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Avoiding the 3 F’s: Fake, filled and frozen

The case of too much of a good thing


You may fantasize about undergoing cosmetic procedures but fear emerging like a fake, filled and frozen ‘Real Housewife.’ If you want cosmetic procedures to make you look like yourself, only better, you need to develop a healthy respect for the anatomical understanding, years of experience and artistic skill necessary to inject dermal fillers.

Practitioners with these skills, usually board-certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists, are now busy reversing too much of a good thing in women who complain of being ‘overly-filled.’ They are now deflating overly-round cherubic cheeks and fish pouts with injectable enzymes like hyaluronidase, which can break down dermal fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane.

It’s really ironic. In an effort to avoid the pulled-tight surgical look of the 80’s and 90’s women opted for a liquid facelift – injection of dermal fillers like Restylane to enhance cheekbones, jawlines and lips. Instead of subtly-enhanced features, many wound up with swollen features, which at their worst had a Mrs. Potato head look.

But, according to the January issue of Marie Claire, the year 2013 heralds a gentler cosmetic revamp. The article champions icons such as Diane Keaton, Lauren Hutton and Meryl Streep. “Whether they’ve had work done or not, they look great, and not like they’re trying to pass for 30.” Marie Claire interviews a prominent NYC plastic surgeon with an artistic sensibility and an eye for subtlety: “Preserving individuality and some natural asymmetry is what’s most attractive.” He recommends going to your consultation armed with photos of yourself throughout the years, so your doctor can see the original shape of your face and how it has aged.

While the injection of fillers is fast and relatively painless with little downtime, good outcomes (by that we mean subtle) come about only after multiple considerations relating to your face. Here is what a highly-qualified plastic surgeon will check out when he looks at you, before he picks up the Restylane syringe: 1) skin quality and texture, 2) tissue tone and thickness, 3) cheek and lip volume, 4) bone structure and 5) how your face looks when animated and how it looks when still.

If you want to be a more savvy filler consumer, here are some inside pearls of wisdom from a NYC plastic surgeon:

● For deep set eyes (like Halle Berry’s), adding volume to the area could recess the eyes and make them appear smaller.
● The muscle that creates crow’s feet also elevates the cheek. Too much Botox can knock out that muscle, which can cause your cheek to pop out in a weird way instead of lifting naturally when you smile.
● If you overinflate the nasolabial folds and marionette lines, then you lose structure in your midface, creating the balloon look.
● If cheeks are overdone, then the under-eye area appears hollow.

For the best results Marie Claire wisely advises that you don’t do everything at once. After you find a highly-qualified board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, start with little baby steps. Make your anti-aging a gradual process, just like aging.

20, February, 2013Dr. Richard Schwartz

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