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Botox and filler – facts and fiction

Dr. Thomas Kaiser

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DEAR READER, during my cosmetic medicine clinics, I am often surprised about the confusion that exists about the two most common cosmetic surgical procedures, botulinum toxin  injections and soft tissue filler.

Despite the fact that most lifestyle magazines have had several reports about the topic, it remains difficult for the potential user to decide if the treatment could be of value to him/her.

I am flabbergasted about the lack of good information that is published for the consumer. Most of the time, the photos used are the give away. You can see big needles and syringes aiming at lips trying to give an impression of Botox treatments. These needles are of a size that I would not even use them for an intramuscular injection in the buttock!

Here follow the most frequently asked questions from my clinics:

1. Am I too young or too early for Botox?

Botox works best if it is used in early and not too deep wrinkles. If you wait too long the wrinkles are beyond the range of pure expression lines and correction becomes difficult.

2. Do I need a local anaesthetic for Botox?

The injections are only a little uncomfortable, a bit like an ant bite. Local anaesthetic gel can be used but I don’t use it for myself.

3. Does Botox work for the smoker’s wrinkles on lips?

No, Botox works best for forehead frown lines, anger lines and smile lines around eyes. The mouth and cheeks are only rarely good territory for it. The cobble stone chin is the exception.

4. I want fuller lips but I am afraid of overcorrection. How to avoid?

The experienced aesthetic doctor avoids overcorrection in any case. What you see in some UK magazines are treatments requested like that by the patient.

5. Does Botox really work for sweating?

It does indeed. Forehead and armpit are the regions with best results.

6. Can I go to a dinner party or into the sun after Botox treatment?

Mostly only a slight redness and very mild bruising occur after treatment. A bit of make-up and you will not be asked questions over dinner. On the day of the treatment, you should stay in the shade.

7. What are the most common complications?

Redness, bruising, very rarely infection, failure of the procedure and drooping of an eyelid.

8. How soon do I see a result?

With Botox, you have to be patient for four to seven days. With respect to the filler, you see what you get almost right away.

9. Can I have Botox and filler at the same time?

You could but it is better to start with Botox, observe the result and then complement the procedure with a filler.

10. What is Restylane?

Restylane is a brand name of one of the market leader fillers. It contains the generic substance, non animal based hyaluronic acid. It works for lip augmentation, correction of deep wrinkles, or Mick Jagger Groves, and acne scars.

Dear Reader, if you are toying with the idea of having cosmetic treatments done, make sure you get good and unbiased advice. Don’t expect that you can achieve this at a Botox Party.

In my clinic, the team approach between dermatologist, plastic surgeon and specially trained GP has proved to be very effective. We tend to advise patients jointly and, through close and continuous communication between the physicians involved, we make sure that the patient gets what he/she wants.

I feel we sometimes do the best job by advising a patient not to have a certain procedure done if the outcome seems unlikely to make the patient happier. Making people happier is, at the end of the day, what cosmetic medicine aims for.

I hope you enjoy the warm nights and wonderful cultural events the Algarve has to offer in summer,

Yours, Dr Thomas Kaiser