So Many Choices . . .

http://www.cfhi-fcass.ca/Libraries/Cartoons-Copyright/DTC-Advertising-EN.sflb.ashxThe medical news is frequently filled with information about new medicines entering the aesthetic market.  You don’t have to be a doctor or read medical journals to have heard about some of them.

However, like fad diets and car insurance, hearing about too many too often, and the similar benefits each one promises, can be overwhelming.  Fortunately, as a physician, my job is to evaluate any new medicine entrant for its safety and effectiveness (so you don’t have to!).

Nonsurgical rejuvenation of the face is a prominent part of my practice at Maine Laser Skin Care.  I believe in using only the best and most appropriate treatments that are both safe and result in excellent outcomes with little or no downtime.

Of all the treatments I offer, the use of neurotoxins, specifically Botox, remains the most popular.  I have tried Dysport, a neurotoxin that is a competitor of Botox, and found no compelling reason to switch.

A new agent called Xeomin has recently been approved by the FDA, but I do not have any personal experience with it as of yet.  I will be attending a national laser conference in April and will definitely seek out more information on this product in particular.  For the time being and unless this new product has some revolutionary advantages, Botox will be still be king.

Next to Botox, fillers are the most popular treatment, especially in their ability to show immediate improvement followed by several weeks of integration and plumping.  The fillers I use and recommend the most contain hyaluronic acid (or HA), which is a primary chemical component of collagen.

Long established fillers in this category include Juvederm Ultra and UltraPlus, as well as Restylane and Perlane.   Each filler has its own unique characteristics, and can be customized to the individual person’s face.  Whether it is the lip or the parentheses lines around the mouth, different amounts and consistencies of various fillers are used to correct the areas of most concern.

http://www.syracuseplasticsurgery.com/lib/img/belotero-balance.jpgIn addition to the injection technique I use, various techniques of molding and smoothing can customize the same amount of filler to the needs of several different patient’s needs.  A dermal filler named Belotero Balance is one of the newest HA fillers recently approved by the FDA, and is used for the correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles.

Currently, I have heard that this filler theoretically has a higher content of HA concentration, which may be used more superficially to improve the skin without lumpiness or nodules.  However, like Dysport, I will not replace Juvederm or Restylane with Belotero Balance until I am absolutely sure it works better.  I will also get more information on it at the April conference.

As always, every person is unique and each treatment program depends on the individual’s need and wants.  Botox and fillers combined with our laser and non-laser energy treatments can turn back the clock of aging and undo the effects of the damage caused by prior sun exposure and other environmental haphazards.

As more and more products become available in this field,  I will keep you all informed and base my decisions on the science and the medical safety and effectiveness.  Simply put, if something better does, in fact, come along, you’ll hear about it from me first.

And if something worse comes along, chances are you won’t hear about it from me.

About Dr. John Burke

John Burke M.D. has practiced medicine for over 25 years, and is the founding partner of MidMaine Internal Medicine. He established Maine Laser Skin Care in 2004 after devoting years to learning the latest in laser and dermatologic technology. Dr. Burke has treated patients from all over the United States. He is one of Maine's busiest practitioners in laser treatments, and in the use of Botox for upper facial lines and excessive sweating.
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