The Doctor’s In

All your questions about cosmetic injections, answered

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All your questions about cosmetic injections, answered


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This new column features expert advice on your most pressing questions regarding medical aesthetics. Here, we ask Dr Melvin Tan of EPION Clinic about botulinum toxin and filler injections.

Q. When is a good age for someone to start considering the use of botulinum toxin and fillers injections?

A. “For botulinum toxin injections, a suitable age would be when you start noticing a wrinkle sticking around after you stop frowning or smiling. This is usually for people in their mid-20s to early-30s. Regular and subtle botulinum toxin injections can go a long way in helping to prevent deep wrinkles. If we leave a wrinkle too long, it can get very deeply etched into the skin. And when it gets to this stage, often, we need to consider adding fillers or resurfacing the skin, which carries a little more risk or downtime.

We also start to lose fat in our faces from our late 20s, so I would say that would be a good time to start maintenance dermal filler injections. When we start this process early, only small volumes of filler are required. Regular touch-ups every one to two years let you maintain a natural and fresh appearance throughout the ageing process, instead of undergoing a sudden and dramatic change when you get older.”

Q. I want to start on cosmetic injections but I am afraid that people can tell. What should I do?

A. “Actually, if cosmetic injections are done well, people around you should have no idea. Aiming for a subtle result with botulinum toxin injections rather than seeking to eradicate all the lines is the best approach, especially if it’s your first few times doing it. Remember: It’s always better to get less than what you think you need, and then come back for a follow-up a few weeks later if you decide you want more.

Certain areas are also more at-risk of running into issues and looking potentially unnatural. I would advise going easy on the forehead as overdoing it here can make the forehead feel heavy and look tired. Heavyhanded botulinum toxin injections around the eyes can sometimes restrict (being able to) smile fully or make it look slightly forced.”

Q. What’s the best way to communicate my desired results when it comes to cosmetic injections?

A. “The best thing would be to do your homework first about botulinum toxin and the area you want treated. When you understand how the treatment works, you are able to speak intelligently and proactively to your doctor about what you want and how best to achieve a natural yet refreshed look.

Discuss also with your doctor where the botulinum toxin will be injected and how much you are going to be given. A good doctor will generally recommend botulinum toxin in moderation. This could mean conservative dosing or perhaps conservative placement (for example, forehead injection points closer to the hairline than the brows).”

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice and readers are advised to seek advice from a qualified doctor if they are considering any cosmetic procedures. SPHM Pte Ltd does not accept any liability in respect of any action taken by a reader in reliance on any recommendations contained in this article.