I’m not ready, yet. And I haven’t fully decided I will ever be – but who knows what will happen to my skin over the next few years, so I don’t count myself out. Regardless, I am profoundly interested in learning about some of the more aggressive options available to combat aging. In order to get the scoop on the different options, I interviewed my Girlfriend, Joulet, a nurse who is licensed to administer both Botox and fillers. Here’s what she says:
What’s the difference between Botox and fillers?
Botox temporarily paralyzes facial muscles. By paralyzing the facial muscles you decrease the amount of facial movement. Continuous creasing of already wrinkled areas can cause a faster collagen loss to those areas as they are continuing to crease. For example, think about folding a piece of paper and then opening it up and folding it 100 times. The paper gets weak. If you could just stop folding the paper, you would greatly decrease the damage. Botox paralyzes the forehead which, in turn, does not allow the wrinkling associated with facial expressions. It is now thought that people should begin Botox and fillers when they first see signs of wrinkles as to decrease the loss of collagen under the skin before it starts. Because Botox causes facial paralysis it is usually used from the nose up.
Fillers on the other hand, are used to fill in wrinkles temporarily but do not cause paralysis. We use fillers for areas from the nose down because that is an area that you obviously would not want paralyzed. Fillers works very well for filling in fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth as well as volume loss around the chin area.
Botox and fillers used to be able to be administered by aestheticians. In more recent years, some states (like New York where Joulet lives) have instituted a minimum requirement that the person administering the treatment must be a registered nurse, since Botox and fillers are injected into the body.
Botox is the purified protein of botulism. High doses of botulism can be very toxic and dangerous. Botox, however, is missing many elements of toxicity related to its original form of botulism and is considered to be safe. However, because of these dangerous propensities, Botox should not be administered directly into the bloodstream. The idea is that it is safer for a trained medical professional to administer the injections.
Are Botox and fillers affordable?
Botox and fillers are very expensive – they truly are luxury items. Botox is sold per unit. One unit of Botox done by a qualified practitioner easily begins at about $15 per unit. On the average person, you would probably use anywhere between 40 and 50 units every 4 to 6 months. Fillers are also expensive. Again, this needs to be done by a qualified practitioner who has been trained by Allergan to administer these products. Juvéderm is a very popular brand of filler and costs around $500 and up. Fillers are sold per syringe, depending on how much you want done this could easily be 1 to 2 syringes. There is no partial syringe price.
How difficult are the treatments to maintain?
Botox and fillers are not difficult to maintain as long as you stay consistent with the duration in between visits. Usually Botox and fillers last between four and six months at their full effect. It is best if you stay consistent with the practitioner that you trust as that practitioner understands what your expectations are.
Will the treatments bruise or damage my face or be painful?
It is very common to have puffiness and bruising after Botox and fillers are injected. Expect to have bruising if you are normally on blood thinners (such as ibuprofen) on a regular basis. It is best to decreased bruising by holding all blood thinners about a week before your injections – but always consult your physician first if you have been prescribed blood-thinning medications. Swelling typically only lasts a day or two.
Botox and fillers are not extraordinarily painful, however, the administration involves multiple needle sticks to the face. The needles used are very small gauge needles. Over time, you get used to it. Since you won’t know what to expect the first time, I would say the first time is probably the worst. But, it’s definitely worth it.
Wrinkles above the nose on the four head would be best taken care of with Botox. Wrinkles around the eyes also would be best suited in very well managed with Botox. Botox has a way of making you look like you are well rested. Once you start, you are so pleased with the results, you always come back for more.
Joulet Roger RN
Certified Botox/Filler Practitioner