“I don’t really believe in marriage; now Botox on the other hand, that works every time” – Samantha Jones
The world of plastic surgery, anti-ageing and injectibles is still generally an intimidating and taboo subject area. Women speak in whispers when talking about their newest night cream and asking a friend about botox gets the same social reaction as if you asked about her weight. Ever since Samantha’s famous quip in Sex & the City, women around the world have been questioning the treatments available. The problem is the answers are often hard to come by.
To clear things up, I sat down with one of Australia’s most respected plastic surgeons, Dr. Edinburg Medical Director at The Eden Institute, and asked him all the hard-hitting questions about the side-effects, pain level and, most importantly, results!
What can injectables do that high-tech wrinkle creams (and skin venoms) can’t?
We don’t use skin venoms. Wrinkle creams are good for long term use; however they require patience, as the desired anti-ageing results take longer to achieve and they have to be applied daily. They are an adjunct to injectables, not necessarily ‘instead of’.
Anti-wrinkle creams treat the skin, whereas injectables treat the muscle action which causes the skin to wrinkle (Botox or Dysport)or treat lines that need filling or plumping in spaces that need volumising (like cheeks). The skin creams we use are medical grade only which develops more potent, more scientific, more concentrated combinations of skin-treating components.
So, to sum up: Injectables are designed to rejuvenate your look by enhancing your facial volume and/or reducing the appearance of fine lines, folds and other visible signs of skin ageing (e.g. Botox/Dysport for wrinkles or fillers for thin lips, nasolabial lines). Results are usually visible within 2-3 days and can last between 4-12 months.
What are the dangers? Are the dangers overrated?
The risks associated with injections are minimal if the right product is delivered in the right manner by the right person. So, for example, Plastic Surgeons are totally familiar with full and detailed facial anatomy and physiology. That means they understand the products and their pros and cons, which part of which muscle of skin line to treat, what the effects on your body are, healing and metabolising of the products.
All products used at the Eden Institute are TGA approved and have reputable standing on the market. Our injectables are used for a range of different treatments and just like no two patients are the same, no two injectable products are the same. Your surgeon or therapist should clarify and explain to you what type of injectables they plan on using along with the potential risks and side effects.
What age should women start to consider injectables for anti-ageing purposes?
Every patient ages differently and presents different needs however we often see women in their 20, 30s and 40s coming in for cosmetic injections for a quick refresh to their look. Many patients in this age bracket are concerned over things like fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and loss of skin elasticity and volume. Cosmetic Injections are a good option to consider for facial rejuvenation results that are effective but subtle.
From 40s on, the concern tends to be mainly around the effects of ageing and how to combat these by giving a refreshed look. We would use different techniques, different combinations of products, targeting the different concerns.
What are some signs that injectables may be an effective treatment?
If you are concerned over fine lines around your eyes, crow’s feet, frown lines, a drooping eyebrow, forehead wrinkles, smoker’s lines etc., then injectable Muscle Relaxants can be an effective treatment to reduce the appearance of these lines and wrinkles. Dermal Fillers on the other hand are great for restoring volume to areas of the face that look ‘sunken’ and can also be used to enhance your lips or reduce wrinkles in your nasalabial folds.
Is there a risk that my face will be devoid of expression (why/why not)?
Many people tend to shy away from Cosmetic Injections out of fear of ending up with frozen expressions. Whilst this concern can be valid if you see an unqualified surgeon/therapist, an experienced and skilled Plastic Surgeon or therapist can make refined enhancements that are subtle and effective in refreshing your look. That’s our look here at Eden Institute, and our patients tell us they love it.
It is important to acknowledge that with any cosmetic procedure, there will be risks. Make the most of your consultation and ensure that all your questions and queries are answered properly. You are entitled to be informed on all the potential risks and side effects of any procedure.
Is there a way of maximising the longevity of injectibles?
Injectables are designed to be a non-permanent procedure. Your body metabolises these products in a natural way. The effects wear off after a few months and as such they don’t necessarily ‘last longer’ unless you decide to go for another treatment to maintain results. Continuing with regular injectable treatments as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a good skincare regime will ensure that your anti-ageing goals are maximised.
There is some evidence that fillers stimulate your body to produce its own collagen. So, that means that, in theory, over time, you are not going ‘backwards’ as much every time.
What are the side-effects to injectables?
Generally, the side effects to injectables are minimal. The most common side effects include redness, tenderness, and swelling in the hours after the treatment, however this will usually subside within 2-3 days. There may be bruising which can be easily covered with makeup. The amount varies depending on the area of the face or neck or hands being treated, and your body and lifestyle. For most patients this is easily tolerable and worked into their lifestyle.
Is there a chance the skin will sag or stretch from the treatments?
Injectables can last anywhere from 4-12 months and sagging and stretching will not occur as you are working with the natural elasticity of the skin. Regular treatments are needed to maintain the youthful look and overall appearance, which should be done once the effects of the previous injections begin to wear off. However, if you choose to not continue with treatments, your skin should return to its previous appearance before the injection. We are not causing an effect which stretches your skin to the point of no return – far, far from it.
Because injectables have only been around for a few years, how can we be sure they won’t cause issues in 10 years time?
What many people don’t realise is that dermal injectables have been around since the 1970’s and over time various fillers have been researched and utilised in order to achieve the most natural look to suit consumer needs. I am not aware of evidence showing that injectables have been the cause of long term issues or having detrimental side effects.
What are the long-term benefits of injectables?
Apart from the instant results that come from having injectables, over time you may notice that the appearance of the skin is visibly different. As long as a patient continues to receive regular injections, the appearance of the skin will remain smooth and plump, and the visible signs of facial lines and wrinkles will also be reduced. In addition, as mentioned, there is some evidence that suggests an increase in Collagen production by your body with injectables. Collagen is responsible for plumpness and youthfulness in our skin and face and its production by your body naturally reduces as we age.
What are the biggest concerns that patients come to you with?
At Eden, we are starting to see more and more patients coming in, requesting subtle changes to their appearance without the shock factor. Most are concerned with the fine lines and wrinkles that have developed over time, resulting in that tired and aged look. They want to look younger and more refreshed in the most natural-looking way. Some patients just want an area enhanced, like lips or cheeks. We all know how pretty cute lips are or beautiful cheekbones. That’s the look! At The Eden Institute we take pride in delivering natural-looking results with any procedure we offer and will always make tailored recommendations for each patient.
What is your advice to women looking for a quality clinic?
I always recommend that women research – Who runs the clinic (for that is the person who sets the standards)? Do they offer other procedures of a medical nature, giving you clues as to the all-round focus of the clinic? Under Australian law, any medical doctor can administer cosmetic surgery to a patient. However, Plastic Surgeons are fully-trained Specialists, with cosmetic procedures, surgical and non-surgical woven into their skills and expertise as reconstructive surgeons.
For more information, visit www.edeninstitute.com.au