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Aesthetics

Here’s What to Do If You Don’t Like Your Botox or Filler

by Bee Rose

@charlotte_lapalus

• By Bee Rose

Embarking on the journey of cosmetic treatments can cause anxiety for any of us. Needles don’t exactly conjure pleasant images after all. In addition to the possible pain and general creepiness, there’s the very real fear factor of botched results. After spending the money and trusting someone to poke your face, what if you don’t like your botox or filler?

There’s simply no guarantee, even when you’ve done your homework and vetted the right injector. It’s tricky to predict how your body will react to certain injectables, and results can be affected by even what you ingested before your treatment

So what do you do if you end up hating your results? I know you’re scared, but let’s all take a collective deep breath and remember that there are options for fixing your face. We asked FACILE dermatology + boutique co-founder Dr. Nancy Samolitis, MD, FAAD how to handle telling your injector that you don’t like your results as well as your options for reversing the damage done.

Addressing The Elephant In The Room

First of all, remember that your injector wants to give you the best possible results. Dr. Samolitis really appreciates it when her patients come back to her with issues. She stresses that any ethical injector should want to know. “I would be really upset if somebody was unhappy with what I did, and they went somewhere else to fix it,” she says. “I think the worst possible thing I could imagine is if somebody wouldn’t trust me enough to come back to me.” She also makes a point to tell her patients that if they have a concern to email or call her, night or day (and she always checks her emails). When you do reach out to your provider, Dr Samolitis suggests getting straight to the point. “Just say: I’m not happy, this isn’t what I was expecting.” 

Just say: I’m not happy, this isn’t what I was expecting

Botox

How long should you wait before freaking out?

It takes one week for Botox to settle. If you’re so inclined, schedule a follow-up at that time. If Dr. Samolitis hasn’t performed Botox on someone before, she recommends a quick meet two weeks afterwards to check her work and make sure her patient is satisfied.

What are some common complaints?

The most common reasons that people are unhappy with their Botox usually involve the eyebrows: either one side is pulling higher than the other, or there’s a heavy spot. If someone gets a droopy eyelid — which is rare — it’s always devastating, albeit temporarily. “In my 20 years injecting, I can count on one hand the time that’s happened,” says Dr. Samolitis.” If you inject enough people, you will eventually see those side effects.”  

What’s the fix?

There’s always the option of strategically adding a bit more Botox where needed, and that usually does the trick. But, sometimes it’s just a matter of letting go. Remember: when Botox goes rogue, it’s because small portions of the stuff diffused into the wrong muscle. Because the amount is usually so small, it won’t take the full three months associated with Botox to resolve. So chill and let your body do its thing. Especially for problems like eyelid heaviness, there’s not a lot you can do other than wait it out.

For more severe problems, like those droopy lids, you have options. “Alpha agonist eyedrops, normally used for glaucoma, can increase muscle activity in that area,” says Dr. Samolitis. “That usually gets people through the period of waiting for Botox to wear off.”

Filler

How long should you wait before freaking out?

Filler will have completely settled in one week, although you can usually get a sense of results sooner. “What you see about an hour after injecting filler is probably how it’s going to be” says Dr. Samolitis. She still recommends waiting two weeks to decide if you like it, since you never know if there will be swelling or bruising. 

What are some common complaints?

This is extremely personal and can truly run the gamut from actual botched jobs to someone feeling their cheeks or chin looks too fat. It’s best to be explicit with your doctor about your aesthetic goals beforehand. Perhaps even bring in a photo of yourself when you really loved your face so they have a reference to work from.

What’s the fix?

To fix, Dr. Samolitis injects patients with an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which is basically anti-venom for hyaluronic acid fillers. However, even though all HA fillers are made out of the same material, they differ in the way that the molecules are bonded together. “Voluma has more lifting power and lasts longer, so it’s a lot harder to dissolve and takes multiple sessions,” Dr. Samolitis notes. Restylane is the easiest to dissolve, which is why she prefers to use that in unforgiving areas, like under the eyes. 

If you do go to a new doctor to fix your previous visit with another, definitely find out what filler was used where. “I always request that if a patient comes from somewhere else to get filler dissolved, I need their records,” says Dr. Samolitis. “That way I know how to use the dissolving enzymes properly.”