Beyond Botox: How New Treatments Help Turn Back the Clock
Plastic surgery and Botox could easily be matches in a word association game, and with good reason.
Botulinum toxin type A injections rank No. 1 on the list of top five cosmetic minimally invasive procedures for 2013, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The number of Botox injections performed last year clocked in at a record 6.3 million, according to the ASPS.
"The popularity of these injections has really skyrocketed in the past few years," says Dr. Rupesh Jain of the Institute of Plastic Surgery, Colorado Springs, Colo. "They're quite versatile. Botox is definitely one of the most popular and well-known, but there's a variety of injectable treatments for the signs of aging. And that's something a lot of people are looking for."
An aging population could well be a contributing factor to the increasing numbers of people partaking in injectable treatments. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million people age 65 years or older in the U.S., more than twice the number than in the year 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Administration on Aging.
In fact, women 40 to 54 accounted for more than half of last year's approximately Botox injections calculated by the number of anatomic sites injected.
"The aging population might well have something to do with the increase in popularity," Dr. Jain says. "Botox procedures can be used for softening wrinkles and creases, especially in the forehead area and between the eyebrows. Both of these areas are fairly prominent places where the signs of aging show."
While Botox, a purified protein that decreases the wrinkles connected to muscle activity, can be used to soften telltale aging signs, is usually injected every 3 months for maximum benefit.
Another category of non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments are tissue fillers. Juvederm and Belotero Balance can restore fullness and lost volume to the face and lips. They can also be used to help soften facial wrinkles and creases such as the smile lines around the mouth. Dr. Jain says the results from these treatments can last about 10 to 12 months, take about 10 to 15 minutes in the office and do not require any anesthesia.
"If you're looking for results with real longevity, Radiesse delivers really powerful results," Dr. Jain says. "It might not be the first name that comes to mind when it comes to injectable cosmetic procedures, but the results can last a year and a half. It is another tool that is available to reverse the signs of aging by adding volume and softening wrinkles.
"There's quite a lot of options, and in some cases, you can combine treatments to get the best results. Juvederm and Botox are often combined, for instance," he explains. "But whatever you decide, it's good to evaluate your options. Botox is just one of many ways you can get a youthful look."