Quick procedures reap big rejuvenation rewards

December 1, 2006

Minimally invasive treatments, such as fillers, laser treatments and chemical peels can be done during your lunchtime, allowing you to go back to work looking better than ever.

Key Points

If you think that all cosmetic procedures involve days or even weeks of recovery time - think again.

These days, you can literally use your lunchtime to greatly improve your looks.

INJECTABLES Among the procedures she suggests are injections of Botox and substances known as fillers.

When choosing an injectable filler, you need the advice of a skilled dermatologist or dermasurgeon to guide you in selecting the one that's right for you. Different injectables are recommended for different parts of the face and for different problems.

Botox is widely used to help correct frown lines and forehead lines and to turn a downward expression around your lips into a more pleasing expression. Botox is also used around the eyes to ease "crow's feet." A filler called Restylane is ideal when used to fill out lines that extend from the nose to the lips. Sculptra, another sculpting agent, can be used to restore volume in the upper part of the face - giving you a mini facelift. It is both a sculpting agent and a stimulator, which means, not only does it help fill in lines, it also prompts the body to produce more of its own natural collagen.

A newer filler called Radiesse is excellent for etched-in lines.

Dr. Narins points out that Restylane and Botox are approved specifically for cosmetic use. Silicone, Radiesse and Sculptra are used off-label for cosmetic improvement.

YOUR OWN CELLS Fat transfers from one part of your body to another are also a popular form of filler.

What some people like about using fat is that it comes from one's own body, thereby not introducing a foreign substance.

Fat transfers are typically taken from the hips, thighs, knees or buttocks and used to fill in hollow areas such as sunken cheeks. They can last for several years and, in some cases, wind up becoming permanent.

According to Dr. Narins, you can also use your lunch hour for certain types of laser treatments such as those used to eliminate broken blood vessels caused by sun exposure or rosacea. There are also a variety of gentle chemical peels that can smooth rough skin texture and help soften fine lines.

Whichever procedure you choose, Dr. Narins emphasizes it is essential to get expert guidance from your doctor. He or she can most accurately determine your skin type, the type of lines or volume loss you have, note your genetic background and make recommendations based on those criteria. What works for one person may not be right for another.

Above all, she warns, stay away from so-called "Botox parties," in which you can't accurately determine the credentials of the person performing the procedure or guarantee that the filler they're using is the real thing. She also cautions that injectables should never be performed at a med spa. They should be injected by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon who can give you the younger, natural, healthier look you desire - even over lunch.

Now, about that ham sandwich...