We are all aging, just at different rates. Along with age comes great wisdom, confidence and strength, and… wrinkles. Having practiced for over 25 years, I’m used to hearing “I still feel great but when I look in the mirror, that’s not me!” These days we have many ways to combat the appearance of aging if you wish. Two very popular ones are botox and fillers. I find that there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about the use of these, so I would like to give you a crash course.
The easiest way to think of it is that Botox® is excellent for the upper face and filler is excellent for the lower face. So the first thing to do is grab a mirror and take a quick glance. Next, think about what it is that really bothers you. If there’s nothing I think that’s great, you are a very fortunate person. Unfortunately, some of us have certain flaws we are drawn to such as frown lines, forehead lines, the commas (lines from the nose to the mouth). Now that you have identified the priorities we can address the options.
Lines in the upper face are usually due to repeated muscle movements such as frowning, smiling, and squinting. Botox® is magical because it relaxes the muscles so that the lines are diminished or erased. The injections feel like a small pinch and are quick and safe. The most common side effects are minimal bruising, redness, mild headache or discomfort but most clients have absolutely no problems. A good injector will evaluate your muscle movement prior to injecting and be sure not to over treat so that your expressions are still natural. After the injections it can take 3 – 10 days for the full effects of the Botox® and in my practice I see most clients back in 1-2 wks for a touch up if needed. The one thing I warn all my clients about is that it is addictive. Once you have relaxed those lines you’re hooked and we’ll see you back in 3 – 6 months for more!
Now that your lines in the upper face are relaxed we’ll move on to the lines in the lower face such as the ones around the upper and lower mouth, lip lines, lip augmentation, and jowls. These are all areas we can correct beautifully with fillers such as Juvederm®, Perlane®, Restylane®, or Radiesse®. I call fillers smoke and mirrors because we actually fill areas that have lost volume to give a smoother contour to the face. There are many differences between fillers in their downtime, longevity, and where they can be placed therefore it is crucial to have an adequate consultation prior to receiving filler. The procedure can take 30 – 60 minutes depending on the complexity and the injections are universally followed by WOW! The results are immediate and usually there is some redness, swelling, and occasionally bruising but makeup can be applied early on. Lips are probably the most sensitive area to inject and almost always require numbing but results can be stunning.
Both Botox® and filler can be life changing by helping us look in the mirror and see ourselves again. By law, only physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners are allowed to perform the injections, but your main concern should be the experience, skill and trustworthiness of the injector. I cannot stress the importance of being an active participant in the decision to do these or any cosmetic procedures so that you are pleased with the results. Remember to prioritize your treatment and to obtain an individualized plan. Most physicians will do complimentary consultations to help come up with a plan. So if you want to look in the mirror and look younger, COME ON IN!
Dr. Valerie Barrett is the owner of RENU Medical Aesthetics located in Stuart and Tequesta. Call her at 772-266-4450/5614066123 for an appointment or to learn about upcoming seminars.