Seeing A Doctor For Facial Injections…What To Know

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I recently sat down with Dr. Anaïs Carniciu, MD of New York Eye and Face Oculoplastic Surgery. Dr, Carniciu has become my go-to for all things Botox. Upon our first session, she began “mapping” out an image of my face so I could exactly see where she was making injections. I was blown away. I had never seen this level of detail before and trust me, I have gone to many high-end offices for services. She then began explaining so many very informative things to me about the injection process> I decided to ask her a few questions and share them with you below. I highly recommend a consultation with Dr. Carniciu. You can learn more about her practice or book online here!!!

About Dr. Carniciu:

Dr. Anaïs Carniciu, M.D. is a board-certified oculofacial plastic surgeon who serves as an Associate Adjunct Surgeon and member of the teaching faculty at the world-renowned New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. Dr. Carniciu’s area of expertise focuses exclusively on plastic surgery of the face, with special attention to the delicate tissues surrounding the eyes. Using a natural approach, Dr. Carniciu is passionate about improving her patients’ confidence and quality of life through reconstructive and cosmetic oculoplastic surgery.

Why is it important to see a doctor to do your facial injections?

Safety first! Although cosmetic injectables are a fun and relatively quick refresh, all injections are invasive medical procedures. Physicians who are board-certified in one of the 4 core aesthetic medical specialties (plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery, dermatology, or ENT plastic surgery) have the highest level of anatomical training and technical skill to perform customized facial injections based on individual patient needs. Additionally, our years of dedicated medical residency and fellowship training in aesthetics allow us to best avoid complications from treatment

How long have you been doing facial injections? 9 years

What injectable products do you offer, and can you explain the difference between them?

Neuromodulators: Botox and Jeuveau are used to treat wrinkles that occur from active facial movement and muscle use. By relaxing the facial muscles with neuromodulators, the wrinkles soften. This treatment works particularly well for the 11’s area (between the eyebrows), the forehead, and crow’s feet.

Fillers: Restylane and RHA Collection are hyaluronic acid products that are used to treat stationary wrinkles and deeper skin folds by replacing lost facial volume. Fillers are great for rejuvenating the lower facial smile lines, and can also be used to enhance the cheeks, lips, chin, and jawline.

Sculptra: Sculptra is a “collagen builder” that helps your body naturally produce its own collagen, previously lost over time. This injectable bio stimulator is made of very small particles of “poly-L-lactic acid” that stimulate your body to reverse the aging process. It is injected under the surface of the skin to decrease the appearance of volume loss and facial lines, wrinkles, or folds.

What types of medical conditions would disqualify me as a candidate for facial injections?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid facial injections. Additionally, Botox and other neuromodulators should be avoided in patients with certain neurological conditions. Be sure your injector asks about your health history before performing your treatment.

What would I need to do to maintain these results over time? How often would I need to receive injections?

It depends on the type of treatment. Neuromodulators like Botox or Jeuveau typically will last approximately three months. Neuromodulators will require ongoing treatment, though benefits are seen during that time. Other treatments like fillers can last one year or longer before needing a boost. The collagen-building effect of Sculptra lasts 2 years or longer with annual maintenance treatments.

What will be expected of me to achieve the best results immediately following my treatment? For neuromodulators, like Botox or Jeuveau, the best results come with following some straightforward after-care instructions, such as not pressing on the injection sites and possibly avoiding alcohol and heavy exercise the day of the treatment. If you take blood thinners, your doctor may recommend holding that medication to reduce the chance of bruising.

How can I expect to look over time?

With neuromodulators, you can expect a reduction in facial wrinkles in the areas of treatment. Particularly, in the wrinkles that become more prominent with facial movement. The effect of neuromodulators is first seen in 3-5 days, with full effect occurring 2 weeks after the injection. With filler, you can expect an improvement in facial volume and shape in the area of injection, typically with most changes occurring immediately after injection. With Sculptra, a similar improvement in facial volume and shape is expected; this is a gradual process over several months, but longer lasting.

What results are reasonable for me to expect? 
Filler: a proportional increase in facial volume in line with the amount of filler used is expected. Subtle improvement requires smaller and directed injections. A 1-milliliter syringe of filler is only one-fifth of a teaspoon! In targeted areas, a significant improvement can be seen with 1mL of filler. However, the more areas that are being treated, the more likely one syringe alone won’t fully treat your concerns.
Sculptra: expect improvement, but this will be a gradual process over months. Don’t worry if you don’t see huge results in the first week. Sculptra is a biostimulator, not a filler. So it takes longer but can give more satisfying results.  

Neuromodulators: a reduction in active facial wrinkles is expected. So, wrinkles that become more prominent with movement will be reduced. However, the “static” wrinkles, those that are present even when the face is at rest, typically will not be noticeably different. They may soften with repeated treatments over years, but not in the first few injections.

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