1) Can Botox be used to prevent the widening of facial scars?
Dr. Jeffrey Popp notes Botox has only one purpose, to paralyze muscle.
“If someone made an incision on my elbow, every time I bent my arm I would put stress on the wound and could cause the scar to spread,” he said.
“The problem is there aren’t that many places in your body where you could use it. I could inject Botox into my bicep and paralyze it so it wouldn’t pull against the scar, but then my arm would stick straight out.”
So Botox only helps in certain areas.
2) What are ablative versus Non-Ablative laser treatments?
Dr. Popp said ablative means you burn the skin off a certain area and then your body produces a new layer of skin.
With a non-ablative laser treatment, you don’t burn anything off. The power settings on the laser are low enough that the treatment will cause some subtle healing and stimulation of collagen.
According to Dr. Popp, there is no downtime and you will see an improvement in wrinkles and fine lines.
The downtime after an ablative treatment is much more extensive but the results are much more noticeable. The type of treatment you use is up to you.
3) Is it true smokers can’t get a facelift?
Yes. When you do a facelift, you basically dismantle the whole lower face and neck, Dr. Popp said. The surgeon cuts below the skin and disconnects it to all the structures beneath, especially the blood supply.
“So you have this big flap of skin and the only way it gets blood is how it trickles in through the periphery within the skin itself,” he said. “For a group of non-smokers, it’s risky, but the risk goes up if you smoke.”
A major risk is that not enough blood gets to the skin and it dies. Dr. Popp said nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict.
“You already decreased blood supply to that skin flap. Then you reduce the blood flow another 50 percent if you’re a smoker. Your risk of the skin dying goes up,” he said.
And it doesn’t matter if you smoke cigarettes, cigars, chew nicotine gum or use e-cigarettes. They all have nicotine and that’s the trouble.
“And, unfortunately, exposure to secondhand smoke can cause similar issues,” Dr. Popp said.
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