A treasure trove of non-surgical procedures are now available to women and men who wish to refresh and enhance their appearance without a lot of “down time” or the risks and complications of surgery.
This new generation of cosmetic plastic surgery treatments will reverse or improve the appearance of many signs of aging, including: Worry Lines that run across your forehead, Nasolabial Lines that run from the side of your nose to the corners of your mouth, Frown Lines that run between your eyebrows, “Crows Feet” at the corners of your eyes, Marionette Lines at the corners of your mouth, Cheek Depressions, Smokers Lines that your lipstick bleeds into, Wrinkles, Acne or Facial Scars.
Many Baby Boomers are among those taking advantage of Dermal Fillers – based both in collagen or hyaluronic acid — that reverse the signs of aging. Collagen is the naturally occurring substance in our skin which gives it its elasticity, and which fades with time. Collagen Replacement Therapy is a natural, non-surgical procedure that provides immediate results.
Zyderm and Zyplast
These are made of bovine collagen, which is derived from cow skin. Both are injected with a small needle, and are packaged with Lidocaine, which desensitizes the area treated. Zyderm is used most successfully to treat shallow, distensible scars. Zyplast has more collagen and is used for filling larger defects. Both require allergy tests before their use.
CosmoDerm and Cosmoplast
These are made of human collagen – produced with dermal fibroblasts harvested from bioengineered human skin cells. Neither requires a skin test prior to their use. Cosmoderm is best suited for superficial wrinkles and acne scars. Cosmoplast is more effective for the treatment of deeper wrinkles, scars and for enhancing the vermillion border of the lips.
Restylane, Juvederm and Captique
These are fillers made from hyaluronic acid, a natural component of the human skin that forms the skeletal framework of a healthy and youthful skin, which diminishes with aging. These fillers are generally longer-lasting than collagen fillers. Restylane, used in more than three million treatments worldwide, is approved in the United States for the correction of very deep wrinkles, such as Nasolabial Folds, and acne scars. Restylane is also being used for lip augmentation as well as filling of the hollow around the eyes.
Juvederm which is another form of hyaluronic acid corrects conditions including fine lines and Crows Feet, Forehead and Cheek Wrinkles, and fill lips, sculpture cheeks and fill deep Nasolabial Folds.
This is a long-lasting filler composed of smooth calcium hydroxylapatite particles similar to the compounds found in bones and teeth and suspended in a gel. Radiesse is injected in small amounts deep under the skin to fill creases, lines and wrinkles, to soften facial lines, add fullness to the skin and fill in scars.
Arte-Fill is the first so-called “permanent dermal filler” currently being considered for use by the FDA. There has not been extensive clinical experience with this product yet.
Sculptra is specifically formulated to restore facial volume in HIV patients suffering from facial “wasting disease.” It is a more painful injection than other types of filler and usually requires a dental block.
These are one of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures performed annually. Nearly three million men and women had Botox Cosmetics™ treatments in 2005, nearly half of them between the ages of 35 to 50, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Derived from Botulinum toxin type A, Botox blocks nerve impulses within facial muscles, thus smoothing wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing the muscles. It is currently being used for the treatment of deep lines between the brows – the frown and forehead lines that cause people to always look angry or annoyed. It reduces the appearance of crow’s feet that appear at the side of the eyes. It also relaxes tense neck muscles which help diminish the extent of neck bands. Some doctors have successfully used Botox Cosmetics™ to lessen the downward pull of the corner of the mouth. The process takes about ten minutes and a few tiny injections, with effects that last about three to four months.
In the fight against aging, besides Botox and Dermal fillers, skin resurfacing is used to soften the appearance facial wrinkles. An entire spectrum of skin resurfacing modalities is available, from the very light to the most aggressive. A variety of chemical peels derived from fruit acids (Alpha-Hydroxy & Glycolic acids) and milk (Lactic acid) are used to peel away the sun damaged top layer of the skin surface. Stronger peels such as the OBAGI Blue Peel are used not only to treat facial wrinkles but also to treat age spots, and hyperpigmentation. Phenol Peel which used to be very popular is now used more selectively due to its unwanted bleaching of the skin.
While Peels work by chemically degrading and dissolving the top layer of skin, Dermabrasion and Laser ablates this layer mechanically or by heat. Among different types of Lasers used for skin resurfacing treatment of facial acne and wrinkles the CO2 laser is the most effective, but carries the longest recovery course, as compared to the Erbium laser.