New Year's Skin Resolution Series: Part 3 - Injectables
5 February 2019
If you’re thinking 2019 might be the year you consider starting with injectables, this is the blog for you.
While the world seems to love talking about the “mani, pedi, bo” as if it’s all very normal, for those who have never had an injectable cosmetic treatment, it can also be a little scary.
We’re going to break it down and talk about the benefits, the risks, the options and what to avoid.
Starting with injectables on the forehead and around the eyes
When people first begin considering injectables, it’s usually for the prominent lines that appear in between the eye brows (frown lines) or around the outer edge of the eyes (smile lines).
As we age, our muscles get so used to being tightened into smiles and frowns that they can begin to permanently stay a little tight, and the skin laying over the top of the muscles begin to permanently show the creases that the tension brings.
When starting with injectables in these areas, our experienced doctors and nurses gauge how strongly and deeply the lines and wrinkles are, and then determine the appropriate amount of botulinum toxin type A will be required to relax the muscles.
When the botulinum toxin type A has achieved full effect, the muscles are unable to tighten, and this allows the lines and ridges in the skin to relax also, reducing their appearance and sometimes allowing them to disappear altogether.
The benefits of this treatment include looking younger, less grumpy (no more permanent frown), less worried (from frowns and squinting) and generally looking happier and lighter. A clearer, more open appearance can result.
The price we pay for such improvement is, of course, that the muscles that have been injected are unable to work when we might want them – to express emotion, particularly sadness, anger, compassion and sympathy. In some professions, expressing these emotions can be an essential part of quality of care (for instance, counsellors) or delivering a moving performance (for instance, actors). We have, however, had patients for whom removing emotional cues has been beneficial in performing their occupation, such as with law enforcement and security, when looking blank, cool or unemotional can be helpful.
Starting with injectables for lines around the lips
Similarly to lines around the eyes, as we age, the muscles around our lips have used the same tensing and releasing micro-movements for so long that where the tension folds the skin, lines form.
These can be helped with injections of botulinum toxin type A, which, also like the eyes, relaxes the muscles around the mouth and allows the creases in the skin to smooth out.
The benefits of this treatment can include looking younger and less angry or bitter (a side effect of lines around the mouth or tense lips).
The draw backs of this treatment can be that relaxed muscles around the mouth can affect the way the lips sit and move when you speak. For this reason, we recommend only receiving injectables from very experienced and qualified practitioners who are skilled in selecting the right dosage to avoid an end result that can look “weird”.
Starting with injectable filler for lines and wrinkles
Where lines or wrinkles are heavily indented in the skin, botulinum toxin type A may not be enough to smooth out the appearance of the skin.
For the best result, we may suggest filler. Filler is injected into the groove of the line or wrinkle, to plump out the indentation, leaving the skin surface smooth. This treatment is most common for the centre frown lines between the eyebrows and for lines around the top lip.
The benefits of filler are that even deep, thick lines can be vastly improved, creating a significantly smoother, younger look.
The drawbacks of filler are that it can be a little more painful than regular anti-wrinkle injections and therefore require application of a numbing cream prior to treatment.
Starting with injectables for plumping lips
It’s a common problem as women age that they experience a thinning of their lips. Plump, voluptuous lips are a sign of youth and for many women, filler injections to return some fullness to the lips has a huge impact on how they look, and how they feel about how they look.
The benefits of lip filler injectables are that lips look fuller and, therefore, younger. This can help with a woman’s self image and confidence, or just remove some age from her appearance.
The drawbacks of lip fillers can be that lips can suddenly appear dramatically different and unnatural. We’ve all seen scary pictures of famous actresses or crazy online accounts of over-filled lips. Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of choosing a practitioner who is very experienced and ethical in their delivery of injectable treatments. At our clinic, we refuse to continue adding filler when we believe that more will not look natural or add to the appearance of a patient.
A few other warnings for those starting out
Inferior quality injectable substances
Injectables, when made by reputable companies and expertly applied, are safe and rarely result in negative outcomes. However, the market does have very cheap, knock-off products available and unfortunately, this is not always made known to patients and customers. If a clinic is offering a very cheap injectable service, chances are that the products they’re using are not the brand name, high quality drugs that reputable practitioners favour.
Quality clinics will be happy to show you the branded vials and packaging of the products they’re using when delivering injectables.
The risk of serious side effects
While extremely rare, there are cases of very serious side effects resulting from injectable treatments, such as paralysis or blindness. This is more likely to occur if practitioners are insufficiently knowledgable in anatomy and do not avoid danger areas.
For this reason, it is our recommendation that medically trained practitioners be selected when undergoing injectable treatments and that patients request information on how often clinic staff undergo training with qualified injectable trainers from the companies that create the injectable drugs.
Needless to say, at our clinic all our injectable staff are medically trained doctors or nurses, and they all undergo regular training with drug company trainers, as well as being peer-reviewed by Dr Marianne Nolan, our injectables specialist cosmetic doctor, who has been administering injectable treatments for 20 years.
Are injectables right for you?
If you’d like to learn more about injectables or learn whether injectable treatments are right for your skin, why not make an appointment with one of our injectable specialists today. Call our reception now to make an appointment and make 2019 the year when you take action to love the skin you’re in. (02) 9953 9522.
Written by N Crain for the Neutral Bay Laser & Dermatology Clinic team.
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