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Injectables: what you’ve been wanting to ask

Suzie Hoitink

All of us simply want to age well with healthy skin.

The amount of damage we inflict on our skins means we are aging before our time – increased redness, pigmentation and dehydration is coupled with wrinkling and loss of volume. All of this is premature, environmentally induced aging but the good news is you can do something about all aspects of it, using the right combination of lasers, skincare, injectable anti –wrinkle treatments and dermal fillers.

It used to be that the subject of ‘cosmetic injectables’ polarised people, split the room, but the statistics today tell another story. Whereas five to 10 years ago, having these procedures done was a guilty secret, nowadays there is an acceptance of Injectables being ‘something I would consider’ if not ‘something I’m already having done’.

Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal filler treatments are simply two of the 18 different rejuvenation treatments we have at our clinics. They form part of many of our clients’ overall treatment plans, and they give immediate results. How, when and where you use them is the key to a natural, age-appropriate appearance.

Many of my clients are interested but understandably wary – their biggest concern being ‘will I look weird?’ and ‘will my friends notice?’ So let me answer the questions you’ve been wanting to ask.

What is the difference between injectable anti-wrinkle treatments and dermal fillers? 

These two procedures are often confused. Injectable anti-wrinkle treatments involves small amounts of Botulism Toxin injected into specific areas of the face and neck to weaken the muscle movement, preventing the muscles from contracting to form the wrinkle.

Dermal fillers are a synthetic form of hyaluronic acid, found in skin naturally, that is injected into areas where there is volume loss. The hyaluronic acid attracts water and temporarily fills the void, re-volumnising the face and hands.

Where are anti-wrinkle injections most often used and why?

Most clients come to fix their ‘angry looking lines” between their eye brows. Softening the ‘crows feet’ lines around the eyes and those ‘worry lines’ on the forehead are also a common requests. What many clients are unaware of is how many other areas Botulism Toxin can be used. “Scrunch lines” on the nose, the downturn of the mouth, the ‘witchy chin’ and a ‘veiny’ looking neck can also be significantly improved using small amounts of expertly placed product.

And what about fillers?

The most common areas on the face that need re-volumising are the cheeks. Most clients complain about lines going from their nose to their mouth (nasolabial lines) or lines from the corners of the mouth, both of which can benefit from dermal fillers, but re volumising the cheeks often means less product is needed in other areas. Re-establishing the lip line and filling out the lips also remains very popular.

What actually happens during a treatment?

You will need to have a consultation first with a medical practitioner. Cosmetic injectables are classified as Schedule 4 medications and this is the law.

Before commencing either procedure, a Full Face Assessment is performed by an experienced practitioner, usually a nurse. This is the crucial element that ensures you get a natural, refreshed look. Where procedures like dermal fillers go wrong, is when only one area of volume loss is addressed and the natural balance of the face is altered; or when injectables are used exclusively and the quality and tone of the skin isn’t addressed at all — we have all seen ‘those’ people who just don’t look right.

After the assessment, numbing cream, ice or lignocaine can be administered to make the procedure more comfortable. Both treatments involve a series of injections but are relatively quick. The results of dermal fillers can be seen immediately and I like to show my clients progress during the treatment, so we can collaborate on the final result.

Who are potential candidates for both?

Potential clients for anti-wrinkle injections are men and women who have noticed that their wrinkles remain at rest (static wrinkles).  Those who have a flattening, sagging or deep wrinkling to the face may be suitable for volume replacement with dermal fillers. As with any medical procedure, there are contraindications which will prohibit some clients but that is assessed at the consultation.

How long do they last?

Botulism Toxin injections generally last three months, with some clients having a slightly shorter effect, and others longer. Dermal fillers last for 6-12 months on average, depending on the area, depth and type of product used.

Is there a minimum age when it comes to injectables?

I don’t think anyone can stipulate an exact age limit on this and it has to be on a case-by-case basis. It very much depends on genetics and general skin health. As practitioners, we have to be ethical in our decision making as to whether to treat or not.

Is it just for women?

Absolutely not. We treat many men for deep wrinkles and volume loss.

Are there areas of the face that cannot be effectively treated with injectables? 

Injectables should be considered only a small part of skin rejuvenation or ‘anti-aging’. Simply reducing the muscle movement and re-volumnising the face is not enough. Improving the health of your skin in terms of elasticity, tone and strength is what makes the most significant difference and in combination with injectables, gives an overall rejuvenated and most importantly natural appearance. IPLs, lasers, fractionated lasers, peels and LED technology are incredibly effective at repairing damaged skin and promoting collagen production.

How can I make sure I don’t look like I’ve had ‘work done’?

In my opinion, Injectables need to be age specific to avoid that ‘done’ look I see so often. No 55 year-old lady should have lips or cheeks of a 20 year-old! The general vibe of ‘if a little bit looks good, more will look better’ couldn’t be further from the truth. My advice is to go to a practitioner who has the integrity to tell you when it is enough and trust their judgement!

How can people ensure the clinic or practice they are visiting can administer effective and safe treatment with injectables?

Safe guard yourself and go to a reputable clinic with qualified nurses and doctors. I am constantly shocked by how many people take such risks just to save a few dollars.

My final word on anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers

I was a late adopter of cosmetic injectable treatments – it took me six years to bring them into the clinics. I felt I was crossing to the dark side! I am happy to say there is a growing trend away from the frozen face and huge lips to a far more natural look. I always tell my clients it is my job to restore their skin to a healthy state, closer to their chronological age, without anyone noticing; subtle, fresh and natural, not ‘done’. Without doubt anti-wrinkle injectables and dermal fillers can play a part in this, but alone are not the secret to beautiful, healthy skin.

For more information on how to care for your skin, contact a Clear Complexions Clinic near you. www.clearcomplexions.com.au.

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Suzie Hoitink

Suzie Hoitink is a Registered Nurse and the Founder of the award winning Clear Complexions Clinics. At Suzie’s clinics the doctors and nurses treat everyday skin conditions using the latest technology available, and in doing so, not only improve the health and appearance of their clients skin, but their overall confidence as well. For more information on how to care for your skin, contact a Clear Complexions Clinic near you. www.clearcomplexions.com.au. More about the Author

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