The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 4, 1998 · Page 13
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 4, 1998
Page 13
Start Free Trial

THURSDAY JUNE^,;,1£&8 THE SALINA JOURNAL Health MONEY/ C3 NEWS / C4 CLASSIFIED / C5 c V SKIN TREATMENT Purified deadly toxin is latest wrinkle weapon Injections of Botox, first used to relax muscles, offer quick, easy results By DIANE LORE Cox News Service ATLANTA — Lisa Randolph was tired of hearing people tell her to stop frowning. The 36-year-old had deep lines above her brow, and was considering having laser resurfacing to erase them. But instead, she decided to correct the problem one March afternoon with a quick-and-easy injection of one of the world's most deadly toxins. Call it botulism for beauty. Originally harnessed to relax muscles associated with serious medical conditions such as swallowing disorders and crossed eyes, Botox — a diluted, purified form of the toxin — is now one of the hottest new weapons against wrinkles. In New York City, health clubs are offering injections of Botox for their clients who want other ways to enhance their appearance besides exercise. And it's become a verb in some places, as in, "I'm getting Botoxed today." The "pretty poison" is being offered by growing numbers by Atlanta dermatologists and plastic surgeons, who say its safety — yes, safety — and uninvasive nature make it a perfect choice for many of their clients. Bob Rumsey, 47, said he decided to do the procedure after seeing the change in his wife. "It softened her whole appearance," he said. Already youthful in appearance, Rumsey said he wanted to merely take out squint and frown lines he had developed over the years. "I'm not going to say it felt good," he said. "But the whole thing probably took "It's such a beautifully simple procedure. And it's extremely benign." Dr. Brian Maloney Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery less than a minute and it really did what it was supposed to do." Typically a very fine needle is used to inject the Botox, with patients' skin numbed with ice. Usually, they see results within three to five days. "It's such a beautifully simple procedure," said Dr. Brian Maloney of Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, who did the procedure for Randolph. "And it's extremely benign." Right now, about 10 percent of Atlanta plastic surgeons and dermatologists are offering the injections. But as popularity spreads, more say they will be offering the service in the coming months. Doctors don't need special training, but most practice the technique to avoid injecting it in the wrong place. Edwin Pound III, a plastic surgeon, said he recently reviewed a videotape on the procedure and will probably start giving the injections soon. "I'll try it on my sister," he quipped. "She's expendable." Botulinum toxin lethal At full strength, botulinum toxin — found in the bulging cans of spoiled food — is six million times more toxic than rattlesnake venom. It kills victims by paralyzing their lungs and suffocating them. But, Botox has been stripped of its lethal nature. About a half of a vial, or "50 units," is typically used for a treatment: To have a toxic effect, more than 2,000 units would have to be injected at one time, according to a fact sheet prepared by Dermatology Associates of Atlanta. "It would take more than 30 vials just to make someone sick, and we don't keep more than one or two in the office," said Dr. Edmond Griffin of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, who has been offering the injection for more than two years. Botox has, however, retained one trait of its evil twin. Like botulism, it still has the ability to slightly paralyze muscle — which allows it to eliminate wrinkles by essentially smoothing them out. The facial muscles are not frozen, but temporarily softened. Botox works best on crow's feet around the eyes, the frown lines between the brows and "surprise" lines in the forehead. See BOTOX, Page C2 BRIEFLY Getting kids to wear braces takes coaxing Braces are one heavy metal trip that can be a real turnoff for children. But there are ways to coax reluctant youngsters into getting braces, says the Chicago Dental Society. "Sit down with your child and communicate," Rick Battistoni, DOS, an orthodontist who practices in LaGrange, 111. says. "During the course of the conversation, explain why braces are important in terms of chewing, appearances and in keeping teeth positioned correctly to prevent dental decay." One strategy is to ask the child to see a dentist for an evaluation. "The general dentist or orthodontist will explain what the problem is, what the remedy is, and why braces may be the solution," says Battistoni. "The child can ask questions." More than 90 percent of the time, says Battistoni, children opt for the braces once they hear the Ipiros and cons from the dentist. Every once in a while, though, a child refuses. "There's not much you can do when a child will not cooperate," he says. "In these cases, I tell the parents not to force the child. The treatment works only when the child is committed to making braces work and cleans his or her teeth properly." Tanning myths can increase cancer risk "When tanning myths are accepted as reality, they can be a hazard and increase the risk of skin cancer," warns Dr. John H. Epstein, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco, in an article for The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal. Here are the most dangerous myths about suntanning, according to Epstein. They are all untrue. • A suntan is a mark of good health. • Tanning salons are safe. • Sunscreen use will cause vitamin D deficiency. • Sunscreen are responsible for the melanoma epidemic. • Sunscreens do not protect against melanoma. • Sunscreens may produce skin cancers. • Once a skin cancer appears, further sun protection is useless. Estrogen therapy may prevent loss of bone Researchers from Denmark, Indiana University, and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals have discovered an effective treatment in the prevention of early postmenopausal bone loss and an alternative to estrogen treatment. Their findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Endro- crinology and Metabolism, published by The Endocrine Society. In healthy women, bone loss is accelerated after menopause, which occurs naturally around the age of 52. Estrogen therapy begun soon after menopause has been shown to prevent loss of bone mass. The results indicated that the bisphosphonate risedronate, or 1- hydroxy-2-(3 pyridinlyl) ethyli- dene bisphonic acid monosodium salt, was shown to be effective in the treatment of established osteoporosis. A study group of 111 healthy early post-menopausal women with normal bone mass were treated with either placebos or risedronate for two years. From Wire Service Reports T INFERTILITY Prenatal adoptions New program allows infertile couples to adopt leftover frozen embryos By PAUL A. DRISCOLL The Associated Press CHICAGO — When she was 42, Barbara realized that in vitro fertilization was not going to work for her, and that she and her husband faced the bleak prospect of going childless. Adoption wouldn't be easy, either, because of her age and that of. her 48-year-old husband, Robert. But now, a year later, the couple has another chance and is awaiting word that a leftover frozen embryo from another couple is available for transplanting into Barbara. "Some people need to have a birth child, and that's us," Barbara said Tuesday. She does not want her last name used. She and her husband are part of a program that only now is becoming available at certain reproduction centers and hospitals across the nation. "There have been transfers of frozen embryos for the 10 or 12 years that frozen embryos have been around. But only now is this being formalized into programs to aid infertile couples," said Dr. Randy Morris, director of egg and embryo donation programs at the Center for Human Reproduction in Chicago. The center has about 50 frozen embryos left over from in vitro fertilization programs that are ready to be transferred to an infertile woman as soon as a good match is made. Embryo transfers have a cost advantage over in vitro — one- third to one-half less — and skirt difficulties where both parents are infertile or have an inheritable disease they don't want to pass on. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics started developing a frozen embryo transfer program five years ago and made its first implants late last year. Nine women have received frozen embryos so far at Iowa, and there are four continuing pregnancies, said Amy Sparks, director of the in vitro fertilization laboratory. "But there are a lot of issues," The Associated Press Dr. Randy Morris shows a cryo-storage tank that is used to hold frozen embryos at the Center for Human Reproduction In Chicago. The fertility clinic is offering embryo adoptions, a program that lets Infertile couples adopt leftover frozen embryos from other couples. she said. "When we first got started we thought we had it all together, we thought we could change the world, or at least make some couples happy." But one of the biggest prob- lems for Iowa was its initial decision to insist that donor and recipient couples remain anonymous. Some couples were willing to donate, but wanted to attach con- ditions, she said. Some didn't want to expose their embryos to being aborted. In transferring embryos, two, three or four would be implanted in the recipient. If more than one took and the parents didn't want a multiple birth, the others would be aborted. Iowa Hospitals has since compromised and now allows some transfers where the donor retains some control. There also is uncharted legal ground. "The law hasn't caught up with the idea of prenatal adoption," Lori Andrews, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, told the Chicago Sun-Times. Barbara, awaiting word for a good match from her doctor, said she knows that if she has a baby she's running the risk of legal hassles down the road. "People are waiving their rights when they donate embryos, but they could change their minds and 20 years from now it could be a big legal mess," she said. The surplus frozen embryos come from in vitro procedures where eggs are removed from the woman, fertilized and then implanted in the woman. Commonly, a number of eggs are fertilized and two or three implanted, the rest frozen. If the couple needs to try again, they can use some of the frozen embryos. When the couple decides against using any more of its frozen embryos, they can be used for research, allowed to thaw and be destroyed or donated to another couple. Donor couples receive no payment. "I'm sure there are a lot of people who would say this goes totally against God and religion," said Barbara, a Roman Catholic. "We're religious people, but that's not going to make us not do it." The Rev. Kevin FitzGerald, a bioethicist at Loyola University Medical Center, said the Catholic church opposes sperm, egg and embryo donations "because this is outside the family." But he said transferring frozen embryos introduces other troubling ethical issues as well, including the diversion of some couples who could adopt children. T MEDICINE Childhood nosebleeds usually, not always, harmless Dear Dr. Donohue: My son, age 11, has been experiencing nosebleeds every three or four weeks. For no reason one will occur. They last less than 30 4, minutes, but, recently, he had two in one day. I am concerned. My husband says he used to get nosebleeds, and he outgrew them. Should I seek medical attention? — D.D. Dear D.D.: Nosebleeds are common in children prior to puberty. After puberty, they usually become infrequent. Your son might "outgrow" them. Most childhood nosebleeds occur when humidi- * ty is low. Mucus dries on the nasal lining and, in trying to dislodge it, the child pries off nasal lining along with the dried mucus. Don't dismiss your son's nosebleeds as harmless until the family doctor has checked the boy. Not long ago, I received a letter from a mother whose child had fre- DR. PAUL DONOHUE North America Syndicate quent nosebleeds. The child had a tumor, • an angiofibroma, filled with fragile blood vessels. Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome is another rare cause of childhood nosebleeds. With that, a tangle of dilated blood vessels, close to the surface of the nose's lining, ruptures spontaneously. Allergies and sinus infections are more common causes of nosebleeds. To stop a nosebleed, keep the child sitting upright with head bent slightly forward. That position prevents blood from trickling down the throat. Compress both sides of the nose between your index finger and thumb and hold the pressure for five minutes. Dear Dr. Donohue: I expect guests in our home soon. One of these guests is HIV- positive. I know very little about AIDS. I have little children, and I'm very frightened. Please tell me how to cope with this. I feel I will have to disinfect my home after they leave. — E.H. Dear E.H.: Put your fears to rest. A person contracts the human immunodeficiency virus by sexual contact, by injection with contaminated needles or by passage of the virus from an infected woman to her fetus. You can shake hands with or hug an HIV-positive person without any qualms. Your children can play with the guest. Your entire family can eat with the infected guest and not take any special precautions with the utensils or glasses. You should not share instruments such as razors or toothbrushes that might be tainted with blood. Enjoy the visit. There is no reason to disinfect your home after your guests depart. Dear Dr. Donohue: I am a 62-year-old man. My urologist says my impotence is caused by hardening of the arteries. He said nothing about a cure. What causes artery hardening? Will a diet reverse the hardening? — R.M. Dear R.M.: Artery hardening, arteriosclerosis, is the most common illness of our times. Cholesterol, fat, blood proteins and blood platelets cling to the wall of an artery and eventually block blood flow through it. Arteriosclerosis can be reversed, but it takes time and dedication. Adopt a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Exercise within the limits of your general health. You need to maintain that diet-and-exercise regimen for the rest of your life. If you want to get serious about sweeping lifestyle changes, I recommend books written by Dr. Dean Ornish. You can find them in libraries and bookstores. As for immediate treatment of impotence, there are a number of options open for you. Implanted penile devices, al- prostadil — either injected into the penis or inserted as a small suppository — and the new oral medicine Viagra deserve your consideration. Dr. Donohue is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him at P.O. Box 5539, Riverton, NJ 08077-5539. SUGGESTIONS? CALL KAREN L. GILL, LIFE EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 11,200+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free