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October 29, 2008 > Facial Rejuvenation - Without Surgery!

Facial Rejuvenation - Without Surgery!

Learn About Skin Treatment Options at Upcoming Women's Center Lecture

Crow's feet. Smile lines. Furrowed brow. Worry lines between the eyebrows. Sunken eyes. Hollow cheeks.

It's no secret that time, aging, gravity and the "wear and tear" of everyday life can leave their marks on your face. Thanks to scientific advances in skin care and dermatology, though, women (and men) can now reverse much of that damage without having to resort to plastic surgery.

"There are basically two kinds of lines on the face," says Dr. Anna McNay, a dermatologist at Washington Hospital. "The first type, 'dynamic' lines, result from muscle movements in the face. Examples would include crow's feet, wrinkles in the forehead and between the eyebrows, and lines on the neck. Over time, these lines settle into the skin and become deeper.

"The second type is 'static' lines," she continues. "As we mature, we lose volume in the fatty layer under the skin so the face appears less full. Examples of this would include smile lines, sunken eyes, hollow cheeks and thinning lips."

Because the causes of the two types of facial lines are different, the medical therapy for treating them is different, too.

"For dynamic lines, we can use Botox injections to relax the muscles that push on those lines so that they disappear or do not look so deep," Dr. McNay explains. "For static lines, we can inject 'fillers' to build up volume in those spaces."

Contrary to what you might hear on "Oprah," Botox does not paralyze the muscles, Dr. McNay notes. "Botox has been used for medical purposes for 25 to 30 years to treat conditions such as 'lazy eye' where one eye drifts," she says. "In fact, the cosmetic use of Botox came about because an ophthalmologist who was treating lazy eye with Botox noted that it also made the facial lines disappear."

Dr. McNay cautions that certain people should not receive Botox injections, including those who have a rare condition known as myasthenia gravis - a form of muscle deterioration. People with "hooded" eyelids are also poor candidates for Botox, since it can cause their eyelids to droop.

"It's also important to have Botox injections performed by a qualified medical professional in an office setting - not in a home where treatment for side effects is not available," she adds. "If Botox is injected into the wrong area, it can have adverse results. For example, if Botox is injected into an artery, depending on the dosage, it could paralyze the patient. There's also a difference in the quality of Botox treatments in a 'spa' setting and a physician's office. Spas may use Botox solutions that have been on the shelf for some time or product that is diluted. That may cost less, but it doesn't work as well."

The "filler" medications for treating static facial lines fall into two basic categories:
* Hylauronic acid (a natural substance produced by the body) fillers, including Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm.
* Non-hylauronic acid fillers, including Radiesse and Evolence.

"Fillers are also administered by injection," Dr. McNay explains. "Because they are used to add volume to the face, rather than to relax specific muscles, fillers require more injections than Botox."

To learn more about Botox, fillers and other rejuvenating skin treatments, women are invited to bring their own lunch and attend a special "Lunch and Learn" session with Dr. McNay at the Washington Women's Center. The lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, November 4 from noon to 1 p.m. The Women's Center is located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont, across the street from Washington Hospital.

To register for the lecture or to obtain more information about the Women's Center's monthly "Lunch and Learn" lectures, the Evening Lecture Series for Women and a variety of special events and support groups, call (510) 608-1356. Or you can visit the Washington Hospital website at www.whhs.com and click on the link for Women's Health under "Programs and Services," then click on the link for Wellness Classes and Services.

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