The Director of Utopian Cosmetics, Dr. Dennis sat down with lifestyle site ‘Starts at 60’ to discuss cosmetic and medical injectable options for older patients. The original article is published here.
Is it ever too late to have wrinkle relaxers or dermal fillers?
It’s never too late. The oldest first time patient was aged 84, and she ended up with amazing results. We can make improvements on all ages, however if they are better suited to have a face-lift or surgery, I refer these patients to one of Australia’s leading plastic surgeons for his opinion.
When dealing with older patients the only factor I explore further with them is if they are on other medication. There are a range of medications that wrinkle relaxers must be used with caution. There are also a range of medical conditions, which if a patient has, mean that Botox is unsafe to use. This is why it’s important to have a medical assessment by a doctor before having any procedures. For example, blood thinners do increase the risk of bruising and bleeding, however at Utopian Cosmetics, we use the smallest needles available on the market, making the risk of bruising and bleeding very low following injections.
What is the difference between the two? What exactly do they do?
Wrinkle relaxers are injections using fine needles to cause temporary weakness of the facial muscles that are the cause of negative expression lines. By weakening the muscles we can soften and prevent lines and wrinkles caused by the natural ageing process, poor diet and lifestyle choices, sun over exposure and smoking. Wrinkle Relaxers fix the root cause of a wrinkle, and last 3-4 months.
Dermal fillers replace volume in the face, in areas where fat and volume has been lost with time. This is due to the water retaining fibers in our body diminishing over time and thereby creating deep lines, sagging skin and depletion of lips, cheeks and jaw volume. Fillers are used to replace areas of lost volume in the cheeks, marionette lines, nasolabial folds, jowls, tear troughs, temples and lips.
There are many other uses for fillers and wrinkle relaxers, and there is a huge increase in using these products for medical treatments over the last 5-10 years such as the prevention of excessive sweating or migraines.
Pic: Linda Rodin.
How much needs to be done? Can a little be done with good effect or do you need several procedures for positive effect?
Treatments will be tailored to individual needs, and can be either minor or major. Generally speaking, the more treatments someone has, the better their results will be.
If an older person is coming in for a total rejuvenation we could assess if a Liquid Facelift would be suitable – also known as an 8-point lift. This is a minimally invasive, non-surgical approach to achieving a rejuvenated and youthful appearance. Using dermal fillers, the liquid face-lift relaxes wrinkles, softens facial folds, adds volume and lifts sagging skin to create a refreshed and vibrant appearance lasting up to 3 years. It is suitable for men or women who look older or more tired than you feel. While some patients choose to use multiple fillers in one visit, many patients decide to stage their treatments for a gradual improvement over time.
How long does the effect last?
Fillers last between 12-36 months and wrinkle relaxers last between 5 – 6 months.
As far as wait times between visits, I never perform another treatment within 2 weeks of the initial treatment, as results may often take 2 weeks to completely become apparent. This ensures you don’t over-treat patients, so they don’t pay for unnecessary treatments, which can often be avoided if you wait until the 2 week mark. I schedule everyone in for 3-4 monthly follow-ups to ensure their results are constant
Are there added benefits beside the visual effect?
Today it’s the medical uses of the drug that is outshining it’s origins as a cosmetic treatment, in part because doctors are getting a better handle on how to use it.The medical list includes everything from excessive sweating and neck spasms to leaky bladders, premature ejaculation, migraines, cold hands and even the dangerous cardiac condition of atrial fibrillation after heart surgery, among others. Botox works by temporarily immobilising muscle activity. It does this by blocking nerve-muscle communication, which makes the injected muscles unable to contract. Paralysing muscle activity is how Botox can steady a straying gaze, eliminate an eyelid spasm or stop signaling from nerves that stimulate sweat in a person’s armpit. At Utopian Cosmetics we apply this to treatment for headaches, migraines, tooth grinding, eye twitches, and excess sweating.
What are the most common treatments done for those over the age of 60?
As we age, loss of volume within the face results in deep, permanent lines ageing our faces dramatically. Dermal fillers can be used to restore lost volume and soften the area and wrinkle relaxers can, well relax those wrinkles! Other common treatments for those over 60 include
- Hollowness of temples, under emails and cheeks
- Frown lines
- Fine lines around lips and lost volume in lips
- Nasolabial folds – that run between the corner of your nose and to the outer corner of your mouth.
- Wrinkles on the neck and throat
What are the warnings about getting this sort of work done? (i.e. reputation of clinic etc)
Do your research. Ensure the treating clinician is a medical doctor with appropriate experience and qualifications. Be careful relying on Google rankings as these are often purchased and don’t represent the skill level of clinicians or clinics. Ensure treatments are individualised for your needs and requirements, and never be pushed to have a treatment you aren’t comfortable with the person giving you a consultation.
Dr. Dennis is the director of Utopian Cosmetics, a boutique medical cosmetic practice based in Perth Utopian Cosmetics is dedicated to providing exceptional service and outcomes that works for our patients, no matter their age, each patient is individually assessed on their needs and beauty goals. http://www.utopiancosmetics.com.au/