Botox® | What to Expect With Your Injections
If you've never had Botox injections before, the thought can be scary. Shots in my face?!! Sounds awful, I know! But it's really not that bad. And the results can be phenomenal when you see an experienced injector who's really good. #NoCookieCutterBotox With the advent of baby Botox, the results are truly amazing!
So what is Botox?
Botox is an Allergan product that is a form of purified botulinum toxin A. It softens wrinkles by blocking the nerves that move your muscles. These injections work best on the wrinkles that you see when you move your face.
Dysport® and Xeomin® are 2 other kinds of botulinum toxins available. And there's a newcomer too - Jeuveau®. They compete with the Allergan brand, Botox, but they all work in a very similar way.
What areas does Botox fix?
Most people use it to correct forehead lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet. It's also used on those lines around the nose (that show when you squint) and lines around the neck. Some people use Botox to create an eyebrow lift. Other injectors use it to correct excessive underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis) and even migraines.
How long does it last?
Most people find the effects last anywhere from 3-6 months.
How long do the injections take?
Expect to be at the office for 15 - 20 minutes.
What do the injections feel like?
You can have a topical anesthetic applied prior to your injections. If you think this is the best option for you, be prepared to sit about 30 minutes to allow the anesthetic to work. Ice is another alternative to numb the area. The injections are done with a very fine needle and feel like a pinch. Afterwards, most people get a small amount of swelling at the injection site. Some people get some bruising which can be covered with concealer.
What should I look for in an injector?
If you are new to these injections, look for an injector who will start with lower doses to ensure your muscles aren't over treated (causing a “frozen” look). After 2 weeks, he / she should evaluate the effectiveness. If you want less movement, more injections can be done at your follow up appointment.
The best injectors will minimize your wrinkles - not your facial movement.
Ask your injector how they dilute their Botox. The correct answer will always be, "All medications are diluted as directed by the manufacturer."
Learn more about what you should look for and what to expect in our post, How much Botox will you need? How much will your Botox cost? Ask about the qualifications of your injector. Some websites advocate only seeing a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for your injections. The part these websites leave out is that OFTEN in doctors' offices, a nurse does all the cosmetic injections. Allergan, the maker of Botox, uses nurse injectors to teach doctors, other nurses, and medical aestheticians how to correctly inject Botox. To be fair, Allergan has doctors that teach cosmetic injections too. My point is that many of the best injectors are nurses.
Are there any bad side effects?
"Don’t believe any doctor who says you’re not at risk to get brow or eyelid ptosis, which is when your brow or eyelid droops because too much of the product drifted down or up in the eye area. This has happened in every doctor’s office, but the more qualified your doctor is, the lower the risk. Most adverse reactions are caused by the doctor who’s injecting it into you, not the product itself.”
A prescription eye drop called Iopidine (generic name: Apraclonidine), sometimes helps with a droopy brow or eyelid. It stimulates the muscles that surround the "Botoxed" muscles. These surrounding muscles contract in an attempt to make up for the lack of movement from the temporarily "paralyzed" muscles. People with droopy brows or lids should use these drops until their botulinum toxin injections have worn off. Patients of experienced injectors also have a lower incidence of rash, localized numbness, headache and flu-like symptoms.
Is there anyone who shouldn't get these injections?
In general, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not get botulinum toxin injections. Also, people with neurological problems should consult with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon before getting the injections.
Is Botox worth it?
Botox gets a 96% "Worth It" rating on Realself.com! If you have the time and money or are willing to save for these injections, it is worth it. No face cream can freeze wrinkles or give such quick results the way Botox does.
Recent studies have shown that Botox Cosmetic also increases the elasticity and pliability (stretch & recoil) of skin! Along with good skin care, (including retinol, vitamins C and E, and sunscreen) long-term use of Botox can keep your wrinkles from getting deeper. It works beautifully to reduce wrinkles!
The effects of Botox vary from person to person. The results pictured cannot be guaranteed. Photos courtesy of Allergan.®
In these pictures, Botox was injected into the model's forehead and crow's feet to minimize wrinkles. For more information, go to BotoxCosmetic.com.
If you have more questions, try reading our posts:
Not sure these injections are right for you? Read this post, You’ve decided to do some skin rejuvenation, but how do you decide what to work on first?
When done well, Botox injections (and the other neurotoxins as well!) minimize wrinkles beautifully. The key is to find a really good injector! Good luck! And as always, thanks for reading!
Amy Takken, RN
Amy Takken is a registered nurse with 20+ years of experience helping people improve their health. Her in-depth skincare articles have been featured on Nazarian Plastic Surgery and The Palm Beach Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery. Amy loves research and constantly watches for new products and treatments to help you improve your skin’s health – because healthy skin is beautiful! To reach Amy, visit our contact page.
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