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Botox skin filler treatment for wrinkles

Some days, tiny horizontal lines and wrinkles under my eyes make me look droopy. I haven't been mistaken for a bloodhound yet, but I am not liking where this is headed. So when one of the nation's leading oculoplastic surgeons called out of the blue, offering to stop by my office and analyze my face, I maintained my professional demeanor and coolly let her know I might be interested. "How soon can you be here?" I asked. For 45 minutes, Dr. Deborah Sherman sat in the Rocky's lunchroom and expounded on the benefits of cosmetic procedures. The good news, she said, is that you don't have to go under the knife anymore to look 10 years younger.

Botox, microdermabrasion and Chemical peels

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Botox minimizes frown lines; microdermabrasion and chemical peels remove dead skin, perk up your complexion and fade brown spots; and, last but not least, dermal fillers plump up areas that have lost volume. Dermal filler is what Sherman recommends for under my eyes; it's also great for smoothing out the "parentheses lines" that bracket the mouth, she says. "Think of your face as a sofa," Sherman said. "Over time, it loses some of its stuffing and sinks in certain areas." Sherman likes a filler called Juvederm, injected into the top-layer skin with a fine needle. Juvederm is hyaluralic acid, a naturally occurring substance made in the body that is related to collagen. It helps to hydrate and add volume to your skin, she says. But that's a detail. What Sherman really wants to talk about is big-picture stuff, specifically "facial prejudice." "People look at us and instantly form an impression," she says. If they see deep frown lines and droopy eyes, they can erroneously assume you're angry or old. You could be a victim of discrimination and not even know it, she says. "It's not about erasing wrinkles," Sherman says. "It's about having someone look the best they can be. "

I hear this from celebrities and soccer moms alike. They don't want to look 20 years younger. They just want to look their best. Instead of a good-hair day, they want a good-face day." Sherman teaches at Vanderbilt University and has a practice in Nashville. Her trip to Denver is paid for by Allergan, the company that makes Botox and Juvederm. Allergan's underwriting allows her to educate the public about cosmetic surgery, she says.

Botox & wrinkles

The best way to look at wrinkles is to break them down into three categories: "Sinkers, Squeezers and Saggers," she says. Sinking wrinkles are those caused by a loss of volume - think of the sofa analogy. She treats these with filler. Squeezing wrinkles are caused by muscles. The classic squeezer wrinkle is "11" between your eyebrows. They are treated with injections of Botox, which freeze the muscles or "put them into temporary timeout," says Sherman. Botox is not a poison, nor is it made from botulism bacteria, as many believe, she said.

Botox risks

Botox is a "purified protein," approved by the FDA. "It is the safest drug I use," she says. Sagging wrinkles are the last category, and they call for surgery. When your neck gets saggy, filler or Botox usually can't help. You need to go for the nip and tuck. A Botox treatment generally lasts four months and costs $300 to $500. Juvederm (also used to plump up lips) lasts six months, Sherman says, and costs $500 to $600 per treatment. Sherman says she sees 100 patients a week and does 20 to 30 Botox injections in that time. When you're considering cosmetic work, ideally you want someone with her level of experience.

You now know as much about all this as I do. Don't take this column as an endorsement of anything or any product. In other words, caveat emptor. But I am considering the under-eye filler. All I need is $600, and if necessary, I figure the family can go without heat next winter. That's what I love about them: They have their priorities straight.

Original article by Mary Winter, Rocky Mountain news.