Our most frequently asked questions about botox, fillers and microblading

Treatment FAQ

WHAT SHOULD I DO PRE-TREATMENT?

5-7 days before treatment – To minimize bruising it’s recommended that you avoid blood thinning over-the-counter medications such as Aspirin, Aleve, Ibuprofen, and Motrin. Also avoid herbal supplements such as garlic, ginko biloba, ginseng, omega-3 capsules, and vitamin E. If you are being medically prescribed blood thinners you must consult with your physician before discontinuing use.

2-3 days before treatment – Avoid “anti-aging” products such as Tretinoin (Retin-A), Retinols and Retinoids, Alpha Hydroxy Acid, and Glycolic Acid. Also refrain from waxing, tweezing, bleaching, or using another hair removal product on the area to be treated.

24 hours before treatment – Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for 24 hours pre and post treatment to help prevent bruising

Do not use botox or dermal fillers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, are allergic to any ingredients, or suffer from any neuromuscular disorders.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT ON THE DAY OF MY APPOINTMENT?

Arrive on time and ideally not wearing makeup. If you’d like, you can bring makeup to apply after the treatment.

Your session will begin with a discussion about your areas of interest as well as a brief medical and aesthetic history.

A mild amount of tenderness may be experienced. Topical numbing agents are available for botox treatments and local freezing will be used for dermal filler techniques.

Redness and swelling after treatment is normal. However, if the redness / swelling persists and becomes painful please contact our office or your physician immediately.

Some bruising may occur and if it does will typically only last for a few days.

WHAT SHOULD I DO POST-TREATMENT?

Avoid strenuous activity immediately following treatment, and activities that may increase blood flow to your head, such as yoga.

Avoid hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas and alcohol.

You may gently apply ice or a cold pack to help reduce swelling and potential bruising.

Once any swelling or pinpoint bleeding has subsided you can apply makeup around the treated area.

Avoid putting excessive pressure on the treated area for the first few days especially when cleansing or applying makeup.

You make take Tylenol or other acetaminophen to help with any mild discomfort.

Avoid extended UV exposure until any redness or swelling has subsided, and always wear sunscreen.

Wait a minimum of 24 hours before receiving any other skin care or laser treatment.

Botox FAQ

WHAT IS BOTOX?

Botox is the trade name of a product produced by Allergan. The product is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in nature where it is largely inactive and non-toxic. There are at least two other similar products on the market trade named Dysport (by Galderma) and Xeomin (by Merz). Although structurally slightly different, they all disrupt the signaling process that allows neurons to communicate effectively with muscles.

HOW DOES BOTOX WORK?

In order for muscles to contract nerves release a chemical messenger, acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter), at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine travels from the nerve to the muscle and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten. Botulinum toxin (Botox) is absorbed by nerves near the site of injection. Once inside the nerves Botox inhibits the proteins (SNARE) that release the acetylcholine thus preventing the nerve from causing the muscle to contract. This is an irreversible process. Botox wears off when the nerves create new nerve endings to once again induce muscle contraction.

WHAT IS A UNIT OF BOTOX?

A unit of botox is a measure of biologic activity, based on scientific investigations. Botox is purchased as a powder in 100 unit vials. The amount (or the dose) of botox you receive is determined by 2 things; how much fluid (normal saline) is used to mix the botox and how much of this fluid you receive. For optimal results it is recommended that a 100 unit vial of powdered botox is mixed with 1 milliliter of fluid. Some practitioners use more than 1 millimeter of fluid which may contribute to the variability in results that some clients experience.

HOW LONG IS A BOTOX TREATMENT?

While the average treatment time is just a few minutes, I typically schedule 30 mins for every appointment. This extra time allows us to chat about your medical and cosmetic history and allows me to fully understand what your expectations are. This also provides a time buffer at the beginning and end of your appointment to ensure privacy and discretion.

Botox is delivered through a very thin 31-gauge needle (less than ¼ of a millimeter) into the muscle that is being treated. Some people experience no pain at all, some experience a very short small pinch.

HOW MUCH BOTOX WILL I NEED?

This is highly variable and based in part on how deep your wrinkles are, how your body responds to the treatment and whether you’ve received treatment before. For example, the amount of botox needed to treat your worry lines could range from 5 to 20 units and a unit of botox may range from $8 to $20 per unit. As you can see this creates some uncertainty in what your treatment might cost. At Skin Secrets we take out all the guess work and surprise as our pricing is based on an area of treatment, such as your worry lines, with a 2 month guarantee!

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?

Immediately after the treatment you may see small bumps, similar to mosquito bites, at the sites of injection. These small bumps generally disappear in just a few minutes. It will likely take 2 to 4 days before the treatment becomes noticeable and up to 1 week before you see the full effect.
When the treatment is in full effect the visible results will be smoother skin and the reduction of wrinkles. As we discussed previously, it is important to remember that the results are only temporary (normally 3 months but will vary from patient to patient) and additional treatments will be necessary to maintain achieved results.

SIDE EFFECTS

The side effects and complications associated with botox injections are relatively rare if you receive your treatment from a trained and experienced practitioner but may include pain at the injection site, infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, bleeding and bruising. Although unlikely, some people may develop an allergic reaction to botox with symptoms such as itching, wheezing, asthma, a rash, red welts, dizziness or faintness. Additional side effects may include nausea, headaches, muscle asymmetry (eg eyebrow ptosis) or double vision.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list and while side effects can occur in anyone, regardless of age or other health risks, botox treatment remains relatively safe. When side effects do occur, these usually resolve in a short period of time. Most importantly, the risk of side effects is dramatically reduced when the treatment is performed by a qualified expert and in fact, most doctors admit they rarely see adverse effects other than some slight bruising and swelling.

WHAT IS A WRINKLE?

From a cosmetic perspective there are 2 types of wrinkles, dynamic and static. Dynamic wrinkles are the creases you see in the mirror when you are using your muscles while frowning or squinting your eyes. These are the wrinkles that we can readily treat with botox. Static wrinkles are the creases you see in the mirror even when your not actively frowning or squinting. These are more difficult, but not impossible to treat with botox, however are probably better treated with dermal fillers. On a positive note, dermal fillers generally last much longer than botox and treatments may only be necessary every 12-24 months. The regular and early use of botox can prevent the development of static wrinkles.

Tissue Filler FAQ

WHAT IS A TISSUE FILLER?

While both dermal fillers and botox are used to smooth wrinkles, they are very different. In simplest terms, the dermal fillers we use at Skin Secrets are synthetic gels of hyaluronic acid that are injected with the purpose of adding volume to your skin. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance throughout your body and it provides skin elasticity, volume and hydration. As you age your body produces less collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. By filling and plumping your skin hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can be used to 1) accentuate your natural features such as your lips or check bones 2) fill and smooth out deep static wrinkles 3) replace areas of volume loss 4) correct asymmetric or dysmorphic features. In addition, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers may actually be restorative, as some studies have shown that injecting hyaluronic acid stimulates new collagen production by your skin.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?

In order for muscles to contract nerves release a chemical messenger, acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter), at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine travels from the nerve to the muscle and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten. Botulinum toxin (Botox) is absorbed by nerves near the site of injection. Once inside the nerves Botox inhibits the proteins (SNARE) that release the acetylcholine thus preventing the nerve from causing the muscle to contract. This is an irreversible process. Botox wears off when the nerves create new nerve endings to once again induce muscle contraction.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNTIME AND SIDE EFFECTS?

There is essentially no downtime after your treatment. The most common side effect is bruising at the site of injection. A small bruise may last 1 to 2 days while a large bruise might last as long as a week. The most serious side effects occur when the dermal filler is inadvertently injected into a blood vessel which may result in skin necrosis, skin scarring or in the worst case scenario, blindness. While this sounds awful, the chances of developing one of these complications is very rare and can be further reduced by avoiding high-risk areas such as between the eyes, ensuring your practitioner is well-trained and is using safe techniques, and recognizing complications early so that they can be treated and mitigated.

WHAT RESULTS WILL I HAVE?

Dermal fillers work very quickly and the results of your treatment will be obvious right away. Depending on the type of dermal filler used, there may be some further plumping over the next few weeks as the hyaluronic acid attracts water into the area of treatment.

Dermal fillers typically last 6 to 24 months depending on the type of dermal filler used and the area that is treated. Your expected results will be discussed at the time of your consultation.

HOW MUCH WILL A TISSUE FILLER COST?

This is highly variable based on the area of treatment and the type and volume of dermal filler required. An estimate of cost will be discussed at the time of consultation.

Microblading FAQ

WHAT IS MICROBLADING?

Microblading is the artistic technique of tattooing individual hair strokes with a handheld tool called a microblade. Unlike traditional tattooing, which uses a machine, microblading artists hand draw each hair to match the color and coarseness of your eyebrows. The result? Gorgeous, natural looking eyebrows.

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Microbladed eyebrows last 1 to 2 years for most people, before it usually needs a touch up.

DOES IT HURT?

Most clients report little or no pain! We use a topical anesthetic before the procedure to numb the affected area.

HOW LONG IS THE APPOINTMENT?

It usually takes 2 hours, with most of the time spent going over colors and drawing eyebrow shapes. The microblading portion lasts 30-45 minutes.

HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY APPOINTMENT?

In the week before your appointment we recommend avoiding blood thinners, aspirin, alcohol or using retinol creams.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL?

You’ll be able to wear your new brows back to work! In the first 7 days, you’ll need to avoid getting them wet, working out or wearing brow makeup. It takes about 30 days to completely heal, in which time you may experience some scabbing.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT AFTERCARE?

Stay out of the sun and water while your microblading heals. Avoid chlorine, exfoliation creams, and sun exposure as they may cause your color to fade.

CAN I GET MICROBLADING WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING?

No, we do not recommend microblading while pregnant or breastfeeding.

CAN I GET MICROBLADING WITH BOTOX AND TISSUE FILLERS?

Yes, but we recommend waiting 10 -14 days between treatments. It usually takes 2 hours, with most of the time spent going over colors and drawing eyebrow shapes. The microblading portion lasts 30-45 minutes.

CAN MICROBLADING HIDE/COVER MY SCARS?

Absolutely! Please send us a photo of your eyebrows without makeup so we can determine if microblading will work for you.

DOES MICROBLADING WORK ON ALL SKIN TONES AND SKIN TYPES?

Yes! Microblading works on all skin tones and colors. However, if you have oily skin, large pores or a keloid disorder, we do not recommend microblading.

DOES IT LOOK REAL?

Yes, because we hand draw every hair stroke! You’ll marvel at Caroline’s incredibly precise technique.