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Don’t Panic! What to Expect After Getting Botox

Medical Aesthetics
Jan Trobisch

Jan Trobisch

what to expect after botox

If you feel your skin is in need of a refreshing and youthful look and are considering getting Botox, you may have a lot of questions on your mind. How does Botox work? What can I expect after getting Botox? How long do the effects of Botox last?

These are all common questions we hear from our Synergy Wellness patients, particularly from those here in California due to our sunny climate that makes us all more prone to developing wrinkles, dark spots and more.

In this post, we will answer common questions about getting Botox, so you can make an informed choice when the time comes.

What Is Botox?

Botox is one of the oldest and most widely used FDA-approved wrinkle-reducing injectables. It works by weakening your facial muscles that are responsible for the lines and wrinkles in certain areas of your face. Each treatment works for around three or four months, but it’s possible to make the effects last longer, as we’ll discuss later in this article.

The use of medical and cosmetic aesthetic procedures, including Botox, has been on the rise. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), there was an overall increase of 12 percent in cosmetic procedures in 2013. Botox injections were the most frequently performed noninvasive procedure and have increased by 15.6 percent since the 2008 recession.

what to expect after botox

Botox is a highly sought-after alternative to invasive cosmetic procedures as it seldom causes side effects. It’s also virtually painless and is quick. Botox injections can be delivered in a short period of time as well, often within 10-15 minutes, which means you can get Botox injections during your lunch hour.

How Does Botox Work?

A neurotoxin that attaches itself to nerve endings, Botox works by temporarily relaxing your facial muscles. Botox is typically used for targeting dynamic wrinkles. These are wrinkles that appear when you move your face, and they cannot be treated by procedures like chemical peels and microdermabrasion, as those procedures can’t relax the muscles that underlie dynamic wrinkles.

what to expect after botox

Botox requires no downtime whatsoever, so it’s convenient. If you’re wondering how long Botox takes to kick in, you can see results in as little as a few days, but some people may begin to see results around the tenth day post-treatment.

Does Botox Work for Everyone?

Botox treatments can help improve the appearance of your skin in the majority of dynamic wrinkle cases. It also can be quite remarkable if you have non-dynamic wrinkles, such as ones caused by sun damage. A consultation with a Synergy Wellness expert enables you to get a better idea of how Botox treatments can help you specifically.

what to expect after botox

When Should You Start Using Botox?

There are no hard and fast rules as to when you should begin having Botox treatment. It’s entirely up to you as an individual.

However, if you’re in your 20s or 30s and are noticing fine lines, you could consider beginning to use Botox to prevent the signs of aging before they become more noticeable. If you’re concerned as to how long it takes until Botox takes effect, the results are typically fast and impressive.

Botox works very well for wrinkle prevention as it reduces the repetitive movements associated with facial expression. This actively reduces any existing wrinkles, as well as keeps them from being created in the first place.

Opting for the semi-permanent effects of Botox can eliminate the need for irreversible plastic surgery procedures, as well as expensive anti-aging creams that often come with many claims but little evidence as to their efficacy.

Can You Get Botox Without Looking Like You’ve Had Treatment?

A good aesthetic medicine doctor should always advise you to get less Botox than you think you need, and then come back for a follow-up treatment if you decide you want more. Being conservative is always the best practice, especially when you’ve never had the injections before, and you’re not yet sure how quickly Botox will work for you.

What If You Stop Getting Botox Injections?

You might be worrying about whether having Botox is a long-term commitment. If you stop having Botox treatments, in time, your face will likely return to how it looked before. However, in some individuals, and it might be the case for you, the look and appearance of wrinkles have actually improved as the facial muscles have been trained to be relaxed. In no case will the lines and wrinkles look worse than before starting Botox treatments.

what to expect after botox

Factors That Impact What Botox Can Do

Although Botox can provide you with excellent results, it’s important to know that what you can expect from a Botox treatment depends on certain factors, including these:

  • What types of wrinkles you want to address. As you’ve already learned, Botox works best for dynamic rather than static wrinkles. Botox typically performs well for upper face wrinkles, for example, around your eyes, forehead and glabellar (the area between the eyebrows). However, a skilled practitioner can use the treatment to reduce wrinkles in other areas, too. For lines that are deeply etched in your skin and that show when your face is at rest, facial fillers, such as Juvederm, may be a better choice.
  • The amount of Botox you get. Botox comes in airless vials of either 50 or 100 units, which are then diluted with a sterile saline solution before being injected into your skin. For the treatment to be correctly delivered, it must not be over-diluted, or its effects are not as pronounced. The dose of Botox you’re given is dependent on where on your face you wish to be treated. There is no cookie cutter approach to delivering the right amount for you. An experienced physician knows just how much you need to minimize your wrinkles and fine lines.
  • The person giving you the treatment. Physicians have different techniques in delivering Botox treatments. What is crucial is that you have your Botox injections in a physician-administered and supervised treatment center, and not at a party or at the mall. Correct storage, sterile dilution and good hygiene are imperative to getting a good Botox treatment. Bear in mind that Botox begins to degrade when it’s reconstituted. If you’re at all worried about the skills and qualifications of your doctor during your consultation, trust your instincts, and find someone else you feel comfortable with. There are many reasons why you should steer clear of getting Botox injections at parties, spas, salons or at a mall where your procedure is not conducted by a physician, or at least supervised by one.
  • Participation in Botox parties. Botox has risen in popularity quite considerably over the past few years. Due to this, many unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of this new audience and have begun hosting Botox ‘parties’ at their homes. What happens is that practitioners are purchasing Botox in bulk and are arranging get-togethers for people wishing to try the injections. If a party is run by a trained and qualified professional, they are, of course, safer than other types of Botox-focused get-togethers. However, in terms of professionalism and hygiene, Botox procedures are always best given in a clinical setting by an experienced doctor.

Before, During and After Botox Injections

Now that you know how Botox works and factors that impact what it can do, let’s take a look at some measures you can take before, during and after Botox injections to help you get the best Botox results possible.

Before Your Botox Procedure

There are some important factors you need to be aware of before your Botox procedure to make sure you have the best experience possible. These include:

  • Choose a clinic with a good reputation. A good Botox treatment is dependent on the technique and skill of the individual delivering it. For this reason, it’s imperative to do your research in advance, and find a clinic with good reviews and an upstanding reputation. Check that your practitioner of choice is registered with their relevant regulatory authority.

what to expect after botox

  • Find a clinic that focuses on medical aesthetics. Although spa aestheticians and medical aestheticians perform some similar or the same procedures, they may have different education and training, and they may work in different settings.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. It’s a good idea to refrain from drinking alcohol for a couple of days before getting Botox if you’re worried about bruising.
  • Be honest with your doctor. Tell your doctor about your medical history as well as any medications, supplements or herbs you’re currently taking. Include any medical conditions and allergies you have, or any medical procedures you’ve had or are planning to have. Inform your doctor if you’re trying to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor if this is your first ever Botox treatment. This may mean that your physician is more conservative in the amount of Botox they deliver to gauge potential long-term results.
  • Ensure Botox can give you the results you need. Speak with your doctor about the results you’re hoping to achieve. An experienced clinician knows exactly what a treatment will and won’t do for your looks. For example, some wrinkles may respond better to fillers. This is why it’s imperative to have a good idea of the results you hope to achieve when you arrive at the clinic.
  • Ensure you and your doctor are on the same page. Communication is key when you’re opting for a Botox procedure. Speak about the areas you wish to treat, as well as what you would like your final look to be. If you want a very natural look, it’s imperative to convey this in advance.
  • Be realistic. Botox can work real wonders on your skin, but you need to have a realistic approach to your final results.
  • Stop taking blood thinning medications. Of course, you need to speak with your doctor before stopping any medication, but a week before you go for your Botox injections, you need to stop taking:
  • Ibuprofen
  • Vitamin E
  • Excedrin
  • Aspirin
  • John’s Wort
  • Ginseng
  • Omega-3s or fish oil
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Any other medications your physician tells you to abstain from taking

This is imperative to remember so you can minimize any potential post-injection bruising. You should also avoid alcohol in the days leading up to your treatments.

  • Ask questions. You no doubt have a full list of questions to ask your doctor, so write them down and bring them with you to your initial consultation. You might want to know about the price, how much Botox you need, how to look after your skin after getting the procedure and more.
  • Ensure your clinic of choice offers a follow up service. Botox injection results don’t present immediately, so if you’re having your first Botox treatment, you want to be sure you’re getting the look you need. Ask your doctor about a follow up after two weeks to ensure your results are satisfactory, and other Botox aftercare services.
  • Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. According to a 2015 FDA report, counterfeit Botox has been found throughout the United States. It is unsafe and not to be used. If someone offers you a cheap Botox treatment that just doesn’t seem “right,” steer clear. If you encounter a suspect Botox product, it’s crucial to report it to the FDA without delay.

what to expect after botox

During Your Botox Procedure

Botox is well-tolerated, but you have the option to have your skin numbed if desired. Your skin is injected with minute amounts of Botox using a fine needle. Depending on the effect you’re going for, the number of injections you get can vary. Other aspects to remember so you get the most from your treatment session include:

  • Don’t wear makeup. Your skin will be cleaned with an antiseptic or rubbing alcohol before you undergo the Botox procedure, so you shouldn’t wear anything on your skin when you arrive for your appointment. If this is an issue for you, just wear your makeup, as it’ll be removed anyway. You may want to bring your make-up to the appointment to in order to reapply after the procedure.
  • Stay as still as possible and follow your doctor’s instructions. Botox treatments are quick. You’ll need to stay as still as you can, and follow the instructions you’re given by your doctor. They will tell you to make various facial expressions during the Botox delivery process.
  • Use an ice pack. This is particularly helpful before, during and after treatment to address any potential bruising.

After Your Botox Procedure

If you’re wondering what to do after Botox injections, you can expect to resume your usual daily activities immediately afterward, with some exceptions. Most importantly, you need to be careful not to rub the areas that have been treated so the Botox doesn’t migrate to other areas of your face. We advise not to touch the injected area for 4 hours after the procedure.

In addition to this, keep the following after Botox instructions in mind:

  • Avoid strenuous activity (e.g. exercise) for 12 hours after your injections.
  • Avoid taking blood thinning medications.
  • Avoid facial treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and facials for at least 24 hours.
  • Avoid lying down flat on your back or belly (e.g. massage) for at least 4 hours.
  • Exercise your facial muscles in the first hour after your treatment by wrinkling your forehead, smiling, frowning and so on.

If you experience minor bruising, apply arnica or topical vitamin K cream to the affected area. Yellow or green concealers can effectively cover up your bruises as well. If you feel a little discomfort or have a mild headache, take Tylenol.

Does Botox work immediately? In most cases, you need to wait around 48 hours to see the first changes. Getting Botox should be an exciting experience, and by following our before, during and Botox aftercare hints and tips, you can ensure your treatments go as well as possible.

what to expect after botox

Botox effects usually show within a few days of treatment, and to maintain the look, you need to receive follow-up injections. However, there are tips to extend your Botox results.

8 Tips to Make Your Botox Last Longer

Now you know how to prepare and what to expect from a treatment, you’re probably wondering whether there are any post Botox rules to know. Here are a few to keep in mind:

1)  Maintain a regular Botox schedule. If you opt to have your sessions at regular intervals, your facial muscles should weaken, and, over time, your treatments can last longer. Ideally, you want to have around three or four sessions in your first year, followed by two or three in your second.

2) Don’t have treatments too regularly. Taking the above tip into consideration, try not to have too many treatments because they can potentially make your muscles resistant to further treatments. It’s best to leave at least 12 weeks between treatments, and if you notice the effects of your injections wearing off too rapidly after treatment, you need to speak with your practitioner.

If your Botox is wearing off quickly, you should be able to get your dosage adjusted, as often stronger muscles require a higher dosage.

3) Avoid the sun. Living in California, it’s virtually impossible to keep out of the sun. However, it’s imperative you do so on the day of your treatment to prolong the effects of your injections. As the sun boosts your blood circulation, it can make your Botox disperse more rapidly than it should within your skin. Remember, too, that it’s a good idea to always wear sunscreen as the sun is one of your skin’s worst enemies.

4) Don’t over-worry about your skin. It’s tempting to become obsessed with every tiny wrinkle and minor imperfection when you’re getting Botox. However, the next time you find yourself analyzing your face in the mirror, stop. Worrying makes your wrinkles and lines even more pronounced, so try to relax and keep calm.

5) Choose a good doctor.  Ensure you always get your treatments from an experienced clinician with a good reputation for results. The more experienced your doctor, the better your end results are.

6) Avoid using anything abrasive on your face. Ensure you don’t use toners, scrubs, masks and abrasive cleaners of your face for at least a week after receiving your treatment.

7) Take zinc supplements.  According to an article in Aesthetic Medicine News, a 2010 study by Dr. Charles Soparkar revealed that taking a supplement of phytase and organic zinc made Botox more effective in 93 percent of patients.

what to expect after botox

8) Use Retin-A. Applying a topical Retin-A treatment to your skin can prolong the time in between treatments and reduce the need for additional Botox units per visit. This two-pronged approach gets working on lines and wrinkles at their source.

There are so many benefits to having Botox, as well as some very solid after Botox tips to help you get the most from your treatment.

So, if you’ve been looking in the mirror recently and feel you can improve upon what you see, why not try Botox? Perhaps you’re attending a function soon and want to look your best. Or, you realized it’s time to have a younger-looking face to present to the world. No matter your reasons for opting for Botox, it’s a wonderful way to achieve a more youthful appearance that may also give you an extra spring in your step.

If you’re ready to begin your Botox treatment and to get even more information about what to expect after getting Botox, contact us here at Synergy Wellness in Bakersfield, CA at 661-878-9100.