By K. Anne Jacobs MD, FACS
When dealing with this complicated life, it is so important to feel good mentally and physically. Did you ever guess it would be this stressful everyday with children, work, a spouse or an ex-spouse? To handle all of these issues you need to be at the top of your game. Of course, spirituality is the foundation for mental well-being, but physical health and looking good factor in greatly to your mental attitude. How you view yourself when looking in the mirror each morning also contributes to your confidence level, resulting in how you deal with the day. Over the years the facial muscles beneath the skin cause the formation of lines and folds. The aging process is unavoidable; however, there are products I offer at Jacobs Eye Center for women and men (yes, men look in the mirror too), that can help relax the muscles. BOTOX Cosmetic which is used for stressful looking frown lines and Juvederm a dermal filler for wrinkles are available. I also carry Latisse and latanoprost, both by prescription to promote eyelash growth and thickening.
BOTOX Cosmetic has been used therapeutically for 20 years and since 2002 has been FDA approved for the treatment of moderate to severe frown lines. The common off-label uses include treatment of crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and those of the neck. Dynamic lines of the face are caused by powerful, overactive muscles. As the skin underneath becomes less elastic with age the stubborn lines form. During treatment in the office, very low doses of BOTOX Cosmetic by a few tiny injections are administered. No anesthesia is required; however; a numbing cream may be used. The discomfort is minimal. The small dose causes the muscles to relax, so that the skin can relax and smooth out. The muscle activity is reduced, so you still have expression. You can begin to see the effects in about five days and the results will last from two to four months.
Static lines of the face are different than the previously described dynamic lines. Lines that are visible even when the muscles are at rest are static. These wrinkles and folds are treated with a dermal filler such as Juvederm. Many people with a deep frown line between the eyebrows will need Juvederm for the line in addition to BOTOX Cosmetic to relax the muscles. The folds around the mouth known as the nasolabial folds are filled in and smoothed out with Juvederm. “Smoker’s lines” on the upper lip and the chin crease are also common lines that are treated. The lips represent a common loss of volume area created by aging. Juvederm is used give a natural look to the lips. Juvederm is a natural hydrating substance called hyaluronic acid in an injectable gel form. Your skin loses hyaluronic acid over time which results in these static lines and folds. Again the office procedure is brief and the results are immediate with the filler. There can be some bruising with the injection, but downtime is at a minimum. The Juvederm can last from six months to a year.
The other exciting new product that I have at Jacobs Eye Center is Latisse otherwise known as Lumigan and latanoprost also known as Xalatan. Both of these are ophthalmic or eye solutions are now packaged for application to the lashline to thicken, darken, and lengthen eyelashes. Latisse is FDA approved and latanoprost is an off-label use. The product is applied with an applicator just like liquid eyeliner to the upper lid at bedtime. Most women will begin to see changes in two to three weeks and maximum results in sixteen weeks. After that a maintenance dose can be used once or twice a week as needed. Latisse is available in two or four month supplies and latanoprost is available in a three month supply.