Fillers & Botox: 8 Tips to Avoid Looking Overdone

Written by Kellie Reed, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on March 4, 2022 No Comments

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Non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers are among the most popular anti-aging treatments. Despite their widespread use, it’s not unusual to see examples of over-treated patients. The overuse of injectables can lead to a face that’s expressionless and puffy, with skin that appears tight and ‘plastic.’ Avoid looking overdone with the following tips.

Choose an Experienced, Board-Certified Injector

An experienced, knowledgeable injector uses skill, not just product, to help you achieve your desired results.

Board-certified cosmetic surgeons have extensive training in facial anatomy and are familiar with the wide variety of injectables available, including their varying consistencies. Those with specific experience in neuromodulators and dermal fillers will have a better understanding of how to use them most efficiently.

Question Steep Discounts and Deals

Injectables are indeed less expensive than more invasive surgical procedures. That said, if you see a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Dermal fillers are priced per syringe and Botox per unit, but it is not only the product you are paying for. In addition to the product, you are paying for the expertise, knowledge, safety, and recommendations of your board-certified physician treating you. While some areas of the face may only require one-half this amount, splitting syringes between patients or failing to use them in a single setting reduces sterility and efficacy. An average Botox dose may require 30-40 units depending on the patient’s need and areas being treated. Compare prices of reputable providers in your area and question deals that appear as outliers.

Ask to View Before and After Photos

When choosing a provider, ask to view before and after photos of patients your same age who have treated your same areas of concern.

If you are a 52-year-old woman seeking to reduce forehead lines, viewing photos of a younger woman’s lip augmentation won’t tell you much about the skills of your provider. If your provider has limited before and after photos available, it could be a sign they are inexperienced or have few satisfied patients.

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Receive Treatment Close to Home

It can be tempting to seek treatment outside of the US in an effort to save money. However, doing so exposes you to unnecessary risk. Foreign providers don’t always have the same strict credentialing requirements as US medical boards. In addition, products used may not meet the high standards of the FDA. If something goes wrong, there’s often little recourse and it can be difficult to fix. Your local provider won’t know which product was used, or how much.

Refrain from Too Much Too Soon

Treating multiple areas of the face simultaneously can lead to over filling. It’s best to start with your one, biggest concern.

Start slowly by filling one area to correction before moving on to other regions of the face. Often, once the most important area is filled, it has a positive influence on more minor, adjacent areas. For example, but correcting mid-face volume less, it some patients, there is benefit of adjacent tear trough volume loss. By correcting one spot at a time, you may find less filler is needed.

Err on the Side of Underfilling

It’s always better to slightly underfill than to overfill. By beginning conservatively, you avoid making regrettable mistakes.

It’s far easier to add more with a second visit than to make corrections if you’ve done too much. Wait at least 2 weeks before deciding to refill, as final results take time to reveal themselves. There is often initial swelling that improves. You can always add more filler; it is not a sprint, but rather a marathon to achieve the best natural looking results.

Resist Overdoing Touch Ups

Overfilling may also occur as the result of overzealous touch ups or maintenance treatment sessions. Remember, touch ups won’t require the full, original amount of injectable.

Most dermal fillers last between 12-24 months. At a 6-month touch up, you’ll still have some filler remaining. Treating the area with the same amount you originally used can lead to overfilling. Botox treatments typically last about 3-4 months, and you have peak results starting at 2 weeks after treatment.

Trust Your Provider

If you’ve done your homework and selected an experienced, board-certified provider, trust them when they say you’ve had enough. They have been trained for at least 12 years to provide you this expertise.

Your experienced, skilled provider understands best how your anatomy will react to treatment, when you should use less, and when additional treatment becomes unnecessary. When in disagreement, it’s better to wait 2 weeks for full results to develop than to do too much at the moment.

Can You Correct an Overdone Look?

In addition to a frozen look, too much Botox can lead to drooping or heaviness as muscles become too relaxed. If this happens, not much can be done other than waiting. Botox will eventually wear off, becoming reabsorbed by the body within 3-6 months.

Like Botox, fillers will fade over time. In most cases, it’s best just to wait if you’ve done too much. In extreme cases, hyaluronic acid fillers can be reversed with use of a dissolving enzyme. The reversal procedure should be done by an experienced, certified provider.

Kellie Reed, MD

Dr. Kellie Reed specializes in aesthetic skin care, general medical dermatology, pediatric, and rheumatologic dermatology. She is passionate about her patient care and attention to detail, and her positive attitude provides a sense of comfort for her patients. Dr. Reed is a member of the Travis County Medical Society, Texas Medical Association, Texas Dermatological Society, Austin Dermatological Society, Women’s Dermatologic Society, Rheumatologic Dermatology Society, and the American Academy of Dermatology.

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