LOTS OF RADIESSE PICS! 39-year-old with Moderate Naso-labial Folds/marionettes After Weight Loss - San Francisco, CA

Today was my first experience with fillers, a few...

Today was my first experience with fillers, a few months into my 39th year. I've been self-conscious about my nasolabial folds and my marionette lines for several years. I feel they aged me quite a bit, and it seemed that fillers were the easiest way to fix this.

Recently I lost 20 lbs, which was enough to make my body look more youthful and less matronly, but my face lost a lot of volume in the mid-area. Two close friends mentioned that my face looked older than before my weight loss.

I did research ahead of time and was already leaning toward Radiesse by the time I made my appointment. I did all the recommended pre-treatment care (avoiding alcohol/fish oil/garlic for a few days before, and no anti-inflammatories for a week or so prior). That being said, I do take Cymbalta, which causes me to bruise more easily. I took half-doses only for a few days prior to treatment.

TREATMENT:
The nurse practitioner discussed the options with me, and we agreed on Radiesse for both the nasolabial folds and the marionette lines. She didn't ice my face ahead of time, but she did apply numbing cream an hour or so before. The injections were no more painful than Botox, but they're in your face longer and certainly go deeper. I was expecting only four injections, and was surprised when she put in closer to 8-9.

The results were pretty much immediate and I was instantly pleased! With those folds smoothed out, I look at least 5-8 years younger by my estimation, if not more. What do you think?

Only disappointment was that I asked for ice when they were done, but they told me I didn't need it because I wasn't bruising immediately. (I tried insisting, but it didn't work.) They put arnica on my face and generously sent me home with some, but I don't have much faith in homeopathic medicine -- don't worry though, I'm applying it anyway. :) So I didn't get to put ice on my face until I got home 30-45 minutes after the injections, and the bruises have definitely started to appear even after icing and arnica. I wish they'd iced me right afterwards like I asked.

I made the mistake of massaging the injection site periodically on the way home, but then saw that I *wasn't* supposed to do that. D-oh! SO DON'T MASSAGE YOUR INJECTION SITES, LADIES.

I haven't photographed the bruises yet, but without coverage makeup on, I look like I was repeatedly punched in the face by a toddler. Perhaps that'll be my working excuse if I run into friends over the next few days. Bummer, as I was hoping to hide this procedure from the hubby. :)

I feel fine, two hours now after the injections.

1 DAY LATER: Dark bruises around marionettes

A little under 24 hours later, the bruises I saw yesterday have darkened quite a bit. Here's a closeup photo without any makeup. I can cover them up with primer, Amazing Concealer, and a finishing powder that I happened to have, but it takes a few layers. I'm spending today at home covering the bruises with arnica gel, only applying makeup if I need to see someone (like picking up lunch). No residual pain today. I'm icing the bruises every hour or so as well.

Interestingly I see no bruising at all on the nasolabial folds (which still look great). That area might tolerate the Radiesse/injections better than the mouth corners do. Last night I read that most plastic surgeons do not recommend Radiesse in the marionette lines after all. I should have tried Juvederm in that area instead. Ah well, you live and learn. The Radiesse will likely wear off on the mouth area faster since it gets the most "exercise" compared to the nasolabial area.

My goal is to have the bruises be gone 1 week after the injection, which is when I'm going to see my in-laws. This is a challenge because of my bruise-worsening medication (which I've skipped today).

I ordered some Dermablend cover creme concealer, which is what the Hollywood pros use to cover up tattoos, just in case.

In another day or two, I'll start applying heat compresses.

I have some concerns that Radiesse is semi-permanent, despite claims that it only lasts a year. That said, I seem to metabolize Botox quickly, so we'll see how things work out with this entirely different chemical compound. I'd rather not resemble Lisa Rinna circa 2009!

2 DAYS LATER: Still bruised but happy

Here's a new picture with coverage makeup on. My bruises look mostly the same size as yesterday's photo, but instead of dark purple, they're more reddish. They still require a few layers of coverage. Today's the first day I went out and really interacted with people, which meant makeup all day so I haven't applied any arnica today.

Interestingly, my husband (who doesn't know I did this) has been making a lot of 'sexy wife' comments and how I have such a pretty face. I'm amused that he probably can't quite put his finger on why I seem extra-pretty all the sudden. :)

Something else I should note -- I'm ethnically Cuban, and growing up I always felt that older Cuban women in my family seem "jowlier" than most anglo women. This probably made me extra conscious about keeping an eye on the lower half of my face as I aged. As you can see, my upper half has kept its youthfulness well apart from my glabella, for which I get Botox'd about twice a year. I haven't had any other injections or surgeries -- I'm so bad at establishing habits that I rarely even use moisterizer.

So far, I'm not seeing any lumps that some people report with Radiesse. Not sure if they typically show up on people right away or over time, or if these areas are not susceptible to lumping. We'll see -- I'll keep this updated.

Update, three months later

I went back to the doctor a month later to do a Radiesse touch up, but she had other plans for me. She instead placed Voluma injections around my cheekbone area to lift my whole mid and lower face a bit. I went back for another touchup and have had four syringes of Voluma total. Even though this review was supposed to be about Radiesse, I figured I should show my latest results as an alternative.

I'm still very pleased with the combination !
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