Do Botox and Fillers Work On African-American Skin?

Dr. Alexander Ereso and the rest of the team at Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center have been responsible for creating incredible anti-aging transformations, many of which have involved treatment with Botox and dermal fillers. As proponents of these injectable products, we receive numerous questions about them. One of the most recent inquires involved whether Botox and fillers work effectively on African-American skin and other dark complexions.

Read on to learn the answer… 

Ethnicity Makes No Difference

Having a darker complexion makes no difference in receiving a Botox or filler treatment. Dr. Ereso and our team have worked with patients of all ethnicities and skin colors to successfully minimize noticeable signs of aging.

What matters more than the color of the patient’s skin is the specific injectable used. Injectables are not one-size-fits-all; they have unique purposes, formulations and consistencies. Some are thicker, some are smoother and some are designed for specific goals.

Botox and dermal fillers behave differently to achieve unique goals:

  • Botox is a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyzes the facial muscles that contract to form wrinkles. It is used primarily to smooth wrinkles and lines around the outer corners of the eyes, in between the eyebrows and across the forehead.
  • Dermal fillers, many of which are formulated with hyaluronic acid, act as a cushion to restore volume and fullness to the face. These products are often used to enhance shallow contours, soften creases around the nose and mouth and plump up the lips.

The Key to Successful Treatment with Injectables

An important piece of advice for patients of any ethnicity seeking anti-aging treatment with injectables is to find an experienced injector — preferably a plastic surgeon — that understands your goals of treatment and can capably help you achieve your desired cosmetic outcome.

Whether you want to fill in under-eye hollows, plump up your lips, add definition and shape to your cheeks or minimize noticeable crow’s feet, there is an injectable product to help. The right injector will explain your options to you and recommend the product best suited to your specific requests.

The Key to Long Lasting Results

The most important piece of advice for patients of any ethnicity is to practice good skin care and to utilize effective products in a daily regimen. Practicing good skin care includes having a good diet, using a good sunscreen and avoiding nicotine. Effective skin care products like TNS by Skin Medica are formulated to repair skin damage and protect the skin from harmful elements. Many of you have heard Dr. Ereso states that while injectable, lasers and surgical procedures can provide dramatic improvement, the time that you put into your skin with your daily regimen and practicing good habits are just as important in being able to obtain long lasting results.

Contact Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center

If you would like more information about Botox, fillers or another anti-aging treatment available at Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center, please feel free to reach out. You can call us at (650) 964-6600 or send us an email today.

When Does Breast Reduction Become a “Medical Necessity?”

“Medically necessary” is a term used by the insurance industry to classify a procedure they will cover. There is a certain set of criteria used by each individual insurer to determine whether they pay for surgery. If a patient does not meet these criteria, then the operation is categorized as cosmetic and elective, and therefore ineligible for insurance coverage.

Although the specific requirements of a medically necessary breast reduction vary by company, many are similar. Here, Mountain View plastic surgeons Drs. Samuel Pearl and Alexander Ereso explain some of the requirements that a breast reduction candidate must meet (and that her doctor must document) in order to qualify for insurance coverage.

Chronic Back/Neck/Shoulder Pain

Most insurance companies provide coverage to women whose breasts cause chronic and significant back or neck pain, due to the mass and weight of the breasts or the bra straps cutting into the shoulders. A finding of grooving along the shoulders from the shoulder straps of the bra demonstrates this. Chronic pain can roughly be defined as lasting for at least one year, and significant pain can be loosely interpreted to mean interfering with daily activities. It is important that the pain one is suffering be attributed to having large, pendulous breasts and not due to some other prior trauma. Some insurance companies will require documentation from another physician attesting to this. Regardless, all insurance companies require photographs of the breasts to be taken and sent for examination by the medical director of the insurance company.

Rashes under the Breasts

Another complication that could help classify a breast reduction as medically necessary is if the candidate regularly develops rashes, infection, inflammation or irritation on the skin under the breasts due to their weight and mass. Because of the large size, maintaining good hygiene may be difficult with rashes leading to skin breakdown.

Abnormal Curvature in the Spine

Some women’s breasts are so large and heavy that they develop painful kyphosis, which is an abnormal curvature in the spine. As a result, a woman may walk hunched over instead of standing tall, and suffer from related back pain and stiffness.

Tingling or Numbness in the Upper Extremities

The weight of oversized breasts can, in some cases, cause a condition called paresthesias in the upper extremities; this means that the limbs start to tingle or go numb.

Understanding Insurance Rules and Regulations

Typically, when an insurance company designates breast reduction as a medical necessity, they have some special rules and regulations. They can dictate a rough estimate of how much breast tissue must be removed during the operation. For example, some insurance policies dictate that any breast reduction that removes 500 grams (a bit more than a pound) of breast tissue is covered. In an attempt to correlate differences in body sizes and the amount of breast tissue to be remove,  a formula, which includes the patient’s body surface area and weight, can be used to determine the minimum amount to be used.

Learn More about Breast Reduction

This information is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as fact. It is best to check with your individual insurance company for more information about your plan and what it does and does not cover. The team at Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center would be happy to give you more information if needed. Please contact us with any questions.