Botox & Injectable Fillers

Parent Q&A

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  • Time for facial fillers eek!

    (4 replies)

    Hi BPN, I am 58, saggy and ready to try fillers on my face but I’m scared that I will have terrible bruising (though I don’t bruise easily) and super nervous that it won’t look natural. Help! If you have had fillers, have you bruised? Did you like how it came out? Any recommendation for a practitioner who does fillers? Anyone to avoid? Any tips on preventing bruising? All thoughts are welcome. Thank you!

    ~Saggy mama 

    Dr. Julia Graves is my dermatologist. Her office is on Pill Hill in Oakland. She prescribes my Retin A, which I use religiously. A few years ago I had a bit of extra cash and tried a filler for the naso-labial and Marionnette lines. No bruising, no side effects. I would recommend her.

    I just had a great experience at a place in Novato ( highly recommended by a good friend.)  The practitioner was Janet and the name of the place is called luminous. She did fillers and Botox- she was highly aware of my need to look very natural and did not try to upsell me at all. I had a little bruising but per Janet’s suggestion I used arnica pills and cream. No one noticed the bruises but everyone said how refreshed I looked!! Good luck. I am so glad I did it.

    Hi Mama! I'm 40 and have been doing fillers for... many years lol. I have found that potential for bruising is a bit related to location of the fillers + pure luck. I would say don't let it hold you back if this is something you want to do.

    If you are having fillers near your eyes (think right under your eyes), there's potential for bruising. If the provider needs to firmly massage the filler in to mold/distribute it, there's potential for bruising. These were the two instances in which I got bruises. One was a small spot under my eye, and the other was many, many years ago when I got fillers in my nasolabial folds and fillers back then it had to be massaged really hard. That has changed and I have not bruised from fillers in the nasolabial folds in the last 5 years or so. If you get your lips filled, you'll most likely get bruising.

    But if you're doing your cheeks, nasolabial folds, chin, or temples, the risk of bruising is pretty minor, and it'll just be a spot here or there, nothing to make you look like you were in a bar fight. The bruise will last for a couple weeks but will fade after a week.

    I go to SkinSpirit Oakland (Montclair) and they are very good. The one time I did get a bruise from filler around my eye, my provider Samsara zapped it with a laser that sped up the healing (definitely recommend them and Samsara). I think fillers are definitely worth it, and just let your provider know you want to start off with small amounts/be conservative, and most would do that anyway. I absolutely do not want to end up looking like an over-filled Real Housewife, and I feel like I've been able to keep it subtle over the years. The look you want to go for is just a few years younger than you are now, and most providers will get that and help you achieve it.

    Hi - I'm 55 and also very nervous about injectables. Have had botox a 2 or 3 times in SF Dr's office, and most recently Icecreamwala Dermatology, Berkeley for the elevens between brows (they include some forehead in this). They were good. I wanted to be conservative. There was absolutely no upsell, and they did a free 2 week booster (optional). I saw the PA. Planning to go back to them.

  • Hello BPN community. 

    I am soon to be a divorced mother who is looking for an experienced dermatologist who specializes in Botox and lip injections. I didn't expect to be alone at this point in my life and want a little pick me up for the new chapter in my life. I know there are a lot of professionals who do it in the area but I'm extremely anxious about injectables and prefer to do it with a doctor. Can any of you recommend a dermatologist that they love and trust? Thank you. 

    I recommend Nubo Spa. I’ve had fillers and Botox there. It’s run by doctors. I do not recommend Christine Brozowski. She is an MD but has a very rough manner and I ended up with a bad black eye after seeing her. Her front desk staff even seemed shocked by it.

    Hi, I have seen and can recommend Dr. Usha in San Francisco. Don't be seen by a PA - request an appt with the doctor herself. Very great care! I went for 6 months last year and they were very safe and always on-time.

  • Botox and Lip fillers

    (13 replies)

    Hey BPN community. I decided to try Botox and lip fillers and I was wondering if any of you have a place in the East Bay they can recommend? I know this is a very controversial subject in the very granola like community but I would truly appreciate your feedback and recommendations. It's time for me to take care of myself for once. 

    Thanks for posting as I will be following for responses! Looking to get injectables in my trapezius muscles to relax them and improve posture. 

    Beau Visage Aesthetics in Walnut Creek! Great experience and not pushy doc at all!

    Yes for self-care and doing what you want to do since it is your body! I think it is worth it to drive to SF. Epicenter MedSpa (Heather Hodges but heard good things about everyone) and Gentle Star Medspa. You are going to feel fabulous! 

    SkinSpirit in Oakland and Walnut Creek is great. I haven’t had Botox or fillers but my friends have and they go there. Also their facials are amazing.

    Hello! Long time user of fillers and Botox here. Skin Spirit is where I go. They have a location in Montclair. They are very professional and not pushy. I go to Samsara there. I believe they are booked about 2 months out currently.

    I did lip fillers about 5 years ago and I personally would not do it again because of the recovery time. If you haven't yet, do some research on a site like real self where you can read about people's experiences and see pics immediately after the procedure. The lips react differently to filler than just about any part of your face--they will swell up for days and be painful. Wearing a mask in public will thankfully cover this, but if you want to go through with this, make sure your family knows ahead of time what to expect.

    Good luck and I hope you are happy with your results! Feel free to DM me if I can be of any help.

    I have gone to laser away which is located in Emeryville as well as Walnut Creek. Their prices are better than a dermatologist office as they can buy in bulk. I got a small amount of Botox in my forehead and fillers in my cheeks. I went very light as did not want to look weird! I love the results and everyone who sees me says I look refreshed! 

    Nubo Spa in Kensington Circle is great, highly recommended. Avoid Christine Brozowski. She's brusque and doesn't fully inform you of any risk -- also gave me a black eye, which no other injector had done in the past. She just said "Oh, you bruise." 

    I recommend Dr Icecreamwala in Berkeley. Great office and providers with pretty good availability. 

    Crunchy, Berkley hippies—and I consider myself one of them, can sometimes get hypocritical believing that altering one's appearance via tattoo or body piercing is a beautiful form of self-expression but getting Botox makes you vapid and shallow. I say go express yourself any way you see fit.  You will get no judgments from me.

    Moving on to your actual question. . .

    I like Laser Away for such things. They typically have affordable prices, are staffed with people who know what they are doing, are clean and professional.  They love to sell their packages but not at all pushy if you say "no thanks".  You can also find some sweet deals on Groupon that can be hit or miss in terms of talent and sketchiness. 

    I hope that helps and good luck with everything.


    Go for it! I was also hesitant, but if has helped to improve my self-esteem. I see Dr. Julia Graves and it looks very natural. She has offices in Lafayette and Oakland. 

    I cannot recommend Natasha Bernard at Alchemy Restorative in Oakland more highly ( Very natural results and as a side benefit botox has really helped me with my migraines. She's also a DO and does osteopathic manipulation for kids and adults. She's a real find.

    I just want to chime in for SkinSpirit as well.  I have gotten both lip filler and botox from them -- I've seen Jen Corbett at the Walnut Creek location.  Having worked as a provider and been a patient in private aesthetics clinics, I've been super impressed with my experience at SkinSpirit.  I know there is a closer location in Oakland, but I make the drive from Berkeley to Walnut Creek because I think Jen is worth it.  I never feel pressured into anything and feel like they are good at really listening to you and figuring out what works best.  I've also seen a few other providers there, as well as gotten some facials.  Highly recommend.  

    Gentle Star in SF is my go-to. I have had such great experiences there over the years. You can BART in. Love their injector, who goes by the name of L.

  • Looking for a cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon who has expertise in botox and fillers.  Only looking for referrals to those you have personally had good experience with and liked the results.


    I have been getting botox and fillers for years - about 5 - with Anna Moure. She is a surgical nurse and her office is on Redwood Road, off of HQ 13 in Oakland. Her prices are great, she is a true artist and very funny, smart, loving and relaxed. I love how she works with my face, includes me in the process and really isn't interested in pumping my face full of as much product as possible but instead wants to manifest what I want.

    Her number is 510-290-7138

  • Wrinkle fillers

    (2 replies)

     Unfortunately I have what I believe is called smoker lines above the lips,  even though I don’t smoke and never have.

    I can handle my wrinkles around my eyes and embrace my aging process but the ones about my lips are quite bad and I would like to have them taken care of.

    Does anybody have any recommendations with dermatologist in the area who deal with this ? 

    Dr. Gail Humble in SF is an up to the minute cosmetic dermatologist. She is expensive, but you will get a beautiful, natural look.

    She can also give you Botox in the crows feet area, which I'm here to tell you, makes them disappear!

    It just depends on how vain you are. In my own case, I discovered, very!

    I've gone to All Skin Dermatology for years for general skin care. I've seen Miriam for Botox and Juvederm filters and I really liked my results. I've also see Marilyn there for lots of laser hair removal and she's great. I haven't had filler work by Marilyn so I can't speak to her work in that area. I like the office because I don't feel like they are trying to sell me on a million products and they're down to earth and do quality skin care.

  • BOTOX Dr. Recommendation Needed

    (3 replies)

    Looking for a referral for a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who does a great job with injectables, specifically botox.  

    Feel free to email with your recommendations oyveyenough [at]


    Recommend Dr. Julia Graves on Pill Hill Oakland. 

    I highly recommend Natasha Bernard in Berkeley. Very natural results and she tailors her treatments to her patients:

    I've gone to Miriam at All Skin Dermatology for Botox and fillers. I've also user Marilyn at that office for laser hair removal and had general dermatology appointments with Dr. Dunn at their office and everything has been good. I would recommend them.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions about Botox Related Pages

2008 - 2012 Reviews

Seeking doctor or clinic for botox

Dec 2011

Hi, I am looking to find a reputable doctor or clinician with expertise in administering botox injections. Please respond with any recommendations of professionals you have used or places you have gone. Thanks. anon

I've seen and highly recommend plastic surgeon, Dr. Elizabeth Lee, for Botox injections. She's the perfect combination of super smart, down to earth, fun to visit, extremely capable, and very experienced. You can't ask for a better injector. The injection part of her practice is very strong because people love their results, enjoy seeing her, and trust her capable hands. She's extremely experienced with all the injectables, particularly Botox. Contact her at 510-704-2170. Her address is: 2999 Regent Street, Suite 401, Berkeley. Visit her website at: anon

Botox - Looking for a doctor with a light hand

July 2011

Finally time to look into Botox for my wrinkles. Looking for a dermatologist with a light hand for some injections. Not looking for a frozen, expression-less face: just looking to look slightly less wrinkly. Thanks! Anon

Go see Dr. Elizabeth Lee for your Botox. She's very experienced with Botox; she's a nice person; and since she's a talented and board certified plastic surgeon, she knows how to use the Botox so you look great. She's not pushy. She won't try to convince you to have other procedures. She's at 510-704-2170, 2999 Regent St, Ste 401 in Berkeley by Alta Bates Hospital. anon

Time for botox?

Jan 2011

Hi: Am in my mid-50s and am tired of looking ''tired and grumpy'', esp. when I'm not! Have frown lines and deep lines (Fred Flintstone) around my mouth. Would like to hear from others who have found solutions but am not interested in a face lift. As vain as this may sound, is there something better than botox, or is botox the answer?
-About how much time & money does botox cost initially and to maintain?
-Is it worth it?
-Is it painful?
-Any cautions?
-Nextly, would prefer a Peninsula provider, if possible, if you have a good recommendation, but willing to travel if there is someone who is esp. good or affordable in East Bay or elsewhere in Bay Area. Signed, Tired of looking tired & grumpy

I have gotten Botox as well as the fillers in the deep crevices of my smile lines. They both worked but only for a short time frame and then it was back to wrinkles and deep lines. I keep hoping they will come up with some sort of facelift that is easy breezy! wrinkly and vain

I totally hear you on the tired look. If you don't want that look anymore but don't have the time or the money for a face lift, then botox or dysport maybe the answer for you. I'm 47 and had serious frown lines in between my eyebrows. Instead of looking relaxed in the morning, I'd wake up frowning and looked just plain unhappy when the opposite was true. For the past four years I've done botox and I could not be happier. I don't look pissed off any more! I still look my age, but it's a softer me. I do have to report that last year I went about 7- months without any botox and when I went into Kaiser for a touch up in Hayward, the effect did not last very long and did not eliminate the lines between my eyes as much has it had in the past. Well, just last week I went back to my original dermatologist and she said that I may have developed anti-bodies to the botox. So she injected me with dysport and it did the trick, the lines are gone.

I can't answer you about the lines next to your mouth, but you should go in for a consult and see what they can do for you. Don't worry about what other people might think of you, think of what you think of yourself. And if you don't like what you see in the mirror then by all means do something about it and feel better about yourself. Yes, the needles do hurt a tad .. but take a deep breath and it will go away. What was most interesting about the first time I got the injections was that a couple of days later I could feel my face TRYING to frown and it couldn't.. the muscles were literally forced to relax. Oh... I recommend Dr. Pessoa in Berkeley. Good luck!! A former frowner

Botox will work well for your frown lines (though I use another brand, called Dysport, which is the same ingredient but is slightly cheaper and lasts a bit longer for me). Cost is worth it as I only need it twice a year, and my doctor seems to offer specials/discounts when I need them. For the Fred Flintstone lines around nose/mouth area (nasolabial folds), though, botox will not work. You would need a filler, like restylane or perlane. You would be shocked at how well they work, particularly for this area of the face. And it does look natural. The big drawback is that it is not cheap, you need it every 3-4 months, and you will like it so much that you will not want to let it go once you start. A new filler is expected to be approved by the fda this year, so the prices on all of them should come down to compete. I would go to someone like Dr. Maas in SF for your first session. Good luck! -no longer looking so crabby

Anyone Else Having this issue with Restylane?

Feb 2010

I am new to Restylane. Walked out of the Dr.'s office looking 10 years younger. Simply amazing. However, three weeks later, I was back to looking like my tired self. Went back to the Dr. Got told a story that perhaps the original treatment was a little natural. Was injected again. Walked out of the Dr.'s office looking 10 years younger. Another three weeks has passed....looking like my old self again. This stuff is supposed to last 6 months not three this happening to anyone else? ?!

yes yes yes! I have tried it about 4 times with 3 different doctors and the results were good for about 3 weeks and then completely went away. I am not sure what the story is- are the drs overselling the timeframe in order to get us to use it? Are my face wrinkles deeper than most? either way they should know that when they see me. Sign me--Saving for a facelift anon

Hello! I have pretty extensive experience watching Restylane and other fillers being administered and I can tell you that although your complaint isn't very common, it's a lot more common than you think.

A few things or a combo of a few things could be the culprit: one, if you have a fast metablism. Women with fast metabolisms seem to have similar complaints about filler and botox. Their body seems to break it down a lot quicker than normal---and yes, within a months time.

Two, you're swollen after the procedure and when the swelling goes down, you feel you've lost the volume you had right after the treatment, when in fact you just needed more filler to begin with. A general rule of thumb is if your 30 you'll need 1 cc of filler, if your 40 you'll need 2 cc's, 50 3cc's...etc. A very general rule--- some need a lot more for their respective age.

Lastly, different fillers have different molecule sizes and some even are meant to go in deep near the bone so they have a ''lifting'' effect. That's why Restylane (small molecules) can be used in the lips, tear troughs, and for fine surface wrinkles, but something thicker like Perlane or Sculptra normally isn't. Hope that helps... Anon

Botox is your friend! My friend had the same thing with Restalyne-I haven't had any issues with Botox... Botox all the way!

Looking for Place to try Botox

Jan 2010

I succumb! I want to try Botox just once, for the line between my eyebrows. Would love recommendations for a place you go and prices, as well as what you like about them. If you have other alternatives to offer to Botox that really work for the ''squint line'', I'm open to hearing about those too. thanks! anon

Those lines between my eyes used to drive me nuts as well -- I've heard it's the most common wrinkle area that women get worked on with Botox. I've gone to Allskin Dermatology in Berkeley, on Telegraph near Ashby. Terri Dunn is the MD but for simple procedures like Botox her PA's do the work. She charges per region of the face treated, not per cc, as many other places do. For one area on the face it's around $350. What's nice is that if the results are not what you like after a couple weeks, you can go back in and get extra injections (if that's what is needed) at no extra cost. There is something new, called Dysport, that is the same as Botox but lasts longer. Good luck! anon

I have that line 'thingy' between my eyebrows too but scared about the Botox side effects. I read an interesting post on BPN in December for a acupuncturist who does cosmetic work named Bina Jangda. Apparently it's a 10 week course minimum which starts at $1350 for full face. Ouch! She also has a mini treatment that's 6 treatments for $360 that does just the forehead. After the 4th treatment, the line is already gone! I'm saving the last two treatments for my 3 month maintenance visits. I haven't had acupuncture before and am surprised at how painless and relaxing it is. And equally surprised at the results. My forehead is now smooth. I'd try her before the Botox. Her number is 510-393-7565. Line Free Naturally

Just turned 40 - botox?

Jan 2010

Just turned 40 and cannot believe the wrinkles that seem to have appeared on my forehead over the past year. I can't even momentarily hide them when I relax my face. Am looking for ways to get rid of them or reduce them and wonder if anyone has any experience with, or information about Botox. Would also welcome insights about alternative treatments. Thanks. Wrinkle concerns

I am a 48 year old woman who feels your pain. Fortunately, I found a less invasive alternative to Botox. Facial Rejuvination Acupuncture is less expensive overall with results that affect more than just wrinkles. I have been seeing Bina Jangda a licensed acupuncturist for about six months. Bina specializes in this treatment. My results include reduction in wrinkles, better skin tone, lift of my eye lids and a firmer jaw line. All this without a chemical injection. Recently I noticed a black eye on my sister in law. She admitted to me that Botox was injected in the wrong spot. It took over 10 days for the black and blue to fade. Bina can be reached at 510-393-7565. She practices at 7th Heaven on 6th St. in Berkeley and also at Stillpoint Wellness on Union St. in SF. Best, less wrinkled & loving it

I have used Botox for many years & highly recommend it- I get numerous comments that I look much younger than my age- CAVEAT- be careful who you get it from- Don't go to botox parties where a nurse injects it- Bad injections can make you look like the governator- Note this is a long term investment since it must be kept up meaning, repeating it every 3-6 months for years. Interestingly, the price in LA is much less than the Bay Area- enough to justify flying down there to do. If you are very queasy about injections, it may not be for you- but nothing works as well- it works by not letting you make the movement that causes the wrinkle & like a dress hanging in your closet, the wrinkles will fall out if the movement ends. Anon

I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice to either go ahead and get botox but I will be very frank and suggest that you get over it and learn to live with aging gracefully. I am 50 and have tons of lines on my face. but they are from all those years of smiling and sailing and living a fun life outdoors, and when I look in the mirror and see them, I try to say to myself: There's the proof that I had a great youth! Crow's Feet Queen

Hi Jennifer French is an Acupuncturist that specializes in Woman's health, pediatrics and Facial Rejuvenation. She has an office in Lafayette near the bart station. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is a safe way to get the radiance and tone back in skin and can also focus on fine lines and wrinkles. Usually a 10-15 treatment commitment. ANON

There's a reason botox is the most common cosmetic procedure in the U.S. and Europe, it takes 5 seconds to administer and it works. Depending on whether you prefer the Berkeley dose (natural look), or the L.A. dose (more of a frozen look), choose your doctor accordingly (sometimes you can just tell by their webpage picture which look they lean towards) and voice your preferences. If the wrinkles don't completely disappear in 2 weeks, a good cosmetic dermatologist can fill the ''static lines'' with filler--- again choose your professional wisely. For people with strong muscles, retreating every 3 months is fairly common. Mine seems to hold up for 6 months. anon

I have had three types of procedures done of my face. One was botox. I did not think it helped that much and was really costly. The second I had done was Restalyne-which is a type of filler that they inject into deeper grooves (smile lines for example.) This did help but lasted only about 2 months (they said up to 9 months....) and was painful and very expensive as well. The third thing I had done was a very intense laser peel (called Fraxel.) It was $4K...and incredibly painful. My entire face blistered and oozed and peeled and it was very ugly and uncomfortable for at least 10 days (cannot go out in public for a week. seriously. even my dog was afraid of me) These results were good though-refreshed skin. Fine lines reduced. Smoother skin and noticeably refreshed. If I were not afraid of dying I would just get a facelift! Moderator can give you my info if you want it. good luck. former sunbather-now a wrinkly prune

I have used retin-A and it got rid of my ''11's'' the lines between the eyebrows. Its something you need to keep up or they come back. If you get a prescription for acne, the insurance will cover part of the cost. 40-something mom

Hi! Botox is wonderful. The new product on the market is called Dysport, same thing, same effect, different company. I got Botox done 2 years ago at 41, and my God, it made me look SOOO youthful within a week. I get it now between every 4 to 5 months. I have NEVER had any issues with it from the first time, other than just a feeling of tautness in the first few days. I get it done on the forehead, between the brows and around the eyes. It makes all the difference to my confidence and appearance. Go For it, of course discuss all the details with your doctor. I go to Reviance at San Mateo to Dr. Banthia, he is a plastic surgeon: 650-212-7662. Best, Youthfully Anon

Doctor recomendations for fillers/ injections?

Dec 2009

I am looking for a doctor that uses fillers such as Radiesse, Restylane, Sculptra or Prevelle that does cheek/ undereye enhancement. I have had this done several times by a top notch, super expensive plastic surgeon in San Francisco with excellent results. However, he just doesn't use a lot of material for the cost. I also had him do some other filler/ Botox work that other people have done for me, and comparatively it's about twice as expensive. Has anyone had cheek filler/ undereye enhancements by a doctor in the East Bay? Some doctors that do fillers won't do them in this particular area of the face, so I need specific doctor recommendations, not just doctors that do fillers. Please, no surgery recommendations or opinions of this medical procedure or lectures on aging gracefully. Tired of people asking me if i'm tired

I've had Dr. Mike Cedars in Oakland on Pill Hill put in injectable fillers in my upper cheek-bone area, naso- labial folds, lips, a ''depression'' below my lower eyelids and in various deep wrinkles around my lips. I've been very pleased with his work. Fillers are expensive. He'll tell you which one he thinks is best for you and with Botox, he has you come back in about 10-12 days if you're not satisfied so he can ''touch it up''. I've been very pleased. Every once in a while I'll get a bruise but if I try to remember not to take any aspirin or any other blood thinners before I go in, I'm usually okay. Good luck. Dr. Cedars is a Plastic Surgeon but he's never tried to talk me into anything. Satisfied Patient

You might give Dr. Katie Rodan a call. I recently had this area filled for the first time with Restalayne. One vial cost me $350. I think I like the result. I think it might have pocketed a bit, but I am not sure. I had absolutely NO bruising and it did not hurt. Good Luck

Botox facial filler--what to expect?

March 2009

Thanks to those who responded and recommended Botox and/or facial filler to rid one of unwanted deep creases and grumpy lines. Would like to know what to expect in terms of maintenance and ongoing costs? I understand that these treatments are psychologically ''addicting.'' Is there any difference in discomfort between various types of fillers? And, is there any type of treatment that last longer than others? Are there any doctors I should avoid? Thanks for any info. Nervous About Botox

First, resist the temptation to do it on the cheap, especially if you are going to do fillers. Go to a doctor who has done it a million times and has a great reputation (Dr. Maas in Pacific Heights is a lovely guy, or Dr. Matarasso near Union Square are 2 I can suggest). You will get what you pay for. I know many nurses are skilled at this, but for your first time, you should be in the best hands possible.

As far as maintenance, I used to need Botox 3 times a year to destroy the angry line between my brows. Now, 3 years later, I go about every 5 mos. When the area spends that much time ''relaxed'', the natural collagen starts to fill in the line (gradually). As far as filler, it depends on which you choose (and ask the doctor which they recommend)and on which area you need it (filling in brow lines, crowsfeet, etc), but new studies suggest that if you get one injection, and then a follow up within the next 6 months, that the results can last up to 18 mos. It is expensive, but Restylane does have a rebate program (the others might, too). For me, having my angry line erased might not make me look younger, but I sure look happier!

Also, don't worry about them putting in too much filler; if they do, there is a quick antidote injection that will dissolve the filler. However, Botox has to wear off, which is why you really should go to someone who has done tens of thousands of procedures. Hope that helps! Filled and fulfilled

I would like to echo the previous poster's advice - go to someone with a lot of experience. You will indeed get what you pay for. Also, an experienced practitioner will tell you what your options are and what you can realistically expect from the results. Be clear about what you want. Some docs prefer to go for a very natural look and others like to eradicate all wrinkles and lines. Have an idea of what you think is ideal for you and discuss it. I have been going Dr. Christine Avakoff (510) 452-2833 for about 5 years and she's great. -anon

Reasonably Priced Botox?

Feb 2009

Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced place to receive a Botox treatement? East Bay Location preferred. Does not have to be a M.D., but needs to be highly reputable. Please do not recommend Dr. Christine Brozowski. -Thank you in advance.

I recommend Dr. Robert Aycock in Walnut Creek and Greenbrae. I have had various work done by him and he is top notch. You will have to decide if his rates are reasonable. 925-937-8377 or 415-925-1700. kl

Try Aspen Medspa in Lafayette. I went there three times after going to Dr. Brozowski, and they are much more reasonable and did a fine job. They charge $11 a unit and you can see either a doctor or nurse practitioner. You could also try Dr. Kelly Hood in Lafayette, who is an excellent dermatologist and who I currently see. I think normally she charges $15 per unit but she often has promotions and may match what Aspen Medspa is charging. Everything is more negotiable in the current environment. youthful mom

Hi- great Place: Amoure Skin Care, Ana Moure RN 4110 Redwood Road 510-290-7138 Oakland CA 94619 I never thought I could afford Botox until a fellow local mom I know who is also a registered nurse and has her own skin care salon told me indeed I could! I was elated. I have been getting Botox now for about 1.5 years and it has really made me feel and look wonderful/less old. Her prices are very reasonable and she has lots of experience. I really like her she makes you feel at home.IN additon to her salon she also assists as a nurse for cosmetic surgeons. no more lines!!!

I recommend Harmony Beauty Spa Center in Albany, 1365 Solano Ave, (510) 527-0432. There is a M.D, an easthetician and R.N. there. They all friendly and informative. anon

2004 - 2007 Reviews

Botox/restylane advice-when to start/who to use

Jan 2006

I've looked in the archives but would love some updated recommendations on Botox/Restylane. I have started noticing that my fine lines are much more prominent, and while I love that I've had life experiences that contribute to those laugh/love lines, I also don't want to miss the chance to work on making them less visible. Does anyone have any advice on when to start the treatments (in particular, does it make sense to start to do them now to fend off more aging)? What about Botox vs. Restylane ... has anyone done both and prefered one over the other? And lastly, who would you recommend? I don't want to come out looking frozen or stripped of emotion ... just a bit ''brighter''! Thanks! Anon.

I started doing Botox about 5 years ago because I have a deep line down the middle of my very furrowed brow. I went to a couple of places but ultimately ended up very happy with Dr. Pessoa at Dermatology Associates in Berkeley. She's a dermatologist, very warm, answers all of your questions/concerns, and the whole event is amazingly quick and painless. I strongly recommend you go to an MD. I'm not sure who's licensed to dispense it, but I just felt much more comfortable being in a physician's office and knew that everything is legal and ok. It's not cheap--about $350. But it lasts a good 6 months and the more you do it, the less frequently you'll do it in the future. Re: frozen face. Not at all. I think a lot of the movie stars (Nicole Kidman comes to mind) are Botoxing every square inch of their face. I just did my forehead. The only comments I ever got were that I looked well rested. NO ONE know I do it and I'll keep it that way. No experience with restylane. Sorry. But I'! m a big Botox fan in moderation. Obviously, signed anonymous Anon

Depends what lines are bothering you. Botox is for horizontal forehead lines as well as the vertical frown lines between your eyebrows. It temporarily ''freezes'' the muscles causing those lines and things definitely look smoother while it's in effect. The nice thing is, it's a quick and nearly painless treatment. Trouble is, it only lasts 6-8 weeks. Restylane is a filler and lasts up to 12 months. It is quite effective, but depending on where you inject it, can be excruciatingly painful ... I got my lips and nasolabial lines done once, and have not yet had the courage to do it again, even though my doctor promised to use a nerve block this time. I prefer lip-plumping cosmetics, and will live with the lines for now. Also I had bruises and red marks that lasted about 2 weeks after the injections. When you start any of this is totally up to you. I would say you have to balance the cost of the injections against how much those fine lines are bothering you. Q

Here's what I know with Botox...I love it! I look natural, feel good and still have lots of expression in my face. Currently, I have only around my eyes done. What I like about my doc is that she understands that I'm on a budget. So, I'm slowing moving into this. Restlyn is in my future around my upper lips. There's alot you can do, and Dr. Elizabeth Lee in Berekely is a wonderful surgeon, mother of four, who understands, is non judegemntal and gives compassionate advise. Check out her web site She's the only one I would trust, over a dermotoligst since she understands the bone structure etc. She's a plastic surgeon who doesn't lead you down a false road and listens to what you want to achieve. best of luck. happy with the results

Great Botox Doctor?

Nov 2005

Can anyone recommend a great MD from whom to get Botox injections in the Berkeley or surrounding area? How much does it cost, say to get rid of a crease between the eyebrows? Thanks!

Dr. Stephen Daane does botox injections in SF and Marin, and he charges significantly less than other doctors. (He manages this by scheduling patients in such a way that there's no waste.) As I recall, this kind of thing generally costs about $400, and I had two areas done for a little under $300 (it's been over a year and a half since I did it last, so I forget exact figures.) I went to another plastic surgeon for the same procedure, and I feel that Dr. Daane did a much better job - he made several small injections to very targeted areas so that I was able to retain natural movement everywhere but the ''problem area.'' He's also a very pleasant person. His office number in SF is 415/561-0542. Have fun! K.C.

I hate to give away my secret, but I go to Aura Skin Care on San Pablo Avenue in Albany for laser hair removal, and have had botox injections there to remove the crease between my eyebrows. Aura Skin Care is less expensive than other offices I called for both botox and laser hair removal and the results of both procedures have been excellent. I was very nervous at my initial appointment and Dr. Kawai spent so much time with me that I started getting nervous about her schedule! I stopped getting botox because I just couldn't justify the cost, but wish I could do it again. Dr. Kawai administered the botox herself and it was easy and painless. Aura Skin Care fan

Which doctor for Botox?

April 2005

I am thinking about having Botox and read all the recomendations on it. I have done it tuice before, the first time I liked, but the second it did not have the results I was expecting. So I would like to change Doctors. Have anyone had experience with it with any of this Drs. and how did you like it? Thank you Anon

I would choose, and have chosen Dr.Lee to do my Botox treatment, and have been very happy each time. I think it is important to know what kind of doctor you are going to for invasive procedures, even those as ''simple'' as Botox injections.

Dr. Lee is a plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. I feel because she has operated on the face, she has a really clear understanding of where those muscles are located, so her injections are precise. Dr. Rodan is a dermatologist and Dr. Brozowski is a family practice doctor. I think they have different training than a plastic surgeon does.

Dr. Lee's office and staff are very nice and helpful. Dr. Lee makes me feel very comfortable whenever I am in the office. She distracts me during the injection and is very quick and efficient so even though I hate injections, it is not a bad experience at all. She doesn't rush like some doctors do. Also, she is cautious about treatment and will provide touchups at no charge if needed in the first two weeks after treatment. I could not recommend Dr. Lee more highly. I think it is important to choose your physicians carefully and according to their training. Anon

Dr. Brozowski is a family practice doctor. I saw her for a general medical issue once and will never go back. I felt like she didn't listen to me when I was describing my symptoms and in fact, cut me off mid-description. I never even got to tell her what my full problem was before she wanted to prescribe medication. I went to see another doctor who heard me out, recognized a complicated situation, and helped me out (completely different diagnosis than Dr. Brozowski). I have not seen either of the other doctors, but have heard that Dr. Lee is good. not so satisfied customer

I was a patient of Dr. Lee's for a few years but found her prices for simple cosmetic procedures like botox to be very pricey relative to other doc's. She also spends a lot of time tooting her own horn. I have since switched to Dr.Potozkin in Walnut Creek. More reasonable, more professional office. Dr. Lee's wait time for patients is ridiculously long too.

I saw Dr. Brozowski for lazer hair removal. She was quite expensive, brusque, and my legs were scarred by the procedure. I would never go back to her for any procedure. anon.

There have been a few postings lately asking for recommendations about botox or peels from Dr. Brozowski. One response was from someone who had seen her for another medical issue and was unhappy with the not very thorough care she received. We had a similarly bad experience when we went to her for travel immunizations. She recommended over $1000 of immunizations which were not even recommended by the CDC and did not go over the risks, such as the 5% risk of significant side effects, including anaphylactic shock, in one of the immunizations. Botox and chemical peels can be very dangerous in the wrong hands, and I would be very cautious about going to a practitioner who was not being cautious about other procedures. negative experience

I have only seen Dr. Brozowski and had a very negative experience. She was extremely expensive, was not really willing to listen to what I wanted (like the kind of doctor that spends about 2 minutes with you and then acts like the room is on fire), and I had a horrible adverse reaction to the procedure (wound up in the hospital actually). Anon

2003 & Earlier

less expensive Botox treatment ?

May 2003

The going rate for Botox seems to be about $ 400 for the first site and around $ 300 for additional sites. Does anyone know of a doctor (preferably in the East Bay) with more reasonable rates ? -anon

try dr. christopher debacker at optima in hayward (510.886.3937). the price depends on the site, but the average cost is $275. suzie

Dr. Rodan for Botox?

April 2003

I read recently a post about Botox that referenced Dr. Kathy Rodan. I am a huge fan of her ProActiv products and know she has a practice nearby. I am not very happy with my current dermatologist and would like to switch. Has anyone out there had experience with her? Not sure if she just does cosmetic dermatology? I would like to see her for a persistent sun related rash, some slight acne and possibly a Botox treatment. Anon

I LOVE Dr. Rodan. I started out using her Proactiv products for acne, and now use her for Botox and dermabrasion. She also has a great new skin care line out for aging skin. Within three weeks of using it people started complimenting me on my skin.

From comparing notes, she is not that expensive, although Botox is indeed pricey. A quick update, her office is now selling a numbing cream to put on before hand. It seems a little cheesey to me (to sell it that is) but others tell me that their doctors don't even offer it. Since Botox is not pain free I elected to purchase it.

Finally, she has helped me with skin rashes, yearly skin exams and the like. So for me, she is an enthusiastic thumbs up. elaine

I have seen Kathy Rodan for skin cancer spots, which she removed, and poison oak. I highly recommend her and her office staff is very nice as well. anon

April 2003

RE: Forehead Lift
Before you go ahead with a forehead lift, you may want to give Botox a try. I have a friend (mid 30's) and my mom (mid 60's) who both use it and really get great results. It's not cheap, but is certainly cheaper initially than surgery, and you can see how you like the results before making a more permanent decision. Doing the line between your eye brows is generally between $250 and $350, and will last 3-4 months. Also, if you keep doing it, it seems that over time you can go longer amounts of time between injections, as the muscles seem to 'forget'. I'm not sure how much doing all the lines in your forehead would be... Anyways, I would recommend finding a reputable dermatologist and going that route before going with a forehead lift. Stephanie

RE: Forehead Lift
I can't answer about a forehead lift, but I have had a very similar problem, and resolved it easily with Botox. The lines between my eyes could have held a quarter, after decades of squinting from my nearsightedness. And my high cheeks bones were causing long wrinkles running down my cheeks. Botox is expensive, but much less so than plastic surgery. I go to Katie Rodan in Oakland (she created the proactiv line of adult acne products, which I am also a big fan of) Rockridge mom

August 2002

Has anyone tried Botox? Would you do it again and could you recommend a good practitioner? Tired of frown lines

Recommendations received:

  • Christopher Debacker

    Other advice: This NY Times article is titled ''A Peril of the Veil of Botox''. This is obviously not input on a practicitioner but I found it of interest. The basic point of the article is that botox injections, which work through minor muscle paralysis, can change the expressiveness of your face and can create a bit of a 'poker face.' If you think about it, many of those laugh and frown lines come from doing just that. ...And perhaps that's not a bad thing! On the other hand, I was a little surprised to see my wrinkles in a (brightly lit) mirror the other day. Usually my eyesight isn't good enough to notice them! :-) Sally

    Feb. 2001

    Does anyone have any experience with receiving either Botox or Collogen shots? Was it effective, and did you continue the regimen? I want to make sure that the procedure is 1)safe, and 2)effective. No use wasting money if its not worth the time and cost.

    A close friend gets botox injections between the eyebrows, and she looks 10 years younger! Suzanne