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Millions Of Americans Search For Fountain Of Youth

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By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) How much would you pay to look years younger?

Or, better yet... Feel years younger?

Millions of Americans spend billions of dollars each year searching for the so-called Fountain of Youth.

Whether it's moisturizers, facials, chemical peels or the more invasive Botox...

It's clear you don't have to look very far to find a way to turn back the hands of time.

For Mary Belliston, a healthy, youthful appearance is a top priority.

"I've had both Botox and filler. I love Botox because it smoothes out the furrows in our forehead. And the filler just kind of smoothes out the lower half of the face," Belliston explains.

She is part of a growing number of women nationwide trying to stop or reverse the signs of aging.

Americans spent 3.7 billion dollars on skin rejuvenation treatments and injectables in 2012, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

"I used to have a furrow between my eyebrows that was huge. And, you know like all women you look in the mirror and there's one thing that you fixate on it seems like. And, I thought I need to do something about this and that was just about the time that Botox became so available. And, it just... it worked magic," Belliston said.

Injectable muscle relaxers, such as Botox, temporarily paralyze muscles so you can't make those wrinkle–causing movements.

"Botox is basically a purified protein of the clostridium botulinum toxin, which is a bacteria that in the wild would cause paralysis, but for Botox it's been very isolated so we can use it just in very pinpoint areas in the body," explained Laurel Krupski, a Physician’s Assistant for Dr. Olmstead, Twin Falls.

Just over six million Botox treatments were performed in 2012, which is an 8 percent increase over the previous year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

The newest craze goes a step further, and it's not just women who are cashing in.

"Human growth hormone is a protein chain of 191 amino acids. In a lot of men over 30 it basically makes you look younger over time," explained Damien Houle, Personal Trainer at Gold’s Gym.

Anti–aging experts claim it can reduce body fact, increase lean muscle mass, boost mood, heighten sex drive, give you energy, get rid of wrinkles and tighten saggy skin.

"This is in my opinion, and in many doctors opinion, the closest thing to turning back the clock as far as a supplement goes," said Houle.

HGH was thrust into the spotlight recent by Major League Baseball, after several players were reported to have been using it to enhance performance.

"A couple of big misconceptions, one it gets lumped in with steroids, it's not a steroid. It doesn't do the same thing as anabolics. And, two it is a drug and it is something you need to have doctor's advice with, but it is something that can be very beneficial if needed," Houle explained.

While none of these rival the mythical fountain of youth, for Belliston the results are about much more.

"I don't think that any of these products are going to make us look younger than what we are, but I personally feel it makes us look better. The skin is softer, we're more relaxed and it just makes you feel good," Belliston said.

If you are considering any of these treatments, be sure to consult with your doctor about the possible risks first.


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