Category Archives: Botox® and Fillers

Botox and the latest injectable fillers can temporarily correct your unwanted wrinkles. A simple and brief injection can reduce nasolabial folds, lip lines, forehead lines and more. Read on for more information.

Upper Lip Plumping Procedure Uses Botox and Dermal Fillers

Sculpting the appearance of the upper lip is delicate business – and sometimes two procedures are better than one. A recent episode of ABC’s The Doctors showcases a new, two-part procedure that can enhance the appearance of the upper lip without the need for surgery. This technique uses a Botox injection to mask fine lines, followed by hyaluronic acid injections to add volume.

You can see the procedure and the results in the video below, but a word to the squeamish: the video shows a woman having her lips injected with dermal fillers. Although the procedure is painless, you may not want to watch it if you have a fear of needles.

“I’ve always had thin lips,” says Mary, the patient in the segment. “I’ve tried different kinds of lipsticks and liners and things that might allegedly plump your lips but it’s not really worked. I don’t do enough for myself and it would be really fun to have some girly lips.”

One half of Mary’s twofold procedure has been performed in advance. Since Botox takes 24 to 48 hours to take effect, the wrinkle-erasing treatment is already been injected into Mary’s upper lip to resolve the fine lines that appeared there. The second step, which is performed onstage, involves adding volume with dermal fillers along the border of the lip. This is where the lip has thinned as a result of the aging process.

“Typically, with the aging process, you see those lips thin, because we lose volume in the structures around the mouth,” says Dr. Ordon. He also notes that – because Botox and hyaluronic acid fillers will last around 3 to 6 months – patients can have both halves of the procedure renewed at the same time. With the dermal fillers in place, Mary can see her results instantly, with lips that have been completely transformed.

Pokertox: Less a Procedure, More a Punchline

Using Botox and dermal fillers to enhance a poker player’s ability to conceal their emotions? It sounds like the premise of an SNL sketch, but a doctor of aesthetic medicine in New York has been marketing the procedure, which he has dubbed “Pokertox.” But based on feedback from professional poker players interviewed by the Huffington Post, this might be one gamble that the doctor will come to regret.

In poker, the ability to hide facial emotions is extremely valuable, as other players are always on the lookout for clues about what type of hand you hold. These unconscious signals – known as “tells” – can change the course of a game. Dr. Jack Berdy is betting that many poker players might benefit from procedures that can minimize the appearance of such signals.

“Some people might get a card they like or don’t like and raise their eyebrows,” he told The Huffington Post. “If that’s the common reaction, we can put Botox in certain areas to minimize them… We can also put Botox in areas to make it look like the player has a ‘tell’ they really don’t have.”

So far, poker players and other surgeons haven’t been particularly impressed. “The game has moved on from bluffs, and is more analytical these days,” World Poker Tour competitor Josh Hale said in an interview. “Players might look at physical tells, but they are relying more on betting patterns and bet sizing.”

“Plastic surgery is expensive,” Jay Melancon, a long-time poker player, said. “You’d have to play in very high-stakes games to make it worth it, and if you have a ‘tell’ that is that obvious, you shouldn’t be playing in those games.”

But the real zinger goes to a cosmetic doctor from California: “My first thought is that it is sad an internist can’t earn enough that they have to resort to doing Botox and fillers with a gimmick.”

Image credit: Pokeravond, Wikimedia Commons

The Voice Lift: Is It Worth It?

Our voices naturally age as we get older – it’s an inevitable fact of life. Or is it? A recent post on RealSelf has highlighted an injectable procedure that can enhance vocal performance. The procedure, known popularly as the voice lift, is becoming more popular in the US and UK. However, many doctors argue that the procedure has too many risks and too few benefits.

What causes vocal aging? Our vocal cords thin over time, which makes the voice sound crackly and reedy. By plumping up certain points in the larynx, or voice box, plastic surgeons can restore the natural fullness of the voice.

Plastic surgeons have been using some of the same techniques that are often used to add volume and definition to the face. One of the most popular approaches is fat grafting. During a facial fat graft, unwanted fat is taken from elsewhere in the body, and used for the purposes of facial rejuvenation. During a voice lift, writes the Daily Mail, the fat is “grafted on to the vocal folds to plump them up and enhance voice performance.”

The alternative to fat grafting is injectable fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane. Unlike fat grafting, injectable fillers do not require the removal of fat from elsewhere in the body. Injectable fillers tend not to last as long as fat grafts, and are naturally absorbed by the body after a few months.

But don’t imagine that fat grafting itself is a long-term solution. In fact, the body tends to reabsorb much of the injected fat over time as well. As a result, the voice lift is limited in its effectiveness, and only tends to improve the voice over the course of weeks or months.

Is there a surgical alternative to the voice lift? Not unless the larynx is seriously damaged or impaired. No responsible plastic surgeon would perform cosmetic voice enhancement, since the risk of complications is too great. Until minimally invasive techniques become more advanced, the voice lift is one procedure that most patients will want to decline.

Photo credit: Dinozauris, Wikimedia Commons

Why Do Women Really Get Botox? Not Because They’re Trying to Look Younger

Liz Spikol at The Philly Post recently wrote a thought-provoking article on why women have Botox and other facial rejuvenation procedures. It’s not, as many might think, merely to look younger. In fact, Spikol says, women have Botox because they want to look familiar.

It all stems from the transition that women make in their forties. Until early middle age, Spikol says, women tend to look the same as they did during their college years. During this time of early adulthood, women come into their own as adults. They become accustomed to looking a certain way. As a result, this look of early adulthood becomes an important part of their identities.

Nowadays, women are especially aware of different aspects of their bodies, in part because of the proliferation of beauty magazines:

“A lot of women in this culture know their faces and hands and hip bones and knee caps and every other body part intimately, particularly if they believe those parts are flawed. When a magazine has special sections devoted to individual body types, face shapes or hair type, we women know exactly which pages to look at. ‘Oh, that’s me—combination skin!’”

When the signs of aging begin to appear in early middle age, they emerge as an affront to a woman’s sense of self understanding. The reflection that appears in the mirror looks unfamiliar and strange. For Spikol, the change came with lines on her face that appeared almost overnight, and gray streaks in her hair.

“Women who start to use Botox in their 40s aren’t doing it because they want to return to a younger life. No one who’s in her 40s wants to be in her 20s again, I assure you. They just want to look like the person they’ve seen in the mirror every morning for decades. The person who, bizarrely, is disappearing.”

More Than Cosmetic: 3 Unexpected Ways That Botox is Changing People’s Lives

The rise of Botox Cosmetic over the past 10 years looms large over the popular imagination. But many people don’t know that Botox has a much longer history. In fact, the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States has its roots in important therapies for chronic conditions. Botox continues to be used for its astounding – and sometimes counterintuitive – benefits.

What makes Botox so useful for therapy? It’s made from botulinum toxin, which has the ability to inhibit nerve impulses at targeted sites. A Botox injection causes targeted muscles to relax. When applied to the face, this allows other muscles to stretch, which erases the appearance of wrinkles. As a result, Botox has helped millions as a non-surgical alternative to facelift. Doctors have taken advantage of this relaxing effect to help people with chronic conditions linked to muscles.

1. Muscle Spasms

For thousands of Americans, muscle spasms are a daily problem. They can be caused by stroke, brain injury, or other neurological problems. Muscles can spasm spontaneously, or remain clenched over long periods, which can be painful and debilitating. Due to its ability to relax targeted muscles, Botox is able to help in physical recovery and rehabilitation.

Despite the development of other drugs, Botox often remains the treatment of choice. A recent article in the UK Daily Mail profiled a young woman who had suffered a stroke at the age of 15. During her recovery, her right fist was continually clenched, which made it difficult for her to perform daily tasks. Doctors applied Botox so that she could finally relax her hand. Other muscle relaxants were considered, but would have had broader side effects throughout her body.

2. Teeth Grinding

This common habit often occurs at night, when people are sleeping. Over time, teeth grinding often results in cracked or worn-down teeth. ABC News reports that by relaxing certain jaw muscles, Botox is able to diminish – and sometimes even eliminate – teeth grinding.

3. Migraine Headaches

If you have ever experienced a migraine, you can understand the daily torture that chronic sufferers are forced to endure. These blinding headaches are sometimes caused by pressure on certain facial nerves. Research is shown that Botox, by relaxing certain muscles, can relieve pressure on these nerves. For a more permanent solution, many men and women have chosen brow lift surgery, which can also cure certain types of migraines.