Monday, April 6, 2009

What Are Botox And Dermal Fillers For the Face and Neck? Am I A Candidate For These Procedures?

Botulinum Toxin Type A is a substance that is injected into specific sites in the face to help soften facial lines. This product has been used for over twenty years and has been modified to be more effective with fewer side effects. It comes from a natural occurring protein from the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria. The FDA has approved one product for use which is Botox Cosmetic by Allergan Medical. It comes in a powder form and is reconstituted by the physician at the time of injection.

FDA approved uses for Botox cosmetic include blepharospasm, hemifacial paralysis, excessive sweating under the arms, and creases between the eyebrow. The common uses include horizontal forehead lines, brow lift, crows feet, lower lid thickening, bunny lines on the nose, nose tip elevation, lip lines, down turned mouth, neck bands, and horizontal neck lines. The botox works by decreasing the ability to use the muscle areas that are injected so the lines are softened and deepening of the lines does not progress. Typically, patients are between the ages of 25 and 75.

The Botox Cosmetic injections may not completely rid you of specific areas with lines but will soften their appearance. The effects from the injections last from three to four months. Although complications are infrequent in those properly trained in performing these injections with good knowledge of facial anatomy, sometimes the areas treated do not look the same on each side. Depending on the areas where you are receiving treatment, your physician can review the potential positives and negatives that can occur.

Dermal Fillers help to lessen the effects we see from aging as do the Botox injections. Dermal Fillers include products such as Radiesse, Restylane, and Juvederm. There are other products on the market but these are the most commonly used ones. These products actually fill in certain areas such as the folds around the nose and mouth, the lines from the mouth to the jaw, creases in the chin, acne scars, upper cheek areas, hollows in the cheek, nasal irregularities, adding volume to the lips and many other uses.

Many of these products can be mixed with a numbing agent so there is less discomfort. In addition, the physician will likely have you use ice on the areas prior to injection and topical anesthetics to decrease the sensation involved with the injections. These products are safe and effective and can last from nine months up to eighteen months and, in some cases, up to two years.

Below are two photos. The first is an example of before and after botox injections in between the eyebrows. The second is an example of a dermal filler used to decrease the appearance of folds between the nose and mouth.

Botox Before and After Photo:

Dermal Filler Before and After Photo:

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