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Also known as wrinkle fillers or dermal injectables, dermal fillers are among the most popular alternatives to BOTOX® cosmetic treatments, particularly the brand names Restylane®, Juvederm®, Radiance™, and Perlane®. To understand how fillers work, you have to understand wrinkles.
Lower and deeper than the surrounding skin, wrinkles become visible when light shines on them. When you see wrinkles, you’re really the shadows the light casts into them. Logically then, if wrinkles can be brought to the same level as surrounding skin, their visibility will diminish because the accompanying shadows will vanish. This can be accomplished either by lowering the surrounding skin to the wrinkles’ level (as with a Microdermabrasion, chemical peel, or Laser Skin Resurfacing) or by raising the wrinkles to the level of the surrounding skin. That’s what dermal fillers do.
Collagen is one of the most well known, general types of dermal filler, and it acts to raise the level of the tissue much like the natural collagen in our own bodies does. Restylane®, Juvederm®, and Perlane®, meanwhile, are injectables that use a hyaluronic acid solution to stimulate natural collagen production and eliminate wrinkles. A similar treatment, Radiance™ (or Radiesse), accomplishes the same goal with a calcium hydroxyl apatite solution. As of now, Restylane™ is Botox’s stiffest competitor, but despite some confusion, Botox® itself is NOT a dermal filler. So the debate comes down to a matter of methodology, rather than brand supremacy. Find out more about how Restylane® and BOTOX® stack up by clicking the link below.
A more extreme, permanent form of facial rejuvenation, facelift surgery, involves the tightening of facial tissues and muscles and the repositioning of the skin. The operation is intended toreduce the apperance of wrinkles and sagging skin by recontouring the face from the eyes to the jawline and neck. There are several variations of facelift surgery these days, and results will often depend on the patient’s bone structure and the elasticity of the skin. A facelift is often accompanied by laser skin resurfacing and eyelid surgery.
Brow lift (forehead lift) is a plastic surgery procedure which will raise your eyebrows to a higher and more aesthetic position. It will also improve lateral hoods (the droopy flaps of skin that hang over the outside corner of your eyes). This procedure will also soften your horizontal forehead wrinkles and the scowl lines between your eyebrows.
A brow lift will NOT improve baggy eyelids, puffy eyes, or crows feet. Consider eyelid surgery or wrinkle treatments for these problems.
The Non-Surgical Face-Lift
Not just an alternative, Thermage actually makes a great companion treatment to Botox®. Complement your wrinkle-free forehead with equally smooth undereye skin or more youthful upper eyelids. The non-invasive, non-surgical nature of Thermage allows you to safely enjoy this cosmetic pairing. Thermage is an innovative method of skin rejuvenation that will:
* Tighten saggy skin under the chin, in the neck, and along the jaw line
* Lift upper eyelids
* Remove under eye wrinkles
* Treat acne and acne scarring
It’s all the positive results of cosmetic surgery without the cutting, the discomfort, or the side effects!
How it works: Often referred to as ThermaCool (the system that is used during the procedure), Thermage is usually performed in under an hour. A handpiece that generates a high-energy radio frequency is used and, without harming the outer layer of the skin, targets the deep layers of skin and fat. The skin will then slowly rebuild its collagen and elastin over a period of about 4 weeks to 4 months, gradually tightening and firming the outer layer of skin. The result is a fresh, rejuvenated facial appearance, more youthful facial contours, and a natural alternative to face, neck, or eyelid lift surgery.
Laser Treatments for Wrinkles
Laser resurfacing is the most common treatment used for wrinkles and acne scars today. Like many things in plastic surgery, laser resurfacing goes by several names: wrinkle laser, lasabrasion, laser peel, laser surgery, laser vaporization, laser desurfacing, and several others. Realize that all of these terms mean the same thing: they refer to the use of the laser to treat wrinkles and acne scarring.