Do you still recognize the face in the mirror? It’s been weeks since many have been able to get the touch-ups — like haircuts and manicures — that keep us feeling like ourselves. But for those who have missed bigger appointments, like for Botox and fillers, a new face might be starting to emerge. While the needle itself is quick, getting an appointment for these procedures might take longer than expected. Assuming you can get one at all.
“If it’s an indication of how many people are calling for an appointment, it’s going to be busy,” explains Dr. Patricia Wexler, a Manhattan dermatologist. She plans to prioritize long-standing patients and those who require medical dermatology procedures.
“New patients will have a wait. It’s important to have loyalty to our regular patients… we’ll make appointments accordingly.”
Compounding the increase in demand is that Wexler, who previously worked in infectious disease control, will not be operating at full capacity any time soon. Despite getting a glimmer of hope this week when Governor Cuomo suggested areas of the state might begin to reopen on May 15th, doctors offices will continue to practice social distancing.
Wexler’s office, for example, already has plans for such measures. Before they’re allowed in the office, patients will have their temperatures and their recent social history taken. Examination rooms will be wiped down between appointments, and doctors will continue to wear masks and gloves.
“We plan to have more than less than half the patients who normally book and we don’t overbook,” she explains. “We schedule 45 minutes per patient. So we don’t plan to have that kind of traffic going through the office. I plan to start with half the staff. We’re planning a very slow start.”
While it’s clear that many are eager to return to a sense of normalcy, it’s worth keeping a sense of perspective about the situation. According to Wexler, it will be several months before Botox users, even ones who were due for a touch-up as the quarantine hit, see wrinkles return to their original depth. In the meantime, the best thing one can do is keep up their skincare routine, and be patient.
“When you come back you’ll have your Botox, you’ll have your manicure, and you’ll have your hair done,” says Wexler. “Nothing is going to be back the way we knew for a very long time. And [there is] a fear that there’ll be a rebound sometime in the winter. It’s going to be traumatic and we’re just going to have to be strong. [But] I think New Yorkers are strong. We just have to listen to the advice of the science.”