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Botox – Everything You Wanted To Know, But Were Afraid to Ask

Fine lines. Frown lines. ‘The elevens’.

Whatever you call them, Botox can smooth wrinkles on your forehead, in-between your eyes, and those crow’s feet.

Over 12-million people have benefited from Botox since it was approved by the FDA in 2002. For nearly two decades, Botox has helped both men and women eliminate, reduce, and prevent the wrinkles and lines that come with growing older. Botox treatments come with no downtime and no surgery. Treatments take just a few minutes and can even be scheduled over your lunch break. Many people are still on the fence about getting Botox treatments and have questions about how it works, so we’ve put together a list of Botox FAQs to help you better understand this great cosmetic treatment.

First, what IS Botox?

Botox is the brand name of onabotulinum toxin A, the first neurotoxin approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines. It is a purified protein derived from botulinum toxin.

What does Botox DO to reduce or prevent wrinkles and lines?

It’s important to know that Botox is different from filler. An injection of Botox relaxes the muscle that’s forming the wrinkle, rather than plumping it up as filler would. Because of this, Botox works best on wrinkles caused by facial movement. Botox relaxes the muscle it is injected into so it cannot contract as strongly. It is almost the opposite of working out in the gym where our goal is to build muscles. Often, there is still some movement, which makes the treatment look more natural. Most patients see results within 3-14 days following treatment.

Can I come in for a consult first and decide not to move forward with a Botox treatment?

Absolutely! You can make an appointment for a consultation with any APDerm affiliated practice that offers Botox. During the consultation, the clinician will ask you about your areas of concern, look at your face closely, and ask you to make facial expressions. Our medical professionals will then make a recommendation for your treatment. Botox may or may not be right for you based on your goals and what you want to achieve. For example, some patients may have extra skin on the upper eyelids and would not be ideal candidates for Botox.

Will the injection hurt?

Most patients report that the treatment feels like a series of pinches or bee stings. Your cosmetic provider may use ice to numb the area before injecting. If you are concerned about discomfort, a topical numbing cream can be applied before administering your treatment, but the majority of patients do not need this.

How many injections will I need?

Treatment with Botox is customized to your goals and needs. When you meet with your specialist, he or she will determine the appropriate treatment for any areas you wish to address; frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines. Most individuals receive between 5 and 15 injections depending on how many areas are treated.

What will my recovery be like?

Treatment with Botox does not come with much downtime. Other than performing strenuous exercise, doing anything that involves putting pressure on the face (such as a massage or a facial), or lying down for a nap following the treatment, the patient can return to his or her daily routine after leaving the office. Bruising is possible but uncommon as we use tiny needles to deliver the Botox.

Should I be worried about side effects?

Your APDerm medical professional will be sure to share more information with you about side effects at your consultation. Some rare side effects include eyelid drooping and brow heaviness. Patients with a personal history or family history of neuromuscular diseases such as myasthenia gravis or ALS should consider avoiding this treatment as should women who are pregnant or nursing or who might become pregnant in the near future. Patients with any history of allergy to Botox or another neurotoxin should also avoid this procedure as should anyone with a current skin infection near the site of injections.

How long will the effects of my treatment last?

The effects of Botox treatments usually last from three to six months. Most of our patients come in for treatments three or four times a year. Some patients metabolize the medication faster and/or, due to stronger muscles, need treatments more often.   With continued use, patients often notice that the effect of their injections lasts longer. This is commonly believed to be because wrinkles become less visible after a Botox treatment, even after the effects have worn off.

What’s next?

If you’re ready to take the next step, make an appointment for a private consultation! We’re happy to answer any additional questions you may have at that time.