You have no doubt heard of Botox, and you may even be interested in getting the treatment. However, you probably have a few questions you want answers to before going ahead and booking an appointment. So, here are the responses to some of the most common Botox questions we’ve come across...
Q. How does Botox work?
A. Botox is a brand of botulinum toxin - an injectable substance that is used as an anti-wrinkle treatment. It’s injected into the target area to reduce movement in the muscle, which leads to smoother skin with reduced lines and wrinkles. Other brands of botulinum toxin include Vistabel, Dysport, Azzalure, Xeomin and Bocouture.
Q. What are the benefits of Botox?
A. The main benefit of Botox is its ability to smooth lines and wrinkles, giving rejuvenated skin. However, Botox is also used medically for issues including migraines, TMJ, cervical dystonia and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
Q. Where can you have Botox?
A. Botox is used on dynamic lines such as forehead lines,frown lines (AKA 11s), crow’s feet, lipstick lines and bunny lines. It’s great for significantly reducing lines and wrinkles in these areas. For static lines and wrinkles, dermal fillers are used instead. Botox can also be used in the underarm area, hands, feet, neck and more for a whole range of issues.
Q. What are the main Botox side effects?
A. Anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox are FDA-approved, meaning lots of research has been conducted on them to ensure they are safe for use. However, after Botox, it’s common to experience redness, pinprick marks and sometimes bruising, but these should subside relatively quickly. If you notice prolonged bruising, irritation or infection around the area, drooping or difficulty swallowing, call your practitioner right away so they can provide you with the advice you need.
Be sure to avoid exercise, alcohol, aspirin and ibuprofen for the next 24 hours, and don’t rub the treated area as it can lead to the toxin moving. Find out more about the dos and don’ts before and after Botox here.
Q. How long does a Botox appointment take?
A. Botox injections are quick and simple, and take around just 15 minutes.
Q. How long does it take for Botox to work?
A. How long it takes for the effects of Botox to start varies from person to person, but it generally takes around 3 to 14 days before it kicks in. When this happens, you’ll start to see minimised lines and wrinkles.
Q. What’s the recovery period after Botox?
A. There’s no downtime with Botox, which means you can get on with your day as normal.
Q. Does Botox hurt?
A. The needles used for Botox are extremely small, so shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Of course, everyone’s pain threshold is different, so if you have a particularly low pain tolerance, it may be worth taking paracetamol around an hour before your appointment. You should avoid ibuprofen and other blood thinning medication, though, as this can lead to increased bruising. Occasionally, numbing cream may be used in cases where pain levels are particularly low.
Q. Who can perform Botox injections?
A. Anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox should only be performed by medically qualified practitioners as they require expert skill and experience. When conducted by an expert, Botox injections are safe and effective, but in the wrong hands, could be very dangerous.
Q. What’s the difference between Botox and fillers?
A. Botox and dermal fillers can both be used to rejuvenate the skin, but, in fact, they work in different ways. Botox relaxes the muscles, which reduces movement and minimises dynamic lines, such as forehead lines and 11s. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, plump up lines to smooth them out. Fillers are also used for enhancing features such as the nose, jawline and lips.
Q. Will I be able to move my face after Botox?
A. One of the biggest concerns people have with Botox is that they think it will give them a ‘frozen’ look, removing their ability to make facial expressions as usual. This comes down to how much is used. If a practitioner uses too much, this can happen. However, when it’s performed by an experienced, medically qualified practitioner, the treatment should look natural, still allowing you to express your emotions.
Q. How long does Botox last?
A. The effects of Botox vary from person to person as people metabolise it at different rates. However, on average, the anti-wrinkle injection lasts between 3 and 6 months, after which you’ll start to see lines and wrinkles return.
Q. At what age should I start getting Botox?
A. People often start getting Botox from their 30s+, when dynamic fine lines and wrinkles are more visible. This rejuvenates the skin, giving a younger look. Some people get Botox from their mid-20s as a preventative measure - minimising lines before they have a chance to form. But it’s always best to speak to a medically qualified practitioner to see what they recommend for you.
Q. Can I have Botox if I’m pregnant?
A. Botox is not suitable for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant. This is due to the fact that there is not enough known about the impact of the toxin on babies and their health.
Q. Do I need to let my practitioner know about any illnesses before a Botox appointment?
A. You will be asked to complete a health questionnaire before your Botox appointment to assess whether the treatment is right for you. You should let your practitioner know if you have a muscular disease such as Bell’s Palsy or any nervous system or blood disorders. You should also tell them about any medications you are taking as these may interfere with the effectiveness of the Botox, and vice versa. This is particularly important if you are taking medications that affect blood clotting. You should also tell them about any psychological concerns you have.
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