Here is a recent article from Newsweek, international edition.
The link does not have any pictures unlike the article in the magazine. The person mentioned Alisa Kauffman whom the article said that patient mistake her for a dental-school student, is pictured in the magazine and I have to say she looks more like 20 odd than 44 years old.http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4933613/
No Time for Any Wrinkles
Women have more beauty-treatment choices than ever. Is that a good thing?By Jennifer Barrett
May 17 issue - Alisa Kauffman has been practicing dentistry for nearly two decades, but some new patients still mistake the petite, 44-year-old New Yorker for a dental-school student. "I tell them it's just the Botox," she says, but the popular treatment, which paralyzes the muscles that form wrinkles, is actually just one weapon in Kauffman's anti-aging arsenal. She began applying Retin-A (trans-retinoic acid) daily to wrinkle-prone areas of her face at 28, well before the vitamin-A derivative became widely accepted as a topical treatment for fine lines. At 40, she added more potent products. Besides periodic Botox shots for her forehead and eyes, every few months she gets injections of Restylane to smooth the skin by her mouth. Kauffman also regularly undergoes intense pulse-light (IPL) treatmentsâ€”laserlike pulses of high-intensity light that penetrate the skinâ€”to get rid of a sprinkle of sun spots on her face. "I am very vigilant," says Kauffman, an attractive redhead. "I try to take care of things before they happen."
That's much easier to do these days. The quest for youthâ€”or, at least, the appearance of itâ€”is ages old. But the range of nonsurgical, anti-aging options has soared in recent years. Most women are wary of going under the knife in their 30s and 40s, but they'll undergo a temporary treatment that can smooth their skin in one lunch break. Less costly and more convenient than surgery, cosmetic injectables, IPL therapy and other wrinkle remedies are booming as more and more women incorporate them into their beauty-maintenance routines. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, injections are by far the most common cosmetic surgeries, making up about 14 percent of all procedures.
A few years ago doctors relied on collagen that came from cows and required a skin test. Now there's a range of fillers, from Restylane to CosmoDerm and CosmoPlastâ€”both made from human collagen that require no testâ€”and, of course, Botox. "They're extraordinarily quick to perform and have an extraordinarily rapid recoveryâ€”if there is a recovery period at all," says New York surgeon Philip Miller, who performed Kauffman's procedures. He and other practitioners say the uncomplicated nature of the treatments keeps women coming back for more. "I have several female patients who feel that because they are in the workplace and around so many young people, they need to do whatever they can to â€”keep up a more youthful appearanceâ€”without using surgery," says Boston dermatologist Lynn Baden. "It makes you look good, so why not do it?" says Robin Rothkopf, 46, a real- estate investor in Newton, Massachusetts, who has had Botox, Restylane and human-collagen injections. "Every single person I know does it. Young and oldâ€”everybody."
While the side effects of such treatments appear minimal, few studies have tracked long-term use. The psychological impact on women is also a concern. Clinical psychologist Rita Freedman, author of "Bodylove: Learning to Like Our Looks and Ourselves, A Practical Guide for Women," calls it the "creeping disease." "One woman gets Botox and then her neighbor and relatives look at her and feel relatively unattractive and feel they need to do something, too," she says.
Women in the work force seem particularly susceptible to such pressure. "Working women are judged in a different way than men; they have to be equally productive but also keep their appearance up," says Elliot Jacobs, a Manhattan plastic surgeon who treats several high-powered executives. Brazilian attorney Juliana Campos Ferreira, 36, is fit and trim but still goes in for low-impact proceduresâ€”including Restylane injections and ultrasonic cellulite treatmentsâ€”whenever she feels her appearance flagging. "I'm a lawyer, not an athlete," she says. "Any little thing at all and I go right in for maintenance."
Younger women are not immune. While nearly half of Americans who underwent minimally invasive procedures last year were between 35 and 50 years old, almost 20 percent were between 19 and 34. That has critics of cosmetic procedures particularly concerned. "When people in their 20s and early 30s are running off to have Botox, there's a real problem. We place far, far too much emphasis on youth and beauty," says Lia Macko, coauthor of "Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generationâ€”And What to Do About It."
But research shows that more attractive people get better jobs and salaries, and more respect from peers. "We have evidence showing that, whether we like it or not, appearance does matter," says David B. Sarwer, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and director of education for the school's weight and eating disorders program. "They get preferential treatment in a variety of situations across a life span. And we know that especially with women, we equate beauty with youthfulness. So trying to present yourself as looking as young as possible might actually make practical sense."
Though maybe not financial. At $500 or more per session, noninvasive treatments can add up. Ferreira spends $330 for an annual application of imported Restylane facial-sculpting gel. Still, she says it's worth it. "I'd gladly go in every year for the rest of my life to help me stay pretty," she says. "But if I had to submit to major plastic surgery, I'd have to think twice."
Women like Ferreira and Kauffman might be able to decrease their visits, and maybe their bills, in the near future. Several longer-lasting treatments are on the horizon. One is Radiance, which contains calcium hydroxylapatite (a component of teeth and bones) and has been shown to keep wrinkles filled for more than three years when injected. Another, polylactic acid (marketed as Sculptra), stimulates collagen production to fill wrinkles and is widely used in Europe. It has been shown to last up to 18 months. (Restylane's effects, on the other hand, wear off after four to nine months.)
Such long-term temporary treatments, however, can only postpone the need for permanent procedures so long, say some experts. "We are trying to cut less and less," says Ferreira's plastic surgeon, Carlos Eduardo Leo, who estimates that 30 percent of his work now involves noninvasive procedures. "But I tell my patients that these are temporary solutions and that they may be just delaying a definitive operation."
Even Kauffman admits that at some point in the not-so-distant future, her temporary treatments might not be enough. Her 65-year-old mother, Theda Kauffman, who still gets Botox, had a face-lift when she was 55. Kauffman doesn't plan to wait even that long. "You don't want to do it right away," she says. "But get it before you need it. Then you keep looking good." For now, anyway.
With Mac Margolis in Rio de Janeiro
Â© 2004 Newsweek, Inc.