Ask Nurse Karen

For the past 13 years Karen has been training doctors, nurses and physician assistants throughout Southern California in the fine art of facial filler and Botox injections.

What new fillers are on the market?

One of the new fillers is Voluma. It is a hyaluronic acid that creates a "pillow" effect when used. It is a midface filler the helps replace the fullness to the cheekbone area and fixing the gaunt look that occurs as the face ages, and muscle and skin start to fall. It lasts for two years, and takes years off the face. It can be done in conjunction with Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Ultra Plus to create a more youthful appearance.
Belotero is another filler that is also a hyaluronic acid but can be used in the fine lines around the mouth. It helps smooth out the "smokers lines" without making the upper lip look puffed up. Belotero can last nine months to a year.

How do they compare to Juvederm?

Voluma (Allergan) and Belotero (Merz Aesthetics) are both hyaluronic products that are used in different areas of the face. Voluma creates a fuller look by expanding in the area it is placed. Belotero blends in with the surrounding tissue by drawing water from the area, much like a sponge soaks up water. Voluma is only for the midface area. Belotero can be used in most areas of the face. Both have different effects on the facial structure.

We hear that doing Botox helps with migraine headaches. Does it always work?

The FDA recently approved BOTOX for migraine relief. It does help many people by relieving the pain for several months. BOTOX blocks the chemical that allows the muscles to contract, thereby keeping the "muscle tension" at bay. It is also believed that BOTOX blocks the pain signals that cause migraines. This can definitely minimize, if not alleviate completely, the migraine headache symptoms. It does not work on everyone, but patients are encouraged to have a medical exam to find out if they have migraines, and not something else that may be more severe. BOTOX will not treat pain caused by tumors, strokes, or othyer diseases. Check with your doctor to see if you are a candidate for Botox to treat your migraines.

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