Successful Aging

Posted on March 21, 2013 by Cynthia M. Poulos, M.D.

Men and women come to my Boston area plastic surgery practice for various reasons, some of which are to improve their appearance, such as a breast augmentation, while others are done to take years off the appearance. The truth is, we’re all aging every day (including me!), but looking old can often contribute to feelingold. Conversely, of course, looking younger than one’s chronological age can contribute to a sense of vitality and youthfulness. Here are my 6 Top Tips for Beautiful Aging!

#1: Nurture Your Body
When we think of aging, we often focus on the facial features because those are the most readily apparent, such as every day when we look in the mirror! However, a more youthful facial appearance comes from a healthy and fit body. Studies prove that regular exercise is the most important thing to retain youth. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every single day; just regularly walking outside contributes to a healthy body. And don’t forget weight-bearing exercise, such as weights or weight machines, which generally are only available at a gym. Strong muscles are essential to prevent frailty as we age. Here is an article about muscle health to give you more ideas!

#2: Nurture Your Skin 
Your skin will still age regardless of exercise, diet and other habits, although avoiding tobacco and alcohol and drinking lots of water is excellent advice. We all know how disheartening it is to look in the mirror and see new wrinkles around the eyes, forehead and mouth, but I have treatments here at my Northborough cosmetic surgery office that can turn back the clock for you!

The first tip for great skin is to adopt a high-value skin care regimen, which will prevent some of your wrinkles from forming in the first place! What does this include? Physician-grade skin care products have repeatedly been proven to be more effective than over-the-counter products. While it’s true that they cost more, you’ll use less and you’ll get results, not just false hope. My Boston area cosmetic surgery practice carries several skin care product lines, includine Obagi, Environ and Cosmedix. If they didn’t work, I wouldn’t offer them. Check out the broad variety of skin care options available in my practice and schedule a consultation to see which are best for your particular skin.

Regular skin treatments, such as microdermabrasionchemical peels and laser skin resurfacing can remove years of wrinkles from your face, reveal the more youthful skin beneath the surface and stimulate collagen and elastin, the building blocks of young skin.

Along with skin care are the wrinkle relaxers BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport. Bostom area men and women who want to eliminate wrinkles find both these products a satisfactory method to reduce wrinkles caused by facial motion, such as smiling and squinting. Injectable wrinkle fillers such as Juvéderm®, Restylane®, and Radiesse® are tops to restore volume the face. AND, studies have proven that the sooner you start using injectables, the fewer wrinkles you will have!

#3: Be Honest About Your Age
Of course it’s tempting to lie about one’s age in a society that values youth so highly. However, isn’t it better that others think you look fabulous for your age rather than (A) wondering why you look so old for your age or (B) having to remember a false birthdate and high school and college graduation dates? Not to mention living in fear that someone will spill the beans about your real age! Regardless of the number of your years, looking great for your age is one of the best ways to age successfully!

#4: Ban Anxiety about the Future
Some people find that, as they age, they have more anxiety about the future. Regardless of your age, you can’t control everything and worrying will only give you more wrinkles! The truth is, most Americans are aging extremely well, with a fairly low percentage suffering from chronic diseases of aging, in a nursing home or otherwise unable to enjoy life. Most older Americans are traveling, visiting with family, volunteering in the community and learning new skills. Ban anxiety about your future and you’ll not only live longer, but you’ll live better!

#5: Match the Outside to the Inside
I have a full menu of procedures to fight the clock at my plastic surgery practice near Boston. A facelift can remove 10-15 years from your appearance, while something as simple as an eyelid lift can open your eyes and reveal a much younger you! A brow lift (also called a forehead lift) removes deep wrinkles and lifts the brows to their previously-youthful position. For the body, breast enhancements and tummy tuck patients tell me that afterwards they feel frisky and sexy again!

#6: Keep Your Mind Sharp
Studies prove that certain activities help keep the mind young. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, card games and the like are a few.   Here’s a site with free “brain games” to keep you mentally sharp regardless of your age. And here’s another site with smart phone apps for brain health–you can download your way to sharpness! Do a Google search to find hundreds more apps and online games to keep your brain young!

The bottom line is that aging need not be a time for anxiety or depression. Growing older happens to each of us. It’s how you age that matters! I’m here to help you age gracefully! Just give a call and come in to see what we can do to make your aging process a positive adventure!

To your health and beauty,
Dr. Cynthia Poulos, Boston area Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Northborough, MA