Since opening in 2013 I have seen nearly 700 people for consultations. Some of those have had treatments elsewhere and some are just considering the idea of non-surgical aesthetic treatments and want to find out more. I make sure to explain to each the reality of what a treatment can do for them, and what it can’t do. Here’s what I tell them:
It’s not an exact science
Those who have treatments elsewhere may have moved to the area and are looking for a new practitioner. Sometimes they have been disappointed with a treatment elsewhere and this always fascinates me.
I am not so arrogant as to assume that another practitioner may have “done something wrong” as these treatments are not exact sciences. Results vary with each individual. Quite simply, no faces are identical so it stands to reason that no two results will be the same. Sometimes it transpires that the outcome a particular client is looking for isn’t possible with a non-surgical solution.
Managing expectations is a huge part of my role. I’ve been shown many pictures of lips over the years that a client would like to have and sometimes they are disappointed to hear that, due to the anatomy or physiology of their lip, achieving the lip in picture is either unlikely or would involve using many syringes of filler.
The truth about risk
This has a greater implication. Cost is a factor of course but also safety. No procedure is risk free. The skin is a delicate organ that, like a balloon, if you keep inflating the outcome won’t be favourable. In the media this week is the story of a young man whose lips have been so heavily treated he describes “filler leaking”. I’m horrified that any practitioner would even put a client at such risk but that’s another blog…
Unfortunately it’s not a one size fits all hence the lengthy consultation to decide whether the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks.
Understanding the potential
The lifting and volumising potential of a single syringe of filler has to be understood, too. The product is much softer than most people expect. Many express surprise that it doesn’t have the consistency of putty or blue tac and the same moulding potential. Each single syringe is only 1ml. Try measuring 1ml of water on to a teaspoon. Not only is it virtually impossible but it highlights quite how small 1ml is.
Wrinkle relaxing injections
Botulinum Toxin is a muscle relaxant and it was initially used in the early eighties to treat patients with cross eyes or irritating lid spasms. Patients, nurses and doctors noted how much smoother the skin was around the treatment area and this was the beginning of the drug being used in aesthetics.
Patients often request a lift from the treatment. This isn’t impossible but the drug is far more efficient at relaxing muscles as it blocks the release of a substance called acetylcholine which is responsible for muscle contraction. Muscles in a state of relaxation will not sit in a lifted position. Some clients will achieve a lift more effectively than others depending on a few factors, including the way they use their muscles to make facial expressions, such as the frown and brow lift, and how heavy the eyelids are. For example, relaxing the forehead muscles on a client with heavy lids will give them a smoother forehead but in all likelihood will also give them a heavy and tired expression. Imagine trying to put mascara on and painting the eyelids instead and that’s the likely outcome.
Attention to detail
The feedback I often receive after a consultation keeps me inspired. Many (who have had treatment previously) say they have never been given such detailed information before. I proudly describe my attention to detail as “anal”. After all, the idea of a consultation is for the client to go home and take all the information into consideration and make an informed decision about their treatment options. If I’ve put a client off having treatment then I consider that a “job done” too as these treatments shouldn’t be undertaken lightly.
Given my attention to detail I decided that I would undergo voluntary accreditation to join a national register of accredited practitioners. My assessment is on 9th August. It’s been a revelation… all will be revealed via social media next week and the next blog!
Thanks for reading!