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Using Botox to improve appearance

Updated: 12/02/2013 11:11 PM
Created: 12/02/2013 6:30 PM WNYT.com
By: Benita Zahn

Back in the 1950's, scientists discovered botulinum toxin could reduce muscle spasms. That led to the development of Botox.

In 2002, the FDA approved Botox to treat wrinkles between the eyebrows. In September, Botox was approved for use on lines around the eyes.

That got us wondering if more people are using Botox now and what about a recent report suggesting Botox be started early for the best results?

NewsChannel 13 visited a local plastic surgery office for answers.

“It's this little tweaking along with these non invasive techniques that I think are just marvelous,” says Rosemary Burgher.

She started doing those "techniques" as she calls them after seeing a family picture a few years back. She says her face didn't match the image she had of herself.

“We are not our mother's generation. We want to look great. We feel young. I don't feel 54 and I'm not gonna look it,” she says.

Burgher's got plenty of company. Dr. Allison Pontius says women 35-60 are most likely to come for treatment, and men are increasingly joining their ranks.

“Between the Botox and the facial peel, those things have all helped over the years with the scarring and my complexion,” says Stephen D'Amico, a Botox patient.

D'Amico is married with two kids. He works as an engineer and loves baseball. However, he's never been happy with his complexion, which is the result of acne as a teen.

Even though he's been using these treatments for years, he feels more at ease to acknowledge it now that Botox has been approved by the FDA for the fine lines around the eyes.

“I think the fact that it's approved for that...makes it legitimate, make it more acceptable,” he says.

Dr. Pontius agrees. While Botox had been approved for the eyebrow frown lines it was routinely used off label - for lines around the eyes. More interest in treatment for those so called "crows feet" was sparked after the FDA gave it's formal approval for that use.

"Botox has been used off-label in all sorts of areas of the face, but there are patients that are not comfortable with that, and there's doctors that are not comfortable with that. So, I think this makes all of us feel better that this has gone through the FDA review process. Those people that were a little on the fence doing it, feel a little more comfortable coming in now," says Dr. Pontius

Botox, as she points out, has been and remains the entry level treatment people opt for. It's also gaining popularity among women in their 20's.

“The young patients, they need a little dose. They don't have to come in as frequently. We work with them on staying out of the sun, and not smoking, and all the other things that damage their skin at that age. Then, it really will payoff for them down the road,” she says, in that they may never develop wrinkles.

As always, use a reputable, experienced practitioner and discuss your specific needs before undergoing treatment.

Despite FDA approval and a long track record, there can be complications.

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