AUSTIN, Texas – Dermatologists have noticed an increase in requests for cosmetic injections since the pandemic began. This includes treatments like fillers, Botox, Dysport and Xeomin. 

Dr. Heidi Prather is a board-certified dermatologist who has been with Westlake Dermatology for seven years. She's seen a "huge increase" in demand for cosmetic injections from preexisting and new patients. She credits video calls for the uptick.

"I think it's just a natural occurrence when you're staring at yourself all day, you notice things that you otherwise might not have noticed," Dr. Prather said. "And when it becomes a daily part of your job, you really want to address those proactively to help elevate your game, but also so it's not stressing you out."

Paige Laughton has been getting cosmetic injections for years. On the day we met her, she was getting Xeomin and Voluma injected into her face.

“I didn’t want to look like a different version of myself, but a better version of myself,” Laughton said. 

She used to let more time go by between treatments. But with so much time on video calls, Laughton started going more frequently.

Laughton before and after treatments. (Spectrum News 1/ Charlotte Scott)

“I wouldn’t say I hated the way I looked, but at the same time, you see some of those flaws that maybe before you only saw in the morning and evening while washing your face, versus spending an hour on a call, staring at it, maybe fixating on it a little bit,” she said.

In addition to video calls, Dr. Prather says masks and staying home have contributed to the increase in injections. She said masks are helpful to cover up bruising after treatments. And people have more money to spend on injections since they aren't traveling as much. She said all of this has led to an increased "investment in skin health."

Even though men and women are getting more work done, Dr. Prather says she hasn’t observed negative self-talk or body dysmorphia. 

“To me, it seems that it’s more people that are really wanting to be proactive and are learning about these treatments and wanting to do it – not to look like someone else, not to solve a problem, but simply to be proactive and take care of their skin, similar to how we would go to the gym or eat healthy to take care of our bodies,” Dr. Prather said. "I find this is a very natural transition, and when done appropriately, it is not going to be this addictive spiral or making people look like somebody they're not."

That’s why Laughton keeps coming back.

“I wanted to slow that aging process, along with also being able to see myself in the screen in a more attractive view,” she said. “If I have access to it, and it makes me feel better, then I’m all for going out and having it done.” 

Dr. Prather stresses the importance of getting injections from professionals.

"It's important that when you seek out treatments that you're looking at people who are qualified," she said. "So look for board-certified dermatologist, nurse practitioners and PAs that are trained and have worked with board-certified dermatologists. It's important to have this network of experienced individuals so you have the best, most natural and safest treatment."

Even if Texans reduce the amount of time spent on video calls, Dr. Prather says cosmetic injectables aren’t going anywhere. 

"I think this is a field that’s here to stay and seems to be really growing rapidly,” Dr. Prather said.

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