The Beginners Guide to Botox: 8 Things to Know Before You Go | Botox is most commonly used to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It's a great way to prevent face wrinkles, but can be used to treat other conditions like excessive sweating and migraines. If you're getting botox injections on your face, the before and after results can mind blowing, but be sure to do your research first! This post has tons of tips including common Dos and Don'ts you should be aware of.

Thinking of getting Botox? It’s more common than you may think and if you’re at an age where you’re worried about changes in your skin, it may be a great option for you. Botox injections are considered safe and are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures out there. Known and loved for its ability to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, Botox could be just what you’re looking for. If Botox has been on your mind, here are 8 things to know before you go!

What is Botox?

Botox is a drug that has cosmetic and medical uses, but most commonly treats wrinkles and facial crinkles. Botox injections block certain chemical signals from nerves, mostly signals that cause muscles to contract. This temporarily relaxes the facial muscles that cause wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes. The effects are temporary, lasting 3 to 6 months, depending on the type of treatment and Botox is primarily used as a preventative treatment.

What is Botox Commonly Used For?

Botox is primarily used to reduce the appearance of face wrinkles. People often request injections for wrinkles between the eyebrows and around the eyes, horizontal creases in the forehead, lines at the corners of the mouth and “cobblestone” skin on the chin. However, the FDA has also approved it to treat various health issues including eyelid spasms, excessive sweating, some bladder disorders and migraines.

Is Botox Safe?

Botox is made from botulinum toxin type A, which itself can be life threatening. But in small doses, like those used in Botox injections, it’s considered safe. Overall, Botox is considered a safe treatment to get. You should always go to a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for Botox injections. Any medication has risks and it may cause the side effects listed below, but Botox has a very solid safety record.

Does Botox Cause Side Effects?

Side effects from botox are uncommon but can include:

  • Dry eye
  • Upset stomach
  • Numbness
  • Mild pain around the injection site
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Temporary eyelid drooping
  • Temporary weakness or paralysis in nearby muscles

How Long Does Botox Last?

Botox doesn’t last forever. You’ll typically notice the results within 3 days, but it can take up to 2 weeks for the full effect to kick in. Most injections last between 3 to 6 months, with an average of 4 months for most. It depends on what areas were injected and how many units were used, as well as the quality of the Botox.

8 Things to Know Before You Get Botox

1. Botox is Preventative
If you’re new to Botox, you may be surprised to learn that it doesn’t actually erase your wrinkles. It’s more preventative than it is restorative, so any line that is present at rest isn’t going to disappear with botox. The earlier you get botox, the more preventative its effects will be.

2. Botox is Temporary
Unfortunately, Botox isn’t a one and done deal. It’s temporary, lasting anywhere from 3 to 6 months depending on the treatment, but often lasts 3 to 4 months. If you exercise a lot or are very expressive, your Botox will likely last closer to the 3 month mark.

3. Avoid Certain Things Pre-Injection
Anticoagulants such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided before treatment since they hinder blood clotting and increase the risk of bruising. You should also avoid fish oil, multivitamins, green tea, cinnamon, ginger and red wine a full week prior to treatment. These can increase the fragility of blood vessels and prevent clotting.

4. Get a Consult
A first-time Botox consultation is important. Find a provider that makes you feel comfortable and can match your aesthetic goals. A consultation will also ensure that whatever you want to get done is right for you. Your consultation will often happen on the same day you get our treatment, but you may wish to wait until a later date.

5. It’s Relatively Painless
Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, but the pain from Botox injections is generally minimal. The needle is super small and a numbing cream or cold pack can be applied before the injections are given to make it more comfortable.

6. The Effects Aren’t Immediate
You won’t see the effects of Botox right away. In fact, it may be three or four days before you notice anything at all. The first thing you’ll notice will be little bumps and dots of blood that look like mosquito bites. These will disappear in 20 to 30 minutes. Two weeks post-treatment, you’ll experience the full effects of Botox, looking more refreshed and youthful!

7. Bruising is Normal
Don’t freak out if you notice bruising after your botox treatment. Botox doesn’t always result in bruising, however, sometimes the needle hits a blood vessel, which causes bruising. The bruises often fade in a matter of days, however many practices offer next-day complimentary vascular laser treatment, diminishing bruises within 24 hours.

8. After-Care is Key
Don’t expect to immediately go back to your regular daily routine after Botox. The neurotoxin that was injected into your muscles needs time to settle. Although you don’t need any downtime, you shouldn’t be putting makeup on the area, touching your face, lying down or exercising on the day of your treatment. Wait 24 hours to exercise, and note that you also shouldn’t fly for a few days after Botox as the pressure can negatively affect the toxins and how they move under the surface of your skin. You should also stay out of the sun, away from alcohol and avoid other skin treatments for the first 24 hours.

If you’ve been thinking of getting Botox, we hope this post has helped you make an informed decision!

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