Despite being amongst the most popular cosmetic treatments in North America, neuromodulators and fillers can still cause fear and confusion in certain unfamiliar circles.
Are they right for you? It really depends on your taste, your budget, and your tolerance for small needles. In this section, Nurse Practitioner and expert injector Jess Jacob
What are neuromodulators like Dysport?
Dysport is a brand of neuromodulator that can be used to treat wrinkles and lines caused by repeated movements of our facial muscles. Dysport helps relax the muscle therefore causing a smooth appearance under the surface of the skin. Some patients will see results within the first 24-48 hours with full results at 14 days.
The most commonly treated areas include:
· Lines are the eyes, known as crow’s feet, caused by squinting or smiling
· The horizontal lines across the forehead caused by raising the eyebrows
· The lines and folding of the skin between the eyebrows (glabella/eleven lines) caused by frowning
· Downward turn of the mouth (DAO)
· Neck bands (platysma bands)
· Gummy Smile
Are they safe?
Yes! They have been available for 20 years, and have been used to treat many diseases. In fact, it is used in children as young as 2 years old to treat cerebral palsy. It has been proven to be very safe through extensive testing and research.
Will it poison me?
No, it is not toxic to you and it is not a poison. The product is a natural, purified protein - it is NOT the bacteria that causes botulism. Dysport is a Health Canada approved drug that is used in very tiny doses and it comes from a naturally occurring bacterium – similar to how Penicillin comes from mold.
How do I know it won’t be toxic to me?
Typically for a cosmetic treatment, you may receive fewer than 100 units. To make someone ill, you would have to receive OVER 35 times this dose all at one time directly into a vein, which would NEVER happen.
How long does the procedure take?
Generally, after the consultation with Jess Jacob Medical Aesthetics, the procedure only takes up to 15 minutes. Since there is no down time, you can do it during your lunch hour, and no one would know that you have done it.
How is it done?
It is injected with a very tiny needle (it only feels like a little pinch).
How long does the effect last? Is it permanent?
No, it is not permanent. The results will last 3-4 months on average but everyone is different. If you follow the directions give to you by your injector and book your first 3 treatments promptly every 3-4 months (without waiting in between), you may eventually be able to increase the duration of the results (4-6 months).
Does it hurt?
Most patients say that the injections feel similar to a little pinch, although everyone is different. Following a treatment we often hear patients remark “is that all?”
Is it going to be worse when it wears off?
No! Your face will never get worse if you stop using neuromodulators, or when it wears off. They “stop or slow” the clock of aging. When you stop receiving treatments, the “aging clock” will resume as normal. At the very minimum, you will simply return to where you started. If you use neuromodulators for a number of years and then stop – your muscles learn to relax and therefore you will end up looking a little better than you did when you originally started.
How much does it cost?
Jess Jacob Medical Aesthetics charges $10/unit. There are a few things you should consider in addition to price: What type of medical professional is performing the treatment? Has the medical professional had a lot of experience injecting neuromodulators? Is the medical professional gentle and using the latest techniques to ensure a great result?
I don’t want to look like a mask without expression – will that happen?
No! My goal is to ensure that you get the look you want – as natural as you want. Most people simply want to look natural, relaxed and refreshed, without looking “done”. Patients typically say that no one knows that they had anything done. Friends simply say that they look well rested and great!
What is a Unit?
A unit of a neuromodulator is simply a very tiny measurement of a medication. The exact number of units you require (to achieve the desired result) will be discussed during your confidential consultation.
What are the side effects?
Side effects are rare and are not permanent. Rarely, there can be some minor bruising (which is easily covered up with makeup) or a slight short-term headache. Most patients do not experience any side effects at all.
I have heard that you can get a drooping eyelid – is this true?
Yes, but it is a very rare side effect. The incidence of this side effect is less than 1% and will last from only a few days to a few weeks. Most patients do not experience any side effects at all.
Where does it go in my body?
This medication stays local in the muscles that are injected. After the injections, it is simply metabolized and broken down into natural by-products.
Are there any contraindications to Dysport?
You cannot use Dysport if you have an allergy to cow’s milk. There are other neuromodulators you can use if this is the case and will be discussed during your first consultation. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use neuromodulators until after they finish breastfeeding.
What is are Dermal Fillers aka Hyaluronic acid?
Young skin is smooth and elastic because it contains large amounts of hyaluronic acid. As we age, the amount of HA in the skin gradually diminishes. As a result, the skin becomes dryer, thinner and more wrinkled. The filler products, which Jess Jacob Medical Aesthetics uses, are a long-lasting but not permanent synthetic form of hyaluronic acid. The gel mimics the naturally occurring substance by adding volume to the skin. When fillers are injected under the surface of the skin, the gel adds volume and soothes facial lines and folds.
How does it work?
A small amount is injected directly into the skin to add volume and restore hydration. HA is naturally integrated into the tissue and allows for the free passage of important nutritive elements like oxygen and hormones. The product will also bind water, which adds to the filling effect.
What are fillers used for?
Different fillers are used for specific areas of the face. For instance, the product that will be best suited to improve the cheeks is not quite the same as the ones that are used for more superficial lines or the lips.
The contours of the lips can be enhanced to the desired level by accentuating the vermillion border and giving the lips more volume and created a plumped appearance. Cheeks that have become flattened by the aging process can be lifted beautifully using filler. Very deep wrinkles and some types of acne scars cannot typically be treated with this material. Very superficial wrinkles are often difficult to correct.
How much does it cost?
Teosyal RHA: $600/syringe
Mini Lip: $350
Do the injections hurt?
Pain is very individualized and dependent on one’s tolerance to pain. Prior to treatment a topical anesthetic cream can be applied, which takes about 20 minutes to take effect.
What is involved in a dermal filler treatment session?
The treatment typically takes about 15-45 minutes depending on the area treated and the number of syringes used. Filler is injected with a very thin needle into the skin. Results are visible immediately.
Can fillers replace surgical procedures?
No. People with excess facial skin or people who want a major resurfacing of the skin cannot be corrected with fillers alone.
Can the material be removed?
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers are a natural material, so they dissolve with time. In the event that you feel uncertain about the desired result or there is an unexpected complication, there is a medication called hyaluronidase, which can be of assistance to dissolve the filler.
Does it contain animal products?
No, the hyaluronic acids that are available in Canada are almost identical to that already present in the body. Since it is not made from animals, there is no risk of transmitting diseases from animals, or eliciting allergic reactions to common foodstuffs such as eggs, meat or chicken.
Are there any precautions I should take before treatment?
Yes. If you are on any medication that causes bruising, you should stop taking them 3-5 days before treatment. This may include ASA (aspirin), Advil, Motrin and other prescription medication. Please check with Jess Jacob RN, (NP) or your family doctor prior to discontinuing any medication that is prescribed for you. Also, some vitamins such as Vitamin E, Ginkco, Garlic, Ginseng, St. Johns Wort, and Omega 3’s can increase bruising. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use dermal fillers until they stop breastfeeding.
How long does the effect last?
The filler dissolves naturally with time, and without touch-ups will eventually totally disappear from the body. How long a hyaluronic acid filler treatment lasts is very individual, depending on many factors such as the structure of the skin, lifestyle, age and metabolism. However, for the majority, about 50-80% of the effect remains after six months. The injected material will gradually disappear until your skin looks just as it did before the treatment. You can replenish the filler whenever you feel the need or ask your provider her opinion.
Not every injectable is the right fit for every person. To determine the best option to achieve your desired results and discuss potential side effects, book a free consultant with Jess Jacob RN, (NP) to learn more.
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