This is a particularly tough question to answer without going into a bit of detail. Still, there are many people out there who have this question. The shorter answer is that it really depends on a case-by-case basis and the goals of the patient. Not all cosmetic procedures have to do with age or the aging process. Therefore, age is not a factor in all cases.
The field of facial plastic surgery includes many procedures. There is a wide variety of ages in which the various procedures are indicated, and a wide variety of ages within a specific procedure category.
For example, the otoplasty procedure is used to correct protruding ears. The procedure is often done on children before they enter their school years but is also common in young adults who might be getting their hair cut short while entering into the military or the job market. In this example, since the procedure is not related to age, but rather a genetic disposition, an “appropriate age” could be as young as early childhood.
In a more typical scenario, we see younger patients for eyelid surgery frequently. Sometimes it is a desire to “westernize” the Asian appearing eyelid, and sometimes it is just a laxity of the skin of the upper eyelid that manifests itself in the twenties. Often, eyelid skin issues can run in families.
Rhinoplasty, or nasal cosmetic surgery, has a very wide range of ages. Often cosmetic changes are based on familial traits or injuries but there are changes that can be related to aging as well. I find that these patients have thought about having some aspect of their nose changed for many years prior to coming in to discuss it with me.
As far as facelifts, laser resurfacing and browplasty procedures – these are procedures that are really more based on physiologic rather than numeric age. In other words, while someone in their forties may really benefit from these procedures another person might not really need that kind of intervention until well into their sixties.
Everyone ages differently.
As far as a “maximum age for cosmetic surgery” – we would base that on a person’s overall health rather than some number. I have seen some 80-year-old people who are very healthy, active and do very well following a facelift.
So the appropriate age for cosmetic surgery is less of a number and more a combination of physiology and psychology. If you have any questions about your individual concerns, please feel welcome to request a complimentary consultation with Dr. Douglas Stevens.