Ask the Doctor


Ask the Doctor

What is BOTOX Cosmetic®?

BOTOX Cosmetic® is a treatment for wrinkles such as frown lines, forehead wrinkles & crows feet.

Is it safe?

Yes! BOTOX Cosmetic® has been available for 20 years and has been used to treat many neuromuscular diseases.In fact it is used in children as young as 2 yrs. old to treat Cerebral Palsy and has been proven to be very safe through many years of extensive testing and research.BOTOX Cosmetic® is an approved prescription drug used to treat patients for cosmetic wrinkles.

Isn’t it poison? Isn’t it botulism?

No, BOTOX Cosmetic® is NOT botulism and it will not cause food poisoning. Botulism is the name of an illness not the name of the product. BOTOX Cosmetic® is a natural, purified protein. It is an approved prescription drug that is used in very tiny doses.

How does it work?

BOTOX Cosmetic works by relaxing the muscles underneath the skin to create a smooth and refreshed appearance.

What can I expect during the treatment?

Generally, after the consultation, the procedure only takes up to 15 minutes.It is injected with a very tiny needle. It is so quick and safe that you can immediately return to your daily activities (and no one will know you have had it done!)

How quickly does it work? Is it permanent?

It can take up to 2 weeks for it to take full effect. No – BOTOX Cosmetic is not permanent.It lasts between 3-4 months on average but everyone is different.

Does it hurt?

Most patients say it feels just like quick little pinches although everyone is different. Our patients usually say, “Is that all?”

I don’t want to look like a mask without expression – will that happen?

We ensure you get the look you want – as natural as you want.Your needs & interests are discussed during your consultation to ensure you are happy with the results.

What are the side effects?

Side effects are very rare and are not permanent. Rarely, there can be a slight headache or some minor bruising which is easily covered up with makeup.

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the amount of BOTOX Cosmetic® that you require. A proper consultation with our clinic is required in order to determine what is right for you.

What do you recommend for better looking skin?

Our mission is to assist our clients to achieve beautiful skin and maintain it for life. The best approach is an in-depth skin analysis and evaluation to determine a client’s individual needs. Specific recommendations for treatment are given along with a prescription skin care routine and detailed skin product advice to assist you on your journey to trouble free and beautiful skin for the rest of your life. Like most things in life, proper care, maintenance and avoidance of harmful external factors like smoking and sun damage, will keep your skin youthful.

How can upper lip lines be treated?

A variety of injectable fillers are available to increase skin volume to address upper lip lines, improve lip fullness and pouting of the lip. A small quantity of Botox can further help to reduce the appearance of lip lines and prevent lipstick “bleeding” into these lines. At Vitality Medi Spa, high quality injectables, including Juvederm Ultra, are used for long lasting results. Proper anaesthesia ensures the procedure is painless and our step-wise approach delivers natural, pleasing results.

If Thermage helps tighten facial skin, does it help other areas?

Thermage causes tighter skin by stimulating new collagen production in the dermis, or deeper skin. The treatment of facial and neck skin with this technology has received approval by the FDA and Health Canada. Many practitioners have treated the abdomen, upper arms, thighs, breasts and buttocks with good results but studies have not yet been published, therefore, the treatments of these areas are still “off label” at present. Anecdotally it does appear to tighten other areas of skin effectively, even improving the appearance of stretch marks. Studies are underway for many other future applications of this exciting technology.

What is recommended for severe sun damage?

Sun exposure is accumulative during the years of our life and in particular ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the cells in our skin, perhaps causing such ailments as sun induced hyperpigmentation, innocent skin lesions known as Seborriec Keratoses, precancerous lesions known as Actinic Keratoses and skin cancer, two common types being Basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma. A Physician examination is necessary to diagnose the various changes in your skin from sun damage and in extreme cases you may require cryotherapy or surgical excision. A new therapy now available and approved in Canada, known as ALA Photodynamic therapy is proving to be an effective method in reversing sun damage and eradicating precancerous lesions and early skin cancers from large surface areas. In addition to the beneficial therapeutic results, excellent cosmetic enhancement of the skin can also be achieved.

What do you recommend for sun damaged, dull and sagging skin?

To improve the effects of sun damage and aging, a comprehensive approach that addresses individual concerns must be developed. Often it will involve combining different treatment techniques in order to achieve the overall desired result. Treatments may involve Thermage skin tightening, Botox Cosmetic, dermal fillers, laser, Intense Pulsed Light, Microdermabrasion, topical products and even cosmetic surgery. Personally I favor non-surgical techniques, but sometimes a more invasive approach is necessary.

How does laser hair removal differ from waxing and electrolysis?

Laser and Light Source hair removal is a fast way to treat areas and achieve an excellent level of clearance with a limited number of treatments. Success with laser is in excess of 80%. The laser head can target many individual hairs at the same time while electrolysis treats one hair at a time. As laser does not require the use of needles, the risk of scarring and infection is very rare. Waxing can treat large areas, but it needs to be repeated indefinitely. Laser has become the preferred method of permanently reducing hair growth on any area of the body, as long as the hair has pigment for the laser to target. You can learn more by making an appointment for a personal consultation.

Tell me more about permanent Laser Hair Removal

Laser and Intense Pulsed Light are becoming popular, reliable methods to permanently remove hair. In the past, older lasers were not very effective, but new technology has improved the outcome and is much better tolerated. A small number of patients may not have long term results and white and grey hair are best removed with electrolyses. At our office each patient is given an in-depth consultation to discuss the treatment and how it can be of benefit. It remains the fastest, most cost effective method to achieve excellent hair removal results of virtually any area of the body.

What is Levulan, Blue-U and ALA?

Levulan or aminlevulanic acid (ALA) is a substance that occurs naturally in the body. When applied to the skin, it is selectively absorbed into fast growing cells, including sun damaged skin, pre-cancerous cells and Sebaceous (oil) glands. After absorption, a light, like the Blu-U light in our office, activates the substance, releasing singlet oxygen that selectively destroys the abnormal cells in the skin. This process results in excellent clearance of sun damaged skin, pre-cancerous lesions and acne, leaving the skin rejuvenated and cosmetically enhanced.

How does laser remove facial redness, veins and varicose veins?

Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light can selectively target the colour present in veins then heats them to create enough damage for the body to absorb the vein without damaging the surrounding skin. Usually a few treatments are required a few weeks apart to produce significant results. The gold standard for treatment of leg veins remains sclerotherapy, the injection of an irritant into the vein. At Vitality Medi Spa we employ a variety of techniques to offer patients the best possible results.

Is laser resurfacing a good treatment?

Deep laser resurfacing is reserved for severely scarred skin, it is a higher risk procedure with significant downtime. Superficial resurfacing is safer, but still produces downtime. New technology known as Fractional Resurfacing seems very promising for achieving excellent results in reducing wrinkles, sun damage and scarring with no downtime. This technology is still awaiting FDA and Health Canada approval, but may very well replace many present resurfacing approaches in the future. Non-ablative resurfacing using Intense Pulsed Light is the preferred method of treating red and brown skin blemishes and textural irregularities.

I’m interested in fuller lips but afraid of an artifical look.

Injecting dermal fillers below facial lines, depressions or into lips can give wonderful, natural cosmetic results. Correct technique and experience on the part of the physician is important to get optimal results. My approach is to treat conservatively and reassess two weeks later for a possible touch-up treatment. Using topical and local anesthetics and topical cooling, this treatment is practically painless, performed on site and the results last for months.

What is non-surgical facelifting?

The main reason we appear older is loss of volume and skin elasticity. These two factors can be addressed non-surgically with Thermage skin tightening, a radio-frequency treatment that stimulates collagen remodeling and volume replacement therapy, performed with tiny injections of fillers to replenish the lost volume in specific areas such as the brow, cheeks, lips and around the mouth. Results are instant and keep improving for months, some maintenance will be required every one to two years to retain the result. There is no downtime or surgical risk and you will look refreshed and more youthful, yet completely natural with no tell-tale signs. Botox is usually added for an even better overall result. You can learn more by making an appointment for a personal consultation.

What is Photo Rejuvenation?

Light source devices, such as laser or Intense Pulsed Light equipment utilizes specific frequencies of light to remove selectively targeted pigments and blemishes in the skin. The new devices offer excellent reduction of brown pigment as well as redness and veins with little or no downtime. Patients with sun damage, rosacea, acne, large pores, freckling and scarring may all benefit from this treatment approach. Patients can also appreciate an enhanced texture, complexion, and radiance to their skin and the treatment is comfortable, quick and affordable. An initial course of five treatments followed by three to six monthly follow-ups are advised for lasting results.


If you have more questions, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. van Aardt.