When you book an appointment for a facial treatment that’s supposed to leave your skin looking younger and better than before, the last thing you expect is to leave looking worse. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens all-too often when women place their faces in the hands of practitioners who are not properly trained, experienced, and qualified. Aesthetic treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers, laser skin resurfacing, and even laser hair removal, all carry small, but potentially significant, risks. When you put yourself in the wrong hands, that risk increases.
Experience and training count, and it shows up in the results you receive. Be aware that there are practitioners who took a weekend class to learn how to use a laser or use injectables. It’s up to you to decide who you would rather trust your face to. Someone who spent 8+ years in medical school and residency studying the human body or someone who took an online course?
What could possibly go wrong?
We’ve all seen the horror stories of cosmetic procedures gone wrong —especially when it’s something as devastating as someone dying from botched liposuction. But a simple facial treatment doesn’t need to be fatal to have life-altering effects.
Lasers are used to correct dark spots, erase blood vessels and hair removal and the treatments are frequently offered in spas and operated by practitioners who aren’t medically trained. Not surprisingly, this leads to them having the highest incidence of injury. An incorrect setting used on a laser means there is a chance of burning the skin. We’ve also seen permanent white patches on dark skin, residual redness and even depressions and scarring from lasers that weren’t used correctly. Another problem with inaccurate laser setting is that they can leave permanent dark stripes. And no one wants to trade broken vessels or facial hair for dark stripes!
When a needle is in inexperienced hands, injections can also carry risks of unintended results. If dermal fillers are injected into the wrong spot, the face can look unbalanced, there can be bruises or scarring, or the product can cause visible lumps under the skin. Improperly placed Botox can cause uneven or drooping brows or even cause temporary paralysis.
Injections gone wrong can sometimes be quickly fixed—for example, a misplaced injection of a hyaluronic acid based dermal filler such as Belotero, Juvederm, Restylane, or Perlane, can be instantly neutralized with an injection of the enzyme hyaluronidase. But with dermal fillers such as Radiesse and Sculptra, your only choice is to wait for it to be metabolized by your body and gradually disappear, which can take up to a year. Same goes for Botox, which wears off in 3 to 6 months. And if it’s a permanent filler (such as Artefill), you’re pretty much stuck with the results unless you have it surgically removed.
What can be done to fix a botched procedure?
Plastic surgeons and dermatologists are reporting that they seeing more and more patients who come in for repairs. They are looking to have a doctor fix a problem that occurred during a procedure they thought would help make them look better. It can end up costing many thousands of dollars more—not to mention the time and discomfort of several additional treatments—to repair bad results like burns, discoloration, and scarring.
And even after all that, the end result will most likely not be perfect. Of course, even with the most skilled physician, things can—and sometimes do—go wrong. The difference is that someone with the proper knowledge, training, and experience can respond quickly to rectify a problem. A person who knows what they’re doing will recognize right away if something doesn’t go well and can address it immediately to minimize any damage.
A Final Note
Do your homework prior to booking a facial, cosmetic treatment. Read reviews, talk to former patients and always make a consultation appointment. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions - this is your one and only face we are talking about!