While facelifts have been popular among patients of all ethnicities for decades now, the differences in skin texture and pigmentation create different challenges for patient of African American descent. Understanding the risks and considerations of a specialty face lift can help you find the right plastic surgeon and prepare for the cost of total treatment. Use these five tips to make sure your face lift goes as smoothly as possible no matter your ethnicity.
Since African American women develop the most visible signs of aging about a decade slower than their Caucasian counterparts, most women tend to wait until a later age to seek out plastic surgery techniques like a face lift. This can create complications if the patient is old enough that their respiration or heart health is compromised. The likelihood of a complicating secondary condition like diabetes or heart disease also rises with age. If you decide to put off a face lift until you truly see the need for one, make sure you take care of your overall health in the years leading up to the surgery so you don't disqualify yourself from going under anesthesia.
For years, large and visible keloid scars were a common complication of face lifts and other forms of plastic surgery on darker skinned patients. Surgeons today have more tools than ever available for preventing and treating these scars to minimize their appearance. Some of the most valuable techniques for preventing visible scarring include:
- deep stitching to anchor the surface of the skin to the deeper layers
- careful incisions to create a site that heals faster and with fewer complications
- scar preventing creams used during healing to prevent tissue overgrowth
- collagen injection therapy to minimize developing scars before they spread and harden.
Even if you manage to avoid scarring altogether with your face lift, you could still end up with small patches of darker pigment patches that give away the fact you've gone under the knife. Yet like scarring, hyperpigmentation can also be prevented and treated by a surgeon familiar with African American skin care. The same treatments that prevent scarring will maintain even skin tone during healing. Avoid direct sun exposure on the newly healed incision sites and consider using fading creams after the surgeon clears you as fully healed if you notice any early signs of tone change.
Whether you wait longer or go for an early face lift, you're likely looking for more than just tighter skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Filling out low sections of your forehead, cheeks, or chin can restore your profile and make you look more youthful without overstretching the skin. Ask about your options for combining implants, dermal fillers, and subcutaneous fat and cartilage transplants. All of these surgical additions to the traditional face lift will give you the most youthful looks possibly with one complete surgery. Accomplishing as much as possible with the same incisions cuts down on recovery time and reduces the chances of scarring.
Finally, make sure your surgeon is skilled at hiding scars along the jawline and hairline. Are you also struggling with an uneven hair line and concerned that your scars may be more noticeable due to thinning? Consider having hair transplants completed before going in for the face lift. Establishing a strong hair line ensures the surgeon has the perfect place for tucking the incisions to minimize their visibility. Keep in mind that many African American women find it necessary to go natural and stop using harsh chemical relaxers and straighteners in order to regrow their original hair line.
To learn more about any other special considerations you should take, visit clinics like My Plastic Surgery Group.