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Operative treatment of functional facial skin disorders

Author(s): Scheithauer, Marc Oliver | Rettinger, Gerhard

Journal: GMS Current Topics in Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
ISSN 1865-1011

Volume: 4;
Start page: Doc18;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: reconstructive facial surgery | flap plasty | wound healing | rejuvenation | laser | tissue cultivation | growth factors

The skin is the principal interface between the body and the surrounding world and thus serves as a protective barrier against trauma, temperature extremes and radiation. With receptors for pressure, movement, heat and cold, it also acts as sensory organ and through sweat secretion plays a role in thermoregulation and electrolyte metabolism. Not all of these functions are relevant to facial skin, however, cosmetic aspects are of vital importance.Disorders primarily affect the protective skin function in defect and scar areas. For operative correction, the following principles should be applied: Minimization of scar development by adherence to indicated incision lines in the face, preferred use of local skin flaps for defect coverage in order to obtain optimal results regarding texture, complexion and sensitivity of skin, as well as consideration of aesthetic units. Recent developments in this field are tissue culture, occlusive dressings, and the use of growth factors.Age-related skin changes with impairment of cosmetic function are characterized by the development of creases and looseness of skin. Rejuvenation has become an important segment of skin surgery. For surface treatment, especially of creases and acne scars, various types of laser treatment are employed. Deeper lines can be filled with filler materials. The integration of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) into face lift procedures has lead to more viable and natural results. Due to protruding tissue, blepharoplasty of the upper lid is often carried out in combination with forehead lift and eyebrow lift procedures. The optimized use of growth factors and synthetic materials, which serve as a matrix, are aimed at skin replacement which mimics the quality and functions of skin as closely as possible. On the whole, however, the reconstruction of defect through local tissue transfer is still considered as the treatment of choice.

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