Columnists » William Kapfer

The Fountain of Youth in A Syringe?

by William Kapfer
Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Unlike our old baby-oil applying days, we now know that protecting our skin from the sun's harsh rays is right up there with eating right and a good night's sleep.

Growing up in Arizona, I can tell you from experience that the sun feels good on your skin. Although I am no longer a sun worshiper, I am now beginning to see the long-term effects of my fun days in the sun.

One of the main side effects of sun exposure, short or long term, is wrinkling. Wrinkles are a natural occurrence with aging as the skin becomes drier, thinner and loses elasticity. If one has had sun exposure early on in life, wrinkles can become prominent and noticeable.

While genes play a part in your intrinsic aging, or the natural process of aging, a sunburned face exposed to the sun can make wrinkles much more prominent than someone who has had years of sun protection. Facial wrinkles make you look a lot older--look at Elaine Stritch.

An incredible amount of new research about the causes of wrinkles has become accessible over the last decade, and dramatic improvements in injectable fillers have helped tens of millions of men and women look and feel more beautiful.

Medical Intervention
When I recently had questions about Botox, I went to one of NYC's most celebrated plastic surgeons, Dr. Robert B. Jetter MD (737 Park Avenue). Jetter has three decades of experience, and offers a host of skin-related solutions, including wrinkle reduction services, such as Botox, Juvederm, and Restylane.

Many guys I know have no intention of messing with the effects of Father Time. Not me: I say show me what I can do to look my best.

All About Botox
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that 5.4 million botulinum toxin type A (such as Botox) procedures were performed last year in North America alone, representing a 12 percent year-over-year increase.

Botox is used most frequently on the upper third of the face: crow's feet, forehead and frown lines between the brows. But many dermatologists are getting more creative with the product; they're using it "off label" to give knees, the nose, the stomach, and even breasts a lift. It's also good for delicate changes such as lifting the eyelid by a few millimeters, which can be tricky with surgery.

If you want good results, you've got to go to a licensed physician--like me. Like Dr. Jetter, make sure that your skincare professional is injecting Botox all day long. The procedure demands an understanding - and appreciation - of facial structure and underlying muscles. Even though everyone is working with the same material, the results can differ widely (just compare Nicole Kidman's face to Jocelyn Wildenstein's).

When done well, the procedure is virtually undetectable, simply leaving you looking "refreshed." Industry insiders claim that the perma-surprised expression that's provided a decade's worth of punchlines is the province of patients who've had poor doctors. It's as if a car goes into a wall; it's not the car's fault, it's the driver.

Ultimately, if you're going to try Botox, keep your expectations realistic. It isn't going to make you look 10 years younger. But used appropriately, it can make you look like a more relaxed, well-rested version of yourself.


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