Too much of a good thing?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Full disclosure-- I am not a filler fan. I hate needles. I believe in anti-aging skincare. I have very mixed feelings on the lengths people will go to in order to look younger. That said, I am not here to judge. It's YOUR face. If you want fillers, go for it!

Botox. Restylane. Juvederm. Chances are you have likely heard of these fillers.  Many of you have considered these treatments yourself. Perhaps you have already had them done.  Did you know, though, that injectable treatments can make your face look older?

Think about some of the Hollywood celebs who have had too much of a good thing--some of those ladies have had so much Botox that they can’t even move their eyebrows.

We seem to be in a never ending quest for the fountain of youth.  Injectable treatments can help turn back the clock, even if only temporarily.  Going to the dermatologist for fillers can be done quickly, often over the lunch hour.  The results are usually positive.  Those frown lines soften and you look more awake.  

Unfortunately, many women are unaware that getting regular injectable treatments such as Botox can make their skin look older. How can clinically proven anti-aging treatments like Botox make you look older?  Let’s look at the causes.

Muscle Atrophy

When we do not use muscles for an extended period of time, they begin to atrophy.  They lose strength. Muscle mass is diminished.  Have you ever broken a bone before and noticed a difference in the appearance of the broken area after the cast is removed?

A few years back, I broke my left leg.  I had a cast for several weeks.  Despite having regular physical therapy sessions while in my cast, the muscles were no longer being used the same way.  I wasn’t walking, running, or jumping.  When my cast was removed, my left leg was thinner than the right.  My left calf muscle lost its tone. There was a definite reduction in muscle mass.

When injectable fillers are used, the ingredients paralyze the facial muscles.  That is the reason people are often unable to furrow their brows or show expressiveness in their face.  The facial muscles are not being used.  If injectable treatments are performed repeatedly, these muscles may begin to atrophy. The result?  Skin sagging and loss of firmness-- the very things you are trying to avoid by having the injectables in the first place.

Patient addiction

I hate to use the word addiction because it seems so strong, but it really can apply to some people who have in-office procedures to combat the effects of aging. It can happen to any of us.  Have you ever had a skin care product you just loved, but the package insert said to use it only twice weekly?

I remember back in college, I had a facial scrub I adored. It made my skin feel squeaky clean and fresh.  The back of the bottle said to use it two to three times a week. I told myself that since it worked so well three times a week, the results would be even more spectacular if I used the product six times a week. So I did. I quickly learned overusing a product can have a negative effect. I soon began to experience red, irritated skin. Pores became clogged. My skin started to break out.  

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  The same applies to injectables. Many people love the results they experience after having these treatments done. They look more youthful.  They have an increase in self confidence.  What ends up happening is that these patients will often decide to have treatments done more frequently, believing that “more is better”.  When it comes to injectable treatments, though, less is more.

Repeated treatments at a frequent rate can make the facial features look unnatural--almost distorted.  When this happens, a much older looking face is likely.

How to avoid looking older with injectable treatments

  • Is your doctor heavy-handed with the injectables? Is he or she trying to get you to have more areas done or at a greater frequency? Find a new doctor. You want to be sure your doctor is well trained in performing these injections. If something doesn’t feel right to you, there is no harm in finding a doctor you are comfortable with.

  • Resist the urge to overdo it. Stick with the maintenance schedule recommended by your dermatologist. Having treatments done too often will only result in an unnatural look, which makes your face look much older.


Tell me about your experience with injectable treatments.  How often do you go in for maintenance?  Are you happy with your results? I want to know!
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