According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, an estimated  5 million injectable beauty treatments were performed in 2005. Injectables have become so popular because they eliminate the signs of aging and enhance natural features without surgery.

Four injectable beauty treatments stand out among plastic surgeons and their patients.

Botulinum toxin type A prevents contraction of the muscles that can lead to expression-related creases. Approved for use in the frown lines between the brows, it can also be safely used on the forehead and around the eyes. Pinprick injections in areas where muscle contractions that create expression lines are to be prevented can be completed in a matter of minutes.

The effects of the injections show up 3 to 10 days after treatment and last 3 to 4 months. As soon as muscle motion returns, so do the expression lines. Repeat treatment is necessary to continue improvement.

Lip augmentation with hyaluronic acid or collagen-based fillers is an easy way to plump the lips. By injecting the filler directly into the lips, volume is instantly increased. Injectables can also help restore the defined lip border associated with youth, and can be used to fill the lines around the lips caused by smoking and aging. Depending on the filler used, results can last from about 10 weeks to 9 months.

Surgery is no longer the only option for correcting the aging lower eyelid. Using hyaluronic acid can restore the padding in the lower eyelid and can lessen dark circles in two ways: by reshaping the contours that produce the circles and by creating a buffer between thin skin and underlying darker facial veins.

As the cheeks lose fullness with age, the nasolabial folds get deeper. Addressing these creases begins by restoring some fullness to the cheek with hyaluronic acid. If that doesn’t provide enough natural lift to smooth the folds, then the actual fold lines may be injected. But beware: Injecting too much into the folds can make the lower face look heavier.

[zanesvilletimesrecorder.com, May 14, 2006]