Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Botox Treatment
When you’re new to Botox injections, you likely have a lot of questions before your first Botox treatment. We cover the most commonly asked questions so you can feel confident when you show up for your first appointment.
Botox is the most popular and widely used aesthetic option in the United States. In 2020 alone, 4.4 million Botox procedures were done. And that number continues to grow.
The reason it’s so popular is that you get amazing results with a minimally invasive procedure. With just a few injections around your face, you drastically reduce and prevent fine lines and wrinkles on your face. The result is younger and fresher-looking skin that, when done well, looks completely natural.
But while Botox is incredibly common, and one of the safest anti-aging treatments you can find, getting your first Botox treatment can be a little intimidating.
You may be wondering if it’s really worth the hype, or if it really can produce natural-looking results. You may even be wondering what Botox even is, to begin with.
We want to answer all your Botox questions so you can show up for your first appointment feeling safe and confident in your decision to get Botox. So here is everything you need to know before your first Botox treatment:
What is Botox?
Botox is short for botulinum toxin A. However, you are NOT getting the original botulinum toxin A injected into your skin when you get Botox. Instead, you’re getting an isolated and purified form of the toxin that produces only the desired effects to freeze the muscles under the injection site. By creating a temporary
Botulinum toxin A has been known of for over a century. And it’s been studied extensively in that time, with deeper knowledge about how to isolate the muscle paralyzing agent found in the toxin.
This may not sound particularly useful as a therapy, but it is helpful for those with certain eye or bladder disorders.
Botox was first approved for therapeutic use in 1989, which is when it first started helping those with uncontrollable blinking (blepharospasm) and crossed eyes (strabismus).
During the studies and initial therapeutic uses of Botox, doctors and researchers noted the anti-aging effects. Botox reduces the fine lines and wrinkles around the injection site and prevents the development of new ones.
Botox was finally approved in 2002 for cosmetic treatments. Since then, it’s been used successfully by millions of people who want to prevent signs of aging with much success. It’s continued to be one of the most studied and safest cosmetic treatments you can find.
Where does Botox usually get injected?
Botox works best in places where dynamic wrinkles form. Dynamic wrinkles are the ones that form from frequent facial movements like squinting, smiling, or brow furrowing.
Botox prevents the development of more dynamic wrinkles by blocking the communication from nerves to muscles around the injection site. As a result, when the nerve sends a signal that would typically cause the muscle in the injection area to move, the muscle and skin above it stay still. The result is crease-free skin that looks young and vibrant.
Most dynamic wrinkles exist around your forehead and eyes, like crow’s feet that form at the corner of your eyes. That’s why Botox treatments typically have injection sites around the brow and eye areas. The Botox injections smooth out your skin in these areas, preventing wrinkles from forming and giving a younger skin appearance.
How do I prepare for the first Botox treatment?
Have a consultation with the doctor performing your Botox treatment. They will be able to get your full health history and give you a list of things to do or avoid before your first treatment. They will also get on the same page as you regarding your ideal aesthetic and the goals you want from the treatment. An initial consult or conversation also gives you the chance to ask questions and check that they have everything in place for a safe treatment.
As a common rule of thumb, here are a few things it will help to avoid for a week before your Botox appointment:
- Fish oil
- Green tea
- Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other blood-thinning medications
What happens during the appointment?
During the appointment, your doctor will review with you the details of the procedure and make sure you both are on the same page about what you want to see after the injection.
For many, a topical numbing ointment will be applied to the site after cleansing. The treatment is painless, even without a numbing ointment. Botox needles are very small and injected for such a short time that at most you might feel a slight pinch.
After the injection, your doctor will review after-care and potential side effects you may experience from the injection. For a few hours after your treatment you should avoid:
- Touching or massaging the injection site
- Flight travel
- Taking aspirin and other blood thinners which could make bruising worse or more noticable
What are the side effects?
Side effects from Botox are minimal and temporary if they do arise. Below are some of the common short-term effects of Botox:
- Slight bruising that disappears within hours or a few days
- Short-term headache lasting
- Redness or swelling that goes down in a few minutes or a couple of hours
The temporary side effects vary from person to person, but as Botox is one of the safest injections available, there is little to fear.
How long does Botox last?
You may not notice the effects of Botox at first. For some, they do not notice the lines minimizing for a few days after the treatment.
The duration of the effects depends on how much Botox you get and where. You can typically expect botox to last three to four months.
How do I book my first appointment?
To book your first appointment, contact your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss Center. We have doctors with decades of experience delivering Botox treatments that look subtle and natural.
When you go in for your appointment, you’ll be able to tell your doctor the exact effects you want to have in the small lines and wrinkles on your face. Our doctors will determine how much Botox you need for your ideal look and tell you how they’ll create a natural-looking youthful appearance for you.
By Jodi Jaffe
November 13, 2021