If you are taking the time to read this blog, you probably know at least a little about Botox. In future posts I’ll be talking a lot about Botox. In this post we’ll cover Botox 101. That way we can refer back to this as we talk about all kinds of neat Botox topics. The FDA has created very strict rules about informing people about Botox. If you would like to read the FDA approved safety information about Botox, click here.
Botox started a revolution in cosmetic surgery. It is the mother of all lunchtime cosmetic treatments. When you get Botox, you can walk into your cosmetic surgeons office on your lunch break, get a treatment, have a quick lunch, and still get back to work on time. The results are fantastic and the treatment is safe. Are most patients satisfied with Botox? Yes. Just look at the numbers. In 2009, there were about 2.5 million cosmetic Botox treatments in America. That is the most common cosmetic procedure performed in the US….. by a huge margin. To give you an idea of how huge, Botox is given twice as frequently as the number 2 treatment, Hyaluronic Acid dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, and some others). Here is another fact: Botox treatments are about 10 times more common than the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure, breast augmentation.
So how does it work? Botox works by temporarily relaxing muscles. By relaxing the right muscles, Botox can help you get rid of wrinkles that come with facial expression. A great example of this is the vertical lines that form between your brows when you squint, or the crows feet you get when you smile. Botox also can help with a lot of other things, from raising your brows to getting rid of the little bumps you get on your chin when you frown (we’ll talk about all the neat things Botox can do in another post). Botox is temporary. It last, for most people about 3-4 months and then wears off. If you like the results, you’ll probably want to do it again. Most people who are really in to it get Botox about 3 times a year.
Let me tell you what to expect when you get a Botox injection.
- First you will need a consultation with your Botox doctor. At that time he/she will ask you what you would like to improve about your appearance. Then, after an exam, you’ll find out if Botox is a good idea for you.
- At that point you can decide if you want to proceed with a treatment, or go home and think things over. Cosmetic treatments can be great, but they are elective. You should only go ahead if you are completely comfortable with what you have learned, and with your doctor.
- If you decide to proceed, the doctor will then give you a series of small injections. The number of injections and location depends on what you and your doctor are trying to achieve with the treatment.
- You’ll feel the injections, but the discomfort should be pretty mild. In our office we use the smallest possible needle and that helps. We also use a messaging pillow on your neck to distract your nerves from feeling the injection….it works.
- Then you can go home (or to work, or to wherever). You don’t need to limit your activity or do any special care.
- Depending our your biology, Botox will start to work as soon as 24 hours or as long as 2 weeks.
- In our office we have people come back 2 weeks after their first treatment to be sure that everything is a good as possible. Some patient get a little bit more here or there to have the best possible result.
- The Botox should last at least 3 months. In many people it lasts longer. When it wears off you have the option to do it again. Be warned…..if you are like most of our patients, you’ll want to do it again.
So those are the basics. There is a lot of fun stuff we can do with Botox, so there is plenty of material for future posts. If you would like to learn more right now click here.