Q. I'm 54 years old and I just finished my first half marathon. While I'm very excited about my accomplishment, I'm not so excited as I look at myself in the mirror. As my body gets better, my face gets worse. What can you do to help me?
A. Congratulations! Don't despair, there are many things you can do, and you don’t have to stop your training for your full marathon.
There's an old plastic surgery saying, “What's good for your body is bad for your face.’’ In South Florida there are many people like you: people who frequently overwork themselves and run themselves into oblivion. Lucky for you, you started running later in life and now we have many different options for you.
It would be great to be able to inject your own fat to augment your loss of volume in the face. But because you're running and probably working out a lot, you have none to give.
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In the last 10 to 15 years, however, new facial fillers have been developed that will help you look and feel much better. In addition, Botox and Dysport can be used because while you run, as you are usually grimacing or squinting from the sun exposure.
Facial fillers include Restylane, Perlane, Juvéderm, Radiesse, Sculptra and the newest on the market, Voluma. Restylane, Perlane, Juvéderm and Voluma are all hyaluronic acids. They are generally well tolerated and last between six and nine months. Voluma is purported to last up to two years. Sculptra is a bioactive filler that causes your own body to form collagen. It can also last up to two years. Radius is a filler that is based on calcium and has a lifespan of approximately two years. Which one of these you use depends on what your expectations are and the experience and recommendation of your physician.
With the addition of Botox and Dysport to improve the wrinkles and the scowling that you may have from running the grueling pace and the exposure to the sun, your face will certainly soften. Beyond that I would recommend that you use sunscreens and moisturizers and limit the retinoic acid you use so that you don't irritate your skin while being exposed to the sun. As in everything, moderation is imperative so you can continue to stay in shape but look “marvelous.’’
Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com.