USE OF BOTOX® COSMETIC CONTINUES TO INCREASE AS IT BECOMES A MAINSTREAM TREATMENT FOR SOFTENING FACIAL WRINKLES.
With a boutique in South Tampa and an online store to manage, “busy” fails to describe life for Catarina “Cat” Whitwell. But even juggling so many responsibilities, Cat makes the time to take good care of her body.
“I wanted to get some BOTOX done, just between the brows,” recalls Cat. “There’s one crease there.
“Anytime I would make that frown face, it really drove me nuts that there was this really deep crease in there. Therefore, I wanted – just like every other woman I guess out there wants – to look young and like they’re not aging.”
Both William P. Mack, MD, and Loralee have achieved Platinum Level status with Allergan, makers of BOTOX Cosmetic. This exclusive platinum status is awarded only to those physicians with a high level of expertise using Allergan products, including BOTOX Cosmetic, JUVÉDERM Ultra Plus XC and Latisse. Dr. Mack, a board-certified ophthalmologist who is fellowship trained and specializes in oculoplastic and facial cosmetic surgery, is also an active member of the BOTOX Cosmetic Physicians Network. Physicians in the network have medical practices that focus on facial aesthetics and have detailed knowledge of facial anatomy and extensive experience injecting BOTOX Cosmetic.
Dr. Mack, who has specialized in facial cosmetic surgery and procedures for over 18 years, states, “It is very important to spend time with each patient to focus on their aesthetic goals in order to indivisualize their treatments to achieve their expectations.”
BOTOX Cosmetic is a nonsurgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows, forehead and crow’s feet. Treatments can last up to four months, and BOTOX Cosmetic is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“One of the most commonly treated areas is the forehead with a focus on the glabellar area, the area between the eyebrows,” continues Dr. Mack. “If you work it consistently – frowning and lifting the eyebrows repeatedly – those muscles get stronger over time, and that contributes to deeper lines and wrinkles.
“BOTOX Cosmetic treatments help decrease the excess movement of that area, keeping the face looking more youthful and refreshed as we age.”
That’s exactly what Cat was looking for. She began seeing Loralee regularly for BOTOX Cosmetic treatments. Cat was extremely pleased with the results of the treatment.
“I really liked it,” she remarks. “It corrected the problem, and I felt like it smoothed out that one line that I wanted smoothed out.
“It makes your brow line look perfect. And then after I got it done, so many people would say I look refreshed and happy, and it looks good.”
Cat is an example of a growing trend nationwide. Today, more women – and men – are looking to BOTOX Cosmetic as a way to decrease lines and wrinkles not only to look younger, but also to soften facial expressions that can make them look perpetually angry or pouty. BOTOX Cosmetic has become the most commonly performed minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in North America. One reason for this growth is that this treatment is now socially acceptable and mainstream.
“Years ago, women would not talk about getting their hair dyed. It was their beauty secret,” relates Loralee. “Now, hair color is the topic of conversation, and there are even trends with it. I have seen BOTOX Cosmetic follow this same pattern. Years ago, women kept it as their beauty secret. Now, many women talk about it at their children’s play dates and at tennis outings.”
BOTOX Cosmetic has traditionally been used primarily for forehead lines, crow’s feet and frown lines, but as its use has increased, so has its application.
“Years ago, women were treating localized areas,” observes Loralee. “Patients now see how smooth treated areas look and are opting to treat the full face. Patients understand that the earlier you treat, the better you are in the long run. BOTOX Cosmetic is one of the best anti-aging preventions we have. If the skin is not wrinkling, no wrinkles will ever develop.”
Dr. Mack concurs: “While we do see patients well into their seventies, we are seeing more and more patients in their twenties and thirties using BOTOX Cosmetic as a preventive treatment.”
Mechanism of action
BOTOX Cosmetic works by blocking the nerve signals that tell the muscles to move. After being injected with BOTOX Cosmetic, treated facial muscles can no longer contract, which is what causes the lines and wrinkles to form. When the muscles are temporarily relaxed, the skin over the muscles becomes relaxed and smooth.
The effects of BOTOX Cosmetic are temporary. Muscle activity will gradually return, as will the lines and wrinkles, and additional injections will be required. However, over time and with repeated injections, the lines and wrinkles often begin to appear less severe when they return, as the muscles are learning to relax.
The artist’s touch
With more than 13 years of cosmetic dermatology experience and a fierce attention to detail, Loralee has watched her BOTOX Cosmetic business grow exponentially each year. Her patients are very loyal, and they often refer their friends and family members to her. The best compliment, she acknowledges, is that some patients have followed her for over nine years and through two practice changes.
Cat understands why: “She treats the BOTOX treatment more like an art. Instead of just injecting someone’s face, she really spends a lot of time on it and does it carefully and gets it to exactly the area that you want to remedy.
“She’s a person with artistic skills, and she does it to precise measure and does it in an artistic way to where the person’s face does not look overly done or bloated.”
Patients appreciate her artistic approach. Loralee is known for balancing asymmetrical facial features and loves to recreate symmetry, all while getting to know the patient on a personal level. She spends more time with the patient than the average injector. She believes that there should be a connection between the patient and the provider.
“She’s very personable, and the great thing about her is that she relates to her customer, especially with the BOTOX,” assures Cat. “She isn’t like a person who just injects it or treats you just like a patient. She spends time with you explaining what she does.”
Cat stays busy with her boutique, but still takes time to take care of herself.
In the right hands
Dr. Mack and Loralee remind patients that BOTOX Cosmetic is a cosmetic procedure and should be delivered by trained hands, and both providers have numerous years of experience in the field of cosmetic medicine.
Patients can also be comforted in knowing that Dr. Mack and Loralee use only Allergan BOTOX Cosmetic. There are numerous illegal formulations of BOTOX available, so patients should be aware that some injectors could be using a form of the drug that has not been regulated by the FDA. They recommend going only to reputable providers. And if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Cat offers some advice of her own: “If somebody wants to look rejuvenated and refreshed and beautiful and get a lot of compliments, then Loralee is your person.”