Once again I find myself looking in the mirror and studying the changes aging has brought to my face. As I analyzed the “not so subtle” changes I harken back to a time in my 20’s (when I knew absolutely everything) swearing this would never happen to me. Using a good skin care routine, wearing sunblock daily and leading a healthy lifestyle would guarantee me eternal youth. Obviously I was an idiot.
No matter how clean we live or how much sunblock we use, photo aging, gravity and genetics win out every time.
Enter my decision to try PDO threads. What we commonly refer to as PDO threads are clinically referred to as Polydioxanone threads. These are clear, colorless polyester threads that take about six months to break down in your skin after attracting new collagen to the area. Consider them a written invitation to fibro blasts in your body to create new collagen. These are inserted into the tissue via a canula, tightened and tied off to create a lifting effect by repositioning the skin.
PDO threads come in 3 styles each used for a specific purpose:
Mono threads – smooth to stimulate collagen production.
Cog threads – have tiny, laser cut bi directional barbs that latch on to the skin to lift tissue and provide support while repositioning the skin. Collagen immediately forms wrapping around the barbs.
Screw – made up of 1 or 2 intertwined threads and are good for restoring volume to sunken parts of the skin.
PDO threads have been around since the 1980’s and can be used in the face, neck, decollete and certain parts of the body to create a lift to the tissue.
I have seen threads advertised as a non surgical facelift, and this makes me cringe.
A facelift is major surgery which carries frightening risks and cannot easily be undone if you don’t like the results. A recent article I read claimed facelifts change one’s appearance making them look 3 years younger on average but not necessarily prettier, just younger. For me to assume all these risks associated with a facelift I expect to look at least 20 years younger and much, much prettier. Another study I read suggested that agism is the culprit in looking younger from a facelift but not being considered prettier. Another study published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” also found that a facial plastic surgery reverses 3 years of aging without the benefit of making the subject prettier.
Between 2006 and 2010, 37 women and 12 men ages 42-73 who had had facial procedures were photographed and participated in a follow up. Fifty raters were shown 200 photographs, including before and after shots, and asked to rate each patient on scale of 1-10 for attractiveness. On average the participants appeared 3.1 years younger, but”good looks” were hard to quantify. In our contemporary culture there is a link between age and attractiveness. The older one is the less attractive they are considered. In other words a very attractive 70 year old is considered to be “less pretty” then a moderately attractive 45 year old. Agism.
These studies and agism in our society urge me to proclaim loudly: BRING ON THE THREADS!
When included as part of a regimen using other modalities such as Ultherapy, neurotoxins, and fillers, PDO threads give a significant visual improvement to face shape, structure and appearance. At 63 I’m not trying to look 30. My goal is to be the 63 year old woman that walks into a room and gets noticed.
I embrace the benefit of there being far fewer risks to PDO threads in comparison to plastic surgery, and the much shorter downtime for the threads consisting of some tightness for a few days and perhaps some bruising. In my opinion this is far more palatable than sutures, heavy bruising and pain associated with facial plastic surgery.
With the increased collagen from PDO threads I get at least 6 months of benefit which can be increased for up to a year of enhanced visual appeal by using other treatments. Personally, I love the benefits I’ve received from PDO threads used in conjunction with neurotoxins, filler and lasers therapies.
However, my note of caution is that the benefit you derive from your threads is only as good as the provider’s skill. Therefore, thoroughly check out whichever provider you think about using to make certain they are a certified PDO threads provider with advanced training. Ask to see their medical license, and verify that their professional training obtained from a certified institute.