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The Aging Face (Part 3): Upper Face

In this three-part series, Dr. Lucero helps us understand facial aging, by identifying the typical signs of aging on the lower, middle, and upper areas of the face, their causes, and the various ways by which we can address each of them to achieve the most comprehensive and natural-looking results.

Today, we wrap up this series with a discussion on the upper face.

The upper third of the face is often one of the first things that a person notices about another, bearing as it does, the eyes, which, as they say, are the windows to one’s soul. Be it in conversations, interactions, or in simple day-to-day encounters, this part of the face easily commands attention, which is why people devote their time taking measures to enhance the appearance of this part of the face, such as applying eye makeup or getting eyebrows done.

This portion of the face, which consists of the area from the hairline to the upper eyelids, is prone to early manifestations of aging. These include frown lines in between the eyebrows and forehead lines consisting of indentations across the forehead, which both result from loss of skin elasticity, coupled with the long term effects of repeated muscle contraction; crow's feet, which are tiny wrinkles spanning the outer corners of the eyes; droopy eyebrows, which are caused by the gradual sagging of the skin and the natural downwards pull of gravity; and hooded eyelids, which are formed through the combined effects of skin sagging and fat loss or accumulation.

The overall effect of these formations is to give one a heavy and tired look, which is quite the opposite of a youthful and vibrant face.

In order to address aging of the upper face, various techniques can be utilized to treat each problematic area. Contrary to popular conception, facelift is not among these, as this procedure is suited only for middle to lower facial sagging.

Nonetheless, a brow lift or forehead lift can be done to treat the area from the hairline up to the eyebrows. This has the effect of repositioning droopy eyebrows to their original and ideal location, as well as smoothing out frown lines and crow's feet around the eyes.

Meanwhile, upper eyelid surgery can take care of hooded eyelids, through the removal of excess skin and/or fat. This procedure can complement a brow lift to give the eyes a more energetic appearance.

Don't want to go under the knife? There are always Botox injections to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines and fillers to level out deeper lines and depressions. Nowadays, there are even injectables that can be used to treat dark circles to bring back the eyes' natural glow, as well as machines that help tone the skin to approximate the results of filler injections.

Again, getting the best and most natural-looking results would depend on the skill of the person who will perform the procedure, or combination of procedures, in proper precision, timing and moderation. Trust no one but a certified plastic surgeon. The list of surgeons found in www.papras.org and www.isaps.org is a great help. Remember that this area of the face is particularly sensitive, and a lone error in execution can lead to drastic effects, such as loss of skin sensation and even blindness.

Plus, there's always the danger of a windblown face! No one wants to end up with overly stretched skin and inability to form expressions after all those tedious efforts of reversing the signs of aging.

We hope this three-part series has helped you understand the mechanisms of and remedies for lower, middle and upper facial aging. Hopefully, it has better equipped you with the knowledge that will come handy if you do decide to explore the magic that expertly-performed aesthetic procedures can do to your face.

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