Botox and Fillers are all excellent non-surgical procedures which can help delay the need for plastic surgery. As a surgeon I love “hot lights and cold steel” as much as the next, but I think it is so important to remind patients of what regular maintenance can do to delay the need for surgical intervention. Although this concept is applicable for all patients, I find that it is even more important in my patients of color who have more melanin, or patients who have been genetically blessed with genes that make them age more like vampires than humans. If you are one of these people regular maintenance with Botox and Fillers is an excellent option for you! Facial Aging
- What Causes It?
As we age our skin looses its elasticity and collagen content and of course day-to-day damage from the sun and smoking are also major factors in the aging of skin. The amount of melanin in your skin determines the darkness of your skin tone but most importantly confers a certain level of in built sun protection that can help to decrease aging changes. Now this doesn’t make you exempt from sunscreen, but it certainly helps. Because of the increased melanin many of my patients of color are lucky to age more slowly, which means that with just a little bit of regular maintenance surgery may be delayed for decades to come!
- What Are the Warning Signs?
As we age we all start to notice early signs such as fine lines on the forehead and around the eyes. Those occur because the skin is connected to the underlying muscle; over the years that crinkle around your eyes as you smile, those lines between your brows as you frown, and that wrinkle your forehead as you question gradually cause fine lines then wrinkles. The other culprit is volume loss. As we age we gradually lose volume in our faces. Common areas involved are around the eyes and lips, and between the nose and the mouth (nasolabial folds), and the mouth and the jaw (marionette lines). As this volume loss occurs and the skin loses elasticity we develop wrinkles, shadows, and folds.
A little can go a long way in terms of prevention. I strongly recommend treating those fine lines with Botox before they become deep wrinkles, and restoring that volume loss with filler to help prevent deep folds. This type of maintenance may delay the need for eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and face lift surgery for years to come. You are already accustomed to doing it for our hair and nails, but how much more important is maintaining the health and youthfulness of your face! So what can you do?
Botox is simply one brand name for a family of neurotoxins that have been used for medical treatment since the 1980s. It works by blocking the signal between a nerve and its target muscle resulting in decreased muscle activity. As the muscle activity is inhibited fine lines and wrinkles become less visible and actually may fade with time. Botox rules for the upper part of the face; it is great for forehead lines, frown lines between the eyebrows (the “11s”) and around the eyes (Crows feet). The effect can be seen within 1-2 weeks and lasts for approximately 3-4 months. I believe in a softer natural look that allows you to still show facial expressions but without all those pesky lines. The good news is that regular preventative maintenance with Botox can be helpful in counteracting permanent wrinkles and who doesn’t want that?
Common side effects: mild tenderness at the injection site, temporary bruising and swelling.
There are many different types and brands of fillers including Belotero, Juvederm, Juvederm Voluma, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra. Many of these fillers are temporary but a few are permanent. As you may have guessed from their name fillers function by “filling in” the lost volume which causes the folds and deep wrinkles on your face. Fillers are useful for many parts of the face such as the tear troughs which causes some of the shadows and the tired look under the lower eyelid. It is great for the volume loss many of us see over the cheeks, the nasolabial folds, and the marionette lines. The effect can be appreciated immediately and on average lasts for 9-12 months for most of the temporary fillers and at most 2 years for Sculptra a great new product for volume enhancement of the cheeks.
Common side effects: mild tenderness at the injection site, temporary bruising and swelling
Your plastic surgeon can help you customize your very own maintenance regimen. Because a Botox day…you know the rest…