A Dermatologist’s Comprehensive Approach to Positive Aging

A Dermatologist’s Comprehensive Approach to Positive Aging featured image
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In the pursuit of beauty, age should never be a barrier. Chapel Hill, NC dermatologist Sue Ellen Cox, MD offers a holistic approach to aging gracefully. Through a blend of science and wellness, she encourages and empowers patients to embrace their natural beauty at every stage of life. To reverse the effects of aging, she says a positive aging plan works best through a combination of noninvasive treatments.

Understanding Facial Aging

Dr. Cox notes it’s important to understand the underlying processes of facial aging and the journey from bone to skin. “Facial aging is a multifaceted process that involves bony reabsorption and ligament weakening,” she explains. “To address these changes effectively, we must consider the structural support beneath the skin’s surface.”

“One way to explain it is by likening their underlying structure to a table and their skin to a tablecloth. Imagine the table as shrinking over time while the tablecloth remains the same size. As a result, the tablecloth begins to drape. To restore harmony and make the tablecloth fit the table again, I utilize fillers with high viscosity strategically, akin to providing support like a long bone.”

Restoring Volume and Bone Loss

To revolumize the face and contour areas affected by bone loss, Dr. Cox relies on fillers, emphasizing that the choice of filler and its placement are crucial for restoring youthful contours. “By strategically placing fillers along ligaments, we mimic the effects of bone replacement, achieving natural-looking results that rejuvenate the face,” she says.

“I customize my filler approach based on the unique characteristics of each individual’s face. For instance, if a patient has a round face with thick skin, indicating a need for more anchoring or support, I may opt for products like Juvéderm Voluma or Restylane Lyft,” she explains. By strategically placing these fillers in the lateral zygoma, or cheekbone area, she is able to provide additional support and achieve subtle facial-shaping effects. “Studies have shown that filler placed directly on the bone, such as on the chin, can stimulate bony remodeling, further enhancing facial contours,” she adds.

Injectables, particularly neurotoxins like Botox Cosmetic, Jeuveau, Xeomin, Dysport and DAXXIFY, also play a pivotal role in Dr. Cox’s approach to positive aging. “We target specific muscles to prevent downward pull and achieve a lifted appearance,” she says. By addressing muscle contractions, she creates harmony and balance in facial expressions, preserving a youthful look.

Elevating Skin Quality with Energy-Based Treatments

In addition to injectables, she incorporates nonsurgical treatments to enhance skin quality and texture. “Laser resurfacing promotes collagen and elastin production, leading to improved skin tone and texture,” she explains. These treatments complement structural enhancements, providing a comprehensive solution for aging skin.

“I’m using my neuromodulators to help lift, my injectable fillers for support and then my energy-based devices for shrink-wrapping,” says Dr. Cox. Technologies like Sofwave or Thermage offer modest tissue tightening, complementing her injectable enhancements.

The 360-Holistic Approach

Dr. Cox says cosmetic interventions are just one component of overall wellness in the aging process, highlighting the interconnectedness of internal health and external beauty. “Sleep, nutrition, exercise and self-care are integral components of positive aging,” she notes.

Encouraging a proactive mindset towards aging, she advocates for embracing self-care rituals and making healthy lifestyle choices. “Aesthetic medicine is about more than just erasing lines and wrinkles,” she adds. “Positive aging is a journey, not a destination. Regular treatments and holistic wellness practices will help you maintain radiant skin and a vibrant spirit throughout your life’s stages.”

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