You’ve done your research, found a board-certified doctor and set up an appointment for injectable wrinkle-reducers (such as Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Xeomin or Jeuveau). But before heading to your appointment, experts say to steer clear of these 12 things to make the most of your treatment.
Don’t: Plan a Vacation the Next Day
“Although getting a ‘refresher’ while on vacation or on a girls weekend away may sound great, If you have any issues or concerns from your injectables, you want to be able to see the provider who performed your treatment,” says Concord, CA plastic surgeon Eric Mariotti, MD. “Although uncommon, complications can happen and it is best to stay local a few days after your treatment to be properly assessed.”
Don’t: Shop by Price
“There are many medical spas that use low-quality products like diluted toxins that are injected by shift-working providers,” says New York plastic surgeon Daniel Y. Maman, MD. “Choose a board-certified dermatologist, ENT or plastic surgeon to do your injections.”
Also, not all fillers cost the same. “Lower priced fillers tend to be older, more generic, and last only six months,” says Dr. Maman. “The newer, more specific fillers can last more than one year and typically cost at least twice as much.”
Don’t: Over-Book Yourself
As with any injectable, “you always run the risk of bruising and swelling,” says Prospect, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD. “So, make sure you don’t have a major commitment following your injection appointment.”
New York facial plastic surgeon Dilip D. Madnani, MD adds that it’s important to keep your schedule clear because you might need a tweak or touch-up after your appointment. “These are typically done at the two week mark,” he notes.
Don’t: Take Blood Thinners
Dr. Madnani says it’s important to avoid blood thinners—think Asprin, Motrin, Advil, viamin E or fish oil—a few days before your injectable treatment. “This will improve the healing process and help avoid excess bruising,” says the doctor.
However, Dover, OH, facial plastic surgeon David Hartman, MD says that about 50-percent of his skin cancer reconstruction patients are on serious blood thinners, but fewer than one percent of his clientele is seeking injectables while on a blood thinner. “What’s more, blood-thinner patients already understand they bruise more easily, and it would never be my advice that a client go off of their Comadin or Plavix in an order to get injections—the inherent risk of going off of blood thinners far outweighs the risks of a bruise.”
Remember: Alcohol—particularly red wine—and caffeine also act as a blood thinners, so Delray Beach, FL facial plastic surgeon Miguel Mascaro, MD and New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD recommend avoiding them 12 hours prior to your appointment. Along those same lines, Houston, TX plastic surgeon Olga Bachilo, MD recommends avoiding salt too. “Your face may be more puffy than usual after consuming a high quantity of alcohol or salt and therefore you may have certain areas not addressed or under-corrected during treatment,” she says. “Also, excessive alcohol can make you bruise more than normal after injectable treatment.”
Don’t: Forget to Bring Photos
“Don’t forget to bring the photos illustrating what you would want to accomplish with the injection,” says Dr. Vasyukevich. “You may not look exactly like the photo, but it could be a great way to show your preferences.”
Don’t: Wear Makeup to Your Appointment
Before any injections, your doctor will analyze your face and clean the skin with alcohol or an antiseptic to avoid any risk of infection. For this reason, Westborough, MA facial plastic surgeon Min S. Ahn, MD asks his patients to show up for their appointment makeup-free. “There’s no substitute for a freshly washed, makeup-free face as the starting canvas for your treatment,” adds Wayne, NJ facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey B. Wise, MD.
Rochester, NY dermatologist Lesley Loss, MD agrees, saying “having clean skin to start will not only save time, but also ensure nothing gets under your skin besides the product.”
Don’t: Skip the Conversation
Dr. Hartman says it’s crucial to have a comprehensive conversation with your physician before undergoing treatment. “Before having an injectable, there are important choices and details which must be hashed out. Even with individuals whom I’ve treated dozens of times, I still open the treatment session with a brief conversation, which discusses a few of the following questions: What are the specific concerns that bring you in today? What are your priorities from most important to least important? Is there a specific event—such as a wedding—in the near future for which you’re choosing to have a treatment today? Is an injectable actually the best treatment choice for the concern at hand?” Being open and honest with your doctor will help ensure a favorable outcome.
Don’t: Exercise Rigorously
Dr. Madnani suggests skipping your sweat session within 24 hours after your treatment. If you don’t want to take the day off, “plan ahead and hit the gym first or make sure to cross any post-[injectable] sweat sessions out of your calendar altogether,” says Dr. Wise.
Don’t: Get Too Many at Once
“Remember: too much of a good thing is not always better,” says Dr. Vasyukevich. “Many people feel very uncomfortable when the change is too drastic and are much better off with a gradual approach to cosmetic enhancements.”
Don’t: Overlook the Cost
Dr. Hartman says an important know-before-you-go is the cost of treatment. “Botox Cosmetic typically lasts three to five months and an average treatment costs between $300 and $600,” says the doctor, noting prices for different injectables will vary. “Depending on the type of filler used and the location of treatment, fillers last between six and 24 months. The average cost for a syringe of filler is between $500 and $800.”
Don’t: Visit the Dentist Before Your Treatment
“Getting dental work done, including standard cleanings, can significantly increase your risk of bacterial infections,” says Dr. Wise. “Thus, if you’re planning on plumping your lips, make sure to plan for at least a week between your filler appointment and dentist visit.”
Don’t: Ignore Your Medical History
“So that previous problems aren’t repeated, it’s important to discuss if you have ever had a reaction to an injectable, and what happened,” says Dr. Hartman. A few questions he asks his patients to ensure optimal safety: “Have you ever felt like you were over-treated or under-treated? Was treatment discomfort a concern? Would the client like to use a pre-numbing cream or try nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to make for a more enjoyable experience?”
Charlotte, NC dermatologist Gilly Munavalli, MD adds that it’s crucial to let your doctor know if you plan to get a vaccine (Influenza, Shingles, COVID-19) close to treatment time. “They may want to you hold on your injection appointment in the case of dermal fillers for two weeks after the vaccine, he says. “It’s also important to keep track of the type of fillers you have had and where they are placed. In the event of a delayed inflammatory reaction, that information can help guide treatment, which may include dissolving the filler. The doctor should keep accurate records of this information and you, of course, should have access to those records for your own medical filers. There is good published evidence that fillers can last fo more than five years, so even if a reaction happens down the line, your information can help make a difference!”
New York plastic surgeon Mokhtar Asaadi, MD adds a few other precautions: “If you have a facial infection, a cold sore, a sebaceous cyst, a history of allergic reactions to previous filler treatments or you are pregnant, stray away from receiving fillers.”
Don’t: Exfoliate Your Lips
“Do not exfoliate your lips prior to lip injections,” says Dr. Loss. “Exfoliating can increase sensitivity to not only the injector’s needle, but also to the numbing cream applied before your treatment.”
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