Turning back the hands of time on our skin often requires the skills of a cosmetically trained doctor.
Two common procedures used to rejuvenate aging skin are injections of Botox or Dysport, and the use of injectable fillers such as collagen or Restylane.
Botox or Dysport:
Both Botox and Dysport are injectable solutions that contain botulism toxin from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Botox was approved for use in 2002 and Dysport was approved in 2009, both to treat frown lines.
They work by weakening the muscles they are injected into, while leaving surrounding muscles alone. By limiting the action of muscles that cause frown lines, the skin appears smoother.
There are subtle differences in how each responds in the body. It is thought that Dysport’s effect occurs faster and more skill is needed to use it but basically, they work the same way.
Side effects from the use of either product are bruising, swelling, redness and numbness. There is also a 1 to 2 percent risk of developing droopy eyelids from the spread of the solution to surrounding muscles, or from incorrect dosing, according to the doctors at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta. This complication should be temporary.
Those who are pregnant or have other neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis should not use Botox or Dysport.
The price for Botox or Dysport is between $250 and $400 with Dysport costing slightly less. They both last for about three to six months.
Collagen and hyaluronic acid are two categories of injectable fillers used to fill out wrinkles, lines or scars. A doctor decides which type should be used depending on the place on the face and the result desired.
- Collagen fillers are intended to reproduce the role of natural collagen. Collagen supports skin, bone, cartilage and blood vessels. Some collagen fillers come from human sources and other from animals such as pigs.
Fillers derived from animal sources have the potential to cause allergic reactions so extra observation for this complication is needed. Other side effects are bruising, swelling, redness and itching.
Some fillers also can cause skin discoloration or small nodules to form that may be temporary.
- Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the connective tissue and adds volume and fullness to the skin. Examples of fillers that contain hyaluronic acid are Restylane, which was approved by the FDA in 2003, and Juvederm Ultra Plus, approved in 2007.
These fillers are commonly used to plump tissue anywhere on the face such as the lips, under the eyes or around eyebrows, or to soften the appearance of scars.
The side effects from the injections of hyaluronic acid can be bleeding, swelling, bruising or infection.
The cost for collagen fillers is around $500-$600 a syringe. The effects frequently last three to four months though there are some types whose effects last much longer.
The average cost in 2008 for hyaluronic acid was $589 in 2008, according to the American Association of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), and the effects generally last between six months and a year.
How to find a good doctor:
Finding a skilled doctor with experience using these types of injectable cosmetic substances is extremely important to ensure a good result and reduce the risk of complications.
Since the injection of these products does not require surgery, an experienced dermatologist may be able to perform them.
However, if you think you will want to have cosmetic surgery in the future, you might want to select a doctor who is certified in cosmetic or plastic surgery.
Make sure to select a doctor who has board certification in one of the organizations listed below to ensure they have been properly trained.
Check with your state medical board to see if the doctor has had any complaints filed against them.
Ask the doctor how often he performs the procedure you have in mind. It is best if he treats patients weekly rather than monthly in the area you want injections.
Additionally, check to see if the doctor has admitting privileges to the local hospital in case you develop a complication.
The following are links to American Board Certification sites for these specialties.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/
The American Board of Plastic Surgery
The American Board of Dermatology
The American Board of Otolaryngology
Botox® and Dysport® Cosmetic Therapy. Web. July 14, 2012.
Injectable Fillers Overview. Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
9 Top Cosmetic Treatments for Aging Skin. U.S. News Health. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
Beauty Treatments. Remedy’s Healthcommunities.com. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
Wrinkle Fillers. WebMD. Retrieved July 4, 2012
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele are at www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles
Edited by Jody Smith