Botox on a Budget

Health Professional

Recent reports show that, despite the economic recession, there has been a surge of men and women seeking Botox and other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. I'm certainly seeing this in my offices in Maryland and Virginia, where I'm treating more patients than ever with Botox, Restylane, Fraxel and other lasers. Some are getting ready for the holidays, some for job interviews and some simply want to project a positive image in both personal and professional situations. Non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox have little or no down time and, when performed by an expert, make you look naturally younger while avoiding the "done" look that may result from going under the surgical knife.

If you're considering Botox treatment, here are four tips for getting the best value and the best results:

1. Understand the science. As you age, some of your facial muscles become overactive, causing "hyperdynamic wrinkles" between your eyebrows, on your forehead and neck, and around your eyes and mouth. Tiny amounts of Botox can be gently injected just beneath your skin to relax and re-balance overactive muscles, giving you a smoother, younger appearance. Botox is one of the most extensively studied treatments and was shown to be safe and effective when it was FDA-approved 19 years ago. Many further studies since then have resulted in thousands of scientific papers. Besides its use for no downtime wrinkle relaxing, Botox is used safely for myriad medical conditions including lazy eye in children and excessive sweating.

2. See the whole picture. Advanced Botox doesn't just smooth frown lines; it perfects facial contours and lifts your face nonsurgically, making you look years younger. If your eyebrows have dropped and flattened, making your eyelids heavier, a little Botox in the right places will make you look - and feel - much better by lifting and subtly arching your brows, which adds definition and sparkle to your eyes. A drooping mouth or neck can be similarly lifted with expert Botox. And advanced Botox never gives you a frozen face: Botox treatment from an expert is completely undetectable. Ironically, many celebrities who are criticized for being over-Botoxed are really victims of over-zealous surgery, whereas many who are most admired for their beauty have regular, expert Botox treatments.

3. Remember fillers and lasers: The newest concept in cosmetic surgery is how to combine natural fillers and volumizers such as Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm and Evolence with Botox and state-of-the-art lasers such as Fraxel and Syneron to achieve a scar-free, non-surgical face lift that prevents you from ever having to go under the knife. Advanced techniques give you natural lift and rejuvenation, and your skin is stimulated to produce its own collagen, which tightens it from within and gives longer-lasting results.

4. Best value Botox tips. Botox, Restylane and other fillers require maintenance. This allows treatments to be adjusted to fit your face as you age so that you always look completely natural and may even be told that you never seem to age Botox maintenance not only smoothes wrinkles; it also helps prevent them from deepening. For best value, select a cosmetic surgeon who offers discount maintenance plans. When comparing Botox pricing, make sure you know the Botox concentration. More dilute Botox may cost less in the short term but more in the long term as you will need more frequent re-treatments. Most important of all, choose an expert surgeon who can individualize your treatment to address your own unique aging pattern. The most expert surgeons are often actively involved in cutting-edge teaching, research and public education.