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BOTOX 101

Botox has been blowing up in popularity over the last few years especially in younger aged people. We are seeing tons of patients in their twenties and thirties, different from the typical demographic of older than 40 which we used to see. This is because Botox is a great preventative treatment for wrinkles!

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, the younger you start Botox the better!! Because it is most successful as a preventative treatment. What age exactly?! Well, it’s different for everyone. When you start to see those faint lines and wrinkles when your brows, forehead, around the eyes etc., are not expressing, ie. “at rest” – it's TIME! If you start when you first notice those little lines we can stop those little wrinkles from ever forming!

In this blog, I’m covering what Botox does and what to expect during and after your treatment!

WHAT IS BOTOX?

Botox is the name for the brand of product. The medicinal ingredient is called botulinum toxin which is found in Botox. Botulinum Toxin is used to prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles on the face. It does this by semi-permanently relaxing the muscles. For example when you frown your eyebrows pull together causing a crease of the skin. When you raise your eyebrows you might notice wrinkles appearing across your forehead. Botox relaxes these muscles. When the muscles are relaxed the lines can’t form and subsequently, wrinkles cannot form. We most commonly use these products on the forehead and around the eyes, however, there are other areas where it is effective such as the upper lip lines, the masseter/jaw muscle, the platysmal bands of the neck, and the underarms and palms for sweating (hyperhidrosis); to name a few.


WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR APPOINTMENT

Your practitioner will ask you what you are interested in targeting and discuss with you the best option. He/She will ask you to move your face into different expressions so that they can watch your muscles move and determine which injection sites are best. They may also have you take a before photo! Once you’ve decided on the appropriate amount of treatment the practitioner will have to remove any makeup over the injections sites with a sterilizing wipe or cloth. They will then pinch a small area of your skin to raise it up and make a quick injection. Each injection takes only 1-3 seconds and most patients feel little to no pain. Immediately after your injections, there may be small raised bumps at the injection sites. These bumps are just the product waiting to be absorbed and they will go away within less than 10 minutes. I tell my patients they will look like nothing happened by the time they make it back to their car. Almost all clients continue with their day as normal.


WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR BOTOX APPOINTMENT?

You won’t notice any immediate changes with Botox because the product has a slow, gradual onset and take up to two full weeks to take full effect, but you can start to see improvement after just a couple of days. If you still have unwanted movement after two weeks, then it is appropriate to tweak the botox at your follow up appointment. I will not retreat any Botox within that first 2 weeks because we run the risk of dropping the brow and making your eyes heavy if we add more before the first round is fully kicked in.

On average, the treatments last about 3-4 months. For your very first treatment, I always say you will probably need to re-treat within 3 months because your muscles are still very strong. Once you get in the routine of treating regularly, you will most likely go longer in between treatments. By the 3-4 months make you will start to notice that some movement is coming back. The treatment doesn’t just stop working all at once, the movement will slowly return in different areas. Most people notice that when the glabella (area between the eyebrows) starts to move again, their brows are no longer as lifted as when it was relaxed. I encourage all of my patients to wait at least 3 months before coming in for their next treatment. If you treat too often you are training your muscles to need botox more often and you can also build up resistance to the product! And that’s like your worst nightmare, right!?


WILL THESE DEEP CREASES BETWEEN MY BROWS OR ON MY FOREHEAD BE COMPLETELY GONE?

Eventually, YES! If you look in the mirror and you see wrinkles when your face is rested, those are called “static” lines. Those lines are created by dynamic muscle movements or expressions over a long period of time. They took a long time to get there so you cannot expect them to be completely erased with just one treatment. With that being said, I generally see up to 80% improvement with just the very first treatment alone. After a few treatments back to back those lines will eventually fade all the way away. I love when I see a patient after a year of regular treatment who started with super deep wrinkles and they tell me, “You were right! I can’t believe it… I never thought it was possible to get rid of these wrinkles and they are completely gone!” It is a work in progress, and with Botox, wrinkles do get better over time. Stick with the plan!







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