Published in Panorama
Soft Treatment of Wrinkles
Do you have horizontal wrinkles on your forehead, furrow between your eyebrows, crow’s feet around your eyes? Are you constantly furious or stern or serious looking? Well, aesthetic medicine and Dr.Catherine Bergeret-Galley, Specialist Plastic Surgeon, has a solution for you!
Dr.Catherine contributes her French and International experience at Belhoul International Hospital Centre, Dubai, to improve the quality of plastic surgery services. She performs General Aesthetic Surgery on men, women and children and focuses on cases related to female plastic surgery including treatment of unaesthetic noses, head and neck lifting with lipostruct6ure, head and neck lifting with peeling, wrinkle treatment, facial laser resurfacing, eye lid surgery, lips and wrinkle treatment, abdominal, breast and inner-legs lifting, liposuction, legs liposuction and breast augmentation.
“As more and more women, even men are coming for aesthetic treatment, aesthetic surgery and of course wrinkles treatment has now assumed great importance”, says Dr.Catherine. However, it is extremely important, she emphasizes, that these treatments should be carried out exclusively by medical specialists, not in beauty saloons as has become the practice in many regions.
A natural ageing process brings about wear and tear of underlying collagen and elastic fibres, thereby resulting in facial wrinkles and creases. However, a part of this breakdown leading to wrinkles is caused by the repeated contraction of certain facial muscles involved in laughing, speaking, frowning.
“For wrinkles, you have 2 types of treatment,” explains Dr.Catherine. One is treatment with the family of product called Botulinum toxin which is produced by a bacteria and normally in big quantities, it causes respiratory arrest. But injecting very, very small quantity of this toxin is found to be beneficial therapeutically. Botulinum toxins have been used for neck spasms, cranial nerve disorders, eye spasms, neurological disorders, migraine and urological problems. The product is injected with tiny needles into the muscles that create a wrinkle. It acts by blocking the nerve impulses by stimulating the muscle to relax. Once the muscle stops contracting, the skin overlying the muscle relaxes and the wrinkles in the skin are smoothened out. Side effects that can occur are fortunately temporary and include headache, drooping eyelids and in some instances, mild redness in the area exposed.”
The drug starts being effective from between 3 – 15 days of being injected. Clients are required to come back for a touch-up 3-6 weeks later so as to ensure that if the drug is missing somewhere, it can be injected. Six months later, the client is evaluated for the efficiency of the treatment. Says Dr.Catherine, “For a young person, he needs to have the treatment only once a year, generally. For older individuals, the treatment may be required every six months.”
Fillers are the second group of soft treatment for wrinkles and may be resorbable or permanent injectable fillers. Collagen is the most commonly used wrinkle filler. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that supports various parts of the body including skin and joints. The human body has its own network of collagen fibres which maintain the skin elasticity and firmness. However, human collagen is difficult to produce and expensive as well. Hence bovine collagen is used to fill wrinkles, obtained from animal, namely, cow protein. The downside of treatment with bovine collagen is that very few people may suffer allergic reactions to it. Hence it’s important that an allergy test be done before it is used.
Resorbable fillers like Hylaform, are substances that will eventually dissolve into the skin with almost no risk of allergic reactions. They last for about six months. Hyaluron acid and lactic acid are both synthetically produced substances, with properties similar to collagen. They are injected into the skin to lift the wrinkle or folds. Once in the skin, they act by creating volume, thus making the skin appear healthy and wrinkle free. Since Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body and therefore it also dissolves naturally with time, it is well integrated into the body's tissues.
Permanent fillers use solids like bioplastic, silicone and polyacrylamide which do not biodegrade. These fillers are likely to produce foreign body reactions including nodula and granuloma or hard nodule formation.
Whether treating with botulinum toxin or fillers, the process will have to be repeated once every 6 months to a year, says Dr.Catherine and done by skilled , specialist, the safety margin is very high since the process is reversible.