[By Tania Hui]
Carmen Dell’Orefice who is the world’s oldest working model at the age of 82 once famously remarked when asked about her opinion regarding facelifts and aesthetics procedures. “Well if you had the ceiling falling down in your living room, would you not go and have it repaired?”
The history of having a little “nip and tuck” goes a long way back in Hollywood but today, it has ceased to remain in the domains of the rich and famous and the elite few. It is no longer surprising if your daughter’s best friend received a surgically enhanced nose as her 18th birthday present from her doting parents. Botox parties might be an exaggerated urban myth but a quick lunchtime Botox fix or a chemical peel is happening every other minute in any cosmopolitan city around the world. As we embrace medical advances that promise us a sip in the fountain of youth, are we also stepping into a beauty landmine straight out of Pandora’s Box?
As with all things that went mainstream, there’s always the flip side to the story. In other words, with every successful procedure that manage to beautify or turn back the clock, there’s always one or more botched up cases sending shudders down our spines and holding us back. So what can go wrong and can the damages done be reversed? Let RSB share with you some of these “fix-its” for common aesthetics fixes gone wrong.
Botox gone wrong
Up to 2013, Botox remains worldwide as the number 1 aesthetics procedure du jour. A few jabs here and there and pesky wrinkles and fine lines are erased to shave years off one’s actual age. Although it does have a wide safety margin, the rampant use of Botox had brought along a slew of problems especially when left in inexperienced hands. As aging is an ongoing process, the results you got 5 years back might not be reproducible with Botox alone. By not realizing this, there’s always a risk of becoming a “line-chaser” with injectors using higher and higher doses in a desperate attempt to re-create the “magic” once known to the patient. Expressionless mask liked faces, overly arched eyebrows and bunched up cheeks when one smiles are all tell-tale signs that are dead giveaways to “Botox gone wrong”.
“To prevent falling down the slippery slope of being “over-botoxed”, one must be wary of the your own expectations and the doctor’s promises,” says Dr. Chua Han Boon, senior medical consultant with The Sloane Clinic. “There are subtle yet definite differences of the facial anatomy between two different individuals and one must be aware of this while administering Botox injections. Often it’s technique over dosage that gives the more desirable end result of a refresh and not a frozen look.”
Fortunately, the effects of Botox are completely reversible and if you do not like the results, you just have to be patient and wait out a few weeks to months for it to wear off completely. Always keep your review date with your doctor after each visit so that he or she can fine tune the treatment to your benefit. If it’s still not to your liking, perhaps it’s time to move on to someone else with a better understanding of how the toxin works!
Fillers: Too much of a good thing is terrible!
Over the years, Natural Fillers have been rising in popularity because of their high safety margin and low side effect profile. Made from hyaluronic acid that’s similar in composition to our body’s own, these dermal fillers are able to fill up sunken areas on your face, sculpt and enhance one’s profile as well as correct static lines that cannot be dealt with Botox alone. One word of caution with dermal fillers is that they need to be administered by trained hands to prevent the overfilled “pillow” faces and weird lumps and bumps especially in areas with naturally thin skin such as the undereyes. It is always better to put in less and slowly build up the area(s) of deficit over a few sessions for more natural looking end results. You want to end up like a younger, better version of yourself, not a stuffed toy or blow up doll!
If you have had too much hyaluronic acid fillers injected, ask for a hyaluronidase remedy which will melt away excess fillers to restore your face to its original state. The choice of fillers used play an equally important role. Steer clear of permanent fillers such as silicone injections as they can come with a host of complications such as granulomas formation with unsightly palpable lumps, infection and migration. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of permanent fillers is via surgical excision which can be both painful and costly to your face and purse.
IPL & Laser burns
Lasers have come a long way since its induction into the field of aesthetics medicine. From hair removal to tattoo removal and skin resurfacing, there’s one or more laser available on the market for your aesthetics woes. One of the most dreaded complication of any laser or light therapy got to be burn. If you belong to a minor ethnic group, always double check with the provider if he or she has the experience with treating patients with your skin type. The credibility of the laser machines used play an equally important role as well. Only when you are totally comfortable should you allow a laser or light therapy to be performed on you. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If unfortunately you are a victim of laser burns, which can happen immediately or within the first 24 hours post treatment, proper wound care is pertinent to allow optimal healing. Keep the wound clean and if necessary, a course of oral antibiotics to prevent infection. Being nutritionally sound will aid in wound healing too.
In the event of Post-Inflammatory Pigmentation or PIH— the residual dark marks left behind after healing can be significantly lightened with Chemical Peels made of naturally occurring fruit acids and other active cosmeceutical ingredients which aim to increase and promote healthy cellular turnover. This can be combined with a suitable Pigment Laser which emits laser at a particular wavelength that will break up the pigment underneath the skin without breaching its surface.
In summary, there is a risk to even the commonest of aesthetics procedures but fortunately, there’s a remedy to most. This should not keep you away but one got to go in with both eyes wide open when choosing the doctor who touches your face. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!