Field report: Initial consultation for Botox treatment

Where does an aesthetic treatment start? With the consultation. It’s good to know what you could (or should) do to stay as visually young as possible forever – but what makes a good consultation? What should one pay attention to? And above all: Does the myth of “two doctors, two opinions” also apply to beauty docs? The Check. A field report on an initial consultation for Botox treatment.

There is an age when you think you are immortal. Also in the aesthetic sense. For me, that was at about 17. Wrinkles? Me? Never! But now, in my early 30s, as a critical self-observer, I’m noticing the first worrying changes. After a long day at work, the skin around my eyes looks anything but smooth. And the lower part of my face, what can I say, doesn’t seem to be resisting gravity very well anymore. I suspect: masks, cosmetic visits and creams will slowly no longer be enough to keep the “self-preservation” project on track for success.

With the face it is like with a sheet of paper – if there is a crease in it, it will be difficult (or even impossible) to smooth it out again. Once a deep wrinkle has appeared, it takes a lot of effort to eradicate it. So my decision is clear: I don’t want it to get that far. I want to preserve, not repair. Sharon Stone instead of Angela Merkel. But what is the best way to do that? What aesthetic options are there? I want to be informed, I want to know everything – after all, it’s my face! – I make two appointments with two different doctors to compare the results and admit that I’m excited.

Finding the right doctor is an odyssey even for everyday aches and pains. However, much less can go wrong when prescribing a nasal spray than with an aesthetic procedure. I ask around and my first path leads me, on recommendation, to Munich dermatologist Dr. Elisabeth Schuhmachers. What will she advise me?

Initial consultation for Botox treatment

First of all, the woman blows me away. In a positive sense. I arrive without waiting (for me the first indication of a professionally run practice) and Dr. Schuhmachers greets me full of verve and with a pleasant, slightly Austrian dialect. You’re not supposed to ask ladies their age, and yet my brain is racing – she’s sitting opposite me like Nefertiti. Ageless. Radiant. I intuitively trust her. It’s a bit like a hairdresser: If the hairstylist already has badly dyed hair, you’re better off looking the other way.

Dr. Schuhmacher makes one thing clear at the outset: an aesthetically flawless face is an investment. The beauty path is associated with effort. And for her as a doctor, it is a mission. But if you choose this path, you can reap the seeds after many years. In short, it is a conscious decision for life.

“Most women come to me after 35,” she says. Many then complain of looking tired. “Ideally, though,” Dr. Schuhmachers says, “you start aesthetic treatments much earlier, in your late 20s. You can only do limited corrective work.”

Lifestyle is important for a holistic beauty concept, he said: don’t smoke, exercise, eat healthy, avoid the sun, use high SPF year-round (e.g., Brightening UV-Defense by SkinCeuticals). and antioxidant serums under your normal skin care regimen. Dr. Schumachers also recommends using antioxidant serums under your normal skincare routine as protection against free radicals (e.g. CE Ferulic with pure vitamin C from SkinCeuticals).

Botox treatment can help

I’m already practicing all that now, but what helps now against my discreetly looming nasolabial folds? Dr. Elisabeth Schuhmachers looks at my face critically, “Yes, that’s where it starts, even at the corners of my mouth.” Crap. I hadn’t noticed that at all. But nothing escapes her trained eye. She focuses on my eye area, because when I laugh, so-called “crow’s feet” form. In order to prevent these and also the development of an frown line between the eyebrows, she first advises an injection of botolinum toxin. Then, a look later, she asks me, “Do you scrunch?” And before I can answer, she says with a smile, “I can see that.” Betrayed by my relatively pronounced masseter muscle. Botox can help with this, too – it can be injected directly into the masseter muscle, which relaxes as a result. The pleasant side effect is that the face also becomes narrower, and neck and shoulder complaints can improve. In a few years, Dr. Schuhmachers says, fillers can be used on the cheek area. The effect: the area lifts so that the lower third of the face no longer slopes downward and nasolabial folds no longer stand a chance.

Sounds good and plausible, but how expensive will it be? A Botox treatment, of which two to three would be necessary annually, starts at 250 euros in Dr. Elisabeth Schuhmachers practice. Good news for me – no more expensive than a hairdresser’s appointment with all the trimmings. A treatment with fillers is more expensive – 1 ml costs 450 euros – but it lasts longer, up to one and a half years. The treatments are also quick: you don’t need more than 20 minutes.

I am absolutely positively surprised: Neither is it as expensive, nor as elaborate, nor as scary as I had thought. How quickly does 250 euros go for some useless odds and ends? Dr. Elisabeth Schuhmachers makes a nice comparison. “Many women spend a lot of money on handbags. But handbags are not something you wear on your face.”

I leave the practice with a good feeling. And look forward to the next consultation appointment, this time with a man and moreover an aesthetic plastic surgeon. What will come out of it? I am curious.

The report on this will be published on August 8!