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Your Top Questions About Botox® Answered

By December 10, 2018Cosmetic Surgery
image of woman tilting head to the side

Botox® Cosmetic injections are one of the most popular med spa procedures at Premiere Surgical Arts and it’s not hard to see why. My Houston Botox patients love it because it’s a non-invasive, quick, virtually painless way to take years off your appearance. There’s no downtime, it lessens the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and also prevents new ones from forming. It’s extremely versatile too with uses ranging from temporarily eliminating crow’s feet to elevating the brows for non-surgical brow lifts to even treating other conditions like excessive sweating and migraines. If you’ve been considering Botox injections, read on for answers to some of the common questions I receive about the procedure.

What is Botox and how does it work?

Botox Cosmetic is an FDA-approved treatment used to safely and temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, particularly forehead lines, crow’s feet and frown lines, though, as we’ll discuss shortly, there are other ways it can be used. What is Botox made of? It’s prepared from botulinum toxin and when injected into the skin, it blocks impulses from the nerve tissue to the facial muscles we’re targeting that are responsible for expression lines. When the muscles are relaxed, the skin is smooth and free of wrinkles. Why? Well, dynamic wrinkles like frown lines form when the facial muscles contract whenever you make expressions. Over time, smiling, laughing, frowning and showing emotion, leave their mark in the form of lines and wrinkles that stay even when your face is at rest. Botox injections prevent these wrinkles from forming while you’re making the expression, which has the added benefit of stopping new wrinkles from forming or existing ones from worsening, at least while it’s in effect.

What can be Botox be used for?

Botox is most often used to temporarily get rid of moderate to severe lines between the eyebrows, on the forehead, at the outer corners of the eyes (crow’s feet) and the sides of the mid-chin. I also use it on the neck to reduce the appearance of neck bands and visible cords, in the depressor muscles under the eyebrows for a subtle, non-surgical brow lift and even along the jawline to tighten up the area and make jowls look less prominent. Botox has proven effective in a variety of contexts that have nothing to do with anti-aging too. For example, it can help with excessive sweating, frequent migraines and eye disorders like blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking).

How long does it take for Botox to work?

How long it takes for Botox to work will depend on where you were injected, how severe the wrinkles are and other factors. Some patients see results really quickly and notice a difference within 24 hours with full results visible within 72 hours. However, for other patients, it takes up to a week to experience the maximum effect of the injections.

How long does Botox last?

One of the first questions most patients ask is how long does Botox last? The results usually last between three and four months. For people who have been getting regular injections, they might notice they’ll either need more frequent injections or require a higher dose. I’ll sit down with you and help you determine the approach, including the appropriate dosage and how often to get Botox injections.

Is Botox safe and what are the side effects?

Yes, Botox is safe. It’s backed by substantial research and more than 15 years of clinical studies. Botox is FDA-approved for treating expression lines and it’s approved for use in 96 countries. While it is made from botulinum toxin, the medication relies on small, targeted doses. The Botox risks are considered extremely minimal and adverse effects have often been tied to the person having an underlying condition, which highlights the importance of having injections done under the care of an experienced cosmetic surgeon or board-certified dermatologist.

The most common Botox side effects are mild swelling and redness around the injection site. This subsides quickly and there’s actually no downtime associated with the procedure. After you receive your injections, you can go back to work and resume your regular activities. In very rare cases, there have been instances of headaches, dry eyes and allergic reactions.

What should I expect and does Botox hurt?

When patients come in for a consultation at Premiere Surgical Arts, I chat with them about their health history and concerns and analyze their skin. The injections can be done on the same day as the consultation and the procedure usually takes about 10 minutes. I use a micro-needle to inject small amounts of Botox into precise locations on the face and then you can go on your way. As for the million dollar question, does Botox hurt? The answer is no. The needle is so tiny and only a little bit of liquid is used. Most patients report it feels like a bug bite. I don’t need to numb you or use any kind of sedation for the injections.

What age should you start Botox?

Botox can be effective for patients in a wide age range. Yet, for older patients who exhibit significant signs of aging, injectables alone probably won’t bring about the dramatic results they’re looking for. As for when to start Botox, some people like to begin what they call preventative Botox, meaning they use the injections to ward off expression lines before they become permanent. For wrinkle prevention, Botox is started when you notice that frown lines or crow’s feet are staying in place even after you’ve relaxed the facial muscles, which usually occurs in the late 20s or early 30s. Yet, for most people, starting Botox between 35 and 40 is preferable. Patients with darker skin tones who have lived a fairly skin-friendly lifestyle (i.e., refraining from smoking and staying out of the sun) could even start later.

Can you get Botox while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Getting Botox while pregnant or breastfeeding isn’t recommended. We don’t know whether the botulinum toxin spreads through breast milk or whether or not it would affect an unborn baby. It’s not ethical to test on pregnant and nursing women so, truthfully, we’ll probably never know and it’s to just hold off until you’re no longer pregnant or nursing.

How much does Botox cost?

Botox cost is on a per vial basis, so it varies depending on how many vials you need. Your dosage is determined by how deep your wrinkles are and the area or areas being treated. When you come in for a consultation, I’ll be able to give you an exact cost.

Will my face look unnatural?

There is a misconception that Botox completely freezes your face and looks fake. If you get the proper dose and see an experienced professional for injections, that absolutely won’t happen. The results are very technique dependent, meaning how your face looks will depend on how skilled the injector is. We always make sure our patients look like themselves just refreshed, more youthful and with fewer wrinkles.

Hopefully, I was able to answer your most pressing Botox questions. If you’d like to learn more about our Houston Botox injections or you’re ready to turn back the clock on your skin, book a consultation at Premiere Surgical Arts!


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