By Amy Verner
The face usually gets all the attention from cosmetic doctors, but lately some plastic surgeons and dermatologists have been experimenting with Botox and other so-called injectables below the chin.
Neck muscles are being numbed with Botox. Hands and feet are getting plumped up with Sculptra. Wrinkles in the cleavage area are being smoothed out with Restylane. And in what may be the most unusual injectable treatment of all, two doctors have been performing so-called Botox breast lifts, which involve numbing the pectoral muscles of the upper chest, theoretically to allow the shoulders to pull back, lifting the chest.
Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist in Toronto, uses Botox to reduce wrinkles above the knees, by injecting it in muscles not involved in moving the knee. She said it makes knees look “softer”.
A more common use of Botox is to inject it into the platysma muscles of the neck, two wide swaths of muscle that run from the jaw to the collarbone. The Botox partially disables the muscles, easing their downward pull on the lower face.
The doctor must be careful to make the injections tiny and shallow, said Dr. Arnold Klein, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills, Calif. If the Botox goes to deep, it may impair a patient’s ability to swallow or to stretch her neck, he said.
Some cosmetic doctors treat vertical wrinkles in the cleavage area between the breasts by filling them with Restylane, a gel made of hyaluronic acid. The effect lasts three to four months. Restylane is also sometimes injected into aging hands to fill in areas where fat has been lost and skin has grown thinner. And some plastic surgeons have begun experimenting with Sculptra, a synthetic compound designed to bulk up facial tissue in AIDS patients, in the hands.