First and foremost, take comfort in the fact that BOTOX® is temporary. The effects of it will wear off in about 3-4 months. This also means that BOTOX® is not a one-and-done treatment and you will have to return for regular treatments if you want to continue to experience the benefits of it.

“Botox” is the colloquial word for neuromodulators. There are several neuromodulators on the market: BOTOX® (the original), Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau. Each are produced by different manufacturers, but they all do exactly the same thing: they weaken a muscle’s ability to move, which reduces wrinkles that are caused by muscle movement. This effect is temporary and your muscles will regain their ability to move in about 3-4 months.

All BOTOX® products are famously known to contain botulinum toxin, and yes, this is the same Clostridium botulinum bacteria that is associated with botulism from canned foods. But, and this is a big but, the amount of botulinum toxin in a standard treatment is very, very, very, very, very, very, very small. This means that the botulinum toxin injected into your forehead, or your crow’s feet, or your frown lines, only affect the muscles in a 2cm radius. However, as with any procedure, there are always risks involved. Some of the risks and complications associated with BOTOX® treatments are: pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site, headache, droopy eyelid or cockeyed eyebrows, crooked smile, allergic reactions, and eye problems like double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, or dry eyes. Of all of these possibilities, the most common side effect you may experience is a bruise. In clinical studies the incidence of these side effects is very small, and all of these side effects will resolve with time as the effects of the product naturally wear off.

When I’m working with new-to-me patients I prefer to inject conservatively. You can always add more BOTOX® later, but you can’t take away what you’ve already injected. I will request that you return for a follow up visit about 2 weeks after your first appointment so we can see how the BOTOX® is taking effect and make any adjustments if needed.

The actual treatment, the injections themselves, only take a few minutes to administer. You can be in and out of the office in about 20 minutes. And since there is minimal downtime you can return to your daily routine immediately after leaving, with a few exceptions. After treatment it is very important to NOT lie down, NOT do anything hot and sweaty (like exercise, or sauna, or swimming, or yoga, or even walking if it causes you to get hot and sweaty), and NOT massage the area. This is because I have put the BOTOX® exactly where it needs to be and any of these activities can cause it to move. It IS important to contract the muscle’s where I’ve injected, like furrowing your brows, raising your eyebrows, or squinting your eyes. This helps the BOTOX® target the specific muscles we want to inhibit.

It takes about 5-7 days to see the effects of treatment, and the full effect may not be apparent for at least 2 weeks, so if you think you need an adjustment, please wait at least a full 2 weeks before returning to the office.

Some people wonder if getting BOTOX® will change the shape of their face. While it doesn’t change the structural shape of your face, we are changing how the muscles move so your face may look slightly different to you, but to everyone else you’ll look fabulous!

“Will I still be able to make face expressions?” If you want to, yes. If you don’t want to, then no. The amount of BOTOX® administered can be tailored to each individual’s needs. Personally, I like to still be able to look surprised so I give myself a little bit less. But if you want to be completely frozen, we can do that too.