Most everyone I meet as a first time Botox client have the same concerns-very understandable concerns- that I also had when I started training with Botox more than a dozen years ago. After a consultation, some questions and answers, and mainly results from the Botox treatment, apprehensions are alleviated, people are usually very happy with their results, and then the main question becomes, “Why did I wait so long to do this?”
Safety is the most legitimate concern to me. Botox should only be injected by a trained medical professional, preferably trained and certified by Allergan’s injector trainings. I am a certified master injector.
Botox is a neurotoxin, which sounds scary, but is perfectly safe. Starting with its scientific name – Botulinum toxin –the word ‘toxin’ can be misleading, when it is in fact a naturally occurring protein which temporarily blocks the nerve impulses that trigger muscle contraction. It is NOT a live toxin. In my experience, there has never been a “health” risk with Botox used in small amounts for esthetic purposes. The very high amounts used, for example, in people who are treated for neurological conditions, it can pose some rare health risks. The only risks with Botox for esthetic purposes are mild side effects, such as bruising, unevenness of results, droopy eyelids, swelling, redness and soreness; all which are uncommon and temporary, and no risk to your health. Some can be corrected with a quick touch up in the office.
Botox works by relaxing the muscles in the face, and therefore softens the lines and wrinkles caused by a number of facial expressions, mainly:
- Crow’s feet on the sides of the eyes, which appear when smiling
- Frown lines-the lines between the eyebrows when frowning
- Forehead lines-the horizontal lines that appear when raising our eyebrows
- Lip Lines-which appear from puckering up as in drinking from a straw or smoking.
- ”Bunny” lines, caused by ‘scrunching’ your nose
Other areas/indications for Botox include: around the lips for more lip show, the sides of the chin to turn the sides of your lips up, reducing the amount of “gummy smile,” the sides of your eyebrow to give a lift to your eyelids, in the jaw for TMJ and to reduce the protrusion in the jaw muscles, and various locations in the head for migraine headaches.
We also treat for excessive sweating in the armpits.
Another concern is that people think they will become “frozen.” The art of treatments with Botox is to strike the right balance between reducing the lines while keeping some movement and expression – what is often described as the ‘natural look’.
For those afraid of “the pain,” I can honestly say that I have never had a client who could not tolerate it, and most say it was so much easier than they thought. It is usually described as a mild pinprick and sometimes a sting. The tiny amounts of Botox used make it easy and quick, usually taking only a couple of minutes, even for multiple areas.
When asked if anything should be done prior to treatment, I advise stopping aspirin (unless directed by your doctor as a necessary treatment), anti-inflammatories, Vitamin E, Fish Oil and Saint John’s Wort 5 days before treatment to decrease your chances of bleeding and bruising. For those who bruise very easily, pretreatment with Arnica may be helpful. Having said that, the risk of bruising is still quite low.
I am often asked when someone should start getting Botox. I see people starting in their twenties and well into “the golden years.” What I tell people is that if lines are beginning to form between their eyes, on their forehead, around their eyes, then it is a good time to start. Those who start when lines are just beginning to form can actually get rid of those lines as long as they keep on a regular schedule (every 3-6 months), depending on age, severity of the wrinkle and how strong the muscles are in the area(s) treated.
Then comes the question of cost…
It is not cheap, but often less expensive than people think. We charge by the unit because some people will do great with 10 units in their forehead, while others may need twice that. At your consultation, I assess the muscle, the creases and the area to be injected and can tell you how many units I think you need for optimal results. Some areas can be as little as $100. When asked about generic neurotoxins, my experience has been that it is more uncomfortable being injected and the product does not last as long. Clients who have used Botox and then try a generic for cost purposes are usually less satisfied and switch back. A quote that became truth to me is that “Cheap Botox is Never Good and Good Botox is Never Cheap!”
There is no way to give an accurate estimate over the phone as to the exact amount of Botox you need for full correction of your wrinkles, but we offer FREE CONSULTATIONS for just that reason.
I hope that this has answered some of your concerns, but I welcome any questions you may still have!
ARE YOU READY TO REFRESH?