My sister told me once that one of her favorite moments in time when she wished she had a camera was when I ran into a botox client in a restroom on Halloween night. She approached me to do a quick impromptu followup assessment, in full costume, so as I did a crowd of curious women formed around us… all in costume. I bet it was hilarious to see. But i really do get questions about botox almost every day every where I go.
The makers of botox cosmetic, Allergan, have done an incredible job marketing the product and making it a house hold name. People know if they have wrinkles… they must need botox even if they don’t know how it works. But this isn’t necessarily the case and I will address that too.
Botox Cosmetic is a 5 minute, practically painless injection that softens lines on the face. It works to relax the muscles that are in constant motion (the eyes and forehead) and provides a relief for your skin to heal and repair the damage done by repeat wrinkling of the skin. Imagine if you fold a piece of paper in half, then unfold it… botox unfolds the muscles to create a smooth, relaxed appearance. That probably the biggest complaint I hear from both Men and women, “People keep asking me if I am angry, because of my frown lines… And I am not, it’s just my face. I don’t want people to think I am angry or scowling at them.” This happens when you are squinting in the sun or at a computer screen all day, or are just an expressive person in general. It’s all genetic that determine how your muscles move in your face. Often time I will see a grandmother, and Mother and daughter and treating all for the same wrinkle! Or a son will see the lines on his dad’s face and wants to do some preventative Botox.
Once you do Botox are the wrinkles magically gone?
Sometimes! But, if your wrinkles are deep and have been there for a long time, imagine that unfolded piece of paper now and you will still be able to see where it was previously folded. Botox can not fix that fold or deep wrinkle which is now basically a thin scar in the skin. Remember Botox is going directly into the muscle, not the skin. At this point is where I would talk with you about other medical aesthetic procedures including microneedeling and chemical peels, and of course daily care products to protect your skin from future damage. As popular as botox is, I think people believe it fixes everything, but in reality, it is doing absolutely nothing to the skin it self. To get that healthy, youthful glow you need to be doing other treatments (IPL, microneedling, chemical peels, etc) along with the botox. And this in turn lets you get away with not doing your botox as often!
How often do you have to get Botox?
It is has been proven to last for 3 months. Sometime you can go 4 months between treatments; if you are an extreme athlete with a high metabolism, maybe 2 months. My bodybuilders I will see about 1-2 weeks before every competition. So it varies. On myself, staff and family, and some patients, I like to do what I call micro-botox where you get botox more frequently.
What is Micro-Botox?
Micro-botox is just lower units with a higher frequency; instead of the standard, high units and lower frequency. For example, a general patient is getting around 25-50 units of botox every 3-4 months. You kind of have this peak effect where you have no botox, then forehead looking great for 3 months, then it wears off and you try to stretch it out as long as you can until you get annoyed with your frown lines and headaches again so you come in for another 25 -50 units and the process repeats itself. With micro-botox, I might do 6 units here, 6 units there, 12 units next month, etc… and it keeps my patients in a constant state of wrinkle free bliss and it is never drastic, and no one knows you have had anything done. It’s great. And a good introduction to botox cosmetic treatments. But for stronger more active muscles, as seen in men, or those that don’t want any movement, this micro-botox approach wont work.
How long have you been doing botox? And Where did you do your training?
That is a great question! And something every patient should ask their providers. I have been doing injectables since 2011. I have been in the aesthetic industry since 2002, but I completed my certification in 2011 in California. Don’t get me wrong, I love Oklahoma, I am a country girl at heart, but for my injectable training I did not feel comfortable having it done locally. So I saved up my money and invested in an intensive hands-on training with surgeon in Beverly Hills, CA through the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery (AAAMS). One of the best of the best! That is what I wanted to bring back to my patients here. I am very open with my patients that I am not a plastic surgeon or dermatologist, but a large percentage of my practice is injectables and I do them all day long. Some providers only do botox once every few months as a “Botox Party”, and you might not get as good of results if they are not comfortable with the technique. The patient needs to be informed on who their injector is. Are they licensed, are they certified, how many patients have they seen. I can’t even tell you how many treatments I have performed… over a couple thousand.
What are some of the side effects of Botox?
The most common side effect I witness is headaches the day of the injections. The fear among every provider is an eyelid droop making you look sleepy instead of refreshed. This can happen for a couple reasons, one the botox was injected in the wrong location and two the nerve to the eye lid is in a little different location then we, as injectors, expected. I have seen this happen once in my 15 years, and it happened to my own mom! Can you believe it?! (Sorry, mom) To my credit, I wasn’t the one injecting her, it was a trained physician and my medical director at the time, and life happens. The good news is, eye lid droop is transient and will be gone in a couple weeks and there is an eye drop I can prescribe in the mean time to stimulate the nerve and reverse the botox. Too much information? (laughing) I hope I didn’t scare you out of botox, I want to be real and honest about the risks of the procedure.
Over all, botox is a great aesthetic procedure that can dramatically change the way your face looks and get you closer to your cosmetic goals. I love botox! In the right hands it can do incredible things. If you think you need botox, you probably need to consider other treatments and products as well so keep an open mind and schedule consultations with reputable providers that can accommodate all your needs.