Holiday Self-Improvement Trends
The holiday season is not just a time for shopping; it is also a time when many consumers look toward self-improvement including cosmetic medical treatments such as cosmetic injections. "Injectables offer natural-looking enhancements to aging facial features with affordability and little or no downtime," said Mark L. Jewell, MD, leader of the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety and past president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). "During the holidays we see many new patients with the desire to look and feel better about themselves, and cosmetic injectables are a popular and growing choice. It's important to understand that these treatments are not an impulse purchase you make during a shopping trip to the mall. These procedures belong in a properly trained physician's office, with the assurance of legitimate FDA-approved substances in order to achieve safe and positive enhancement."
"Whether the subtle changes of smoothing away frown lines or the dramatic changes that can occur with dermal fillers and facial shaping, it is important that consumers enlist an aesthetic expert to best understand the options and outcomes possible with cosmetic injections," said Coalition leader Ira D. Papel, MD, associate professor, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. "Consumers still confuse the benefits of a botulinum like Botox Cosmetic, and those of a dermal filler. Among dermal fillers there are now 5 FDA-approved, commonly administered solutions: Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm (Ultra and Ultra Plus), Radiesse, and Artefill. In addition, Sculptra which is FDA approved for the treatment of lipoatrophy (facial fat wasting) is also very popular as a cosmetic solution. These all are used to shape and enhance the soft tissue of the face, but they all have different properties. Determining the best solution requires a physician with not only expertise in cosmetic injections, but also with a background in facial anatomy and aesthetics--a facial plastic, plastic or ophthalmic plastic surgeon."
Although procedures can afford little or no downtime, there is still the potential for post-treatment redness, swelling or bruising. "Consumers should plan accordingly. Don't have an injection the day of a holiday event. Plan your treatment one week prior to any social occasion both for results to develop and for any post-treatment signs to wane," said coalition leader Roger A. Dailey, MD, FACS, of Portland, Oregon and professor at Oregon Health Sciences University. "Also talk to your doctor about the medications and supplements you regularly take. These can greatly influence the amount of bruising that might be experienced following cosmetic injections."
The Coalition offers consumers these very simple questions to ask before considering any cosmetic injectable procedure:
-- Doctor: Is the procedure recommended by a qualified doctor who regularly treats similar conditions, in an appropriately licensed and equipped medical facility?
-- Brand: Is the injectable recommended approved by the U.S. FDA for cosmetic indications and is it appropriately labeled and packaged to reflect its authenticity and approval?
-- Safety: Has the proper process been followed? Has the physician evaluated conditions, recommended treatment, offered alternatives and clearly defined the potential outcomes including any complications?