Nonsurgical cosmetic facility Skinspirations says liquid facelifts have come into high demand, but accompanying the increased interest is also a rise in illegal injectables.
Liquid facelifts rank as the top nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the nation, an accomplishment overshadowed as the demand for Botox and fillers has triggered a rise in illegal injectables (1), despite repeated warnings of the associated risks. Dr. Cynthia Elliott, owner of nonsurgical cosmetic facility (http://www.skinspirations.com/) Skinspirations, says that liquid facelifts can offer dramatic improvements in the skin, but urges potential patients to be especially cautious and seek only the help of qualified practitioners.
Liquid facelifts, a process during which injectable treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers-including Juvéderm, Restylane, Radiesse-are used to restore youthful facial proportions, have grown in popularity due in large part to their effectiveness, versatility and accessibility. Unlike a surgical facelift, a liquid facelift typically takes less than an hour, requires no sedation and little or no downtime, and results become apparent almost immediately. But along with the increasing demand for Botox and fillers has come a rise in illegal injectables, prompting the FDA to issue an ongoing alert for unlicensed Botox that is shipped in from other countries (1).
Dr. Elliott says that some of her clientele have been the recipients of such unauthorized products and have turned to her for corrective procedures-an unsurprising statement, as a reported 84 percent of people who suffered complications from permanent dermal fillers required corrective action (2). But some of consequences of botched procedures are impossible to repair, per Dr. Elliott:
"A client of mine had fillers in her cheeks done at another practice several years ago-she doesn't know what substance was used, and her cheeks are so large now that her dentist had difficulty getting her to open her mouth enough for a treatment. I administered a medication that would have dissolved it if it had been a hyaluronic acid filler like Juvéderm or Restylane, but there was no response; it's likely that the filler was permanent and, therefore, nothing can be done to remove it besides cutting it out."
Dr. Elliott says that the number of botched cosmetic procedures is likely due to people allowing the price to dictate the quality of the surgery-a move that she says increases the chances of attracting unqualified physicians.
"An experienced practitioner should be the top consideration when seeking any cosmetic procedure, not bargain hunting," said Dr. Elliott. "Rather than blindly putting trust in those who claim to be in the medical profession, it's up to the public to be proactive about their health and do extensive research before committing to any type of procedure."
Dr. Elliott says the risks associated with liquid facelifts and other cosmetic treatments can be limited by adhering to the following:
1. Check the FDA website which contains a list of approved fillers and providers. Botox and Juvéderm manufacturer Allergan also posts pictures and a list of legitimate providers on its site. Ask the practitioner if they are a legitimate provider and if they can show credentials.
2. Botox containers for the use of cosmetic alterations always contain the word "cosmetic". Boxes and vials missing the "cosmetic" label are not approved for cosmetic use in the United States; do not allow these products to be administered. And do not be afraid to ask to see the box from the practitioner; if you are made to feel wrong for doing so, be cautious.
3. Look for practitioners with at least several years of experience & whose main focus is aesthetic treatments. The safest most effective results are going to be found by going to providers who have done thousands of Botox and injectable treatments.
Dr. Elliott, a former emergency and trauma doctor, has performed more than 14,000 non-surgical facial contouring procedures using advanced injection techniques with liquid facelift products in her Tampa Bay cosmetic facility (http://www.skinspirations.com/). With a practice devoted exclusively to cosmetic and laser procedures, Dr. Elliott is sought out to perform Botox injections by the manufacturers' representatives themselves.
About Dr. Cynthia Elliott and Skinspirations:
Cynthia Elliott, M.D., is the board-certified owner of Skinspirations, located in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Elliott obtained her M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, and then completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at Denver General Hospital and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She has been on staff at Bayfront Medical Center, St. Joseph's Hospital, University Community Hospital and Mease Countryside Hospital, and has served on the faculty of the USF School of Medicine. Dr. Elliott currently serves as an expert witness in Cosmetic Medicine for the Florida Board of Medicine. Her company, ExpertEsthetics, provides online video training in advanced injection techniques, as well as hands-on technique training for other practitioners. Dr. Elliott is also a national and international trainer for Cutera Lasers, training other physicians in the use of aesthetic lasers with skin of all colors. Skinspirations specializes exclusively in rejuvenation, enhancement and anti-aging treatments for the face and body. With her staff of aesthetic experts, you know you'll get the best results obtainable. Dr. Elliott has been in practice for over 20 years, and has the experience and reputation to have been chosen by the makers of Botox® Cosmetic and Juvéderm to train other physicians and practitioners in her techniques. For more information, visit www.skinspirations.com.
1. Callaway, Jackie. "Liquid Facelift in High Demand, Creates Market for Illegal Fillers." Abcactionnews.com. ABC, 6 Dec. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/i-team-investigates/the-demand-for-liquid-face-lifts-has-created-a-market-for-illegal-fillers.
2. "Two Out of Three Surgeons Seeing Botched Filler Ops." Baaps.org.uk. British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 24 Nov. 2012. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. baaps.org.uk/about-us/press-releases/1500-two-out-of-three-surgeons-seeing-botched-filler-ops.
For more information about Skinspirations or to schedule a free consultation, visit www.skinspirations.com
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