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Botox Craze

  Sunday Mail, 23 02 2003  
  DZULKARNAIN TAIB tell us about jabs that have taken the beauty world by storm  
Madonna tried it. Cliff Richard loved it. Cher was excited about it and Sylvester Stallone was vain enough to have it.

No, These Hollywood stars are not lining-up at the doorsteps of Rodeo Drive's latest fashion stores. Monitoring HGH is done with a serum assay of Somatomedin - C ( also named Insulin Like Growth Factor-1 [IGF-1]). Without appropriate monitoring, there is no
They, instead, form a portion of Tinseltown's fraternity who have found salvation in Botulinum toxin as a means of extending their glamorous shelf life in their unending quest for eternal youth..

Botulinum toxin which is secreted by a bacteria, is in reality one of the deadliest poisons that exists.

But as in all other God's creation, what is "poison to one, is antidute to another."

In the United States the toxin has been packaged into commercial names such as Botox and Dysport.

The by-product of thelittle-known bacteria has become such a hip thing among celebrities that they organise "Botox parties" to celebrate their new found saviour.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, Botulinum toxin injections rank third in the top-five non-invasive cosmetic procedure in the US last year.

Injected in minute quantities into the skin, the toxin eases unsightly facial or neck creases or wrinkles by paralysing the muscles that cause them.

Explaining the causes of wrinkles, Dr Kim K. Tan, a plastic reconstructive cosmetic surgeon, says an " accordion effect" happens when muscles under the skin contract, resulting in lines on the skin.

When the underlying muscles relax, the skin goes back to its normal length and reduces the creases on the skin.

There are two ways of treating wrinkles.

"One is by applying fillers to stretch the skin. Another approach is to treat the cause of the wrinkles itself by treating the underlying muscles," he says. Dr Tan, whose clinic is located in a posh area in the city, says Botulinium toxin injections are used to treat common facial problems such as wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, eyebrow and forehead.

"The procedure is safe because only minute doses are administered,"says the doctor, adding that the process is reversible and no down time is required.

"Patients can check into a clinic, undergo the simple procedure and go back to work without even their colleagues noticing anything."

Usually the muscle-relaxing effect lasts between four and six months depending on which facial area is treated and and injection can cost between RM100 and RM200.

A visit to a specialist may set you back between RM600 and RM2,400, again depending on how many injections are needed and for which area.

If it is crow's feet, probably three injections will be sufficient. Similarly, eyebrows also require about three injections but treating the forehead (depending on the number of lines) may need up to 12 jabs.

Complications are quite remote, say Dr Tan, adding that most problem is about getting the right dosage and sometimes patients may not totally be satisfied with the aesthetic outcome from their first visit.

Despite the common uses of Botulinum toxin, there are other cosmetic applications that are being experimented upon.

"We are now looking at eyebrow repositioning, lines around the mouth and neck," says Dr Tan.

In addition, the toxin is used to treat cerebral palsy, migraine, hemifacial spasms, dystonia, hyperhydrosis, squints and post-stroke spasticity



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