Getting Injectable Treatments at the Spa: What You Need to Know

At a medical spa, there's a good chance your spa treatment will come packaged in a syringe. Injectible spa services are becoming more and more popular as new dermal fillers are released each year. Now, patients have multiple injectibles from which to choose when seeking a younger looking appearance. These products provide "liquid face lifts;"they give results without invasive surgery. But although many satisfied customers swear by injectable treatments, there have been multiple failed liquid lifts performed too. If you're thinking about undergoing a liquid lift, proceed with caution.

Kinds of injectables

The term "injectables" refers to a broad range of products, all of which have the goal of giving a fuller, younger appearance. These products are usually used on the face, although they could be injected elsewhere if desirable. Injectables are generally placed in two groups - Botox and not Botox. The "not Botox" group is labeled with the umbrella term "dermal fillers" and includes products that are less permanent than Botox. Dermal fillers do what their name implies--fill lined areas of skin to give a fuller appearance. Botox, on the other hand, essentially paralyzes muscles so they can't create wrinkles in commonly wrinkled areas.
There are multiple products that fall in the dermal filler group. Brand names include Juvederm, Artefill, Sculptra, Restylane and others. Simple collagen injections are another form of fillers that can be purchased at medical spas too. Most of these injectables aren't permanent and will require touch ups after a few months or years. Also, they don't always work. Only about two thirds of patients experience positive results with dermal fillers; the other third either notices no changes or has negative results, like burning or bruising.
In general, injectable treatments are painful. There's no way around that. But if you're interested in noninvasively changing your appearance in a short amount of time, they're the way to go. Different injectables can be used for everything from eliminating crow's feet to plumping lips, and if you have a facial problem, there's probably an injectable out there that can solve it.

Undergoing injectable treatments

Nowadays, all kinds of people are offering injectable services. It's not uncommon to find them at hotel spas and day spas in addition to their more familiar homes in doctor's offices and at medical spas. No matter where you get an injectable, make sure that a doctor is performing the treatment. It's too big of a risk to allow an unqualified technician to administer Botox or Juvederm in your skin. The results will be permanent or semi-permanent, so only trained professionals should be allowed to treat you with these products. Too often, estheticians, nurses, and other unqualified people perform injectables in spa environments--don't let it happen to you.
Always make sure you have a doctor performing your treatment. Even if the spa claims a doctor will be the one administering the injectable, go the extra mile and confirm that this is the case. Ask to see credentials and certifications; the most qualified doctors will be plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Although many medical spas do have licensed physicians perform all treatments, it might be best to see a physician in his or her office before receiving an injectable. Then, the physician can either perform the treatment at the office or refer you to a medical spa that is known to be legitimate.

Avoiding the doll look

We all know of someone who just screams, "I've had too much work done." Don't let yourself become that person. You can avoid looking plastic by having only one facial treatment performed at a time. For example, if you're getting an injectable, hold off on a chemical peel for a while. Similarly, don't get injected all over your face at once. Start small--with the lips, maybe--and return for successive treatments to cover the rest of your face. Also, let the doctor know that you want a natural look. This should clue her in to going easy on the Botox.

Price matters

Like all medical spa treatments, injectables don't come cheap. The total cost of a liquid lift all depends on the products used, the number of injections needed, and any touch ups that may be required. In general, however, you can expect to pay at least $500 for a good injectable service. Don't let price be the determining factor in your decision about where to get a treatment, however. Injectables are things that you'll have to live with every day, so it's worth paying a little extra for a skilled hand.

Things to remember

There are tons of injectable products out there. Consult with your doctor about the ones that would be best for you, and then research each potential product thoroughly. Make sure you know the benefits and risks associated with each product so you can make an informed decision.
You might want to get a less permanent injectable treatment as a trial run before committing to something more permanent, like Botox. This way if you don't like the results, they'll eventually wear off. If you do like them, however, you can go back for a longer lasting combination of products.
Remember: only a licensed, trained physician should perform injectable treatments. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Your licensed physician should only administer FDA-approved products. Double check to make sure each injectable you receive is legit. And keep in mind that there are many products used abroad that aren't considered safe in the United States. Do yourself a favor and stay away from these unsafe options!