When buying a painting, are you paying for the paint or for the painting?
This is a question you should always consider when you are buying any service outcome of which relies on skills of a talented individual. Examples of such services could be a painting, a statue, a skillfully prepared meal, or a medical cosmetic procedure performed well and to your satisfaction.
Since you are reading Skin101 Insider, it is safe to assume that from the above list you are interested in the best way to select a doctor to perform your next medical cosmetic procedure. These procedures tend to be somewhat costly, and of course you want to receive the best value for every dollar that you spend; so how do you decide whom to trust your face and body to?
These days, with proliferation of practitioners offering cosmetic services, there is a tendency to commoditize: price of Botox “per unit”, fillers “per syringe”, and so on. You could certainly call around asking clinics of their “price per unit” or “price per syringe”, but what about the quality of work? How about appropriateness of the work: will it enhance your look, or will it be detrimental? Commoditizing these very personal services makes it easy to “comparison shop” based on price, but it certainly has its downside.
If you wanted to commission an artist to paint your portrait, would you call around asking various artists: “How much do you charge per liter of paint you use?” You can certainly argue that the artist is only spending money on the paint. However, the paint won’t produce the great art that an artist can create with this paint by applying his talent, vast experience, and training. The same applies to a cosmetic physician. Shopping for a cosmetic physician based on a “per syringe” price of filler is akin to shopping for a sculptor based on “price per pound of clay”. Although various clinics may quote procedure prices based on number of syringes used, a syringe price includes more than simply the price of materials. It includes skills of the injector and quality of the facility as two of the major factors.
Getting a cosmetic procedure done, such as a dermal filler injection, should not be taken lightly. You only have one face, and want to treat it with love. There are always risks involved when doing any sort of cosmetic procedure and it is best you look at the person doing the injecting, as well as the facility you will have it done at to make your judgment as to whom you should trust with such a personal service.
The factors affecting an outcome of a cosmetic procedure, and your satisfaction with the procedure are multitude.
Here is a partial list:
- Training of the provider (doctor)
- Experience of the provider
- Talent of the provider
- Appropriateness of the procedure: will it improve your look, or will it be detrimental?
- Materials (e.g. brand of filler) chosen for your procedure, its quality and its various properties
- How your body responds to the filler or interacts with the injected material
- Are your expectations realistic? If you are expecting “perfection” or to look like some one else after the procedure, you may be setting yourself up for a disappointment. More realistically, you should be you expecting an improvement in your appearance.
Another question for you to consider could be: “Does extra training or years of experience compensate for a lack of talent?”
So, how do you decide? While there is no clear cut formula that will work every time, we can give you a couple of guidelines:
- You should do your homework. Before visiting a cosmetic practitioner, check credentials and reputation:
- Is he/she a doctor?
- Check reputation: did any of your friends recommend this provider?
- Check on-line reputation, remembering that it may not always be true: some patients placing bad reviews may be doing it for various personal reasons, just as some great reviews may be placed anonymously by inappropriate sources.
- Visit the doctor for a consultation.
- Does he or she seem overbearing and very eager to perform your procedure? Were you asked what bothers you, or were you simply told what has to be done to you? Do you have a feeling that the results being promised to you are unrealistic?
- Have your expectations from the procedure been addressed?
- Ask to see “before and after” photos and ask whether these are representations of this provider’s own work. Do you like what you see?
- What is your intuition telling you? Do you like this person? The answer to this question may be more important than you think.
- Are your own expectations of the procedure realistic? Are you expecting perfection or an improvement? Remember, perfection is impossible to achieve, and you may be setting yourself up for a disappointment.
- Finally, do you have the budget to do what you want to do, or will you accept a compromise and settle for a lesser procedure? Remember the old adage: “you get what you pay for”.
Having a cosmetic procedure done well can be a very satisfying experience that can improve your appearance, self-image, and confidence.
If you embark on this journey, do your homework and you should have no regrets or disappointments! Happy shopping!