I am 43 and I believe that being in our forties is the best age. We are finally wise and experienced enough, but still have the capacity for amazing stamina and physical strength when required. The only drawback is that naturally, some signs of aging have started to appear.
I am a Dermatologist and Cosmetic Doctor performing facial aesthetic treatments which means that I analyse faces, locate strengths and weaknesses and like an artist, visualise the final result into those faces.
Of course, I analysed my own face too. I was aware of the fat that had been lost beneath my eyes as one of the most common weaknesses, which gives a person the typical sad look. It was my biggest personal issue with my face and consequently I wanted a fresher look.
Another motivation for having a filler treatment was the wish to be able to relate to my patients' experiences. How does it feel going through a filler treatment? Is the treatment painful? Does it leave my face bruised and puffy? How does it feel having fillers in my face?
To obtain all of the answers to my questions, I decided to have a Hyaluronic Acid filler treatment. Being a filler virgin, I was fairly anxious about my treatment, but I was also determined to proceed.
My treatment started with an analysis of strengths and weaknesses, which was interesting as most of us are so critical about ourselves, we are not aware of our strengths.
Being a man, I have a long forehead so I have to be cautious with Botox as it might further elongate this, which in turn would make my moderately droopy upper eyelids worse. I also had an indentation in my forehead and treating this would give some lift to my eye brows and upper eyelids. Dr Acquilla also pinpointed my main concern, the flattening and grooves in my cheeks.
Going further down, he drew my attention to my slightly elongated upper lip and the lack of the two parallel ridges going form the nose to the lip and also to the corners of my mouth that had started to turn down, adding to the impression of sadness in my ageing face.
It is important to mention here that we are talking about miniscule details which when put together, give the tired impression. Treating them result in equally miniscule changes which when added up, give a refreshed look.
On my lower face, I had a little loss of volume at both sides of my chin and Dr Acquilla added that my general look would benefit from making my chin appear a bit wider and elongated. The summary of these weaknesses and beautification points resulted in my treatment plan being composed straight away.
After Dr Acquilla had left 30 minutes for the numbing cream to work and then I lay down on the treatment couch and felt that 'defencelessness' that a patient feels. The best thing we can do on an airplane or on a medical couch is to trust in the professional in charge and let them work, so I closed my eyes and let things happen. I was in a sort of trans-state waiting for that first needle prick.
I felt the numbness of my skin and therefore didn't expect too much pain. Surprisingly, in reality I didn't feel anything and as we proceeded with the injections I became more and more relaxed and tried to just focus on the explanations he gave to the group. Dr Acquilla went through one side of my face, pointing out the differences that the tiny bit of injections made.
Putting the hyaluronic acid filler in the depth of the facial tissue gives a cushion to the skin above. It was amazing to experience the eyes open up, to feel the skin getting tighter, the curves fuller and the general look get better. The older we are and the more the volume loss we have means that we need more filler for the same effect. With the exception of my lips which produced a 7/10 pain, the needle pricks weren't painful at all!
Overall it was a good experience, much better than anticipated and the results are very good as my main problem has improved significantly. Interestingly, when I analysed my before-after pictures, I became aware of the change to my neck. Putting 3 syringes in my face has given a lift to the skin, resulting in a sharper jaw line (red arrow).
The next day, my chin was a little sore but I had no bruises or swelling and my face certainly didn't look 'done'. I'm really happy with this experience because I can now completely relate to and empathise with my own patients. We have shared common doubts, fears and uncertainties and eventually, we also share a feeling of satisfaction with our new look and improved self-confidence.