Covid has changed our world in nearly every aspect. From going out to eat to grocery shopping, nothing is the same. According to the 2020 year-end findings of the National Association of Cosmetic Surgeons, cosmetic procedures are also changing.
In one year of lockdown, what was once normal is now the abnormal, and what was once unusual, is now unusual. In 2019, Botox injections held the top cosmetic procedure position followed by a line up of cosmetic injections, also known as fillers. However, in 2020, things changed quite rapidly. Is this change due to the 'lockdown' or is this breakthrough truly changing dermatology?
Not Even a Filler
According to the published numbers, in 2020 the second most popular 'filler' is not even a filler, but an over-the-counter product that replaces the need for fillers. A breakthrough technique first published back in 2014 has risen to the seat just below Botox. AngelLift DermaStrips, a technique utilized to replace lost pressure under the lips and cheeks has certainly received ample press, appearing on Shark Tank, Ellen, The Doctors, and many more, listed on their website, but who are they and how do they work?
To understand this product and this rise in popularity, we first need to explain why fillers were so popular, and how they relate to Botox, as they are not the same.
All wrinkles in the face stem from a muscle. There is no exception to this rule. Many companies and products would like you to think differently. However, our facial muscles are solely responsible for lines and wrinkles. Botox is a muscle paralyzer, not a filler. By paralyzing the muscle, the lines and wrinkles attached to that muscle will fade as the use of the muscle fades. Botox is a highly effective and popular treatment for areas above the nose. Notice we underlined 'above the nose'.
Since any licensed physician can gain access to Botox, many use it where it is not recommended or approved. By injecting any muscle paralyzer around the mouth, eating, drinking and speaking issues can and will occur, as you lose control of those necessary muscles. However, when used properly, above the nose, such issues will not occur.
This problem is addressed and fixed by fillers. A filler is a chemical or compound injected into a line or wrinkle in an attempt to 'fill' a depressed area. This process is typically temporary and lasts up to a year, but usually, more like a few months, all depending on the area, material, and the skillset doctor.
Below the Nose
Since the area below the nose (lower face) is home to many troublesome wrinkles such as smoker lines, laugh lines, nasolabial lines, and other cheek wrinkles, filler have traditionally been the tool of choice. In 2014, a doctor by the name of Brad Evans MD, DDS introduced an entirely new way to reduce and eliminate lower facial lines.
Discovered while working on a facial implant for nerve damage, Dr. Evans discovered that lifting lines from under the skin with slight pressure, collagen and cell growth is stimulated, regardless of age. This stimulation rapidly reduces lines while replacing the pressure that caused the lines to appear in the first place.
Originally used for fitting an implant, AngelLift DermaStrips is now second only to Botox in cosmetic procedures. Although many dermatologists sell and consult patients on usage of the DermaStrips, they are an over-the-counter item and can be purchased without a prescription or visit to your dermatologist.
Is it Just Covid?
So, is it the Covid lockdown that has pushed up this treatment next to the number one seat or the results and ease of use in comparison to fillers? We will have to wait until the 2021 numbers come out. Until then, ask your dermatologist what would work best for you?.