Jane hated her frown lines. She thought they made her look older than she was. And they did. She despaired of ever getting rid of them. “Frown lines are part of the natural aging process,” her friends told her. Then she discovered Botox. Now Jane’s frown lines are gone—and her friends are begging for the secret behind her youthful looks.
Botox. You’ve probably heard the name, but what is it? Introduced in 2002, Botox is the first botulinum toxin to be approved by the FDA to temporarily treat moderate-to-severe glabellar (the smooth area between the eyebrows just above the nose) lines. It temporarily erases wrinkles and unsightly furrows in people 18 to 65 years of age. Botox works its magic by using the neurotoxin botulinum to temporarily relax facial muscles that underlie and cause dynamic wrinkles, such as frown lines, forehead furrows, and crow’s feet. Millions of women made the Botox choice because it offers real, noticeable results with no surgery and no recovery time.
It’s true that Botox offers amazing results, but it’s important that you consider a few things before using Botox. Read on to learn the top ten things to think about before scheduling a Botox treatment.
- Contrary to popular belief, Botox is not painless. Although getting Botox is not particularly painful for most patients, since there are needles involved, you can’t expect to feel absolutely nothing when getting injected. During the procedure, you can expect a slight pinch from the needle. However, there are numbing creams available in topical and aesthetic forms if you’re particularly sensitive to pain.
- You can’t take aspirin or fish oil while receiving Botox injections. Patients should stop using aspirin products up to a week before a Botox treatment because they are blood thinners. Discontinuing the use of aspirin the week before will help to keep bruising down. Patients should also discontinue taking fish oils a week beforehand because they also promote bruising.
- Less is more. It’s important to use only the bare minimum amount of Botox to achieve natural-looking results. Overdoing it can result in a “frozen” look, which can last for several months. Overuse of Botox can also cause the muscles in the treatment site to become so weak that they can’t support the flesh, causing facial drooping. This makes it all the more important to take the time to seek out an experienced medical professional who can address your specific needs.
- Results are not instant. It can take up to seven days to show the full effect of Botox and results typically last around four months. But those results vary depending on the depth of your wrinkles. You can prevent wrinkles and furrows from appearing altogether. How? If you start Botox treatments just as fine lines are beginning to appear and continue them as you age, you can prevent select expression lines from forming at all. For patients who already have pronounced lines, it takes a few days to see results, and a full two weeks to see Botox’s full effects.
- Botox could cause an allergic reaction. Botox is derived from the same bacteria as the toxin botulism. Though you absolutely cannot contract botulism from Botox usage, there is a small chance that you could have an allergic reaction to preservatives and ingredients used in the formula. The most common types of allergic reactions reported include itching, rashes, welts, asthma symptoms and feeling faint. If you experience a reaction, you should call your medical practitioner right away.
- Beware of the Botox black market. Many coupon services run deals for cheap Botox injections, and if they sound too good to be true, they probably are. Before you buy into anything, know who and what you’re dealing with. If the deal seems too cheap, the Botox used may be acquired on the black market—or, even worse, it might be expired or about to expire.
- Steer clear of unskilled injectors. If the Botox is injected without a care in any part of your face, you may suffer a lopsided appearance. There is an artistry involved in the technique, so be sure your physician is highly experienced and skilled at administering Botox.
- Botox cures more than just wrinkles. If you have excessive underarm or palm sweating or suffer from serious migraines, talk to your doctor about using Botox to alleviate these ailments. Botox has been proven to diminish or stop excessive sweating and to reduce the severity of migraines, too. But because these issues are medical rather than cosmetic, you will need to book separate appointments.
- Always share your full medical history. The pursuit of beauty is never worth risking your health over. As with any procedure, you should always disclose your full medical history before undergoing Botox. It is especially important that you tell your doctor about any muscle or nerve conditions as well as autoimmune neuromotor diseases like myasthenia gravis, as you may have an increased risk of serious side effects, including difficulty swallowing and breathing. You should also inform your doctor of any potentially problematic conditions, including surgery plans, weakness of forehead muscles, recent injections or medicines you are currently taking.
- You may experience physical limitations. You won’t be able to lower your head for the two hours following a Botox treatment, meaning no yoga, no bending over, no blow drying your hair, and no napping. Ignoring this advice could result in Botox migrating to other parts of your face, leading to facial drooping and paralysis of functional neighboring muscles.
Hands down, Botox is a great alternative to invasive cosmetic procedures and can offer quick and dramatic results. Botox is also relatively painless with no downtime involved. That being said, it’s important to know about Botox’s side effects and post-procedural care. Most importantly, you should also be aware and steer clear of inexperienced physicians and counterfeit Botox offers.