Medical professionals use Botox to treat many conditions and disorders. While this bacterium is one of the most lethal known to humans today, it helps individuals who are cross-eyed, those who sweat excessively, and men and women suffering from migraines. A professional may turn to this substance to help someone dealing with foot pain or treat an overactive bladder with the bacterium.
However, most people continue to associate Botox with the treatment of lines and wrinkles on the face. They have seen pictures of people before and after botox and want similar results. What should a person know before requesting this treatment at a local facility?
What is Botox?
Botox is a cosmetic neurotoxin made from a botulinum toxin. Manufacturers dilute the toxin to a safe level, so it can be injected into humans. When trained professionals inject this substance into a human, it relaxes the muscles and blocks nerve impulses to them. The muscle can no longer contract, so it won’t highlight or deepen existing lines and wrinkles on the face. As a result, the face looks younger and smoother. Although it does have other uses, as previously mentioned, this is why many people request a Botox treatment.
What Should You Expect?
Before having Botox injected into the desired areas, meet with the individual doing the procedure for a consultation and exam. Discuss what to expect during the procedure and ask questions. Learn what this technician expects in terms of results based on what they see during this consultation and exam. This ensures the patient has realistic expectations before walking in the door for the actual treatment and that they feel comfortable with the provider who will do the actual injections. Never work with a provider if something feels off. It’s best to look for someone else to do the injections.
How Painful Are the Injections?
A person may shy away from Botox because they worry the injections will be painful. Although every person’s tolerance for pain is different, most people find they handle the injections better than they do vaccinations. The needle doesn’t go deep into the skin, and some people report they have more pain when they pluck their eyebrows. There is no need for anesthesia, although those who don’t want to feel anything may ask for numbing cream. Providers are more than happy to use this cream on patients who request it.
What Should Be Done Prior to the Procedure?
Eat prior to having the Botox injections. This helps to ensure the needle won’t make the patient weak prior to the injections. Exfoliate and wash the face, but don’t use anything harsh. The skin needs to be clean before this treatment begins. In addition, don’t wear makeup. A clean and clear face is required for the procedure. This ensures nothing enters the skin along with the needle. The technician may use rubbing alcohol to clean the injection sites, particularly when the person arrives wearing makeup. Prepare for this and bring cosmetics along to do touch-ups where needed.
A person should not drink alcohol prior to the Botox injections. Alcohol thins the blood. This can interfere with the muscle’s ability to absorb the toxin. As a result, the patient may not see the anticipated results.
How Often Will the Treatment Need to Be Repeated?
Most patients find they need to return every three months to keep their faces free of wrinkles. However, speak with the professional doing the injections to see what they recommend.
Who is a Good Candidate for Botox?
People of any age can have Botox injections. Some individuals choose to have these injections at an early age to prevent the formation of lines and wrinkles. Other people, however, choose to wait until the lines and wrinkles are prominent before contacting a medical professional to have this procedure. It’s a matter of preference.
Individuals should be 18 years of age or older if they wish to use Botox to prevent and treat wrinkles and lines. Doctors may recommend Botox for younger patients when treating medical conditions, but not for this purpose. The candidate should also be in good health and have no history of neuromuscular diseases.
How Long is the Recovery Process?
First, patients need to understand the results won’t be seen immediately. Botox takes time to work. Some people notice a difference in as little as three days. Other individuals, however, say it takes ten days before they see a noticeable difference. Many people find they appreciate this because other people won’t be able to tell as easily that they had any work done.
What Should a Person Avoid Following Botox Injections?
Avoid working out in the 24-hour period following the injections. While the Botox settles in the muscles within 20 minutes of the injections, don’t exercise. Allow the injection to do its work. A person can begin wearing makeup again immediately after the injections. However, they must avoid massaging the face to apply makeup. The motions used during a massage can actually lead to the Botox making its way to areas the person did not intend it to go.
It’s best to avoid alcohol in the days following the injections. As previously mentioned, alcohol thins the blood. Less blood will flow to the muscles around the injection site, and this could lead to complications. Talk with the technician to see when it is safe to drink alcohol again and how much can be consumed safely.
Remain in an upright position for 30 minutes following Botox injections. This gives the toxin time to settle in the muscles. Consider using ice packs or over-the-counter medications to minimize any discomfort associated with the injection. This discomfort usually disappears in the 24 hours following the treatment.
Is Botox Safe?
Nobody knowingly takes a toxin into the body, but Botox is an exception. First approved in 1989 for the treatment of blepharospasm of the eyelid, Botox was approved for cosmetic use 13 years later by the United States Food and Drug Administration. It’s best to work with a trained medical professional rather than attending a Botox party at a friend’s house. This ensures the right amount of Botox is used and the desired results are seen.
Talk with the technician handling the procedure to see what else should be known prior to having this work done. Patients who go into the procedure with realistic expectations and an understanding of what to expect are more satisfied when the work is done. Ask questions, and never work with a provider who refuses to answer questions. The individual having the injections should be completely comfortable before the work proceeds.