The most frequently-asked question of most first-time cosmetic injectable patients is “what will the results look like?” To get an in-depth understanding of the entire experience — and the effects — of a medical aesthetics appointment, we bring you Under the Needle: a look at an individual’s journey from beginning to end.
“It’s time,” colleague Annie Evans says simply. We’ve just asked her why she’s decided to get her very first round of injectable wrinkle reducer injections to address the moderate to severe lines on her forehead. “When I take photos, I have wrinkles in my forehead that drive me nuts.” The 39-year-old shared that all her friends have done it and “were happy with the results”, which is why she was interested in trying it herself. “I've always been really curious, and I feel like I'm right on the eve of my 40th,” Annie explained. So, in her words, “it was time to like take action.”
Since she was ready to take the plunge into the world of medical aesthetics, she went to board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, whose practice is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There, we got an inside look at the before, during, and after of a routine injectable wrinkle reducer appointment — including photos of the treatment itself.
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers are temporary medical treatments that smooth the appearance of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face. Like any medical treatment, there are potential risks and side effects, so consult with your provider to decide if they are right for you.]
After going through Annie’s medical history with her, Dr. Green assessed her patient’s face. She gave Annie a mirror and asked her to point to the area that she didn’t like to confirm where she wanted to treat. Then, she had Annie make dramatic facial expressions (happy, angry, sad, and resting face) to get a sense of the wrinkling.
When asked what a good candidate for injectable wrinkle reducers looks like, Dr. Green shared that “Many patients are unhappy with their eleven lines from squinting or frowning, or their crow’s feet around their eyes, and want to have these wrinkles [diminish].”
As an additional part of prepwork, Dr. Green recommends discontinuing all vitamins (including fish oil), and any blood thinners such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen for at least one week before. That’s because thinner blood translates to potential bruising — and you don’t want a big black-and-blue where you’ve been injected!
[Editor’s Note: Please be sure to consult your doctor before stopping any medication.]
After Dr. Green made small marks using a felt-tip pen indicating where she planned on injecting, she had Annie lay down and told her to expect “a little pinch” as she administered the treatment. (Annie told us before she got injected that she was usually a bit scared of needles, but had recently started acupuncture, which she considered “a good entryway” to her appointment.
Before you knew it, Dr. Green had injected all of the areas she had marked on Annie’s forehead. To her surprise, it took less time than she had expected!
Here, Annie checks out the injection sites on her forehead herself out post-treatment. The final results from the injectable wrinkle reducers won't be visible for a few weeks.
Post-care for injectable wrinkle reducers appointment is very simple. Dr. Green had Annie ice her forehead for several minutes.
“No naps, no yoga, no shoe shopping,” Dr. Green shared, only half-kidding. “The injections are in the muscle, so you kind of have to wait for the product to disperse."
SEVERAL WEEKS LATER
While we of course couldn’t see any changes to Annie’s forehead immediately, she personally noticed a difference in movement and sensation after just a few days. (Everyone’s experience is different!) But by few weeks — the full effects of the treatment had taken hold. We took her “after” photos several weeks later, and by then, the look of Annie’s lines had smoothed.
If you’re considering this treatment yourself and are curious about pricing, know that the area you live in, the amount of product based on areas being treated — as well as the licensed provider's expertise all play a part in cost. “A board certified dermatologist who is an expert in facial injections and can give the best cosmetic results,” Dr. Green explains. (For an idea, though, read about the injectable wrinkle reducer experiences — and costs — of five different women across the country) To find an experienced provider in your area today, consult with our trained aesthetics specialists. They can help answer any questions you might have — and even connect you with an injector.