“Please don’t make me look like a freak,” is what I often hear from my first-time patients when discussing their injection treatment plan. It never makes sense to me that someone should have to worry about that. After all, aren’t they seeing me because they want to look younger and doesn’t youth always look better rather than “weird” or “unnatural?” Unfortunately, the reality is that sometimes, patients do look altered after their treatments with dermal fillers and/or botox.

There are several reasons for this, including (1) the patient has an altered self-image, (2) the treating doctor has an altered aesthetic sense, (3) aggressive or overzealous treatment, and most commonly, (4) some combination of the above.

The good news, however, is that unnatural results are probably less common than you think. I always remind my patients, that “you only see the bad results.”  In other words, every time someone’s treatment comes out great, the observer’s conclusion is “wow, she looks great” or “did you change your hair?” or “wow, what have you been doing?” In fact, for the treating physician, that is the ultimate compliment.  So, the good stuff doesn’t get any credit, but the bad stuff always does.

So what’s the secret to a great, natural, refreshed look? For me, it always starts with my mantra: “restoration, not alteration.” I look at where the patient is aging, and then focus on restoring those areas to their original self. Restoration is defined as the return of something that was removed or abolished. If it was there to begin with, then how can it ever look unnatural? So relax, you’re going to look natural.  Yes, it can happen with fillers and botox.