Non-surgical Means to Improve Face and Neck While on Steroids?

I've had total knee replacement and am on steroids for an indefinite period of time. I've had Arthritis for years and am having a difficult recovery. Also I have Barrett's (due to years of Arthritis meds) and can't take anti-inflammatories or pain meds. The surgery seemed to age my face even more. I can't have a mini-lift, due to the steroids. Is there another procedure that would help, Botox, anything, and still be safe while on steroids and effective? I really dislike the way I look. I'm in my sixties and mentally sharp.

Doctor Answers 7

Facial rejuvenation options

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Thank you for the question.  I would start by having a few consultations with board certified plastic surgeons and find out regardless of the steroids what procedure and procedures would give you the best result in terms of what you are searching for.  After doing so you can evaluate what those surgical procedures entail in terms of surgery and recovery and then discuss this with your rheumatologist to see if the medications that you are on are prohibitive from undergoing the procedures.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Effect of Steroids on Facial Rejuvenation

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The answer to your question truly depends on the specific steroids you're taking and what quantities. Your rheumatologist will give you advice regarding what is acceptable considering your medical treatment.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Steroids means more precautions

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Being on steroids does not exclude you from surgery. You just have to take more precautions during and after it and the results may not last as long. You could have a non surgical facial procedure like with THermage, radiuofrequency waves. It works quite well in 80% of patients but never like a traditional facelift. It may not be as helpful in your case for your collagen is probably damaged. 

Aesthetic Facial Treatments, injectables, botox and lasers when on Steroids

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There are many minimally invasive procedures that facilitate you looking fresh, rested and youthful. Procedures such as IPL FotoFacial, Soft tissue fillers such as Restylane and juvederm, botox for relaxing lines and even mild fractional ablative lasers. Each of these procedures, while non-scalpel based do have some risks associated with them.

Systemic steroids may adversely your normal reaction to aesthtetic procedures and put you at more risk. My advice would be to seek out a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist in your area who is skilled and experienced in aesthetic medicine and get an opinion on the best, safest and most effective cosmetic medical management program and procedures for you.

NonSurgical Means for Facial rejuvenation when taking Corticosteroids

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The corticosteroids used in your treatment stop the body's inflammatory response. While this is beneficial in halting auto-immune destruction of joints it will largely inhibit and slow down the healing required with any surgical therapy and depresses your immune system making infections much more likely. As a result any surgery on you would be associated with high risk of poor healing and should be reserved only for emergency conditions which can only be treated surgically.

Botox and Restylane/Juvederm would work on you IF used for the right indications. The incidence of infections may be higher.

Another option may be several treatments of SCITON SKINTYTE which is a lunch hour, noninvasive treatment which uses advanced infra-red technology to tighten skin. I would NOT recommend ablative or fractional laser resurfacing in your case since they DO depend on an intact inflammatory response and normal immunity for uneventful healing.

Finally, taking high doses of Vitamin A for short periods of time (4 weeks) have been shown to improve the deleterious wound healing effects of corticosteroids. You should do it only under the supervision of your doctor.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Non-surgical face and neck while on steroids.

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Your issues and questions are of concern in that you are addressing them over the internet. YOU should consult with at least 3 plastic surgeons FACE TO FACE!. Call today.

From MIAMI Dr. B

It all depends on what your needs are

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Most patients on chronic steroids will develop a rounder face which may actually appear more youthful.

This does not rule out using some botox to improve position of your brows and reduce wrinkles about your lids if that is appropriate.

I have also done surgery on patients who are taking steroids and the results have been good providing the surgery is not massive and their steroid levels are managed.

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.