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Curious about Botox injections? You’re in luck! This blog focuses on all things Botox and answers to common questions, like what you can expect during treatment, recovery time, side effects, and results. 

With more than 8.7MM procedures completed in 2022, neuromodulator treatments like Botox are the number one minimally invasive cosmetic treatment on the market. People from around the world and various walks of life turn to Botox injections to look more rested and youthful.

If you’re interested in trying Botox, you probably have a lot of questions. To help answer some of the most common questions about Botox, we turned to Houston-based Professional Injector Lori Swenson. 

What is Botox, and how does it work?

“Botox is a neurotoxin that binds to the acetylcholine receptor in the muscle and prevents it from contracting,” shares Swenson, “This  paralysis prevents movement and friction in the dermis that cause wrinkles.”

As the muscles of facial expressions relax from the paralysis, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is improved.

What conditions or concerns can be treated with Botox injections?

Botox is used for several FDA-approved and off-label cosmetic treatments. It’s FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe lines in the following three areas:

  • Crow’s feet
  • Frown lines (aka 1, 11, 111 lines)
  • Forehead lines

Off-label treatments include:

  • Eyebrow lifting
  • Smoothing the chin area (aka “cobblestone” chin)
  • Lifting the corners of the mouth
  • Smoothing bunny lines across the bridge of the nose
  • Slimming the jawline
  • Botox lip flip for fulling looking lips

Botox is also approved as a treatment for certain medical conditions, like hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and migraine headaches. 

What should I expect during a Botox treatment?

The great thing about Botox is that treatment only takes about 10 to 15 minutes, so you can be in and out of the clinic in no time!

According to Swenson, you can expect the following during your initial Botox treatment:

  1. After checking in to the clinic, the patient meets with a Provider who will review the patient’s medical history and determine if Botox is a safe option for the patient.
  2. After the patient is cleared for treatment, the Provider will discuss with the patient the areas of the face that they would like treated and the types of results to expect. 
  3. If the patient would like to move forward with Botox injections, they sign a consent for treatment.
  4. The areas being treated will then be cleansed with alcohol. 
  5. The Injector will often have you animate your muscles by asking you to frown, smile, and lift your eyebrow. This is done to assess muscle movement and strength to determine the number of units to inject. Some – though not all – Injectors will mark the areas to be treated at this time. 
  6. Once the Injector determines the amount of Botox to be used, they will discuss this and the estimated cost of treatment with the patient.
  7. If the patient agrees, the Provider will prepare the Botox for injection. 
  8. Some Providers, like Swenson, use ice to desensitize the areas prior to injection.
  9. Finally, the Injector injects Botox into the treatment areas.

Swenson points out that you want to ensure you’re receiving true Botox injections. “Always ask your Provider to see the Botox box,” suggests Swenson, “There is a hologram on the Botox cosmetic that is unique and confirms it is not a fake or imitation product.” 

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How can I prepare for a Botox treatment?

There’s no need to be stressed or worry about your Botox injections treatment, nor do you need to show up looking your best (unless you want to, of course)! There are a couple precautions you should take, however. 

“Preparing for a Botox appointment is simple,” shares Swenson, “No need to apply loads of makeup! Although if you do, it’s okay – we’ll remove it from the treatment areas for you. It’s also advised to refrain from alcohol and NSAIDs prior to injections, as they can increase the chances of bruising.”

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What about post-care? What should I do after my treatment?

According to Swenson, it’s advised to avoid the following after your Botox treatment:

  • Facial massages or facials for at least five days
  • Exercise the day you receive your treatment
  • Excessive sweating the day you receive your treatment
  • Lying down within the first four hours after treatment
  • Alcohol consumption for 24 hours following treatment
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, like NSAIDs and high-dose aspirin, for 24 to 48 hrs

“If you have a headache, it’s best to take Tylenol,” shares Swenson. 

What are the possible side effects of a Botox treatment?

It’s important that you’re open and honest with your Botox Provider about your medical history and any medications or OTC drugs and herbs you’re taking. This helps to prevent unnecessary side effects from a Botox treatment. 

Though side effects of Botox injections are rare, they can happen. Some of the common side effects of Botox Cosmetic include:

  • Headaches
  • Pain, bruising, swelling, or redness at the injection site
  • Eyelid ptosis related to the glabellar lines
  • Eyelid swelling related to the lateral canthal lines
  • Headache and brow ptosis related to forehead lines

Side effects typically subside on their own within a few days to a couple of weeks following treatment.

How long does it take for Botox to work, and how long do results last?

Botox provides natural-looking results, which keep patients coming back over and over to keep up with their Botox treatments. As far as how long it takes to see results and how long they last:

“It typically takes 7 to 10 days to see results, and results generally last for three months.”

How often will I need Botox injections?

As the effects of Botox injections wear off, additional injections are needed to maintain results. One should plan to have a Botox treatment every three to four months.

How many injections will I need?

Botox is measured in units. Each person is different in terms of the number of Botox injections needed for desired results. However, Allergan, the makers of Botox, have provided some generalized dosage guidelines, which are as follows:

  • Forehead lines – 15 to 30 units of Botox
  • Crow’s feet – 6 to 10 units per eye
  • Frown lines – up to 40 units

Men sometimes need a higher dosage than women due to the difference between a male and female’s facial bone structure and muscle positioning.

Will I receive the same number of units with each visit?

It’s not uncommon for you to need slightly more or fewer units of Botox with each treatment to maintain similar results. It’s important that your Injector adjusts the number of Botox units injected based on your muscle movement during each Botox treatment. 

Consider a Botox Consultation

If you’re still on the fence about whether Botox injections are right for you, why not schedule a Botox consultation at your local clinic or MedSpa? 

Your local Provider can assess your skin and answer all of your questions about Botox injections. From there, you can decide if you want to join the millions of people around the world who enjoy the effects of Botox!

Booking your DermaTouch RN appointment is just a few clicks away, available online 24/7 for your convenience! 

Lori Swenson, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Lori Swenson DermaTouch RN blog

NURSE INJECTOR/ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSE

Shortly after receiving her nursing degree in 1998, Lori moved from New York to Texas to begin her nursing career. Most of her 24 years as a nurse involve working within the ER and ICU departments of major hospitals. In 2015, she obtained her MSN-FNP and began training under Renee Moschitto at DermaTouch RN. Lori is dedicated to patient safety and customer satisfaction and is experienced in dermal fillers and neurotoxins. Learn more about Lori and the team she works with…

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DermaTouch RN offers minimally invasive and non-invasive treatments for men and women in Houston, San Antonio, Spring and Cypress, as well as the surrounding areas of Texas. We are the largest aesthetic practice in the Houston area, and all of our medical spa treatments are performed by a team of nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and aestheticians who receive continuing education to remain abreast of emerging treatments that benefit our patients. We invite you to learn more about our office before your consultation.

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