Summary: Aging and cosmetic surgery are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other, as the old song goes (thanks, Frank). But how do they interact with each other? How will you age once your cosmetic surgery results fade? The answer to that question can be complicated, as much will depend on your own personal physiology and the procedure in question.
Will You Age After Cosmetic Surgery
Aging is something that happens quite normally. We all age, we all show the signs of aging, and that aging is something that progresses over time. That’s why we get cosmetic surgery, after all. We want to slow that aging process. We want to look a little bit more youthful.
That raises something of a mind-twister, a brain teaser (if you will). What happens to the aging process when you get cosmetic surgery? Do you continue to age normally if you’ve had cosmetic surgery? Well, in a certain way, of course you do. Nothing can really stop the aging process (except maybe a black hole).
Maybe a better way to phrase the question is like this: do you continue to age normally once the cosmetic surgery wears off? Let’s take a look at what actually happens and when you age after cosmetic surgery.
Aging in the Treated Area
Most people get a cosmetic surgery procedure, be it Botox or Microneedling, to address a specific area. They aren’t trying to stop the aging process overall, they’re just trying to address the signs of aging in one particular area. Now, aging is a complex process with many factors. That’s why we’re mostly concerned with appearances.
You skin shows the signs of aging for several reasons. In some cases, it’s because the skin loses elasticity, in other cases it’s because gravity actually pulls down on the skin, creating an excess of tissue. This can make the skin appear to have less volume and, therefore, wrinkly (kind of like deflating a balloon).
To address that, many surgeons will use the injection of dermal fillers, such as Juvederm or Voluma, to fill that volume and eliminate the wrinkles. In other words, only a specific area will be treated. It will look more youthful, but normal aging processes will still take place.
Will You Age More Quickly Once Results Fade?
The short answer to this question is no, you will not. Usually. So, the fear is that you will age more quickly once the results from your cosmetic surgery fade. After all, most cosmetic surgery procedures (dermal filler injections, etc) are designed to be temporary. This means that the effects will wear off over time—months or years, yes, but they will wear off.
So does that mean that once the results wear off, you’ll do eighteen months of aging in a couple of days? Well, not really. It turns out that in most cases, getting an injectable, such as Botox or a dermal filler, can actually help prevent wrinkles. Think about it this way: wrinkles are essentially a symptom of stress in the skin.
Youthful looking skin is basically unstressed skin. So in keeping the skin unstressed, you can (in the short term) keep away wrinkles. You won’t suddenly age years in the span of a couple of days!
However, if you want to maintain your results—and many people do—you will need to schedule regular monthly maintenance injections. For most patients, these can be accomplished in just a few minutes, so it’s a great way to keep those wrinkles away!
Aging Normally if All Goes Right
This is basically a long way of saying that patients will age normally if all goes right. Again, aging never stops. The only way that you will have substantially more wrinkles after a cosmetic surgery treatment is if your treatment doesn’t necessarily go right.
This happens most often in cases of “overfilling.” Rarely, an overeager patient might request more dermal filler than is required for a given procedure (this is also what causes the “stone face” look with Botox injections—too much). When too much dermal filler is applied, there’s too much volume in the skin.
This excess volume can stretch the skin out. Essentially, it can create even more excess skin. When there’s more excess skin, you get more wrinkles once the injectable dissolves. It’s worth noting, however, that this is quite rare—and even rarer when you go see a highly qualified cosmetic surgeon.
Fighting the Signs of Aging
You’ll probably notice that, when it comes to medical spas and cosmetic surgeons, they’re very particular about some of the language they use. They’re not trying to fight aging, they’re fighting the “signs of aging.” That’s an important distinction.
Because at the end of the day, nature is basically going to take its course. You will age. You just don’t have to look that way.