What you should know about today’s aesthetic procedures

February 24, 2012

Beauty and Anti-aging

These products are not considered poison. They do come with risks, but so do most daily activities that people participate in each day.

by Dr. Paul Stallone — 

While they may not be for everyone, there are many opinions regarding aesthetic procedures such as Botox® Cosmetic and dermal fillers. Some may call these products poison and wonder whether beauty is worth the possible risks. But are these products really poisonous? Or are they considered safe?

For some people, aesthetic treatments are much more than simply trying to hang onto youth. They are about feeling good about yourself and feeling better in your own skin. These products are not considered poison. They do come with risks, but so do most daily activities that people participate in each day.

Aesthetic procedures are not just for those who want a more youthful appearance. Scores of people have regained confidence after having their facial deformities corrected. Sculptra® is an FDA-approved filler for the hollowing of facial features in HIV-positive patients. Facial deformities can be emotionally devastating and cause psychological distress. Many adults live with acne scars that can cause embarrassment and shame. Excessive sun exposure can cause extensive skin damage that accelerates aging and premature wrinkles. Aesthetic procedures can enhance or create cheekbones, lift eyebrows and correct many other facial abnormalities.

Botox Cosmetic and Dysport™ are two common products used for the treatment of wrinkles; both are made from botulinum toxin type A, which temporarily paralyzes the muscle. A muscle that cannot move cannot wrinkle. Both of these products are extremely safe when administered by a knowledgeable and highly trained professional. The common risks involved with both products are bruising and swelling that only last a few days, if at all.

Other possible side effects include headache, flu-like symptoms and redness at the injection sight. No down time is involved in these procedures and treatment can take just 20 to 45 minutes. Results typically last about four to eight months depending on a person’s metabolism. Botox Cosmetic was first used to treat “lazy eye” and uncontrollable blinking. Botox has also been used by many physicians for the treatment of cervical dystonia (chronic neck tension) and spasticity in the legs of children with cerebral palsy.

Dermal fillers are gaining popularity with people who have lost volume, and with those who would prefer not to have a surgical facelift but want similar results. Fillers are substances that are injected to fill in lines, wrinkles and scars.

Unlike facelifts that stretch the skin, fillers add volume without the tight-skin look that can result from a lift. Dermal fillers can be injected either deep under the muscle or superficially, depending on the area of the face. Differences exist in the way each behaves and in the duration of time the results of filler will last. This is why it is vital to find a reputable, experienced specialist.

An important element to achieving successful results with dermal fillers is realizing that no single filler is ideal for all areas of the face. Perlane®, Restylane® and Juvederm® are a few of the dermal fillers available on the market. These products are made from hyaluronic acid, a complex sugar found naturally in the body. Hyaluronic acid delivers nutrients, acts as a cushioning agent and hydrates the skin by holding in hydration. Results usually last about one year. Since results are temporary, it allows people who are thinking about a facelift to see how the results would appear, before actually committing to permanent changes.

It is important not to rush into an aesthetic procedure. You did not age overnight, so do not expect correction to happen instantly. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to get multiple treatments in rapid succession. Allow plenty of time before a special event, as full results may take a few weeks, even though these treatments are minimally invasive and generally very safe.

The few complications that may occur usually do so because the injectable product was used in an area that it was not meant for, or due to poor injection technique, both of which can be avoided by choosing an experienced, qualified specialist. Most providers will offer a free consultation to discuss possible corrections and to address your questions. Take advantage of these opportunities so that you will be confident and happy with your decision.


Paul Stallone, N.M.D., founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Road, Ste. 820, Scottsdale, Ariz. He combines natural, alternative and conventional treatments to best fit each patient’s needs. www.drstallone.com or 480-214-3922.

Reprinted from AZNetNews, Volume 30, Number 3, June/July 2011.

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