Why a Derm Should Always Do Injectables
FILLERS AND BOTOX ARE A BILLION-DOLLAR BUSINESS. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN JUST ANYONE SHOULD WIELD THE NEEDLE.
Lots of things in life are done by a professional: remodeling your bathroom, rotating your tires and getting your teeth
cleaned, just to name a few.
One thing that doesn’t always make the list, however, is the ever-growing business of injectables — nonsurgical cosmetic procedures that plump, smooth, firm or tighten various areas of the face. When done correctly — in a medical setting, with FDA-approved products, and by a trained doctor — injectables can make you look years younger.
But not everyone administering these mini-miracles are adequately trained, leaving you potentially at risk for some very unwanted and undesirable results.
“While it may seem necessary to need a board certification or medical license to administer injectables, unfortunately it’s not required,” says Lakes Dermatology doctor Rehana Ahmed. While you do need a medical license to buy Botox, Restylane or Juvéderm, you don’t need one to inject them. As a result, Botox parties are the new norm and everyone from hair salons to tattoo parlors are adding these services to their menus. And just because you see a picture of the managing or supervising doctor on the wall, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re there. They could be a few miles or a few states away, depending on local laws. Proposed legislation in the House of Representatives — the Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act — would regulate the way injectors can market themselves. But for now, there’s no consistent oversight.
“When a doctor isn’t present, that should be an immediate red flag,” says Ahmed. “If the person giving you an injection can’t legally purchase the injectable itself, how are they getting it in the first place?”
The most likely answer: the black market. LA dermatologist Jessica Wu tells Allure magazine: “A woman came in with her upper lip three times as large as her lower lip. She’d been injected by a friend who’d just finished nursing school. They both thought what they bought was Juvéderm, but the patient handed me the box and it was in Greek. It’s cheaper to buy injectables made in other countries, so people do.”
Another reason to only go to a board-certified physician: You may — although rarely — have side effects, and you may need immediate intervention or a prescription to remedy. “If the person doing your injectable isn’t willing to discuss possible side effects, that’s not someone you should trust to do your injectable,” says Ahmed.
Dermatologists and plastic surgeons are also better trained in the anatomy of the face — meaning they have the knowledge of your precise anatomy to potentially prevent any side effects or injury from happening. Dr. Melda Isaac, founder of Washington DC’s MI Skin Dermatology Center, tells The Washingtonian: “Millimeters make a difference, as does age. An expert injector needs to look at the shape of a patient’s eye and eyebrow, for example, and match dosage and dilution for the desired effect. For example, I inject a 55-year-old woman’s forehead differently than a woman in her early thirties.”
A good injector will keep your unit numbers on file for a future visit, so you can discuss whether you felt the amount was too much or not enough. And if your results wear off much sooner than what is typical, this should raise concern. “People who offer injectables at a drastically reduced price may be diluting the product,” says Ahmed.
“You shouldn’t be shopping for deals when it comes to injectables.” She adds: “Ask questions. In the hands of a trained doctor, you’ll receive beautiful, lasting results.”
Want more expert insights from our board-certified Dermatologists? Stop by our office and pick up a print copy or subscribe to Good Skin Simple magazine and we’ll send valuable tips straight to your in-box.
-Dr. Rehana Ahmed, MD, PhD and Board Certified Dermatologist and
Dr. Rehana Ahmed MD, PhD, Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Ahmed’s clinical expertise includes pediatric, general, surgical and cosmetic dermatology with special interests in skin cancer surgery/Mohs micrographic surgery, laser treatments and cosmetic procedures, including BOTOX®, Radiesse, Sculptra, Juvederm and Voluma. Dr. Ahmed is available for appointments in our Minnetonka and Burnsville locations.
Dr. Ahmed attended the Johns Hopkins University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Behavioral Biology. She graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Alpha Omega Alpha. She completed her internship in Internal Medicine and her residency in Dermatology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Ahmed is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is an active member of several dermatological organizations. She comes to dermatology with a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and a background in clinical research. Her research emphasis includes cancer development and survivorship issues. She currently has a grant to test the effects of a new medication on squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, and also works with a group at the University of Minnesota, lead by Dr. DeAnn Lazovich, to understand the effects of indoor tanning on melanoma. Dr. Ahmed's work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, among other places. She is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota, where she is active in research. In addition to her academic work, she writes frequently on cosmetic dermatology and simple skin care regimes at goodskinsimple.com.
Dr. Ahmed was born and raised in Minneapolis, where she still lives. She enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends. She is married and the proud mother of two.
Dr. Marisa Chapman, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Chapman is a Board Certified Dermatologist who received her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her medical degree and dermatology residency from the Medical College of Wisconsin. She specializes in comprehensive dermatology including preventative skin care, skin cancer detection and treatment of all skin, hair and nail conditions. She also specializes in skin rejuvenation, laser treatments and dermatologic surgery.
Dr. Chapman is a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the American Academy of Dermatology, the Minnesota Dermatologic Society and the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery. She is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and has been elected as a ‘Top Doctor: Rising Star’ in Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine.
Dr. Chapman is available for appointments in our Minnetonka and Burnsville locations.
Dr. Katy Gehrig, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Kathryn (Katy) Gehrig joined Lakes Dermatology in July of 2016. Prior to joining Lakes Dermatology, she practiced in the Twin Cities for 5 years. Dr. Gehrig’s clinical interests include general, pediatric, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology including BOTOX ®, Juvederm products, Voluma, Restylane products, Sculptra, and sclerotherapy (vein injections). Dr. Gehrig is available for appointments at our Minnetonka and Burnsville locations.
Dr. Gehrig graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BA in psychology. She then obtained her MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School graduating with Alpha Omega Alpha honors. She completed her internship year at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, then trained in dermatology at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Dr. Gehrig has also volunteered for several summers at Camp Discovery, a camp for children with severe skin diseases in Northern Minnesota. She is an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Women’s Dermatologic Society, and American Society for Dermatology Surgery. Dr. Gehrig is certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She has been elected as a ‘Top Doctor: Rising Star’ in Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, as well as a 'Top Doctor' and 'Top Doctor for Women' in Minnesota Monthly Magazine for several years.
Dr. Gehrig grew up in a suburb of St Paul, Minnesota, where her father still practices Internal Medicine. She currently lives in Minneapolis with her husband Jon, daughter and dog. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, travel, gourmet cooking, photography, outdoor activities and boating at the family cabin. A college athlete, she remains active in many sports.
Dr. Nancy Leitch, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Leitch comes to Lakes Dermatology with over 20 years of clinical experience. She has been recognized several years as a Top Doc by Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine and a Top Doc for Women by Minnesota Monthly. She enjoys treating patients of all ages and has a special interest in skin cancer detection, acne, and psoriasis. She is also skilled in cosmetic dermatology, offering sclerotherapy (vein injections), Botox, and fillers including Restylane, Juvederm, Radisse, Sculptra and Voluma.
Dr. Leitch was raised in Litchfield, Minnesota where she became interested in medicine by watching her dad practice Family Medicine. She graduated from St. Olaf College Suma Cum Laude with a B.A. in Chemistry and was a junior initiate into Phi Beta Kappa. She then completed Medical School at the University of Minnesota, graduating AOA. After an internship at Hennepin County Medical Center, she did her residency at the University of Minnesota, completing the program in 1995.
Dr. Leitch is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of The American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons. In addition to her love of Dermatology, Dr. Leitch enjoys traveling, reading, art fairs, dining al fresco whenever possible, her cats, other people’s dogs, spending time at the cabin and being with her husband and son.