I’m going to share with you my experience with Botox and fillers and how I decided to try it.
It all started while attending a family birthday party and my brother telling me he saw lines around my mouth when I made a facial expression. I was horrified and couldn’t believe he said this! I had never been so embarrassed and immediately asked my sister-in-law (who has experience in this field) her opinion. I wanted to know if she could recommend someone to help get rid of the lines around my lips and wrinkles from all of my squinting.
I’ve always been self-conscious about this stuff because people have made comments to me saying that I “look mad” all the time but I was always too scared to do anything about it.
Having my brother make a comment to me this time flipped a switch in me for whatever reason and I felt ready to take the next step. My sister-in-law suggested that I go see Dr. Gentile as she, too, had used him before and was quite satisfied with his work. I was so shocked! I never knew that she had gone in for any work and, that being said, gave me more confidence in this doctor — if I could never tell then it must mean that Dr. Gentile is amazing!
Learning About Botox and Wrinkle Fillers
I got Dr. Hervé Gentile’s number from her and gave him a call the following business day. While setting-up the appointment I was pleasantly surprised at how hard the secretary worked to accommodate my hectic schedule and give me a time that worked for me. We must have spent close to ten minutes going through possible dates and times to find one that worked for both of us. Yet, after all that work I ended up with an appointment and hung-up the phone excited.
People fail to realize that the sun is our biggest hidden evil when it comes to our skin.
From the moment I placed the receiver back into its cradle I began researching alternatives that I could use for preventing the lines from getting worse. I began applying sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) to my face, neck, and hands multiple times a day (since it only lasts a few hours). As much as I love the sun I know that the more you burn the closer you are to ending up with skin cancer. Similarly, too much sun breaks down the elasticity of your skin and your lines will show and become deeper. In order to keep my skin hydrated I began drinking lots of water and using a good night cream.
Through all of the research what I came to understand and value is that our skin is the largest organ that we have and we need to protect it.
The day of my appointment with Dr. Gentile finally came and I entered his office with my heart pounding. I was a bit nervous since I had never tried anything like this before but, more importantly, I felt extreme excitement because I knew that when I walked out of his office I would feel like a new woman!
Non-Surgical Beauty Procedures
As soon as I walked through his door he shook my hand and his smile immediately put me at ease. I explained my concerns and he took some time examining me, all the while explaining to me what he was doing and looking at. After the exam he explained all of my options: the various procedures and treatments that he offers along with the uses for each one. After discussing my situation we decided, together, that I was not quite ready for anything more than a few injections. He told me about Botox® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA), which is a prescription medicine that is injected into the muscles to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe crow’s feet and frown lines between the eyebrows in adults. Basically, I’d be temporarily paralyzing certain facial muscles that cause the skin to wrinkle when making certain facial expressions and by preventing the muscle from over moving it would soften the lines and keep my skin smooth. I was worried about having a frozen looking face, but he assured me he can regulate it according to how many units he uses which is based on how many lines I need controlled. Dr. Gentile also assured me that he can prescribe a numbing cream that he would apply to the skin 20 minutes before the actual procedure to assist with the small amount of discomfort that the injections may cause.
Botox is not used on the lines around the mouth. It can only be used on the face in the upper areas.
According to his observations, I would only need about 20 units which is most common for people with wrinkles in all of the three common areas: the forehead, in between the eyes, and the crows’ feet on the sides of the eyes. Similarly, he explained that it does take about three days for it to start taking full affect and would last from three to four months. The fact that this is not “permanent”, to me, is one of the best things about it as it gives me the option to stop any time. Lastly, he also explained that if done as preventative measure over time there may come a point when it can actually prevent wrinkles! Sign me up!
As we continued speaking I mentioned by unhappiness with the lines along the top of my lip. He reviewed them and offered some options for making them a bit plumper:
Options For Preventing Wrinkles
1) Fat Transfer (Your own fat) which is taken from your own natural fat cell that replaces what has been lost over time and therefore there is no chance of allergy or foreign body reaction.
2) Juvederm is a Hyaluronic acid gel formulation which provides lasting correction for up to a year and more. It is composed of larger identical to Optima but also has smaller particles so that it can be used in the lips. Hyaluronic acid is a natural occurrence that takes place in our bodies already. It fills the spaces between cells, protecting them by retaining water and serving as a cushion. It is composed of larger and smaller particles.
3) Optima is a Hyaluronic acid filler present in all humans and throughout the animal kingdom. It is composed of larger particles and is used only as a deep filler to treat cheeks or the nasolabial folds. It lasts about 2 years.
Hyaluronic acid is found abundantly in the dermis, helping skin retain its moisture.
Skin with high hyaluronic acid content
The skin remains hydrated and the surface is supple when the skin contains adequate concentrations of hyaluronic acid.
Skin with low hyaluronic acid content The skin loses its elasticity and the surface becomes dry, because moisture is lost as hyaluronic acid concentrations decrease.
4) Restylane is also a hyaluronic Acid that fills the spaces between cells.
5) Radiesse is comprised of Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres suspended in an aqueous gel carrier. Once it is injected, it provides immediate volume and correction but continues to work by stimulating the body to produce its own natural collagen. Over time, the gel is absorbed and the body metabolizes the CaHA microspheres leaving behind only your own natural collagen.
The Effects Of Anti-Wrinkle Injections
Depending on your needs and preferences, any of the above treatments can be injected into the fine or deep lines along or around the lips, or in the nasolabial folds which are the smile lines. Dr. Gentile may even recommend a temporary nerve block to help control any discomfort you may have. Fat injections are more lasting but are more time consuming because they require extraction of fat from another area of your body. They have the peculiarity of lasting a long time and patients are very satisfied despite some absorption occurring shortly thereafter. The Hyaluronic Acids (Juvederm and Optima) injections as body fillers are very promising and lasting and are rapidly gaining in popularity.
In more severe cases, patients with perioral wrinkling and thin lips from aging, lip enhancement can be performed by lip lifts under local anesthesia. The incisions are placed along the junction of the white and red portion of your lip (called the vermilion border) or hidden at the base of the nose depending on whether you have significant wrinkles around your mouth. These procedures are more permanent than soft body fillers.
After hearing all the options and discussing the pros and cons of each, I chose the Juvederm because I had already heard good things from friends and family that have tried it. It’s a pretty natural product and it lasts just long enough for me to enjoy it and make it to the next visit. At that point, all of my decision-making was done. All that I had left to do was to take a deep breath and allow him to begin the procedures. I took a breath, and on we went!
Dr. Gentiles Is A Plastic Surgery Expert!
It’s been about eight months since I sat in that chair with Dr. Gentiles. I have to say that I am exceptionally pleased with how things look. The procedures didn’t hurt and didn’t take too long. Everything looks real and natural. In fact, I get positive comments all the time now from family and friends who say that I look “happier and rested.” Even my brother made a comment! I didn’t want to tell them my secret so I just told them that I’d taken a vacation that had relaxed me so much that I came back a changed woman! I didn’t lie … I had walked out of that office a changed woman. Now, I have my next “vacation” scheduled for a week from today and plan on continuing to “vacation” in the same spot for years to come.