Botox, Restylane and other injectables: a little goes a long way

Botox, Restylane and other injectables: a little goes a long way
Hyaluronidase is the secret weapon that can undo damage

We can all point out people who have skidded over the edge with injectable procedures – examples of too much of a good thing. Too much botulinum toxin, such as Botox, can make your expression static; too much plumping with a volumizing filler can make your cheeks balloon. Vogue magazine interviewed plastic surgeons and other specialists to learn how to avoid looking “overdone.”

The road to ruin

*You feel so happy about a terrific injectable result that you throw all caution to the wind and do every injectable procedure at once.
*You follow beauty trends. Jennifer Aston’s highlights and Angelina Jolie’s lips are right for Jennifer and Angelina, not necessarily for you. High, overly prominent cheeks are now the rage. If you never had them and try to get them, they will probably look artificial.
*Body dysmorphic disorder, a pathological preoccupation with a body part that has no defect or a slight problem, can lead you to seek excessive injectable and surgical procedures. (A board-certified plastic surgeon is trained to notice this problem and will likely put on the brakes.)

How can you avoid overdoing it?

*Have a realistic aesthetic goal, such as trying to erase a few years, rather than 20. If you want to reset your age, aim for five years younger. If you try to exceed that limit, you will probably look artificial.
*Take your time and do not undergo too many procedures at once. Do small things over time and you will look like a better version of yourself.
*Work with one doctor who knows where you started from rather than using multiple doctors and having many hands add to the cumulative work.

Plastic surgeon Haideh Hirmand asks patients to bring photos to their consultations, one from each decade. Surprisingly, she thinks 75 percent of them look better now, with more mature angular features, than they did in the past. She says that after studying the pictures many patients agree that they didn’t like their earlier “baby fat.”

If you’ve gone too far with injectables, do not panic

Hyaluronidase is the magic bullet stashed away carefully in most plastic surgeon’s offices. This naturally occurring enzyme, which is considered safe, can dissolve hyaluronic-acid fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero, restoring you back to your old self. However, if you are injected with non-hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Radiesse and Sculptra, you have to wait for them to dissipate on their own. Botox wears off after three to four months.

Aristotle could have had injectables in mind when he wrote, “Moderation in all things.” Keep that in mind and a board-certified plastic surgeon will make you look like an improved version of you.

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