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Welcome to the third and final installment of our “which treatment?” skincare series! This time, we tackle the wonderful world of injectables, plus other top treatments aimed at reducing wrinkles and ultimately achieving a more youthful appearance.

Wrinkles top many a list of age-related concerns, hence the myriad of products available to counteract them. But not all wrinkles are not the same, and your aesthetic provider will design your treatment plan based on numerous factors, including the location, depth, and severity of lines and folds, extent of sun and environmental damage, and your unique skin type.

With so many possibilities for treatment combos, it’s vital to choose an experienced provider who truly cares about you achieving your goals. You can trust the skincare superheros at La Jolla Cosmetic Medical Spa to do just that.

The best way to get started on your more youthful appearance is to come in for a free consultation to discuss your goals and concerns. In the meantime, we’ve answered some FAQs about injectables and more to help you navigate the world of wrinkle treatment with greater confidence.

Which is better: BOTOX or fillers?

BOTOX® and fillers both treat wrinkles. Does it really matter which one you choose? Very much so. Each of these injectables works very differently to treat a specific type of wrinkle or other age-related concern.

At LJCSC, we treat expression lines with neuromodulators. BOTOX® Cosmetic is our most popular option; Dysport® and Xeomin® are similar products and work in much the same way. BOTOX is injected directly into facial muscles using a tiny needle, and it works by blocking nerve impulses that cause habitual muscle contractions (such as constant frowning while you are looking at the computer—neuromodulators can help stop this). BOTOX lasts 3 to 4 months, and is great for treating “expression lines” and related issues such as:

  • Crow’s feet (eye wrinkles)
  • Frown lines
  • Forehead lines
  • Teeth grinding
  • Gummy smile
  • Neck bands
  • Dimples or “pebbles” on the chin

Now on to fillers! We use fillers to plump or “hydrate” tissues affected by age-related volume loss. As we age, our skin loses the ability to preserve moisture, resulting in the visible loss of firmness, pliability, and plumpness. Fillers sit beneath the skin, replenishing moisture, restoring structure, and filling in lines and creases. They can also be used to enhance facial features. We use fillers to treat:

  • Laugh lines
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Vertical lip lines (a.k.a. Smoker’s lines)
  • Sunken cheeks or temples
  • Thin lips
  • Depressed scars
  • Tear troughs (a.k.a. Bags on the eyes/dark circles)

There are so many fillers! What’s the best option for me?

Leave this up to the pros! Just because a certain product worked for your friend doesn’t mean it will work for you. Your provider will ask you questions to determine the right filler for your needs. For example:

  • Which wrinkles are most bothersome to you?
  • Are you looking for a short term or longer-lasting treatment?
  • Do you desire a subtle or more noticeable enhancement?
  • What is your budget?

We offer a full range of FDA-approved fillers, including the Juvéderm® and Restylane® products, Sculptra®, and Belotero®. Consulting with one of our expert injectors is the best way to get “filled in” about your options.

Can injectables get rid of all my wrinkles?

A skilled provider will refresh your natural appearance, softening and dramatically reducing the severity of wrinkles while avoiding an overfilled or “frozen” appearance. However, a naturally refreshed look, rather than a 100% line-free face, is usually a patient’s goal.

Also, remember that BOTOX and fillers are temporary solutions. Eventually, the effects wear off, so they cannot permanently “get rid of” wrinkles. Regular follow-up treatments can help you maintain a refreshed look long term, and your provider can adjust your treatment plan to keep you looking naturally fabulous over time.

When is the right age to get BOTOX?

Many providers recommend starting “preventative BOTOX” at the first sign of expression lines, before they become bothersome. Doing so can help your facial muscles “unlearn” habits such as squinting and frowning, and thus prevent lines from worsening as you age. Starting BOTOX early may also postpone the need for more invasive treatments to maintain a youthful face.

Others feel that younger patients are better off waiting to invest in BOTOX treatments until the effects can be more easily noticed (i.e., you have more pronounced wrinkles to “fix”).

Ultimately, your chronological age matters less than the degree of visible aging on your skin—and how much you’re bothered by what you see. If you are concerned about your frown lines now, or if you want to stop their progression, it’s worth consulting with an experienced provider about BOTOX injections, whether you are 25 or 65.

How much BOTOX will I need?

Using an adequate number of BOTOX units per treatment area is key to a successful outcome—if we use less than the optimal amount, you’ll likely get no benefit at all. BOTOX is also priced per unit. If you are on a budget, it is far better to focus on one area of treatment rather than attempt to treat multiple areas with too few units.

Because we all have unique muscle strength and utilize our facial muscles differently, the optimal number of units will vary from patient to patient. This diagram gives you an idea of the number of units that your provider may recommend for treating specific areas of the face.
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What’s best for treating vertical lip lines?

Lip lines, often called “smoker’s lip” wrinkles, are the bane of many a woman’s existence, aging our appearance and causing lipstick to go astray. Lucky for us, injectables R & D has our back, and we’ve now got several fillers for perfecting a pucker:

  • Juvederm Volbella® XC is a special formula of hyaluronic acid (HA) that’s both thin enough to smooth tiny lip lines and sturdy enough to endure the many motions your mouth makes every day, lasting up to 12 months. It also can improve lip shape and symmetry.
  • Restylane® Silk is a very similar product that can achieve beautiful results. The main difference is that it lasts just 6 to 9 months, making it a great option for testing the lip rejuvenation waters!

Is it safe to get fillers if I am pregnant?

We do not recommend getting fillers, BOTOX, or other injectable treatments while pregnant. While there is no evidence linking injectables to pregnancy complications, there are currently no studies proving that getting injections while pregnant is completely safe, either. It’s better to err on the safe side.

But just because you’re expecting doesn’t mean you can’t give your skin a boost. For example, LightStim is a chemical-free, nonablative facial which can help reduce acne and other skin flaws using targeted LED light technology. Our skin care team has plenty of experience working with expectant mothers and can help you find safe options for you and your baby.

What is the best treatment for undereye wrinkles?

Thinner fillers, such as Restylane Silk and Juvéderm VOLLURE XC, can be a good option to smooth under-eye bags, fill in depressed tear troughs, or minimize dark circles. The delicate skin under the eyes needs to be handled with care—choose a provider who has considerable experience performing injections around the eyes.

If loose, crepey skin is causing a wrinkled appearance under your eyes, non-surgical skin tightening may better meet your needs. One of our favorites is Ultherapy®. This non-invasive treatment uses targeted ultrasound to trigger new collagen production deep within the skin, resulting in a firmer, smoother appearance over time.

Anything else you want to ask? We’re a phone call away.

We hope we’ve straightened out a few of your wrinkle-related questions, but if you have more on your mind, give us a call! Our La Jolla Cosmetic Medical Spa was voted San Diego’s Best Medical Spa for a fifth straight year in 2018, and for good reason—our team includes some of the most highly trained, experienced aesthetic medical professionals in town.

During a free consultation and skin evaluation, we’ll provide all the answers and information you need to make confident choices about your treatment options and get one step closer to the youthful, radiant appearance you desire. Call 858-452-2066 or contact us online now.

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