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Look great without the expense and risk of surgery
In the present economic environment not many people are willing to spend large sums of money for elective services such as cosmetic surgery. On the other hand, concerns about aging remain. So what can be done to improve one’s appearance short of actual surgery? Choices fall into three categories: topical treatments, botox and injectable fillers, all of which allow you to mantain appearance without the expense and downtime of cosmetic surgery.
The Obagi System
The color and texture of facial skin reveals signs of aging. If you look carefully in the mirror you will probably see variations in pigmentation, particularly in the cheeks, forehead and around the mouth, and your skin may have a rough appearance with large pores and a dull finish.The Obagi regimen will remove the outer keratin layer of skin (the layer of dead cells which has not yet fallen off), and will also blend the pigment in your skin, giving you a more uniform color rather than blotchy multiple colors. The overall effect is a smoother, brighter, younger appearance.
The treatment is a series of six creams combined with prescription-strength Retin A which you apply twice per day. Initially your skin will peel, much like a chemical peel, removing the outer layer and leaving the skin slightly reddened. After a week or two the peeling will stop. Once the improvement has reached its maximum, you would stop the aggressive treatment and switch to a maintenance program. Before and after photos will show a dramatic change. The product comes as a kit with all six ingredients, and one kit lasts approximately two months.
Because it contains prescription ingredients, the Obagi regimen is only available from a physician.
Discoloration of the lower eye lids or “dark circles under the eyes” is a very common complaint. Although this is more common in older people, it can occur as a hereditary factor in young people, males and females. Teamine cream will significantly reduce the dark circles from the lower eye lids after four to six weeks of daily use.
Sagging skin and wrinkling of the neck are one of the earliest signs of aging. Nectifirm, a topical cream, can improve this situation. If you have significant sagging skin Nectifirm will not correct your problem, but if you are in the early stages of loose skin and creases on your neck, then Nectifirm may improve your appearance and help postpone the need for a surgical neck lift.
Several years ago people using a certain medication to treat glaucoma (an eye disease) noticed that their eye lashes were growing. Research proved that the active ingredient of the glaucoma medication did indeed cause the eye lashes to increase in length, and now that medication has been released in a formula specifically for growing longer eyelashes.
Latisse is a topical liquid that is applied to the upper eye lid just above the eye lashes once daily. In one to two months the lashes begin to grow significantly. After several months most users decrease their treatments to every other or every third day just to maintain the new lash length. If you stop using it the lashes will go back to their original length.
Botox has been around for years and is widely used by men and women to reduce the signs of facial aging. The most common areas for Botox treatment are the vertical lines between the eye brows, the lines of the forehead and the laugh lines on the outside of the eyes. Botox can also be used to raise the eye brows, raise the corners of the mouth and decrease the lines of the upper lip.
Botox is usually priced by the number of units used, and it takes 20 units to correct the lines between the eyebrows.A treatment with Botox will usually last about three months, and should be administered by or under the direction of a physician.
Note: there is a new product on the market called Dysport which seems to be very similar to Botox both in cost and effect; however, it has not been studied as long as Botox.
Injectable fillers have been available for many years, but when hyaluronic acid fillers were introduced a few years ago, the procedure was revolutionized. This gave us a very stable, pliable filler with no possibility of an allergic reaction, easy to administer and with minimal complications. It has been used primarily to reduce the wrinkles of the face, especially the upper lip, the folds next to the nose, the lower lip and chin. By reducing wrinkles and folds and adding fullness to the face, the fillers are a wonderful tool to reduce the effects of facial aging without surgery.
Most treatments can be accomplished using one cc of filler although sometimes a second cc may be necessary. The most I have ever used at one sitting is 4ccs. The average cost of the hyaluronic fillers is $500 per cc.
If you would like more information on fillers see my previous article, A Guide To Wrinkle Fillers-The alternatives to collagen
As a guide, the author’s own practice offers the above treatments at these prices:
- Obagi kit with the Retin A – $284
- Teamine – $65 per jar, which should last approximately, 30 to 45 days (including a money-back guarantee)
- Nectifirm – $65 for a jar which should last about two months (including a money-back guarantee)
- Latisse – $130 for one box or $200 for two boxes. One box will last about two months
- Botox – $260 for 20 units (sufficient to correct the lines between the eyebrows)
About the Author
Dr. Corwin has been practicing Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Conejo Valley
since 1977 and specializes in cosmetic surgery
Theodore R.’s homepage: DoctorCorwin.com