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by Dr. Suzanne Bruce, from the Spring 2008 issue

In December, I participated on a panel with my esteemed colleague, Esta Kronberg, M.D., Academy Award-nominated actress Virginia Madsen and her mother, Elaine Madsen. The event was entitled Keep The Wisdom. Lose The Lines.™ and was hosted by Allergan, Inc., the maker of BOTOX® Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM™ dermal fillers, and the National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC) located at healthy women.

The event was held for women to learn about these two wonderful products and procedures from both a medical perspective and from a personal, wanting-women-to-be-informed point-of-view.

As you know from previous Skinny articles, we are big on BOTOX® Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM™ because of the excellent results we achieve for our happy, satisfied patients. Actress Virginia Madsen, an outspoken supporter of these products, works in an industry where admitting you use cosmetic procedures to look your best is a taboo. She said she spoke up about using BOTOX® Cosmetic, when asked by a reporter, so that she could encourage other women to seek good medical advice and ask tough questions of their doctors about the safety and efficacy of these products.

In the same spirit, I wanted to share some of the wisdom that came out during our panel discussion that night for those of you who have yet to try either BOTOX® Cosmetic or JUVÉDERM™ dermal filler.

For the fifth year in a row, BOTOX® Cosmetic was ranked the number one physician-administered, non-invasive aesthetic injectable treatment among women and men with more than 4 million treatments provided in 2006. Since FDA approval in 2002, use of BOTOX® Cosmetic among women has increased 283 percent. From 2005 to 2006, use of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, such as JUVÉDERM™ Ultra and Ultra Plus, among women increased 58 percent. But along with this surge in interest and usage, women and men seeking such procedures need to be smart and informed when it comes to making decisions about their beauty regimen. That means, first, talking honestly and directly about what these procedures can and can’t do for you. Next, you should seek out well-trained, qualified aesthetic-specialty physicians who administer science-based and FDA-approved products. Finally, you should always have these treatments administered in an appropriate medical setting.

An on-line Harris interactive survey of 1,300 women age 25 and above was conducted by NWHRC and revealed women’s top questions about aesthetic treatments. Here are our answers to the 3 most-asked questions.

Are these products safe?

Yes, BOTOX Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM dermal fillers are approved by the FDA, meaning that extensive clinical data on their safety and effectiveness was reviewed by the FDA prior to approval. BOTOX Cosmetic is approved to treat 20 different conditions in more than 75 countries worldwide and has been approved in the U.S. for more than 17 years to treat a variety of medical conditions. The same formulation was approved in 2002 – as BOTOX Cosmetic – for the temporary treatment of the frown lines, or what Allergan calls the “11’s”. Two recent studies, published in 2004, demonstrated BOTOX Cosmetic’s strong safety record. One showed no severe adverse events among 2,300 patients across 36 clinical trials. The other was a first-ever long-term safety study on the use of BOTOX Cosmetic for facial aesthetic procedures. The results indicated BOTOX Cosmetic is safe and well-tolerated when used for multiple treatment sessions over extended periods of time.

Will the results look natural?

We’ve all heard the myths about BOTOX Cosmetic causing “frozen face” or the “deer-in-the-headlights” look. The real answer is, when administered correctly by an experienced injector, BOTOX Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM will enhance the way you look. BOTOX Cosmetic is used to temporarily relax the dominant muscles that cause us to frown, diminishing the appearance of the “11”. JUVÉDERM dermal fillers work differently, by instantly filling in and smoothing out wrinkles and folds that look like the parentheses along the side of your nose and mouth. They create a smooth, natural look and feel. We often use multiple products during a treatment session, depending on our patients’ needs.

How long do these aesthetic injectable treatments last?

BOTOX Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM dermal filler treatments are temporary. Effects of BOTOX Cosmetic can last up to 4 months, while JUVÉDERM dermal fillers can last up to one year.

Responses to all ten questions from the NWHRC survey can be found at at survey.

If you’d like to ask your own questions and discuss whether these procedures are right for you, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Eubanks, April Harrison PA-C, Christina Ahrens, DCNP, ARNP, or me by calling 713-850-0240.