Fall Skincare Tips: 4 Aesthetic Treatments to Rejuvenate Damaged Skin

Sometimes your skin simply looks dull and lackluster when the seasons change. As the year transitions from summer to fall, you may be in need of a complete refresher. Along with the changes in temperature and humidity that can cause your skin to dry out, our patients are often bothered by actinic (sun) damage sustained from spending time outdoors during the warmer months. Common cosmetic problems include wrinkles, fine lines, sunspots, hyperpigmentation and rough patches. At-home skin care routines might not be sufficient enough to address these concerns. Aesthetic treatments such as laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, microneedling, and HydraFacial®, which our Philadelphia area office offers, will all help to breathe new life into the skin while giving it a more polished and even appearance to your skin in time for the holidays. The options listed below do not require much down time either.

1. Laser Skin Resurfacing

Although you can schedule laser treatments for any month of the year, patients and physicians alike usually refer to the autumn and winter months as “laser season,” because it’s much more convenient to receive light ablative services done when the weather is cooler and the sun is less intense.

When you’re taking shelter indoors more often and wearing heavier layers of clothing against the cold and wet, there’s less of a chance of permanent pigment changes due to sun exposure and damage after laser treatments, such as Pixel® for stimulating new collagen production and improving acne scars, enlarged pores, age spots, wrinkles, and uneven tone and texture.

2. Chemical Peels

The skin’s surface is covered with pores, which are often blocked by debris and dead skin cells that make it difficult for topical products to penetrate and work effectively. With a chemical peel, a solution is applied to the outer, damaged layer of skin, which causes the dead later to gradually peel away revealing a youthful glow to your skin and allowing more effective use of your home skincare regimen.  

3. Microneedling

Microneedling is a treatment uses tiny pinpricks to stimulate collagen production in the skin, with each small “wound” triggering the skin’s organic healing process. Eventually, new, healthier skin is revealed at the surface so acne scars and wrinkles are less prominent.

4. HydraFacial®

HydraFacial® deeply cleanses the skin and is suitable for most skin types. This three-step procedure involves exfoliating, extracting impurities, and nourishing the skin with serums.

Get more info on these options, including HydraFacial®, available from Dr. Timothy Greco’s practice. Want to learn more about the treatments that can help you to restore a more radiant complexion? Call us at (610) 664-8830 to talk about your plans or submit a contact form.

How to Reduce Scarring After a Facelift

Nonsurgical treatments are convenient and can improve your appearance, but the results from injectables and light therapies can’t compare to the more dramatic, comprehensive, and long-lasting results you can attain with facial plastic surgery. In the Philadelphia area, Dr. Timothy M. Greco explains that a facelift is the best way to significantly improve severely sagging jowls and skin in the neck area, as well as elevate the cheeks to improve facial contours.

Even with the benefits of surgery in mind, patients who visit our practice are sometimes worried about having visible scars after a facelift. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. During your consultation, Dr. Greco will explain what to expect with your procedure, including a basic outline of what to expect with scarring.

Right after having facelift surgery, some of the most common but temporary side effects patients can experience are swelling, bruising, numbness, and mild pain. Scarring is also one of the risks associated with this surgery, as well as most other plastic surgery procedures.

To minimize the visibility of scars, Dr. Greco makes incisions in places that are easily concealed, such as the hairline and in front of or behind the ear, so they can be hidden by the natural contours of the face and hair. Dr. Greco also painstakingly re-approximates the incisions so the scars heal as meticulously as possible.

Yes, these scars will be with you for life, but they typically fade in a few months to become barely visible white lines. Scars can be minimized with injections of corticosteroid solution. Subsequent skin treatments, such as pulsed-dye lasers, can also improve a scar’s appearance.

The way you heal and the type of scarring you will ultimately see on your face is influenced by your age, skin elasticity, genetics, race, and ethnicity, as well as the size and tension of the scar.

There are many steps you can take to keep scars from becoming more pronounced. Mainly, you should:

  • avoid smoking several weeks before and after surgery
  • lower your consumption of alcohol and caffeine after surgery
  • get lots of rest during your recovery phase
  • drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • increase your protein intake
  • follow the instructions from Dr. Greco and his team for proper wound care
  • wear sunscreen and avoid exposing the skin on your incisions to sunlight
  • refrain from placing excessive tension on or around incisions

Want more advice on facial plastic surgery in the Philadelphia area? Call Dr. Timothy Greco’s plastic surgery office at (610) 664-8830 or send a message to request a free consultation if you’re planning to have a facelift or another procedure.

6 Fascinating Facts About Nose Jobs

When it comes to facial symmetry and beauty, nasal shape, size, and proportions play an important role. Having a nose that is obviously larger and not matching the rest of the face makes many people unhappy—especially when they see themselves in selfies or catch a glimpse of their profile in the mirror. So what can you do if you don’t like your nose? In Philadelphia, a nose job (technically known as a rhinoplasty) is frequently chosen by patients who are hoping to change the size, projection, or other aspects of this feature to achieve their desired look. While just about everyone knows that the surgery can make a large nose smaller, here are some lesser-known facts about rhinoplasty:

1. It Takes Time to See the Final Results

Many patients will notice some changes right away after their surgery—but don’t be dismayed if your nose is swollen for quite a while as it continues to heal following the procedure. Swelling and bruising can persist for six months to a year after, so patience is key.

2. Nose Surgery Can Also Address Medical Problems

Rhinoplasty isn’t just for aesthetic concerns. Nasal surgery can also improve the function of the nose. A procedure to change the appearance of the nose can also correct related nasal obstructions such as a deviated septum or nasal valve collapse.

3. No, Your Voice Won’t Change

Some people believe that changes to the nasal cavity will affect their voice. This was the reason that Barbra Streisand opted not to get a rhinoplasty—because of a concern of a change in her singing voice. Certain patients may have increased resonance and improved breathing after surgery. However, most people won’t notice or be bothered by any very minor vocal changes.

4. The First Nose Jobs Happened Thousands of Years Ago

An ancient Indian physician known as Sushruta is believed to have pioneered this procedure during the sixth century B.C.

5. Techniques Have Evolved

While earlier techniques involved sometimes involve significant removal of tissue, many surgeons now take a structural rather than reductive approach, which can create a more predictable outcome. Remember: Nose surgery is about creating a nose that better fits your own facial proportions, not merely reducing its size.

6. Trends Are Changing

Today’s nose job patients are frequently more open to embracing their natural features and unique qualities. Refinement, as opposed to more dramatic alteration is the goal.

Talk to the team at Dr. Timothy Greco’s plastic surgery practice serving Philadelphia and the surrounding areas to discover more about what’s possible with a nose job. We provide facial cosmetic surgery, minimally invasive procedures, and more. Call us at (610) 664-8830 to get started or write to request for a free consultation.

Facial Implants, Fillers, or BOTOX®: Which is the Better Choice for Addressing Facial Asymmetry?

Beauty treatments are often focused on enhancing the skin and individual features, but patients should remember that overall facial harmony is critically important. Faces that are symmetrical are usually deemed to be more attractive and beautiful. A perfectly symmetrical face would have identical sides that match if you were to draw a line down the center. Each side of the face is considered a sibling as opposed to an identical twin. While most faces appear to have a symmetric shape, we all have some mild asymmetry to our features—such as a slightly crooked nose, one eye that looks different from the other, or a misaligned chin. Genetics, aging, injury, and dental work are some of the common causes of asymmetry, but there are also several options for addressing it: Dr. Timothy Greco, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon near Philadelphia, provides facial implants, fillers, and BOTOX® to correct irregularities and help patients achieve a more balanced appearance.

Facial Implants

If you’re looking for a long-term solution for asymmetry caused by your natural bone structure—such as a weak or recessed chin that you want to improve—implants might be something to consider. This is surgical procedure with lasting results. Implants are made from synthetic materials like silicone and plastic. Implants can be added to the cheeks and chin and further enhanced with autologous fat grafts for a fuller, more natural look.

Soft Tissue Fillers

Soft gel dermal fillers can improve contours that have changed over time. Having a youthful, v-shaped face with high, rounded cheekbones, a slim jawline, and defined chin is a common beauty goal.

Hyaluronic acid-based fillers like JUVÉDERM® Voluma improve facial structure by lifting and volumizing the cheeks, which also makes the jawline look sharper. JUVÉDERM® Ultra, another HA filler, plumps lips that are too small for the face due to genetics, aging, or both. Additionally, these fillers can be used to add volume to hollowed temples and to fix stretched earlobes. You can also straighten, refine, or thin the nose or elevate the nasal tip with fillers.

BOTOX®

Neuromodulators relax active muscles in select areas of the face to make eyebrows more even, slim only one side of an enlarged jaw to match the other, or correct wrinkles in the forehead. Injectable treatment sessions are quick, with minimal side effects and recovery time—but keep in mind that the results are temporary. Fortunately, repeat maintenance treatments are possible.

Searching for a skilled facial plastic surgeon near Philadelphia? Talk to the office of Dr. Timothy Greco about our surgical and non-surgical options. Call (610) 664-8830 or request a free consultation.

How Do We Get Expression Wrinkles? A Guide to Skin’s Life Cycle

Millions of people each year choose a specific treatment to counteract facial wrinkles: BOTOX®. Patients in the Philadelphia area who come to Dr. Timothy Greco’s office have often heard about the popular injectable, but are still curious about how it works. To understand neuromodulators like BOTOX®, it’s important to first understand the overall structure of the skin and how it changes throughout a person’s life, and the effects of the muscles of facial expression on the overlying skin.

Cells on the outer surface of skin, the body’s largest organ, form a protective barrier against the external environment. The dead cells create a tough layer called the stratum corneum, which continuously flakes away. Shed cells are replaced approximately every four weeks by new cells produced in the deeper epidermal layers. The length of this skin cycle is influenced by age, as the process takes longer for someone in their 50s or 60s than it does for younger adults.

Older skin is more susceptible to wrinkles because of this slowing cell turnover, as well as the fact that the skin has been folded repeatedly into the same facial expressions for decades. Existing collagen is continually strained, even as it is being produced in smaller and smaller quantities in the skin.

Also, the dermis, which is the middle layer of skin that sits beneath the epidermis, thins over time as it loses the chemicals that nourish it. In a person’s youth, this layer has a strong structure made up of proteins called collagen and elastin, which hold it together and maintain its structure and elasticity. As these proteins diminish with age, the structure weakens and the skin grows increasingly inelastic.

Facial expressions are important for communicating subtle emotions or intention to other people. Think of smiles and raised eyebrows for happiness, a frown for sadness, wide eyes and an open mouth for surprise, furrowed brows and a scowl for anger, and any in-between variation you can think of. Studies have shown that humans are capable of up to 21 unique expressions. Unfortunately, as we go through life, our go-to expressions cause the associated muscles to pull on the skin in the same way over and over. This repetitive action coupled with dwindling collagen and elastin means the skin no longer springs back to its original position as easily. Thus, “dynamic wrinkles” are born.

BOTOX® works not by filling in these lines as fillers do, but by blocking the chemical messages that tell facial muscles to contract. When these muscles stay at rest, the surface remains smoother and appears refreshed.

Want to soften wrinkles with BOTOX®? Our team at Dr. Timothy Greco’s practice will discuss the treatment with you to determine whether it is a suitable choice. Dr. Greco has been injecting BOTOX® for more than 30 years and has instructed other physicians nationally and internationally on the aesthetic application of BOTOX®. We invite you to request a complimentary non-surgical or surgical consultation in the Philadelphia area to learn more about what we offer.

5 Ways to Protect Your Eyes After Blepharoplasty

During a blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), Dr. Timothy Greco will get rid of unwanted tissue—including excess fat and loose skin—from around the eyes to correct the damaging effects of aging. This opens them up by removing any puffiness, making the eyes look younger, refreshed, and brighter. If you’ve decided that this surgery is the right choice for you, the staff at the office of Dr. Timothy M. Greco in the Philadelphia area advises that eyelid surgery will require you to take special care of your eyes as you recover from surgery.

Here are five important recovery tips from Dr. Timothy Greco and staff that anyone having eyelid surgery will benefit from knowing. Note that you will also get specific post-operative instructions to help prevent any complications.

During the first few days after blepharoplasty, it’s common to experience discomfort, which will gradually improve with time. Patients also frequently experience eyelid swelling, tightness, bruising, and itching. Blurred vision, excessive tearing, numb eyelids, and sensitivity to light are normal during the first few weeks. To help treat these side effects of eyelid surgery:

1. Use the prescribed eye drops or ointments—such as antibiotics, steroids, and artificial tears—to ward off infections and stop inflammation. You may also need to take pain medication to reduce any discomfort.

2. Prevent damage to your eyes from exposure to sunlight or wind during your ride home from surgery or anytime you go outside afterward by wearing dark-tinted sunglasses. Sunscreen is beneficial after the eyelid skin has healed from surgery.

3.  Take time to rest and limit your activity. Don’t do any heavy lifting, bending, or physical exercise during the first two weeks. This can cause excess bruising and swelling and adversely affect the result of your surgery.

4. To help with post-procedure swelling and bruising, frequently ice the eye area throughout the day with cold compresses. This will provide soothing relief to the eyes and help with decreasing bruising and swelling.

5. Be careful about your sleep position. It is recommended to sleep with your head elevated on pillows and in a semi-upright position after surgery so that you keep your head higher than your heart to decrease swelling.

Planning your eyelid surgery and want more information about what to expect? Let us help make sure your procedure goes as smoothly as possible. Learn more about what’s involved in blepharoplasty recovery by calling the office of Timothy M. Greco, MD, FACS in the Philadelphia area at (610) 664-8830 or fill out a contact form to get started today.

Facial Liposuction vs. Kybella®: What’s the Difference?

Many people who are otherwise happy with their bodies look in the mirror and are disappointed by an extra layer of fat in the chin area, which makes them appear older and overweight. There are some surgical and non-surgical options to help you get rid of that double chin for a more sculpted, slimmer, and youthful face. Fat reduction with Kybella® is one option for tackling this common trouble zone. Dr. Timothy Greco’s office offers the popular injectable, as well as facial liposuction in the Philadelphia area.

Many patients are uncertain as to which option will be right for them. It’s best to discuss any cosmetic goals with Dr. Greco in order to help determine the ideal treatment.

Facial Liposuction

In addition to its applications for body contouring, liposuction is also useful for surgically removing the resistant fat that can build up in the submental area and be difficult to reduce through conventional weight loss efforts. For this procedure, fat cells are dislodged and suctioned with a cannula. Facial liposuction offers more dramatic rejuvenation of the face than Kybella®. In addition to the chin area, liposuction can also take fat off the cheeks and improve contours along the jawline. Recovery lasts around two weeks.

A neck lift will remove unwanted fat and tighten the muscles in the neck while removing sagging skin. The results of facial liposuction and neck lifting can be enhanced with chin augmentation.

Kybella®

Kybella® is an injectable containing a synthetic version of the same deoxycholic acid the body uses to break down fat during digestion. As a cosmetic treatment, it is used to decrease small to medium double chins. One of its main benefits is how convenient it can be for patients. There is minimal preparation required. The treatment process, which involves a series of injections, only takes 15 to 20 minutes to perform. You won’t have to go under anesthesia or expect much recuperation time.

The fat that is eliminated with either of these methods is gone for good. But remember, fat removal does not directly improve skin laxity, so if you have a lot of excess, droopy skin around the chin—especially after removing volume—a tightening treatment or procedure would be required.

Considering facial liposuction or other contouring options? We offer Kybella®, surgical fat reduction, and other procedures designed to give you the facial shape you want. Schedule a consultation with our Philadelphia-area team at Timothy M. Greco, MD, PC, by calling (610) 664-8830, or write to us to get started.

5 Major Benefits of Laser Skin Rejuvenation

If you want youthful-looking skin, there are various resurfacing options that can help you achieve that appearance. Laser skin resurfacing is often the treatment of choice for patients with irregularities such as wrinkles, fine lines, uneven tone, and mild laxity. Dr. Timothy M. Greco’s practice provides a range of skin resurfacing treatments, including laser skin rejuvenation, to complement plastic surgery for the Bryn Mawr area. Here are five reasons why we think you should consider laser options—with or without surgery:

1. Lasers Treat a Variety of Skin Types

The best laser for you depends on your specific concerns and the condition of your skin. Our practice offers ablative laser skin resurfacing, fractional CO2 laser treatments, and Vbeam® pulsed dye laser treatments, as well as IPL treatments, which are not lasers, but make use of intense pulsed light to clear redness and spots. Ablative treatments, which remove a layer of skin, are better for more severe sun damaged skin and for patients who are hoping for more dramatic improvements. Non-ablative treatments are gentler, provide more subtle, gradual results, and require less recovery time.

2. Lasers Can Promote Creation of New Skin

Some laser treatments, such as ablative and fractional CO2, revitalize the skin from the inside out by kickstarting the production of new skin cells and collagen to repair and remodel its structure. They do this by using energy to cause a controlled injury and trigger the skin’s natural healing processes.

3. Lasers Can Fade Visible Scars

Due to their ability to form new, healthy skin and slough away damaged outer layers, laser treatments are an effective way to reduce the visibility of deep or raised scars on the face caused by injury, surgery, or acne. The new skin that forms in the place of the scar will feel smoother and appear more even. The treatment may also make scars less painful or itchy.

4. Lasers Reduce Vascular Lesions

Some lasers are designed to treat diffuse redness or red blotches on the skin from vascular lesions such as rosacea, spider veins, cherry angiomas, port wine stains, and bruises. A pulsed dye laser (PDL) will target the hemoglobin that gives blood its red color. This causes redness to fade and visible vessels to collapse, while leaving the surrounding skin and tissues intact.

5. Lasers Tighten Sagging Facial Skin

Laser skin rejuvenation helps to reverse the effects of aging by improving skin laxity. The heat energy from a treatment causes existing collagen to coagulate and contract, as well as prompts the creation of new collagen to provide structure for improved tone.

For more information on laser skin rejuvenation, reach out to Dr. Timothy M. Greco’s Bryn Mawr-area practice. To schedule a consultation in the Philadelphia area, call (610) 664-8830, or request a consultation online.

5 Makeup Tricks to Enhance Your Post-Facelift Appearance

Injectables are useful tools for temporarily minimizing some of the signs of premature aging, but when it comes to addressing loose jowls and sagging skin around the cheek areas long term, there’s no better way to make your face look dramatically younger than a facelift. Patients who have had a facelift, otherwise known as a rhytidectomy, in the Philadelphia area from Timothy M. Greco, MD, FACS, can feel more self-confident afterward and are often ready to flaunt their new look. At the same time, patients often want to keep the fact that they’ve had facial plastic surgery performed discreet.

It’s common to experience some bruising, swelling, and numbness before peak results are eventually visible. During this time, keep your head elevated and avoid certain medications that may worsen common side effects of surgery, such as bruising. Dr. Greco and the team will advise you on when it will be okay to start wearing makeup again.

With that in mind, here are a few pointers on accentuating your natural beauty with cosmetics after having a few surgical “tweaks.”

1. Use Lightweight Foundation

It’s important not to irritate the skin if you’ve recently had cosmetic surgery. Look for lighter products that won’t clog the pores and are designed for sensitive skin. Avoid caking the face in too much makeup, as the thick layer may look unnatural and draw more attention.

2. Hydrate the Skin

Using a good moisturizer is essential after your procedure, as a facelift may result in the skin physiology changing and becoming very dry and flaky.

3. Camouflage with Concealers

Makeup is great for covering up visible, post-operative bruising and scarring. Some brands offer kits with colors designed specifically for reducing the appearance of discoloration on the face.

4. Find the Right Blush

A dash of blush that fits your skin tone will brighten and refresh your face while accentuating your cheekbones.

5. Bring Attention to Your Lips

If you’re proud of your lip shape, emphasize their beauty by lining them, choosing a bold color, and adding some shiny gloss.

Get started on a new facial plastic surgery treatment from the office of double board-certified physician Dr. Timothy Greco in the Philadelphia area. If you’d like to start planning your rhytidectomy, talk to us today by calling (610) 664-8830 or write to us directly.

Thread Lifts vs. Facelifts: Which is the Better Choice for You?

When you stand in front of the mirror, do you notice major changes happening to your face—like sagging, lax skin around the cheeks and jaw, deep creases, and hollowed cheeks? It may be time to try a cosmetic treatment or procedure. But which should you pick?

A facelift is the ultimate surgical solution for rejuvenating a face marked by sagging jowls and neck laxity. This procedure offers dramatic and long-lasting results, but it isn’t the only way to lift aging skin. For patients not ready for surgery, thread lifting bridges the gap between injectables and surgical procedures, providing an alternative for patients who need more drastic improvement but do not want facelift surgery. At our Philadelphia area practice, Dr. Timothy Greco often receives questions from patients who are unsure as to which treatment will accomplish more for them. During your initial consultation, he can assess your face and help you determine the best course of action.

Aging causes the contours of the face to change. What starts off in your youth as a more heart-shaped face with high, round cheeks leading down to a clean, firm jawline often turns into what is sometimes referred to as a “pyramid of age.” Skin and fat slide downward, forming a heavier jaw, while the cheeks and temples may appear sunken in. To make matters worse, your skin produces less collagen over time. Collagen, along with elastin and hyaluronic acid, is responsible for keeping skin supple and strong.

When your face gets to this stage, lifting the tissues is an important strategy for anyone who wants to reclaim youthful contours. A facelift involves the removal of excess skin and fat, allowing the remaining skin to sit more tightly against the underlying structures. A thread thrift, on the other hand, helps to re-structure your face and restore its contours to a more youthful position by elevating the skin with small, internal sutures. Thread lifts also have the benefit of stimulating the production of collagen in the treatment site, continuing to enhance the tone and texture of the skin over time. The recovery time is much shorter than it would be for a facelift. and side effects are minimal in comparison, though the results are not as dramatic as with a facelift.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of thread lifts, facelifts, or other facial procedures, get in touch with our team at Timothy M. Greco, MD, PC‘s office in the Philadelphia area. To set up an appointment with Dr. Timothy Greco, call us at (610) 664-8830 or write to us directly.