This is a question many people are asking themselves lately. With all of the reports of bad outcomes from Botox® treatments it is a good question to ask. The answer is yes, Botox® is safe, as long as it is obtained by your physician from the approved manufacturer Allergan. The Botox® that is not safe is the one obtained on the “black market”. Your second question probably is how do you know if the Botox® you get is safe, it is simple, ask your doctor to let you see the Botox® before the seal is broken; it should be made by Allergan.
- Other Questions you might ask yourself are how does Botox® actually work?
- Although Botox® is a botulinum toxin it is not given in strong enough doses to cause any harm to body tissue. The agent works by temporarily paralyzing the facial muscles to prevent your muscles from contracting which causes facial wrinkling. Botox® only affects muscles that are directly injected into them. Botox® will not affect any lines on your face that are found at rest, it will help in alleviating lines with expression, such as frown lines between the eyes or crows feet. Lines at rest may be treated with fillers such as collagen or Restylane.
- What are the side effects?
- The side effects of Botox® are very minimal at most. You might have some slight bruising or swelling at the sites of injection, however these are only temporary. Botox® is not safe to use in pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. There is also a small chance the Botox® could migrate to other areas of the face that were not injected, however, if post procedure directions are followed this is less likely.
- What does the procedure consist of?
- The procedure will consist of multiple small injections of Botox® depending on the amount of treatment areas. You will first need to have a cosmetic consultation with your doctor. During this consultation both of you will decide the desirable results you want to see and which areas you think need most attention. Once this is decided some pre-procedure photos will be taken, so that you can track your results. After the photos are complete the area is numbed with an ice pack, then the injections will begin. The typical treatment areas are the forehead, “crow’s feet”, “anger lines”, and the brow line. For women who desire a more cosmetically elegant brow contour, Dr. Kayal uses Botox® to elevate the lateral brow. Other novel uses of Botox® include correction of “bunny lines” along the top of the nose, improving the dimpled chin appearance as well as upper lip lines and neck bands. The injections are typically described to feel like a tiny bee-sting, after the injections the practitioner will massage the area. The procedure should only take 10-15 minutes, which requires no anesthesia or down time.
- What does the after care consist of?
- Once your procedure is over you should simply work the muscles in which you had the injections done by expressing your face. You should do this a few times throughout the day to work these muscles. You should also keep yourself sitting upright for four hours following your procedure, to avoid migration of the Botox® to other areas that you do not want it to go. Avoiding aspirin and ibuprofen after your procedure will also help decrease your bruising. Your results will not be seen immediately after your procedure, it usually takes at least 3 days to one week to see the maximum results. The results should last any where between four months six months.
- How much does Botox® cost?
- Contrary to popular belief, Botox® is not expensive. If you look at Botox® as an upkeep procedure then you realize that it is competitive with the prices you pay for monthly hair cuts, color, and manicures. The average cost (although this varies depending on number of sites) is between $300-$400 dollars.
If you are interested in finding out more information about Botox® or interested in having a free cosmetic consultation, please call Dr. John Kayal, cosmetic dermatologist in Marietta.