The Aging Face
As we age the face presents clear evidence of the years. Depletion of fat pads in the upper face leads to volume loss and causes the once youthful high cheekbone to disappear allowing the cheeks to drop, hollowness in the mid-cheek, sagging jawline and deep furrowing of the laugh lines, along with troughs appearing under the eyes, all of which make the face appear older.
Wrinkles caused by muscle contractions over and over and over again eventually cause permanent wrinkles in the skin. This leads to the familiar “worry” lines between the eyebrows, across the forehead, and the “crow’s feet” along the outside of the eye.
At any age both the perceived age and appearance of the face can be dramatically improved with botox and dermatologic fillers.
How Botox and Fillers work
Botox is a compound that relaxes muscles. Small injections are placed strategically in the muscles around the forehead, lateral to the eyes or around the upper lip to smooth the wrinkles. If started early it can actually prevent wrinkles from ever forming in these areas.
Filler is an inert substance called hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found widely distributed throughout the body, including the skin. It can be injected into areas of the face to restore volume. This is especially effective in the upper cheek to lift the cheekbone and restore the overall shape of the young face. This also pulls up on the skin thus helping the furrowed laugh lines and sagging jawline.
Filler is often used to sharpen, define, or plumpen the lips. We also inject along the nasolabial fold or “laugh lines” to smooth the mid-face, in the cheek to eliminate the hollow look and along the jawline to sharpen and shape the jaw.
Getting the Procedures
The injection of botox and filler is a relatively safe procedure. Botox was originally used many years ago, and still is, in huge doses to relieve spastic muscles. With thousands of safety studies it is even used in children for this purpose. Too much botox or placing it in the wrong place can lead to eyelid drooping or completely blocking the muscles of expression.
The most serious risk of filler is injecting into an artery or vein and causing blockage of blood flow. There are techniques to avoid this and a solution that can be injected to immediately dissolve the filler.
Both procedures take extensive training in regard to facial anatomy and injection technique. They also require an “artist’s eye” to get the best outcome. You may have seen someone with too much filler in the lips causing them to look like a “duckbill”. More is not always better! We always work closely with the patient to insure the exact outcome they desire. To me the results are perfect when friends notice how “good you look”, with a natural appearance, not suspecting you’ve had anything done.
Botox treatments last 3-4 months and cost between $100-500. A treatment session takes about 15 minutes and the effect starts around 3-7 days later.
Fillers will last 12-24 months and cost between $400 and several thousand dollars, depending on how many areas are treated, and the effect is immediate. The treatment sessions take about 30 minutes and sometimes the skin is numbed with a topical anesthetic or the lip is numbed with quick dental blocks.
Aftercare is minimal for both procedures. There really isn’t anything necessary after botox and with filler we have patients apply cool packs to reduce any post-treatment swelling.
Youthful skin involves many factors including a healthy diet, adequate hydration, avoiding excessive sun exposure, good hormone levels and balance, and great skin care products. Lasers and other aesthetic treatments can do wonders to remove surface sun damage, discoloration, fine lines, and broken blood vessels while stimulating our own production of collagen. These all help the tightness, texture and skin appearance. Botox and filler offer shaping and sculpting to complement the great looking skin.
We can’t stop aging, but we can “turn back the hands of time” with botox or filler offering a quick and easy way to dramatically restore that youthful look a bit longer.
Scott Rollins, MD, is Board Certified with the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He specializes in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement for men and women, thyroid and adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia, weight loss and other complex medical conditions. He is founder and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado (imcwc.com) and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (bellezzalaser.com). Call (970) 245-6911 for an appointment or more information.