Despite the economy, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) Botox ranked #1 in non-invasive treatments and was up by 8% in 2009. The average Botox patient is between 40-59 and 82 %of patients see an improvement within a week of treatment.
Botox, botulinium toxin A, injections are extremely popular. Yes, I am a self-professed Botox junkie. I started getting Botox injections years before it was FDA approved in 2002.
Over the years I have experienced; bad injectors, excellent injectors, too much or too little, shorter durations between injections, bruises, bumps, uneven brows, raised brows, the “Spock” effect… and yet I keep coming back. 🙂 It is one thing, I will probably never give up!! My children tease me that one day I will be in a nursing home screaming for my Botox. 🙂
So to avoid or minimize a negative Botox experience here are a few things to consider:
1. Go to an experienced injector, the person on the other side of the needle plays a key role in the outcome. Injecting Botox is an art form. Your facial anatomy is important and individual muscles vary- therefore Botox injections must be personalized.
I have found that most RN’s who work in cosmetic surgeon’s or dermatologist’s offices are often the best injectors. Dermatologist’s sometimes are better injectors than most cosmetic surgeons. A cosmetic surgeon maybe an excellent surgeon but not necessarily a good injector. I would shy away from other MD’s who inject Botox for a profit center such as; an OBGYN, Dentist, Chiropractor, Urologist, etc. I also hesitate to go to a chain medi-spa. Some of the staff in these facilities have only minimal training. If you do get a bad result, luckily it is temporary, lasting 3- 4 months. Sometimes you can correct a bad Botox look with another injection, ie for raised or uneven brows.
2. Buyer beware of price. If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is. Special MD pricing is usually around $10-$12.00 a unit. Average price is around $12-$15.00 per unit. Be leery of low cost Botox unless you know the facility and injector personally. I prefer to pay per unit, then per area, this way I know how much I am getting in each area.
3. Make sure it is the real thing from Allergan and is in a box with a hologram on the box with a lot number and expiration date on the bottom of the box. Botox comes in glass bottle with a purple top. If in doubt. RUN!!
4. Avoid taking Ibuprofen, Vit E, Green Tea and certain herbs for up to 4 weeks before your injection. This may cause excess bruising. Icing right after injections does help. Plus there are other remedies such as Arnica which you can use pre/post injections. Bruising is minimal and usually goes away quickly. Cover-up make-up is a good trick.
5. Botox may take up to 7 days to kick in. Sometimes you may need a little boost- wait at least 2 weeks before getting re-injected.
6. If you do develop a droopy eye- this will go away when the Botox wears off. It is rare- but can happen. “Spock Brows” can be fixed by placing the Botox strategically in the forehead or above the brow to lower the raised eyebrow(s).
7. 20 units is average for frown lines between the brow, 15-20 units total for crows feet if you have deep lines. Otherwise you can get by with less. Units will vary with the age of the person and deepness of lines. Trust your injector’s judgment. Less is more, especially if this is your first time.
8. You could develop, “Botox immunity”. According to a board-certified Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, “Botox immunity happens when a patient unknowingly receives a diluted injection of Botox and comes back on a regular schedule for touch-ups. When the weakened Botox fails, the patient can develop immunity to Botox. But some shady operators dilute their Botox supplies which could have created more cases of Botox immunity.”
In conclusion.. Botox can take years off your face, and gives you a fresh new look.
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