Women in their forties are usually in full swing, making tough decisions at work and at home, learning to lead and delegate. While the forties can bring a sense of well-being and accomplishment, these years can also bring unwanted signs of aging. In this article will address some of these issues and discuss options that women have available to continue looking and feeling their best.
SKIN/FACE: Women in their forties will experience a decrease of collagen production which will make their skin feel and look less supple. As the collagen network that supports the skin weakens, more facial lines will form and the skin will appear looser.
Wrinkles become more apparent with time and are especially common in women with light complexions. The most common sites are around the mouth and eyes but wrinkles can develop throughout the face. These lines are made worse by continued exposure to the sun.
A skin resurfacing procedure known as "laser skin resurfacing" or "laserbrasion" is a noninvasive procedure performed to resurface and tighten the skin. The pulsed CO2 laser uses a high energy beam of light to vaporize, or "paint away" scars, lines, wrinkles, and other skin defects.
Under-eye bags or wrinkled, loose skin over the eyelids can make a woman appear tired-looking and older than she really is. A surgical procedure called "blepharoplasty," or "eye lift," can greatly improve this problem and give the face a fresher, younger appearance.
It is also very important to continue a good skin care regime using products that are nourishing to the skin. Retin-A and products containing glycolic acid can help the skin slough off dead skin cells, leaving the skin looking renewed while also diminishing fine wrinkles and sun damage.
BREASTS: Pregnancy, breastfeeding, fluctuations in weight and even gravity can all have an adverse affect on a woman's breast shape. Women in their forties have often experienced many, if not all of the above mentioned conditions.
To reshape sagging breasts or reduce the size of the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), a breast lift (mastopexy) is an option. This procedure lifts and shapes sagging breasts. An implant can be inserted at the time of the breast lift to increase the fullness and contour of the breast. It is best to have completed childbearing before undergoing a breast lift, since pregnancy is likely to stretch breasts again and offset the results.
BODY CONTOURS: Most women yearn for a flat, trim stomach. Crunches and sit-ups are great for the abdominal muscles, but they often aren't enough to tighten loose muscle and skin. Women often have a hard time strengthening these muscles after multiple pregnancies have stretched their abdomen to the limit. Weight loss can also cause loose skin in the abdominal area which may be resistant to toning by exercise.
A surgical procedure known as "abdominoplasty" or "tummy tuck", removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens muscles of the abdominal wall, reducing the appearance of a protruding abdomen. The best candidates for this procedure are women who are in relatively good shape, but who have large fat deposits or loose abdominal skin that have not responded to diet and exercise.
A tummy tuck is usually accompanied by liposuction to remove fat deposits and achieve more dramatic results. These combined procedures can provide excellent results for women with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And in most cases the results are long-lasting if a balanced diet and exercise regimen are followed.
— by Diane Gibby • M.D., P.A., F.A.C.S
About Dr. Gibby
Diane Gibby, M.D., P.A., F.A.C.S Licensed in Texas, Dr. Diane Gibby is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the founder of The Women's Center for Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery. She is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), American Medical Association (AMA), Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons (TSPS), Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS) and the Board Certified Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeons of Dallas. She is also a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.). Dr. Gibby's office is located at Medical City Dallas, Building C, Suite 820, (972) 566-6323. Individuals interestedin brochures or names of qualified plastic surgeons in their area may call the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons at 1-800-635-0635.