Botox and Big Lips....de-bunking the myths.

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The Midwest Laser Centre has been on the forefront of non-invasive cosmetic procedures for over 30 years. We thought it would be great to de-bunk some of the greatest myths in the cosmetic industry and common misconceptions that we get asked on a regular basis.

The most popular misconception we hear at Midwest is “Botox is going to make my lips big”. The name Botox is very popular, it has been spotlighted as a go-to treatment of the Hollywood elite. Botox is simply a neuromodulator. What does that mean? Muscle relaxant. It is injected into a muscle to diminish the movement for an average period of 3-4 months. Areas that are most commonly treated are the forehead lines (horizontal and the little vertical frown lines), crow’s feet, bunny lines (scrunch your nose up), and can be put in the upper lip and chin to help correct those movement lines. Botox is often confused with dermal filler which is placed in the lip area to create fuller lips. Botox is not the only neuromodulator on the market. There are several brands that are Health Canada and FDA approved, at Midwest we also use Dysport.

Other key things to know about Botox & Dysport:

1)      You will not make your wrinkles worse by trying it once. Your body metabolizes in over the 4 months period and your muscle movement to the area will return.

2)      It starts to work around day 2-3 but can take up to 2 weeks to see the full effect in the area treated. First, you will notice it is harder to make the muscle move and then over time the lines will start to fade.

3)      You are not injecting botulism or food poisoning into your body. Yes, it is a purified protein from the botulism toxin but it is very well studied and its effects are temporary and controlled to the injection area.

4)      Cost of Botox or Dysport varies between clinics but is still considered to be an affordable cosmetic procedure. We suggest making sure your injections are done by a certified physician or RN. An average forehead treatment for a female at Midwest Laser runs at approximately $250-450 (we charge $10/unit plus GST).

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Dermal fillers are used in the very popular lip augmentation and have also seen their fair share of bad publicity. Usually this is due to too much product in an area. I like to call that the “cat” look. Filler is a gel like substance that is injected into an area that has a crease or loss of volume. Think of putty under the skin. Most commonly injected in the lip lines and around the mouth (marionette lines, and nasolabial lines), and used to restore the cheek volume to create an overall lift. Filler is made with absorbable materials and hyaluronic acid being one of the most popular. This is already found in our body which makes it rare to react to and it bonds and smooths into our skin better than some of the other material options.

Some tips and facts on dermal fillers:

1)      Not all fillers are born alike. Within each family or brand of fillers you will have different consistencies. Your certified and experienced injector will know what filler is best for what areas and will be able to tell you the average length it will last.

2)      Fillers are not super painful. There is an initial needle poke but most fillers come with built in lidocaine (freezing). The lip area has been known to be more sensitive due to the amount of nerves.

3)      Swelling is common. Depending where the injections are placed it is quite common to get some swelling to the area and there is always a chance of some bruising. We suggest not doing this treatment right before a big event – give yourself a few weeks to let everything settle if you want to keep it a secret. If you do get some bruising you can use concealer and foundation to cover it up as it heals.

4)      Filler can last between 3 months and 18 months or more. There are some great fillers on the market that move with your facial expressions making the look very natural. The newer fillers are so natural looking that most people will only look at you wondering what is different but won’t be able to pinpoint it. Filler is charged by the syringe at Midwest Laser Centre and can range from $500-650.

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The best thing to do if you have questions about these services is to come in for a consultation. Fillers and neuromodulators are great tools without being a permanent change. This is great when you’re unsure or new to this industry. Most clinics will also offer non-invasive skin tightening procedures that use heat to contract collagen and give a natural lift. Not everyone is comfortable with needles so it is good to know that there are other options out there and quite often a combination of both injectables and skin tightening procedures will give the most natural result.

People will ask me, if you had to pick one thing at your clinic to do what would it be…. I find this hard because over the last 10 years I have had different things to treat. When I started I was in my early 20s I treated the acne I had been struggling with as well as laser hair removal. A good skin care regime was started which is very important. Cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, and protect with SPF.

As the years went by I started getting Botox/Dysport for my horizontal lines that were starting to appear – at first maybe once or twice a year and now into my mid-thirties I treat the lines every 4 months. I see the benefit in skin tightening treatments like Thermage or Fotona 3D to keep a youthful firmness to the skin. Fillers are great for those who have started the anti-aging treatments a bit later and want more of an instant improvement. Lip augmentation is very popular and I have been known to come home with the perfect pout. For those that have sun damage and redness to the skin my suggestion is a series of IPL treatments. If you have texture/scarring issues then laser peels are the best bang for your buck (don’t worry they aren’t as bad as they sound) and will work wonders to even skin tone and smooth the skin. There are many more options which is why it is always best to have an assessment. Get a feel for the clinic and don’t ever be afraid to ask lots of questions.

Midwest Laser is a Gold Sponsor of the Modern Woman Show & Exhibition. Come join us in April at Prairieland Park to learn more about our services and products. We have a fabulous new facility in Stonebridge and look forward to meeting you.

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