Published on September 18, 2007
Acne is never simple. It is caused by many factors, so it is important for you to work with a dermatologist. Acne can be controlled and cured with medical and laser treatments. Dermatologists can assess the severity of your problem and offer a personalised treatment. When a patient comes to my office, I evaluate the type of lesions and the therapy required. I allow one week for any therapy to show an improvement. So don't get frustrated and don't wait to start treatment. Untreated acne can get worse and leave scars.
The lines from my nose to the corners of my mouth are deep and now I'm starting to get them from the corners of my mouth down to my chin. What can I do?
The lines from your nose to your mouth are called nasolabial folds and those from your mouth down to your chin are marionette lines. They are caused primarily by shifts in gravity as the different triangular areas around both sides of the mouth move in opposite directions. The lower third of the face from the nose down to the chin tends to fall not so much from gravity as from the supporting tissue getting thin. There are several ways to correct this. Filler substances such as collagen or hyaluronic acid are popular and injected to plump up the skin and "lines". Botox is an option for marionette lines. A small amount of Botox can sometimes lift up the corners of the mouth if that muscle is too strong.
I recently heard about hyaluronic acid. What's the difference between this and collagen?
Both are filling agents for the treatment of the area around the mouth and nose.
They are used to instantly plump up the skin and acne scars as well. Collagen is a natural protein providing structural support for human tissue. The collagen in human skin is very similar to that found in some animals. Collagen is derived from purified cow or sheep skin. Dermatologists will take two allergy tests before starting treatment. Collagen injections last for three months to six months. It wears off quicker in areas with a lot of movement, like the lips.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural and basic component of human skin. In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration approved synthesised hyaluronan for filling soft-tissue defects. It is an alternative to collagen, doesn't require allergy tests and can last for four to eight months.
Thanisorn Thamlikitkul, MD, is a member of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery and certified in dermatological laser surgery.
thanisorn thamlikitkul, md
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