Things to Remember ...
IN THE WORLD OF AESTHETICS
Most of my posts emphasize one particular concept, like some of my previous articles on Botox for the eyes, or filler for the lips. Generally, I like to pick one topic and dive deep.
HOWEVER. I'm feeling the need to do a sort of catch-all, let-me-introduce-you-to-the-world-of-aesthetics. You may be thinking, "Hang on! I'm a veteran at this! I get my Botox every three months, and my filler twice a year. I don't need a beginner course." Well, my friend, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you do--we ALL do.
Recently I started a novel writing course that teaches very basic concepts, but is timeline-driven, and offers a good support community to hold everyone accountable for their word count each month. I was going through some of the lessons, thinking "yeah, yeah, yeah--I know all of this already." The teacher is a NYT bestselling author, although at this point it seems like everyone is a bestselling author, doesn't it? So I continued to go through her lessons, and as I did, I thought--whoa. I started to learn things I had never even thought about. For as long as I've been writing, and for as many classes as I've taken, there's something to be said for someone who has advanced to a professional level, someone who can talk about what happens on the other side of the track, so to speak.
This is where I come in. My job technically falls under the "assistant" category, but I take it very seriously, since I consider myself more of a patient liaIson afficionado. While injectors are busy running around injecting people and learning new techniques (and god bless them for it) I'm usually the one answering questions, soothing fraught nerves, explaining aftercare, and--most importantly--applying numbing cream correctly. Because of this, I have a LOT of patient contact, and am always trying to learn how I can make your experience (you, the patient) the best possible. On top of that, I consider everyone I work with to be a BFF and/or one of my many work wives, so I get to hear everything they talk about and learn from them. With that being said, I return to my original point--no matter how religiously you get your Botox and filler, it's difficult to substitute the experience and knowledge you get in this field by working behind the scenes. Which is why I'm here to help!
I'm going to sort this into several different categories, and what I'm going to do is basically include all of the things that tend to go in one ear and out the other. Whether you're a newbie looking to get into injectables, or an experienced guinea pig who has gone to trainings, you'll be able to learn something here, or at least get a gentle reminder! (I hope. If not, contact me and let me know you're tired of my nonsense and false promises. #doingmybest)
I grew up in a hippie Ag town known as "The City of Bikes". The first thing people do when they hear I'm from Davis is 1) look to see if I'm wearing socks and sandals, and 2) ask if it really does smell like cows (it doesn't and I will fight you on this). Growing up in Davis means I was raised in a safe hamster ball of a society that only gets violent over avocados on sale. Once I started working in aesthetics and hearing some horror stories of what clients had gone through...yikes. My idealistic worldview was shattered (could I be more dramatic? Probably not. I love it too much). There are people who are absolutely not qualified to be injecting, some doing so in the back of a hair salon. And when I mean not qualified--I mean it's a hair stylist injecting Botox in the back of the salon! So this note is for the newbies out there--do your research & find a good place, . We've had people come in who said they had one bad injection experience, and part of their face has never the same. Yelp, Google, Instagram-stalk, real-life stalk, do whatever you have to do. But never treat anything in aesthetics lightly. Yes, it is SO much fun, but there are risks to it, just like any other medical procedure. Be careful out there!
Safety is never quite as fun to talk about, but I feel like I have to do my due diligence and include this note as well. So, let's talk about vascular occlusion. Vascular occlusion is when a blood vessel becomes blocked. In the case of filler, vascular occlusion occurs when the filler is injected into the blood vessel, causing the blockage. There are certain steps injectors are supposed to take (and should) when it comes to minimizing the risk, but it's always a possibility. If it's something that makes you nervous, talk to your injector about it beforehand, and make sure it's something they take seriously. They should mention things like how they aspirate every time they inject (draw back with the needle to see if they get a flash of blood; if they do, it means they're in a vessel), have a thorough understanding of anatomy, and inject slowly. They should also have a doctor on staff who can come in case of an emergency, and should know how to treat vascular occlusion, including the usage of things like hyaluronidaise (something that dissolves filler) and aspirin. One of the most common symptoms of vascular occlusion is intense pain, so if your injection site doesn't just ache, but really, truly, hurts--always call the center you went to and talk to someone about it. Time is of the essence when it comes to occlusion, so it's better to be safe and potentially feel a bit foolish vs. allowing it to continue and having the issue devolve into necrosis.
Ok, so the safety talk was a little scary but let's move on to something else I consider very, very important when it comes to the encyclopedia of patient knowledge--understanding how long Botox lasts. First things first, for newbies: Botox doesn't work instantly. It takes 7-10 days. I've answered many a phone call with a client rushing to get in that day, because they have a dinner that night and need their Botox for it. Unfortunately, that isn't the way of the world. The universe has given us the gift of Botox, but it comes at the price of patience. So, always plan ahead!
The other issue that comes up with Botox is people not understanding why they need more over time. In fact, many people get quite upset and say that we injected improperly because it "doesn't work anymore". If you're having asymmetry, or feel like there are other issues with your injections, definitely come back in for a correction. But, if you feel like your Botox is only lasting two months, instead of three, it's probably because you've developed an immunity, and need to increase how much you get. First timers only need "baby Botox", but once you've been getting it for a few years, you're probably going to need to increase the amount you get. Think of it as reaching the Expert Level of life, and just enjoy the fond memories of when you used to get 10-20 units, because those days are most likely far behind.
Many people don't realize all of the things you can do with Botox, so I'm going to list some here. I'll probably write a longer post about this another time, but for right now, know that you can use Botox for: facial slimming/TMJ/grinding teeth (in the masseters/ jaw), muscle spasms, Bell's Palsy (to help correct the asymmetry), excessive sweating, eye twitching, and for a "neck lift".
Similar to Botox, I'm going to include a quick list of places you didn't think about getting filler: your hands, the lines along your neck, your temples, your jawline, your chin, and your earlobes. If there's a place you think could use filler...it's probably been done before & we can do it.
I'm going to sound like a broken record here, because I'm not sure if I've ever written an article and not said this, but here goes: short of having a symptom that is worrisome, if you're having anxiety about how your filler turned out, for the love of all that is holy, let it settle. I actually find it really amusing vs. annoying when people call in a panic about how big their lips are the next day, because goodness knows we've all been there. But try to remember: you've just had a needle poked into your face repeatedly, with a substance squished into a space that your body wasn't expecting to be squished. There WILL be swelling. Even for up to a week after your treatment. So read my article on aftercare. I say this all the time, but people still call in a frenzy, certain that they will be stuck with enormous lips forever. I hear your pain because we've all gone through it, but I promise you they won't stay that way. #pinkyswear
The only thing I want to say on lasers is, please, for my sanity, and for the sake of your face, please please please apply sunscreen. People never do. They say they do but their eye twitches and they won't meet my very stern gaze and if you think you can lie to me about this...you can't. I never know if some fool of a man is lying to me about his intentions (you can't have everything) but I WILL know if you're not using sunscreen. If you get IPL and all of that sun damage falls off, you've just removed all of the protection your body has been trying to build up against those rays. You MUST reapply. I find it annoying to reapply sunscreen when I'm wearing makeup, so I use a spray-on sunscreen that is organic and meant to be spritzed on top of makeup. Carry it with you everywhere you go, and spray some on every 80 minutes. I really like the one I have, which is the Seriously Fab Zinc It Over. I have the Tropical Floral scented one, because I'm pretty sure I have excess testosterone and I'm convinced I naturally smell weird, so I'm very much into essential oils and the like. If you don't have this problem, then they also have an unscented version which works just as well, but won't leave you smelling like a bouquet of pineapples and roses. #yourchoice
I wanted to include this because it's a really common problem. If you book a 15 minute Botox appointment, please understand we can't "squeeze in" one or two syringes of filler. Filler appointments are at least 30-45 minutes by themselves. Remember when you book your appointment that Botox and filler are completely separate things, and if you think you want filler, make sure you tell the receptionist that. If you're unsure, go ahead and come in for a consult, so you can decide if you really want filler. Then from there you can book your next appointment. Trust me, we want to inject your face just as much as you want to, but if you're one of five Botox appointments that are all in a row, it's really difficult for us to fit in filler, as much as we might want to. Always book ahead!
This goes without saying, but short of an emergency, always call to let us know if you're going to be late or can't make it to your appointment. If you're not going to show up, there's a chance we can fit someone else in. It's all about keeping a happy & efficient environment, so please respect your time & your injectors time! We'll love you for it.
That's all for this time lovelies!
Reach out if you have questions using the contact form located on the home page. Questions & suggestions are always welcome. While you're at it, check out my Instagram for more fun tips & tricks, and to say hi!