What Causes Laugh Lines, and How Do Fillers Smooth Them Out?

For some people, laugh lines symbolize joy and happiness. For others, these pronounced creases that extend from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth and along the inner cheeks are no laughing matter. These lines are often one of the first telltale signs of aging to appear, and they can make you look tired or unhappy—even when you’re not. These indentations—technically called nasolabial folds—are a perfectly normal and harmless feature that are present on almost everyone’s faces starting from early childhood. The exception is newborn babies and people with certain medical conditions. The folds become more noticeable over time due to aging, smoking, weight fluctuations, chronic sun damage, and the impact of gravity. When this happens, you’ll need a filler like JUVÉDERM® from our Bala Cynwyd-based cosmetic team to reverse this particular sign of aging.

Your skin makes less collagen and elastin as you age, so it naturally becomes more lax around the lower face. Loosening skin and years of facial expressions cause laugh lines to be most visible when you’re smiling or laughing, and the repetitive muscle action involved in these expressions usually makes them deeper. The secret to turning back the clock and addressing these wrinkles is restoring the volume that your skin has lost by physically filling in the empty space below the surface. Fillers can be used as an alternative to a surgical facelift for restoring your contours, though the results will not be nearly as dramatic as with surgery.

JUVÉDERM® contains a synthetic form of the organic hyaluronic acid your skin uses to maintain fullness and hydration by pulling in water from the deeper layers and the surrounding tissues. The soft, smooth gel makes the skin firmer, plumper, and more luminous. The filler isn’t injected into the folds themselves, but rather the surrounding areas so that the gel flows into the gaps where it’s needed. The goal is to soften the lines, but still leave some small, natural-looking creases so that your face doesn’t look over-filled or swollen and unnatural.

Talk to our team at Dr. Timothy M. Greco’s office for more advice on reducing facial wrinkles like laugh lines with JUVÉDERM®. Call us at (610) 664-8830, or write us a message to talk more about your goals.

How Can You Fix Sunken Temples?

Volume loss in the temples and cheeks is a common but unfortunate aspect of aging. Most people strive for a more heart-shaped or oval face with full cheekbones framing a narrower jawline as this is deemed by many to be a youthful look. But when you lose collagen, fat, and bone to support it, the face can become thinner and hollowed around the upper parts, while skin sags around the lower jaw. You also tend to have less bone and muscle mass to support the skin. The temples are one of the areas that many patients overlook when considering cosmetic treatments for the face, perhaps because they don’t realize how volume loss can affect their appearance. A concavity can make you look more tired older, unhealthy, or unhappy. JUVÉDERM® VOLUMA from the Philadelphia-area team at Dr. Timothy Greco’s practice is one of the best options for upper facial rejuvenation. Here’s how it works:

JUVÉDERM® VOLUMA is made of a soft, gel-like substance containing hyaluronic acid and is traditionally injected below the surface of the skin to reduce the depth of facial wrinkles. It is also used for augmenting other parts of the face, such as the cheeks and lips. Experienced injectors can use it to fill out the bony contours and arches of the face, including thinning temples. Dr. Greco recently published an article in the medical literature describing a safer, more effective way of volumizing the temples with a cannula!

Sculptra® is different type of filler, also often used for this area to promote gradual collagen production. Fillers to the temple can also help to lift the brow area and enhance the overall facial shape.

Another method commonly used to restore fullness to the temples is structural fat grafting. In this treatment, some of the patient’s own fat is taken via liposuction from areas where there is an overabundance of it—like problem areas on the stomach or thighs. This fat can then be added to focused areas of the face to add much needed volume. Structural fat grafting can be done on its own or as part of a facelift.

For more information on JUVÉDERM® and other cosmetic treatments for correcting hollowed temples and restoring facial contours, get in touch with Dr. Timothy Greco’s facial plastic surgery practice. We look forward to hearing from you! Call us at (610) 664-8830 to get started or write to us to request 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 Much Do Dermal Fillers Cost in Philadelphia?

One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to cosmetic treatments available from Timothy M. Greco, MD, FACS’s practice, is how much dermal fillers, such as JUVEDERM®, cost. Philadelphia-area patients often choose the injectable for reducing wrinkles and facial re-volumizing, but since it provides aesthetic results, it is not typically covered by many health insurance plans.

Generally, if you’re choosing any kind of injectable treatment from a reputable provider and want excellent results, you can expect to spend anywhere from several hundred to a couple thousand dollars, on average.

At a reputable practice staffed with licensed and experienced providers, the total cost of a treatment is commonly based on several factors, including the amount of product used for a given patient, the type of filler chosen, the area or areas injections are located, and more. Other variables include the geographic area where the treatments are being provided.

Patients will want to consider how to budget for injectables, especially if they plan to undergo regular sessions for upkeep each year. Some prefer to pay upfront, while others use a credit card or patient financing plans.

No matter what, it is important to ask about cost during an initial consultation, and to work with injectors—such as Dr. Greco’s team—who are upfront about the process and have the credentials to back up their use of the genuine product.

Learn more about JUVEDERM®, Restylane®, and other dermal fillers offered by Timothy M. Greco, MD, FACS’s practice for patients in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Call (610) 664-8830 or send a direct message.

Exploring the Causes and Types of Skin Aging

Are unwanted wrinkles and lines bringing you down? There are a wide variety of cosmetic solutions at your disposal, but it can be difficult knowing which one is most suitable for your specific needs. The range of possibilities is a common source of confusion, especially for those who may be new to the aesthetics industry.

One of the main things to know is that BOTOX® and fillers are not the same and are not used interchangeably. BOTOX® targets one form of skin aging, while dermal fillers address another. If you’re interested in getting started with wrinkle treatments or other forms of plastic surgery in the Philadelphia area, Dr. Timothy Greco, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, can explain the basics.

The cause of the wrinkles being treated will determine which treatments to pursue. There are two basic wrinkle groups: dynamic and static.

Dynamic wrinkles are related to muscle activity and are most visible when people make facial expressions. Picture forehead lines appearing when someone raises their eyebrows. Static wrinkles develop in the skin due to the effects of aging, sun exposure, gravity, other environmental factors, and lifestyle habits.

Within these two groups, wrinkles can be further classified into four subtypes: expression wrinkles, elastic wrinkles, compression wrinkles, and gravitational folds.

Expression wrinkles appear from repeated facial expressions, while elastic wrinkles are caused by excess sun exposure. Compression wrinkles come from pressure on the face as we sleep. Gravitational folds, such as severe creases like nasolabial folds and saggy skin, are formed due to the combined influence of time, gravity, and other damage.

To put it simply, if your wrinkles are caused by muscle action, your go-to would be a neuromodulator, while wrinkles associated with other types of damage are best addressed with other treatments, such as fillers.

BOTOX® is a neuromodulator, meaning it influences the activity of nerves. Once injected, it has a relaxing effect on wrinkle-causing facial muscles. Hyaluronic acid-based soft tissue fillers like JUVEDERM®, on the other hand, replenish essential volume in the skin to temporarily smooth our indentations. More severe aging may require a facelift or other surgery for complete rejuvenation.

Curious about the benefits of available skin treatments? Get more details on neuromodulators, fillers, skin rejuvenation, and more from Timothy M. Greco, MD, PC’s Philadelphia-based plastic surgery practice. Call today at (610) 664-8830 or submit a contact form to tell more about yourself.

BOTOX®, Fillers, or Blepharoplasty: Which is Better for Achieving Younger-Looking Eyes?

Many people are insecure about the eyelid droopiness, wrinkles, dark circles, and sunken eyes that tend to come with age. Baggy, hooded eye areas may make you look old before your time, or tired and angry even when you don’t feel that way. Cosmetic eyelid surgery, otherwise known by the medical term “blepharoplasty,” is one way of refreshing your face and taking years off of your appearance. In addition to blepharoplasty, Philadelphia’s Timothy M. Greco, MD, PC, provides other treatments for the eye area, such as BOTOX®, dermal fillers, and microneedling.

Is having big, bright doe eyes that “pop” one of your beauty goals? Wondering which procedure or treatment is right for you? Each patient has different needs, and the choice for each person will depend on the type of deficiency they’re hoping to correct, as well as their age, skin condition, and goals.

The thin, fragile skin around the eye areas is particularly vulnerable to stress, aging, and damage from smoking, sun exposure, or other factors. Makeup and topical products can help, but if you’re concerned about more moderate to severe symptoms of aging or skin damage, cosmetic treatments may be the more effective option.

In eyelid surgery, excess tissue is trimmed away, with the remaining tissue tightened to correct sagging, drooping eyelids. Additionally, the surgery can improve asymmetry and provide a lift for heavy eyelids. The procedure may be used on the lower and/or upper eyelids depending on what is needed.

When it comes to addressing eye-related wrinkles like crow’s feet, elevens, and forehead lines, BOTOX® is the gold standard. It works by relaxing wrinkle-revealing muscles. Hyaluronic acid-based JUVEDERM® filler adds subtle volume under the eyes for more youthful contours, while chemical peels and laser techniques work to reduce the severity of dark circles.

Another treatment for the eye area is microneedling. This is designed to improve overall skin quality from the inside out and can make a difference for dark patches, dryness, fine lines or wrinkles, and dullness. The treatment leads to skin that gradually grows clearer and develops a softer, more even texture. Although tiny needles puncture microscopic channels into the skin to spark collagen regeneration, microneedling is gentle enough for the thin skin around the eyes.

Want to learn more about blepharoplasty and other eye procedures available at the Philadelphia practice of  Timothy M. Greco, MD, PC? For questions, comments, or to request an appointment write a message or call (610) 664-8830.