Elasticity & Bouncing Back

Elasticity & Bouncing Back

OP. DR. YUNUS DOĞAN

Elastic is/was fantastic!

Remember when you were young and your skin had that youthful glow? Maybe your grandma tried to pinch your cheeks every time she visited. And once you fell off your bike but the scar wasn’t as bad as your mother feared. Maybe you even got a sunburn one summer but you know what? Your skin bounced right back, year after year.

Until it stopped rebounding so quickly. All that time under the sun eventually caught up with you. Now if someone squeezes a cheek, that wrinkle will sit, raised, for about five minutes. Heaven forbid you take a fall. Obviously now you’re running the risk of breaking a hip but you might also see more severe scarring as you age.

Rule #2965 why adulting isn’t fun: your skin loses its elasticity as you age. When you lose elasticity, you lose vibrance in your physical appearance. You also lose strength in the molecular structure of your skin.

If there was ever a time to “need” cosmetic/plastic surgery, it’s now, when your aging skin has turned inelastic. Now you have lines and wrinkles and saggy skin. But can you still be successful in your self-improvement through plastic surgery? Are you afraid you’re too old for plastic surgery? Read on to see how skin elasticity affects plastic surgery outcomes.

Elastic heart? We just want tight cheeks!

Skin elasticity comes from an important skin protein called elastin. If you want to read a long scientific definition and explanation, please read this article by The National Library of Medicine. In short, elastin keeps your skin stretchy but tight, firm and full.

You may think of collagen when you think of healthy, young skin. Both elastin and collagen are skin proteins. Collagen plays a role too: it gives our skin strength and resilience. Similar to collagen in the characteristics of youthfulness, elastin keeps skin flexible while giving it the ability to return to its original shape after manipulation. (Think of Grandma’s pinches.)

Much like a new sports car that depreciates three minutes before you drive it off the lot, our skin also loses some value at a relatively early point. Forbes.com says we begin losing 1% of our collagen production each year after age 20. While we can’t freeze time and keep all of our elastin and collagen right where we want it, we can avoid some of the external factors that deplete our own natural resources.

Where did these wrinkles come from?

In addition to age, the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays can dry you up like an Arizona riverbed. If cancer is not enough motivation to use sunscreen, think about all the wrinkles you’ll get from that two-hour beach nap.

In addition to wearing proper protection from the sun, other factors within your control include: getting enough rest, eating right and not smoking. Sleep deprivation will wear out your skin almost as fast as it does your brain. A good night’s rest gives your body time to regenerate cells and repair any damage done during the day. We can’t advocate enough about the correlation between sleep and healing. We tried to tell you when we talked about how to heal quickly after plastic surgery.

While we were lecturing you on getting enough sleep, we also nagged you about eating right, especially if you’ve already had surgery and want to maintain your stellar results. We’re not licensed nutritionists but we did read this detailed article that suggests foods that encourage elastin and collagen production.

As we handed out free lifestyle advice regarding plastic surgery healing and maintenance, we also subtly whispered that smoking is bad for healing. Well, it’s bad for life in general and will contribute to the breakdown of your elastin. If you need ANOTHER reason to quit, take a deep breath without gasping and grasp that smoking will give you wrinkles!

When the elastin’s not lastin’

Will your saggy belly skin respond to a tummy tuck? Can your wrinkled bare behind bear a Brazilian butt lift (BBL?) Most surgeons tend to perform lifts in severe cases of inelastic skin, so the short answer is, yes! Inelastic skin usually results in an excessive amount of skin and wrinkles, so a tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, etc. should be an ideal solution.

Inelasticity could be a problem for plastic surgery procedures involving fat removal - such as 360 liposuction - because those surgeries remove underlying tissue and not skin. Liposuction alone could leave a patient with extra skin if that patient’s skin lacks elasticity. Of course, the only way to know if your body supports your expectations is to consult your doctor.

The last stitch

Plastic surgery is not a magical cure. It is not a mystical fountain of youth that can repair anything and everything, but it can help you meet your personal goals for improvement if you research and prepare yourself. Your surgeon isn’t the only one putting in work here. Understanding the changes your body has gone through will empower you to make informed decisions about where you take it next. Now let us at those cheeks!

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