Instagram is being used as a marketing tool for all types of industries. Unfortunately, you can’t believe everything you see touted. This is especially true for aesthetic procedures. As with any, make sure you do your research, the before and after pictures are actually comparable and aren’t using lighting “tricks”, and the provider is experienced and reputable.
- Lip flip with Botox – This procedure claims that the lip will turn up and make the lip fuller for very little money. If you weaken the muscles around the lips with Botox, there is no way this can end up lifting the lip. It also risks changing the smile, having difficulty with sipping and whistling.
- Thread Lifts – The procedure consists of placing barbed sutures just deep to the dermis. The barbs engage into the skin and by pulling laterally and upward, they are supposed to lift and tighten. The posts on Instagram mainly show providers pulling on the sutures and watching the skin move. The problem is the sutures aren’t anchored in most cases and are attached to mobile skin. It’s impossible to lift when the entire are desiring lift is move. In addition, the barbs pull through their attachments very quickly, much sooner than collagen can be created to help anchor the suture. The side effects – visible threads, redness, puckering, pain – are as high as 34% in one study. In the same study, visible improvements were not apparent at 12 months. The noticeable changes in the author’s opinion are extremely mild and can be achieved with fillers in a more predictable and longer lasting correction.
- Low Density PRP – PRP is short for platelet rich plasma. Unfortunately, there is no standard and the concentration for PRP is all over the map. In the majority of cases, 10-12cc of blood is being drawn to get 5-6cc of PRP. In these cases, the concentration is only about 2x (2 times the normal blood concentration) and all that has been done is the red blood cells have been removed by centrifugation. The benefits of PRP have been studied and optimal concentration levels to promote angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth) have been shown to be about 6X. If you are getting only a small test tube of blood drawn, you probably aren’t getting much benefit from the PRP.
- MicroBotox for Necklace (“Tech Neck”) Lines: Horizontal neck lines are often called “Tech Neck” because some people believe they are caused by look down at your phone or computer. Providers are reporting improvements with injecting Botox in the lines in very small but multiple injections. In the author’s opinion, this is not the correct solution and these require filler +/- RFM (Genius) for optimal results. Static lines are not responsive to Botox. Dynamic wrinkles are what respond to Botox.
- Using Radiofrequency That Doesn’t Penetrate Skin for Tightening: When an RF device is used to stimulate skin tightening, it must achieve 65-70 C to achieve coagulation. Anything short of coagulation causes temporary collagen contraction and denaturing but very minimal long-term effects. The epidermis needs to be kept at 42C or lower to avoid burns or hyperpigmentation. It is impossible to achieve coagulation in the dermis and still keep the skin surface at 42C or lower. So all the no downtime skin surface RF devices will need to be performed multiple times, have extremely variable results, and often very poor tightening effects. Optimal RF results require the energy to be introduced beneath the skin surface such as RF microneedling (Infini, Genius) or FaceTite/Accutite.
Remember, it all boils down to science whether a procedure works. If the science doesn’t make sense, the procedure probably doesn’t work.