2010-11-01 / Health

There are many ways to iron out the wrinkles

By A.K. Bhattacharya, M.D., F.A.C.S
Today’s women don’t settle for imbedded laugh lines or furrowed brows that make them look tired or angry all the time. Nor do they overlook brown spots and rough patches on the cheeks that may appear after years of reckless sun worship.

Today, women can smooth over all of those mistakes, as a widening array of minimally invasive cosmetic treatments become part of a woman’s regular upkeep.

Injections such as Botox and Dysport are beauty regimens employed by women who want a smoother forehead and brow. Fillers like Juvederm and Restylane happily plump up lips and smile lines, fast and easy. Laser treatments such as Fraxel Laser Facials can vaporize age spots and scars, and remove damaged layers of outer skin, improving skin tone and texture.

Skin problems emerge over decades, often starting with sun damage that may appear in the 20s. In the 30s and 40s, people can get lines that appear when they smile or frown, which can often be treated with injectible fillers. By their 50s, people often have “wrinkles at rest,” or lines etched into the face, which respond best to a combination of treatments such as injectibles plus laser resurfacing.

Laser treatments actually stimulate the natural renewal process of skin, replacing sagging, spotted or wrinkled skin with a smoother complexion. At first, the face may look a little flushed; after two weeks, you get tighter skin tone that can last for several months.

Facial fillers, injectibles and laser facials can all be beautiful options. These treatments can last a few months or longer, can cost as little as a few hundred dollars per session and can be done during a lunch hour. It’s easy to see why Botox and Dysport injections rose 3.8 percent to 2.6 million in 2009.

Many of these techniques if they will achieve your desired result. For instance, combining a laser treatment, to remove wrinkles and brown spots, with fillers or Botox for expression lines, can work together beautifully.

One caveat: manage your expectations. Don’t expect laser resurfacing to make up for loss of volume in the face. Get a thorough consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine the best procedure or combination of treatments, and always discuss the risks and benefits.

Some aging issues are still best corrected with surgery such as loose jowls, a saggy neck, baggy eyelids and very saggy, heavily wrinkled skin. For a more permanent answer to an aging face, you may choose a face-lift now or even at a younger age, which can later be augmented with fillers or injectibles.

Men are getting in on the trend as well. While men account for only about 9 percent of all cosmetic procedures, nonsurgical treatments, including Botox and fillers, increased 11 percent, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

You may never be 20 again, but you can feel good in your skin at every age, with cosmetic treatments designed to make every age your most beautiful time of life.

A.K Bhattacharya, M.D., F.A.C.S., double board-certified plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery Plus MediSpa/Freehold and chief medical spokesman for the American Cancer Society/New Jersey Chapter, specializes in cosmetic surgery: breast enhancement, body contouring, and facial aesthetics as well as cosmetic treatments: Fraxel Laser Facials, Botox, fillers and laser hair removal/laser spider vein treatments. For more information, visit www.plasticsurgeryplus.net or call 732-683-1033.

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