Is Botox Right for You?
By now, you’ve most likely heard about Botox and probably know people who have had it done. Botox is often the first cosmetic procedure clients will try. The great thing is that if you don’t like it, it will wear off in about 3 months. Even better news is that when it’s done properly, you’re going to love it.
There are specific muscles of the face that contact and cause wrinkles. The most common areas are frown lines between the eyes, forehead wrinkles and the outer eyes or crow’s feet. Botox is a medication that is injected directly into those specific muscles that cause wrinkles. The Botox weakens the muscles causing a softer appearance. These are called dynamic wrinkles. Most people have dynamic wrinkles. Some people also have static wrinkles. These are wrinkles that are present even when the muscles of the face are not contracting. Unfortunately, Botox doesn’t help much for these wrinkles, though they may soften some as the cause of the wrinkle (muscle movement) is corrected. Static wrinkles may require other skin treatment options.
Side effects of Botox include bruising and uneven results. Any time a needle pierces the skin a person can develop a bruise. Bruises that occur from Botox injections are typically pretty small and resolve quickly. There are a lot of small vessels around the eyes. When lateral eye wrinkles or crow’s feet are treated, there is a higher risk of bruising. Some people are more prone to bruising than others. Things that increase your risk include drinking wine or other alcohol within the previous days of the injection; taking ibuprofen, aspirin or other NSAID pain relievers and taking fish oil or vitamin E supplements. Use of these products are not a contraindication to get Botox, but please be aware that you might bruise.
Another manageable complication can be an uneven result. Let’s say 1 brow is arching more than the other creating an asymmetric look. Rest assured that this can be easily corrected with another unit or 2. This is especially important when you start with a new provider. As that person gets to know you and your face, you may need to return for a simple correction. Most providers are happy to do this to enable you to be completely satisfied with your results.
Many people worry about being over-done. When placed properly, Botox relaxes the muscles causing a softening of the wrinkles. You will still be able to make most facial expressions. However, this a very much a personal preference. Some people really don’t want their faces to move at all. In these cases typically a higher dose is required.
The effects of Botox usually last about 3 months. It will gradually wear off and the muscles will resume normal movement.
If the Botox doesn’t last the full 3 months, there are a couple causes. The most common cause is a dose that is too small for the area. Sometimes clients ask for a lower dose due to concerns about looking fake or overdone. I’m happy to start new or concerned clients with a lower dose with the understanding that they may not get full correction.
Sometimes it’s a budget issue. We never want a person to spend more money than their budget can handle. However, we need to be realistic with the amount of correction we can achieve when the dose is reduced or limited. If your Botox does not last a full 3 months, make sure you’re getting the proper dose.
Occasionally people develop a tolerance to the product and it doesn’t work as effectively. Sometimes we need to choose a different product when this happens. Fortunately, this is a less common cause.
People new to my practice sometimes ask if I dilute my Botox. All Botox has to be reconstituted. It comes as a powder in a vial. The practitioner has to add Normal Saline to the vial in order to inject the product. Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox recommends that 2.5 mls of saline be added. The administration of Botox is very much an art and you will find that each practitioner has his or her own method of reconstitution and administration. At Amethyst Wellness, we charge by the unit meaning that the client will pay for the amount of product used. I think concerns about “dilution” stem from disreputable practices offering really good deals on Botox but then not delivering the amount of product promised.
The best way to make sure you’re happy with your Botox treatment:
- Have realistic expectations – understand what Botox does and what it doesn’t do.
- Be comfortable with your practitioner- there are many personalities and not every client is right for every practitioner. It’s ok to go somewhere else when you’re not comfortable.
- Leave enough time for bruising or correction- It’s Murphy’s law. If you get Botox right before an event, you’re going to bruise. Even if I’ve injected you 9 times before with no bruising or side effect, on injection number 10 you could bruise. Do not have a procedure right before an important event.
Is Botox for you?
Consultations at Amethyst Wellness are free. We can give you recommendations based on your needs and goals and come up with a treatment plan that works for you.
Call us in Palm Coast: 386-283-4180
St. Augustine: 904-209-3009
Here’s to your health