With age, a certain amount of fine lines and wrinkles are inevitable. Blame it on gravity, the sun, smoking, or any number of other factors. Wrinkles happen to everyone. Fortunately, however, you have options when it comes to reducing their appearance.
One of the most tried-and-true solutions is BOTOX® Cosmetic.
Below, we’ll outline everything you need to know about getting BOTOX® — from what it is and how it works, to where you should get it and when you should start.
What Is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is actually a brand name for a toxin that comes from Clostridium botulinum — a type of bacteria. While it can be used in a number of health treatments, it is best known as an injectable for fine lines and wrinkles on the face. It was the first drug of its kind to be approved by the FDA.
How Does BOTOX® Work?
BOTOX® is a neurotoxin that temporarily relaxes the muscles in the areas where it is injected. Essentially, it blocks nerves from sending messages to those muscles so that the muscles become weak and cannot contract. This makes them paralyzed for the duration that the BOTOX® is in effect, and it ultimately reduces or eliminates the appearance of wrinkles on the skin.
Where on the Face and Body Should You Get BOTOX®?
There are several locations where BOTOX® can be effective at reducing or eliminating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You can use BOTOX® to treat:
- Forehead lines
- Frown lines
- Bunny lines
- Dimpling in the chain
- Neck and jawline lines
- Lipstick lines (near the mouth)
- Tear trough lines (under the eyes)
- Hooded eyes and eyebrow lines
- Crow’s feet (around the eyes)
Remember that everyone will have a different experience with BOTOX®. You may find that you like it to treat your forehead lines, but prefer a different method for treating your frown lines and lipstick lines. At your consultation appointment, be sure to bring up the specific areas you would like to improve so that your surgeon can recommend the best method of treatment.
Who Is a Good Candidate for BOTOX®?
To be a good candidate for BOTOX®, you should be physically healthy with no existing weakness or conditions relating to the muscles that will be targeted. Any skin conditions surrounding the areas where injections are planned may also prevent you from being a good candidate for BOTOX®.
At your consultation appointment, you will be able to discuss your goals for BOTOX® with your surgeon. At this time, you should also divulge your medical history and list any medications or dietary supplements you are taking.
Finally, remember that you should have reasonable expectations for your BOTOX®results. Not everyone reacts the same to BOTOX® treatments. Occasionally, you may need to supplement BOTOX® with other treatments or procedures, in order to achieve the results you ultimately desire.
Do BOTOX® Injections Hurt? What Do They Feel Like?
No, BOTOX® injections should not hurt. Your doctor will inject BOTOX® into the muscles of your face, and most of the time, you actually won’t be able to feel it. In some cases, if you can feel it at all, it will simply feel like a bug bite.
What Should You Expect at Your First BOTOX® Appointment?
At your appointment, you will begin by having your skin washed and prepped. Any makeup, oil, or bacteria needs to be removed. Next, ice packs are often used on the areas to be treated to mitigate pain (although the procedure itself should be not very painful, if at all). Finally, the injections are performed by your doctor. This step is relatively quick and, as stated, fairly painless.
What Is Recovery From BOTOX® Like?
After receiving BOTOX® injections, your doctor will have a list of care instructions to take home with you. BOTOX® injections are an outpatient procedure, so you’ll be able to go directly home directly after your appointment. You will be able to resume regular activities right away as well, but you should refrain from exercise for at least a day (24 hours).
Sometimes, your doctor may prescribe performing some special facial exercises after your BOTOX® injections. This will help your doctor ensure that the facial muscles are moving properly, in accordance with the areas that you wanted to target.
Generally speaking, once patients are home, they don’t have many side effects. You may notice some minor red dots at the injection sites, which can be visible for several hours. You may also notice some minor bruising, but again, this should only last for a few hours. Sometimes, using a cold compress can mitigate these effects.
If you must go out, which is certainly permitted, even immediately after your procedure, any noticeable dots or bruising can usually be concealed with a bit of makeup.
When Will You Be Able to See Results?
At your first appointment, you may think to yourself that your skin looks the same. This is a totally normal experience, and don’t worry: in nearly every patient, the skin does change eventually. Sometimes, you won’t notice these changes for up to a week. Sometimes, it just takes a few days. Usually, after two weeks, you’ll be able to see the full effects of your BOTOX® injections.
When Should You Start BOTOX® Usually?
You’ll often hear that BOTOX® has to be started early to be effective. While it is true that you can begin a more “seamless” aging process by starting subtle BOTOX® in your 20s, there is no right or wrong time to get BOTOX®. In fact, many men and women don’t begin getting BOTOX® until their 40s, 50s, or even 60s. It’s a treatment that can always provide subtle, natural-looking improvements to your skin.
If you’d like to discuss whether or not you’re a good candidate for this procedure, simply book a consultation and discuss your options with Dr. Sieber.
How Long Does BOTOX® Usually Last?
BOTOX® usually lasts for about four to six months — sometimes less. For example, the first time you get BOTOX® injections, you may notice that it doesn’t last quite so long, but subsequent treatments may last longer. Again, it’s important to note that everyone will have a different experience with BOTOX®, and there are multiple factors involved when determining how long its effects will last.
Can BOTOX® Help With Other Issues?
Yes! BOTOX® is certainly an amazing cosmetic solution for everything from fine lines to deep wrinkles on the face and neck, but it can also help with other skin-related issues as well.
Here are a few of the other ways that you might benefit from BOTOX®:
- Fixing a gummy smile
- Helping with excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Treating migraine headaches
- Slimming your profile
- Treating TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)
- Could Botox Work for You? Contact Sieber Plastic Surgery Today to Learn More
In the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Sieber is one of the leading experts in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Sieber has extensive professional training and experience treating the face, breast, and body with a variety of highly sought-after procedures. He has performed BOTOX® on countless clients and can certainly help you determine if this injectable could be right for you. Contact our office today to learn more and to book your initial consultation appointment!