own original research about endoscopic plastic surgery. He lectures in medical forums and has presented his results at both national and international surgical meetings.