Botox®/Juvéderm® pearls of wisdom

The September 2012 issue of Redbook asks, “Is Botox® really worth it?” A savvy editor interviewed top board-certified doctors and scores of women who had undergone injectable procedures. She also looked at studies that have been done on injectable satisfaction rates. Though Botox® costs far less than cosmetic surgery, it is still an investment for the average working mom, so it is wise to gather information before undergoing an injectable procedure.
When and if you start Botox® depends on your wrinkles. If you have lines that make you look sad, tired or annoyed, you may want to start sooner rather than later. For example, lines between your brows may make you look unhappy, but your crow’s feet, earned from years of smiling, convey happy feelings. It makes sense to get injections on unattractive lines early in life because the less engraved they are, the fewer treatments you’ll need.

Some believe that fillers help skin regenerate natural collagen, and neurotoxins like Botox® help retrain your muscles so they don’t crease as much. In fact, there are patients in their early 30s with fine lines who only need one round of Botox®, no repeats. Good news for your wallet is that the price of injectables has dropped because of increased competition from newer brands.

The pain threshold for these injections varies greatly from one woman to the next, from an annoying pinch to a deeply burning sensation. But the biggest pain can be poor planning. You see results with most fillers immediately, but muscle relaxers may not take effect for about two weeks. So, if you’re getting Botox® for an event, be sure to schedule your injection at least two weeks ahead of time. Further advice is that a “so-called” lunchtime procedure may not be wise. You will be in and out of the doctor’s office in 20 minutes; however, you may depart the dermatology office with red bumps and black and blue marks at the injection site. It’s a good idea to book your appointment for the end of the day.

The strongest and most adamant advice Redbook offers is: “You must go to a board-certified doctor.” There’s a lot that can go wrong. If not injected deeply enough in the skin, fillers can cause lumps, which may require enzyme injections to shrink. If the practitioner injects you with too much Botox®, you can wind up with a frozen face, overarched brow or droopy eyelids.
Injectables tend to have positive psychological perks. A prominent dermatology journal published a study that found Botox® patients report higher self-esteem in social settings and better performance at work. Interestingly, women who had Restylane® and Juvéderm® injections were perceived as more attractive, more successful and even as richer. But studies also found that those patients with the highest satisfaction are people who already feel good about their lives. Consultation with a board-certified practitioner should give you realistic expectations about what the injectable can do for you.

Courtesy of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery