Among the many types of aesthetic procedures available to those seeking to tweak their appearance or simply to soften or eliminate those pesky forehead or smile lines for a smoother, more youthful look, one of the enduring favorites remains a tried and true injection (or 8 or 20) of Botox®.
Botulinum toxin, more commonly known as Botox®, is a toxin from a bacteria that has been sterilized, and when injected into the skin, it inhibits the movement of muscles to diminish or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. Sound good? If so, here are 6 things you should know if you’re considering taking the leap back into a more youthful look.
Patients from their 20s on up can benefit from Botox®
While we all tend to think of Botox® as a solution reserved for those in their 40s or later, there’s no reason not to consider starting treatments at a much earlier age in order to prevent wrinkles in the first place. This can also reduce the frequency and number of treatments needed to maintain that wrinkle-free appearance far into the future.
It’s not uncommon anymore for patients in their 20s and 30s to come in for a touch-up as soon as the hint of smile lines and other slight imperfections become apparent.
Patients of all ages can benefit from Botox® treatments, however. Those in their 40s or 50s will simply require more product to achieve the desired results, and sometimes these patients may also require some adjunct procedures such as microneedling, peels, and fillers to more fully realize their aesthetic goals.
You’ll need a consultation
A Botox® injection isn’t something you’ll want to get same-day from some random provider you found on Google.
As with any medical procedure, it’s important to take the time for a pre-treatment consultation. Not all faces are the same, and not everyone is looking for the same results.
It’s important to talk with your provider about what you hope to gain from your treatment, and it’s also important for your provider to examine the landscape of your face and the underlying muscles in order to know how best to achieve the desired results.
It’s also a good idea to ask around about the experience of other patients and to look into your provider’s certifications and qualifications before blindly putting your appearance in their hands. The consultation is not just for the provider. It’s also an opportunity to find out if your goals match the provider’s treatment philosophy. While some providers may tend toward a “scorched earth” approach, in many cases, less is more when it comes to achieving the best results for you.
Know what medications and supplements you’re taking
While Botox® is generally well tolerated by most patients, there are some medical conditions that present contraindications against receiving such treatments.
Some of these contraindications include Myasthenia Gravis, Lambert-Eaton Syndrome, and ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease) to name a few. It’s important, therefore, to be upfront about your medical history.
It’s also important to consider any medications or supplements that you may be taking before undergoing treatment. Seemingly innocuous things like aspirin, as well as supplements like ginseng, fish oil, ginkgo biloba, and garlic (to name a few) can increase the chance of bleeding, which can cause bruising.
For the easiest experience and recovery, stop taking these and any other products your doctor may add to the list before heading in for your appointment.
Results may take time to show
Don’t expect immediate results. Too often, patients walk out of a Botox® treatment disappointed that they’re not immediately transformed. In most cases, initial noticeable results will not appear until at least five days post treatment. Don’t expect full results until at least two weeks have passed.
Botox® is an ongoing process
It’s also not a one-time fix.
While the results can be quite remarkable, if you go in expecting a permanent elimination of those forehead lines and crow’s feet, you’re going to be disappointed. Depending upon factors like number of units received, metabolism, and other variables, results can last as long as four months. A more common number, however, is around three months, at which time you’ll need to come in for additional treatments.
Don’t skip your follow-up
It’s also true that, no matter how thorough the consultation and how skilled the provider, each face is different, and some muscles may turn out to be more resistant to the initial treatment than others.
A follow-up appointment at least a week following the initial treatment can allow your provider to tweak any areas that may not be responding as expected, ensuring an overall result that will make you much happier in the long run.
Getting Botox® injections may feel like taking a huge step, but actually, this is a fairly minor procedure. Don’t let outdated preconceptions keep you from this safe and surprisingly economical way to feel more confident about the way you present yourself to the world.