• 23 December 2019
  • Dr Masood Ansari

We all do our best to take care of our skin and keep it as young-looking as we can for as long as we can. At some point, we’ll see wrinkles, lines and skin laxity on our faces. This can be discouraging and impact your self-confidence, but you may not be ready to commit to a facelift. Call My Cosmetic Clinic in Newcastle, NSW to ask how a thread lift can provide transformative results for you.

What Is a Thread Lift?

A thread lift is used to lift the skin, but without the invasiveness of a surgical facelift. Your doctor will use temporary sutures to visibly lift the skin to produce noticeable and natural-looking results. This is considered the middle ground between injectables and a facelift.

A thread lift uses fine, barbed sutures made of polypropylene, which has been used in the medical community for decades and is considered one of the safest materials to use inside the body. The threads are completely invisible even under the fairest skin.

How Does a Thread Lift Work?

The sutures are embedded with little cones and are inserted into the skin much the same way fillers are. Those cones open like tiny umbrellas and form a support structure that gently and immediately lifts skin.

These cones encourage your body to produce more collagen, so they also act as a scaffold for new collagen to be formed upon. As new collagen is formed, it creates a stronger foundation for your skin to help with the maintenance of the lift. Collagen is the key component to this lift.

The Role of Collagen In the Skin

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our skin and is responsible for its structure and strength. We have three layers of skin, and collagen makes our middle layer, the dermis, a strong and smooth foundation for the top layer, or epidermis. When the foundation of our complexion is smooth, so is the surface and what we present to the world.

Collagen holds all our skin cells together and, when we’re young, they are packed tight, creating strong and thick skin. It’s here where new skin cells are regenerated and our skin layers are held together and tightly connected to our bone structure. Collagen works hand in hand with elastin and hyaluronic acid. These three components are responsible for the healthy, tight and glowing complexion we all have when we’re young.

Elastin

Think of elasticity when you think of this protein. When our skin holds tightly to our face and neck, it’s because elastin and collagen are holding it in place. Elastin keeps our skin and other organs flexible and able to bounce back after years of being pulled and stretched. Elastin helps our skin fight off the pull of gravity, but over time, as collagen weakens, so does elastin.

When our skin loses elasticity or becomes lax, it will sag and droop. This is one of the most dreaded signs of aging and can be the hardest to address.

Hyaluronic Acid

This is a natural sugar produced by our bodies to make sure our connective tissues and skin stay hydrated and lubricated. The molecules of hyaluronic acid hold 1000 times their weight in water. They not only hold it, but they attract hydration to the skin. When collagen is abundant, so is this sugar.

Young skin looks plump and dewy because it’s always attracting moisture. As collagen declines, hyaluronic acid dissipates too, and we lose the plumpness hydration once afforded us. Our skin can look dry and thin. This is why, as we age, we need heavier and more emollient creams for our skin.

What Causes Our Collagen Production to Decline?

As we get older, our rate of collagen production declines at a rate of about 1% per year after our early 20s. This is just the natural progression of our skin’s life cycle. Menopause causes a drastic dip of up to 30%. There are also things we do in between that furthers the breakdown of collagen. The biggest culprit of collagen breakdown is the sun.

Spending unprotected time in the sun will damage our skin more than just about all the other things we do to it combined. Harmful UV rays penetrate down into the dermis, where collagen has created a strong foundation and damages it. It also hurts its future production. Dermatologists, estheticians and other skincare professionals all agree that investing in sunscreen is the biggest favor you can do for your skin. Other things that cause a breakdown of collagen include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol, sugar, and processed foods
  • Lack of sleep
  • Unmanaged long-term stress
  • Lack of hydration
  • Ineffective skincare routine

 

What Does Collagen Breakdown Do to the Skin?

When collagen breaks down, the strong foundation that kept our complexions smooth and tight start to crack. Tightly packed collagen fibers become more spread out and cell regeneration slows. The fat on our face shifts and loses its proportion so the bottom of our face looks heavier while the top loses contour.

Our skin no longer has strong support to hold on to, and the layers of our skin can separate from each other. This leads to sagging skin, mainly from our mid-cheeks downward. Elastin has declined, too, so our stretched skin can’t bounce back and no longer keeps its shape. All of this can lead to:

  • Lines, wrinkles and folds
  • Drooping eyebrows
  • Sagging neck
  • Jowls
  • Sagging cheeks
  • Crepey skin
  • Downturned mouth
  • Drooping eyelids

 

What Signs of Aging Can a Thread Lift Treat?

Our faces can present with many signs of aging, but a thread lift is best suited for clients who are experiencing skin laxity in their face and neck or are dealing with asymmetry. A thread lift can help with:

  • Sagging eyebrows
  • Asymmetrical eyebrows
  • Sagging cheeks
  • Drooping tissue in the mid to lower face
  • Jowl
  • Sagging neck area

This is a very versatile treatment and can address most areas of the face. Your doctor can assess your individual needs and adjust this treatment to fit your concerns.

What to Expect

This treatment is transformative and offers solutions and results previously not available from a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment.

The Consultation

A thorough consultation is critical to ensure a successful outcome. You and your doctor will discuss all your areas of concern. They will do an examination of the skin to determine its condition and how successful treatment would be.

You’ll have a discussion about realistic results and how they compare to your expectations. It’s important for clients to have a firm grasp of the treatment and what to expect. This will not change the features of your face. It will only turn back the hands of time on the position of your skin.

Pre-Treatment

This is a minimally invasive treatment, so it’s done under a local anesthetic and will not require you to be driven to your appointment. Follow whatever specific instructions your doctor gives you, as each person is different and may require different instructions. There are a few pre-treatment instructions to follow to ensure you experience the best outcome and results. The first is to avoid alcohol and smoking for at least a week prior to treatment.

Your doctor may recommend you stop taking all blood-thinning medications one to two weeks before your appointment. This will include all over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements like:

  • Gingko Biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Large dose vitamin E
  • Fish oil
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Naproxen

 

During Treatment

When you arrive, your doctor will apply a local anesthetic to the treatment area to ensure you’re comfortable during your session. Once you’re comfortable and your skin is numb, your doctor will make tiny incisions in the areas necessary to target your areas of concern. This typically involves the temporal area and lower face.

He will then insert the thread. The small beads on the threads will open to lift the areas of the skin he’s targeting. The position of the threads will be different for each patient because face structure and skin conditions vary greatly. You can expect your thread lift to last about an hour.

Post-Treatment

There are just a few post-treatment instructions to assure your comfort and improve your results. Immediately after your appointment, try to limit facial movements for about 24 hours. You can start to wash your face about 12 hours after your appointment. You can start your mild daily activities the next day but hold off on strenuous exercise for 2-3 or whatever time frame your doctor recommends.

For 7-10 days, you’ll want to eat soft foods and drink lots of fluid. Your doctor may tailor these instructions to match your individual circumstances. To maximize your results, follow them to the letter and come back for any follow-up appointments.

When Will I See Results?

You’ll see lifting results immediately where you used to have drooping and sagging skin. As collagen builds in the dermis, skin rejuvenation and tightening begins 2-4 weeks after your treatment. These results can continue to improve over the next 8 months.

Results can last between 18 months and 3 years. How long each client’s results last depend on a variety of factors like:

  • Age
  • Condition of the skin
  • Degree of skin laxity
  • Number of threads used
  • How well you take care of your skin post-treatment

 

Extending Your Results

Just as with any cosmetic treatment, you will continue to age, which means your collagen production will decline; but there are things you can do and avoid to maintain results as long as possible.

Do:

  • Apply sunscreen every day
  • Drink lots of water
  • Commit to an effective skincare routine
  • Ask your doctor about supplemental collagen induction treatments
  • Exercise
  • Limit sugar and processed foods

 

Don’t:

  • Go in the sun without sunscreen
  • Use tanning beds
  • Smoke
  • Drink excess alcohol

Our comprehensive practice will offer you complementary treatments to highlight your amazing results and leave your skin in even better shape than right after your initial treatment. People who have had this treatment can get great additional results by seeking follow-up treatments like:

  • Wrinkle relaxers
  • Dermal fillers
  • Chemical peels
  • Liposuction

Who Is a Good Candidate?

Ideal candidates are men and women whose skin is in good condition but are starting to experience sagging in the brows, cheeks, jowls or neck. If you are far from your ideal weight, have skin that is severely loose or are too thin, your doctor may talk through other options with you.

Only your doctor can decide if this is the right treatment for the signs of aging you’re unhappy with. Be open-minded to other recommendations to address your areas of concern should this turn out to not be the best choice for you.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

When you’ve decided to take control of your aging process and change the way you feel about your reflection, there’s no need to put it off for another day.

Call My Cosmetic Clinic in Newcastle, NSW and schedule a consultation. Our mission is always to exceed our customer’s expectations and help them bring out their natural beauty. To us, you are a unique individual that deserves the best care possible, and you will never be treated like a number. We look forward to helping you meet all your goals.

Dr Masood Ansari
About The Author

Dr Masood Ansari

Dr Ansari has undergone nine years of extensive surgical training around the globe. He received his initial surgical training under the auspices of the National Health Services (NHS) in the United Kingdom and obtained Membership in the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) in 2006. Due to his particularly keen interest in surgical research, Dr Ansari has been involved in multiple academic research projects and was awarded a Masters (MSc) in Advanced Surgical Practice from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

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