Where to Go For Cosmetic Fillers
You look in the mirror: the smile lines around your mouth and thinning lips are doing anything but making you smile. The signs of aging creeping up around the corners of your eyes make you frown. This, you know, just adds insult to the wrinkles already lining up across your forehead.
You decide it's time to put Mother Nature in reverse. You've heard that cosmetic fillers can thicken lips, plump up the skin and erase the signs of time. But where do you go for these injections–and how do you know you're making the right choice? Try following these doctor-approved suggestions:
Check Their Creds
Choose a place that has a board-certified doctor with robust training and experience in cosmetic fillers. Usually, this is a plastic surgery or dermatology office—not the salon where you get your brow wax. Typically these places also have well-trained nurses who can do your injection. Look for nurses who have received extensive training and are certified by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Don’t Go to a One-Stop Shop
If your health spa only does fillers, beware. Doctors say you are more likely to end up with an unnatural, overfilled look. Ideally, you want to pick a place that offers both non-invasive injections and traditional cosmetic surgery. This lets you describe the exact look you want–and can help you avoid unnecessary procedures. For example, a cosmetic filler can only smooth lines. It's not going to lift sagging skin or slumping brows. If that's what you're looking for, a properly trained doctor can steer you in the right direction.
Eye the Staff and Customers
If the faces of staff or clientele look stiff, unnatural, or overdone, you risk looking that way, too. Say thanks but no thanks, and then leave.
Find Out Where They Did Their Shopping
Sometimes, filler materials are tainted, illegally obtained, not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or all of the above. Their use could cause serious allergic reaction or harm. Lured by a deep discount? Ask questions. A too-good-to-be-true bargain often means the products are risky. Before choosing the place to get your injection, ask:
What material is being used?
Where did you get it? (Stay away from fillers purchased online, as they are more likely to be harmful.)
For more information on cosmetic fillers, check out this list of FDA-approved injectable wrinkle fillers.
Skip the Party Shots
A shot of vodka, a shot of… collagen? If you’re ever invited to a “Botox party,” politely decline. Most doctors caution against at-home cosmetic filler injections for a number of reasons. One, these parties often include alcohol. Aside from impaired judgment, booze causes more bruising: alcohol makes your blood vessels relax and widen. If you're drinking and getting facial injections, you're more likely to be black and blue afterward. Two, some people have immediate complications from facial fillers. You want to be in an MD-supervised setting that's ready to handle that. And three, cosmetic filler injections are a medical procedure. For the best (and safest) results, do your research and find a medical professional you trust—and have the injections done at his or her office, not in your neighbor’s kitchen.
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- Paul Parker, MD, FACS. Medical director of the Parker Center in Paramus, New Jersey.
- Filling in Wrinkles Safely. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm049349.htm
- Dermal Fillers. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/dermal-fillers.html
- FAQs about Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation. Stony Brook School of Medicine Department of Surgery. http://medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu/surgery/patient-care/clinical/plastic-reconstructive-surgery/patient-education/faqs-about-non-surgical-facial-rejuvenation
- Facial Filler/Injections. American Academy of Facial Esthetics. http://www.facialesthetics.org/patient-info/facial-esthetics/wrinkle-treatment/dermal-fillers/