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The modern era of surgery has ‘searched the body over’ for ways to achieve excellent results with less invasive procedures. We live in an era when many major operations have become more like video games than traditional surgery.

This movement has also affected the world of cosmetic procedures. Currently, millions of dollars are being spent each year on cosmetic procedures with minimal pain and downtime. Many products are available that can be injected into the face either to weaken the wrinkle-causing muscles and smooth skin or to fill in areas of the face that have other wrinkles or folds. While there are certainly pros and cons to each of these procedures, each provides quite an exciting effect. The two categories of facial injectable products include neuromodulators and fillers. Botox® Cosmetic is the most widely recognized injectable, and it weakens the muscles of the face, which causes certain wrinkles. Facial wrinkles almost always lie perpendicular to the deep muscles of the face.

For example, the horizontal wrinkles that develop across the forehead actually lie perpendicular to the course of the forehead or ‘frontalis’ muscle. By temporarily weakening this muscle, the wrinkles of the skin overlying this muscle become smoothed. Botox® was originally conceived for medical use by an ophthalmologist, to treat the muscles of the eye that caused the condition of “crossed eyes.” Soon after that, physicians began applying this medicine for cosmetic purposes. Botox® was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002. Botox® now has many other medical uses; some FDA-approved, and many other ‘off-label’ but dramatically effective applications. A new neuromodulator, Dysport®, used in Europe for many years and produced by the makers of Restylane®, has recently emerged in U.S. markets. The makers of Dysport® are claiming that this product may have a quicker onset of action and a longer duration of action.

The second category of facial injectable products consists of the very broad category of ‘facial fillers.‘ While there are many substances currently being used as facial fillers, including calcium hydroxylapatite, polyL- lactic acid, and polyacrylamide, hyaluronic acid (HA) is the most common. Many companies have

created versions of HA, and two of these products are Restylane® and Juvederm®. In short, HA is a naturally occurring substance in the skin that helps to provide fullness and elasticity. HA fillers work by simply replacing lost volume in the skin as the skin ages.

Officially, this filler is recommended for the folds that occur between the nose and corners of the mouth; however, unofficially, HA is being used all over the face to replace lost volume and rejuvenate the face.

The Pros and Cons of Facial Injectables

Naturally, there are many truths and myths about the wide variety of facial plastic surgery products and procedures currently available to the consumer. There is no doubt the best way to learn about these products is to sit down with your plastic surgeon and ask a few questions.

For more information on cosmetic injectables, call us at 336-747-3737 to schedule an appointment.

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