If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, you may have already grown accustomed to a constant dull ache in your joints or a diminishing ability to grasp small or slippery objects. However, this ailment can bring with it another unpleasant side effect -- weight loss and drooping (including wrinkling) in your face and neck. You may feel that you've visually aged at a rapid pace since being diagnosed with RA. Read on to learn more about your treatment options to help you achieve a more youthful appearance without aggravating or exacerbating your RA.
What are some treatments that can reduce the visual side effects of RA?
Fortunately, there are several treatments available that can help improve your appearance almost immediately while posing no risks of interaction with your RA or its side effects.
- Botox. Botox effectively paralyzes the tiny nerves and muscles that cause wrinkles. When your skin sags as a result of RA, Botox may help temporarily plump it up and return it to its original location, helping you achieve a more youthful appearance. Botox treatments are generally considered safe, even while taking medications for RA.
One unintended but often beneficial side effect of Botox injections is a reduction in facial pain experienced by those with RA. Because Botox helps stop the transmission of impulses from the nerves near the injection site to the spinal cord (and eventually the brain), it can also help stop the transmission of pain experienced at or near the injection site.
- Juvederm. Another popular treatment option is Juvederm. This is a dermal filler derived from ingredients present in your own body. When this filler is injected, it spreads between the inner layers of skin near the injection site, helping plump up and even eliminate wrinkles and jowls. Like Botox, Juvederm has been deemed safe for RA patients as long as the recommended protocols are followed.
Are there any treatments you should avoid if you have RA?
Although both the above treatments have been shown to be safe for patients with RA, there are some types of fillers those with RA should specifically avoid. One alternative to Juvederm is a filler that operates by encouraging your body to produce more of its own collagen -- the stretchy, elastic substance that helps keep your skin young- and healthy-looking. However, this filler works by provoking your body's immune system. If your immune system is already being overloaded by RA (or suppressed by the treatments you're taking), such fillers can be harmful to your health and may accelerate the progression of your RA.
For more information, visit The De Pieri Clinic.