Monday, June 30, 2014

Addicted to the needle - fillers and botox

 Have you been thinking about taking the plunge? Maybe just a little filler here and a little Botox there?  Maybe you just want to chase away those crow's feet or that deepening line in your forehead.  What about plumping up your pencil thin lips?  What's holding you back?  Those "celebrities gone bad" face photos you googled?  Think it is going to be wicked expensive or excruciatingly painful?  If lack of knowledge is keeping you from looking younger and feeling better about yourself, let me help.  I have had countless needles stuck into my face for the sake of beauty and I loved every minute of it.  Let me lend you some of my personal (and numerous) experiences provide you with some valuable tips to guide you on your journey:

RULE #1  Be wary of cheap prices when it comes to Botox! Ask the clinician what their dilution rate is to truly judge if your getting what you pay for. Allergan, the makers of Botox, give these guidelines:
  • 2.5ml of sterile saline for a 100 unit vial of Botox
  • 1.25ml of sterile saline for a 50 unit vial of Botox
 If you get an answer of anything less than this, your getting a watered down product and should not expect the results to be as effective/last long. You will also find that you need to go back more often for a “refill” which can end up costing more in the long run. When mixed at the recommended percentages, the effects of Botox typically last 3 months or more (depends on how many units go into one area).  You can expect to need 20-40 units per area of correction.  If the practitioner quotes in units, ask how many will be needed for each specific area.  If you are given a dollar amount per area, ask how many units that would be and break down the price per unit. You MUST know the per unit price in order to accurately know what you are paying for.  Normal price ranges are $10-$15 per unit.  Remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely IS.

     There are numerous dermal fillers on the market and new ones being added every time you turn around. Do your research before going to your consultation so that you already have an idea of what you may want. Each filler has pros and cons as well as guidelines for where it should and should not be used. If someone wants to use Radiesse to fill out your tear troughs, RUN because the makers specifically state where their filler can and cannot be used.  Some are superficial while others are deep tissue and you never want to mix and match them. Some fillers last 3 months, some 2 years....some have lidocaine built in for a virtually painless injection.....and cost fluctuates in accordance to these variables. Know the variables and you can break down the cost for a more accurate comparison.

When it comes to the person holding the needle, experience is Crucial! Many publications recommend that you should only seek out a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for these treatments. This is true IF these doctors perform injections on a daily basis AND have performed a multitude of treatments. There are many practitioners, such as medical aesthetitians or aesthetic nurses/nurse practitioners, who are equally qualified and, in some instances, have a better hand. These folks are usually trained by the manufacturer and do injectables as the majority of their business. This, by no means, implies that you should let your podiatrist or cardiologist stick you in the face with Botox. Ask lots of questions - How many treatments do you do in a day? Who trained you and how many hours was the training? How long have you been working with_______ (Juviderm, Botox, Evolve, etc.).

These tips and tricks may seem like logical things to ask but, in the heat of the moment, its easy to become impulsive and “Just Do It”. Trust me when I tell you that doing your homework can save you from a lot of misery down the line!


  1. I think that Botox can be very useful if you keep it in control. I can definitely see how it would be addicting. So many people in our society care so much about their outward appearance. They want to do everything that they can to stay looking young.

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