It used to be, when the kids left for college, their room back home got a renovation.

Now when the kids come home, they’ll find mom or dad got the renovation. At least that’s one of the trends Dr. Richard Williams is finding in his practice at the Plastic Surgery Group.

“Two things are very much occurring in the late 40s, early 50s age group,” says Dr. Williams, who cites as one trend a renewed interest in breast lifts, augmentations and reductions. “As soon as the kids are off to college, they’re rewarding (themselves) with cosmetic surgery.”
Perhaps to undo some of the wear and tear it took to get the kids off to college?

No matter the cause, boomers have the wherewithal to make themselves look and feel better, and Cincinnati has the practitioners to help. From plastic surgeons to dermatologists and prosthodontists, specialists who minister to boomers’ faces and necks are especially in demand.
“More women are starting to complain about facial aging,” plus the quality of their skin, including sun damage, prominent wrinkles, folds and jowls, points out Dr. Allison Lied, a plastic surgeon in Fairfax.

But since boomers are busy and don’t like to sacrifice too much time, “there is a trend toward the less invasive procedures like dermal fillers,” observes plastic surgeon Dr. Allison Holzapfel, of Mangat-Kuy.

Dermal fillers are gel substances administered by injection to the sites on the face where aging has broken down the fatty tissue and left a skinny or bony look. One of the fillers, made from PolyLactic acid, was first tested on HIV patients, whose “facial wasting” was pronounced. The results of fillers, which last from about three to 12 months, are immediate and there is no down time, unlike with a facial peel or facelift, Dr. Holzapfel says. The effect of this plumping up is a more youthful, less lined look. One of the most common areas treated with a filler is the nasalabial fold found running alongside the nose to the mouth.

Some of the fillers even stimulate a body’s production of collagen, adds Dr. Williams.
MEN DO IT, TOO
Men are also getting in on the cosmetic improvement game. They more often complain of aging around the neck and eyes, sometimes electing for brow lifts or procedures to address the problem of excess skin and droopiness on eyelids, suggests Dr. Holzapfel.

“They (the patients) work out and are health-conscious,” but maybe because of genes have neck rolls or hip rolls that they can treat with liposuction, Dr. Williams says.

Mini-facelifts, with their reduced recovery time and more subtle impact, are gaining popularity, but full facelifts have never gone out of favor, says Dr. Holzapfel.

“Some women in Cincinnati are ready to start off with full facelifts and others work their way up to them, but they are very popular and commonly done,” adds Dr. Lied of the procedure that improves the neck, neckline and jowls. “Facelift techniques are always being refined. All of my patients want it to look natural, and appear a little younger.”

Dr. Williams echos the sentiment in his observation of level-headed plastic surgery patrons in this area.
 
“The nice thing about (practicing plastic surgery here) is that women come in and they want realistic and natural results,” says Dr. Williams. “The goal is to look natural, not dramatically different.”
CHEMICAL PEELS POPULAR
Boomers can pursue even less invasive skin rejuvenation through a sliding scale of chemical peels offered at Bella Hair Style Salon in Mt. Washington, according to its manager, Sue Day. The peels, which remove the top layer of damaged skin to reveal fresh, younger-looking skin, vary in their intensity, but require preparation before they’re administered.

“You have to prepare your skin for it first,” Day says, adding that some spas don’t. “You can really hurt somebody if you went in with these stronger chemicals without first preparing the skin.”

Bella also offers a dermatologist-grade skin care line that absorbs below the surface to protect skin, Day adds. In addition to skin care, boomer clients are seeking hair care to combat the effects of age on their hair. “Just like with our skin, hair color fades and is not as brilliant and shiny as it used to be.”
So the salon offers hair color to “wash off the gray” and restore the hue and shine. Men are also coming in for coloring, as their options have grown beyond the old “shoe-polish” dyes, Day says.
NATURAL REMEDIES
The boomer population pursuing cosmetic enhancements is already onboard with their physical upkeep. Bolstering that trend, local health and wellness centers can offer not only the venues for exercise, but also whole prescriptions for living well through diet and exercise.
“To stay healthy, be fit and feel young, there are two major areas of health and wellness most people are aware of: exercise and a healthy diet,” says Rebecca Owens, regional education manager of Mercy Healthplex. “But what does that mean?” She suggests three key areas: Strength training, if only with an exercise tube; cardiovascular training, such as walking, riding a recumbent bike or trying out the latest in gym technology; and stretching (try yoga or a mat Pilates class).

“In regard to exercise, it is highly recommended that you seek out a certified fitness professional,” Owens advises. “A personal trainer will tailor an exercise program for you to make sure you are doing things effectively and to prevent injury.”