WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 6, 2004)- Despite the popular belief that gentlemen enjoy becoming "distinguished" with the signs of aging, dermatologists are finding that men now represent a growing number of Americans who seek botulinum rejuvenation to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Speaking today at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), dermatologist Christopher B. Zachary, MD, Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, discussed how men are turning to botulinum rejuvenation in order to diminish wrinkles around their eyebrows, forehead region and mouth.
Botulinum rejuvenation is a simple procedure in which dermatologists carefully inject a low dose of botulinum toxin into an individual's facial muscles, causing temporary relaxation of the injected muscles. This procedure can safely and effectively reduce the appearance of facial lines, crows feet and wrinkles -- the most common signs of aging. Botulinum rejuvenation is preferred by patients because it is non-invasive and features practically no recovery time.
"In general, public acceptance of botulinum rejuvenation has grown significantly since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of botulinum toxin type A for the treatment of forehead furrows in April 2002," said Dr. Zachary. "Yet recently there has been an increase in the use of these cosmetic procedures by men, and this trend is likely to continue as men realize it is socially acceptable and possibly even advantageous for them to enhance their appearance."
While both men and women seek botulinum rejuvenation to reduce the signs of aging, the actual procedure is different for each gender. For example, dermatologists commonly administer brow lifts associated with botulinum rejuvenation to men and women alike. A brow lift is a procedure that treats the muscles used to pull the eyebrows down, giving the patient a more "open-eyed" look. However, the shape and movement of a man's brow region is generally heavier, flatter and thicker than a woman's brow. Therefore, dermatologists administering botulinum toxin use injection techniques that are particular to the male brow in order to avoid making it too elevated and more curvaceous, as is common for women.
Despite the area being treated, men often have larger muscles than their female counterparts and, as a result, require doses of botulinum toxin at least twice as high as women do in order to achieve the same visible effect for the longest length of time.
In addition to brow lifts in men and women, botulinum rejuvenation is routinely used to treat frown lines between the eyebrows, forehead furrows and lines at the corner of the mouth, commonly known as "bitterness lines." When used in conjunction with soft tissue fillers, botulinum rejuvenation has also been found to be good for reducing lines around the lips. In this procedure, botulinum toxin is injected into the "purse-string" muscle around the mouth, causing it to become weaker. By relaxing this muscle and using fillers, the lines around the mouth can be drastically reduced.
According to Dr. Zachary, ideal candidates for botulinum toxin injections are young to middle-aged men and women who do not have significant sun damage but want to eliminate lines and wrinkles on their face and neck. These candidates generally do not want to endure the "downtime" necessary for many cosmetic surgical procedures, and are satisfied having a procedure that might have to be repeated every three or four months in order to maintain results.
Dermatologists recommend that patients who anticipate having botulinum toxin treatments avoid taking any kind of aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications before their treatments because these medications can cause patients to bleed and bruise more easily.
"As dermatologists' knowledge of botulinum rejuvenation increases, patients will have more options when it comes to turning back the clock on aging skin," commented Dr. Zachary. "This is good news for men and women who are looking to improve not only their appearance, but also their self-esteem in social and business situations by looking and feeling younger."
However, it is important for patients to choose a physician who is properly trained in botulinum rejuvenation in order to get the best possible results. The popularity of botulinum toxin has led to non-medical personnel not only administering the toxin, but also conducting the procedure at casual social gatherings.
"Because this is a quick, safe and effective method to treat wrinkles with no downtime when performed by qualified physicians, many patients are compromising their safety by having this medical procedure performed in an inappropriate setting, often by untrained, as well as non-medical professionals," said Dr. Zachary. "Patient safety should not be taken lightly under any circumstances, and for this reason, botulinum toxin injections are best performed in a strictly medical setting."
The American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of over 14,000 dermatologists worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin. For more information, contact the AAD at 1-888-462-DERM or www.aad.org.
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