A. Heather, it sounds like you are referring to what we call “crow’s feet” or expression lines around your eyes. Whenever you laugh, frown, concentrate or squint into the sun, your facial muscles contract and your skin creases. As you get older your skin loses its elasticity and those creases deepen into lines that become permanently etched on your face. While it seems logical that filling those lines in would be the best way to make them go away just as you would spackle a hole in the wall, the best option is actually to relax those muscles with a medication such as Botox® or Dysport®.
These medications work by relaxing your muscles that cause you to make those expressions. Over the next two weeks after your treatment, the muscles will gradually relax preventing you from creating more lines. You probably won’t notice it happening, Heather. You’ll just become aware that your crow’s feet are starting to soften and diminish. You can enjoy a more youthful appearance while maintaining a natural expression.
Dermal fillers on the other hand are used to fill up those areas suffering from volume loss such as the cheeks, jowls, marionette lines and lips. As we age, we slowly lose our skin elasticity and the lower face begins to see the effects of gravity. Unfortunately, over time, this leads to a tired or aged appearance. Fillers work with your body to stimulate new collagen growth and regenerate tissue helping to restore what time has taken away.
Heather, as a general rule, anything from the eyes up to the forehead is best treated with a muscle relaxer while anything from the cheeks down to the chin will yield better results with a dermal filler. Since there are always exceptions it is best to consult with an experienced injector. They can look at the areas of your face that trouble you and offer a personalized recommendation based on your concerns, needs and budget.
It can be confusing trying to understand the many treatment options available for those pesky wrinkles. Find a trusted medical professional and talk to them about the best treatment plan for you to help you feel younger in no time.
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw and Ft. Wayne. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medical Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com