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14 Things I Wish I Knew Before Botox

  • 3 years ago

In our Botox community many people look back on their experiences and say, "I wish I had known..." some information prior to undergoing Botox treatment. Here are 14 tips from RealSelf community members that you may find helpful. Feel free to add your own in the comments! --Sharon

1) Everybody Offers Botox. Who Should You Trust?

It's very important to research the person doing your injections. Botox isn't something to take lightly. Having a nurse do mine was my mistake. I'm not saying that there aren't nurses qualified to do Botox. But, in my case she injected too deeply and too low. I have had consultations with two other cosmetic surgeons since my droopy lid. They both said the same thing. Too low, and too deep. [by missesteelaura]
I would definitely suggest going to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for these shots. I once went to a doctor who did this on the side (she was an gynecologist who decided to offer this at her office). The results there were poor. The dermatologist and plastic surgeon who did these on me were great. The results were wonderful! [by paducahapss]
I was at my dentist for a cleaning and I was offered a Botox injection for my wrinkles. I guess they couldn't tell I had Botox last month. I looked up his certifications on the way out and Googled it at home. Wow! He learned it in one weekend. No thank you. I am sure there are gifted superhumans out there but I don't think my dentist is one. [by VancouverFace]
Went to a new clinic and just "knew" after the injections that they weren't done right. I found out that the doctor is a psychiatrist with very little facial Botox experience. [by Sacramento9355]
If you had a bad experience chances are you went to the wrong doctor. I have been to several doctors and there is a very big difference from one to the next. But don't judge by price -- some of the cheap ones are great, some are terrible. Same for the expensive ones. Talk to people and check out the doctor before you go. [by shosho1948]

2) Do Your Homework

Do a bit of research. Don't inject yourself, but look up and read about injection techniques and "off-label" techniques so you know what your injector is up to and what to ask for. The informed patient is the happy patient! [by bb7880]
Before I went in, I researched every horrible thing that could ever happen from Botox and got myself completely freaked out. I went in talking about droopy eyelids and migraine headaches. My doctor completely reassured me and said that had never happened to anyone she had worked on, but was honest about the slight risk. She suggested that we use a very light dose this time and see how it goes. So we did that, and I am so happy with the results. I still can make expressions, but my wrinkles are gone! [by liljgirl]

3) Price

Make sure your doctor charges you "per unit of Botox," NOT "per area of the face." Doctors who do it "per area of the face" are cheating you. [by truecolors]
I got 52 units at $12.50 per unit. Not the cheapest, but administered by a Doctor. It being my first time, I thought it would be better than going to a hairdresser to get it done (funny how some people trust their aesthetician because it's half the price). [by Mr. Rick]
I had Botox on my entire forehead -- I have six continuous horizontal lines across my forehead and I'm only 35. Mine cost $225 for the entire area and was done by an RN / aesthetician who is overseen by a doctor. [by Missmoo]
I think for around your eyes and forehead, Botox is great way to go. It's temporary but it's effective; not too expensive. I pay $350 for the entire treatment session and this lasts three months. [by Kelly A.]
The doctor-owned spa that I go to has $10 per unit specials once a month. [by secretsister]
My preferred doctor charges per Botox session and I prefer it that way. He just does whatever is necessary on my face at that time for a fixed price. Sometimes it's probably a little more and sometimes less. I figure it'll average out. If it turns out to be not enough I get some extra shots later free of charge (this only happened once in three years). So basically I'm paying for the result. When I was charged by unit, I paid twice as much. How do I know how many units I really need or how many I'm getting? It seems some doctors get better results with less units by injecting it the right way. With a fixed price I know what I'm going to pay and I can budget accordingly. [by ErikaM]

4) What's It Like to Get Botox?

Very quick procedure...10 minutes, tops! No anesthetic or numbing medicine required. The needle is so small, you don't need it and there is nothing to be afraid of. I am not a needle person and now have learned to love the needle (HA HA!). Pain of injections on a scale of 1 to 10 was about 1.5, with some areas more sensitive than others. [by RdLlRose]
I felt nothing more than a prick. Went to work an hour later. Nobody noticed a thing. [by Mr. Rick]

5) Pain, Swelling & Bruising

I had some mild red spots at the injection sites, but they were gone the next day. Overall, the discomfort with Botox is very minimal, especially in relation to the phenomenal results. [by mannonj]
I had swelling around the injection sites for five minutes, it was totally gone by the time I left the clinic. I did get some bruising, it was similar to what you get after a blood test, it was easy to cover with makeup and went away in a few days. [by Krystalgem]

6) Botox Results

It took a few days for the results to become apparent (which is normal), but when the Botox took effect it was visibly smooth. Don't be alarmed if it takes a few days to see the results... it will kick in all at once, and you will love what it does to relax the lines that are driving you crazy! I don't have an artificial look at all -- it's just youthful. [by mannonj]
The key is MODERATION. Go conservative. You can always do a little more. Plenty of my friends come back (from their doctor) looking like "the Joker." I have my doctor do just a little... enough to give me lift, to look fresh, but not "different." [by marecat]
I have been very satisfied with Botox on the crease between my eyebrows and bunny lines on the sides of my nose. I do NOT recommend it for any other area! I've had my forehead treated... it made my eyebrows droop. I've had crow's feet treated... it made my cheeks fall. Several people said I looked different (not in a good way). My husband, who notices nothing, noticed the awful results. I've had my lower eyelid injected for creping skin under my eyes... it made the sagging significantly worse. I've had my lips injected for the small lines... couldn't say my "M's" for a month. My lip just hung there. [by Julie7]

7) Botox Side Effects

My dermatologist is skilled but didn't warn me that some people do, in fact, have reactions. No pharmacy-grade medicine out there is 100% safe for all populations. [by Natick]
The only con for me is a droopy lid. Having a droopy or closed eyelid is going to affect the way you feel about yourself. When you shell out hundreds of dollars to look better, you expect to look better. I hate it that I spent so much money and can't enjoy any of the benefits of the Botox because my eye looks so awful. After six weeks and my eye finally looking better, I can say that I will have Botox again. [by missesteelaura]
During an ER visit I was diagnosed as having a reaction to the Botox I received a few days earlier. Nobody in my small town seems to be aware of this, including the dermatologist who administered the Botox. I felt like I was in a fog and extremely sensitive to cold. It took well into nine months for me to feel better. [by GRS]
I had Botox injected and experienced blurred vision. It has not gone away. It's worse when I am in the sun and when I walk. I went to the eye doctor today. The doctor said my vision is 20/20 and they don't see anything wrong. It is extremely frustrating. After five weeks it finally started going away. I thought it was going to drive me insane. I tried everything: Eye patch, several kinds of eye drops, ice, massage the eye. Unfortunately nothing worked. All you can do is wait it out. It still isn't 100 percent, but it is much better. [by Michell07]
I get a severe headache for weeks after Botox injections! None of the docs ever seem to care. Allergan told me a percentage of people do get a headache for a couple of weeks and you just have to wait it out. Never again for me! [by berykute1]
The results were stunning, but Botox does definitely make you feel a little weird. I had no bruising or swelling at the injection sites, but I was a little ill after each treatment a few days later (nothing terrible though). [by ClaireK]

8) Getting Rid of Botox

Time and patience. That's it in a nutshell. I'm five months post-op and only recently feeling better. No magic cure. It's no secret, it's just when your body is ready to get rid of it! [by Trippy65]
It is so strange to me that licensed practices that inject this stuff give you no warning or suggestions for an antidote. I too tried massaging, heat... hoping it would get out of my system quicker. It's the "over thinking" that makes it all worse. But let me say: It will stop and your life will get back to normal. [by Uh Oh]

9) How Long Does Botox Last?

It usually lasts for about three months on me... the longest lasting about five months. [by paducahapss]
Some people with metabolic differences may "soak it up" quickly. I have some (serious) bodybuilding friends that required Botox every two months initially to get it going. [by bb7880]
The Botox honestly lasts me between 6-9 months and when it does wear off my wrinkles are nowhere near as deep as they used to be. (You can't create more or deeper wrinkles if you can't make them.) [by Vanessa]

10) Botox May Change More Than a Few Wrinkles

Be careful. I got Botox done for frown lines and now look even more angry and serious than I did before. If you are someone who looks pretty when you smile or when you lift up your eyebrows, you might not like the way Botox on the brow makes you look. I know after I got mine done, people have stopped laughing at my jokes and get offended when I make a sarcastic comment, because I don't look like I'm kidding. [by aboutface]
You relax the muscle in one area and that affects another. My crow's feet are gone but my under eye now has awful bags and wrinkles. I would never do this again. I embrace my crow's feet and can't wait for them to come back actually. [by Amaxy]
Botox has fully taken effect now and my forehead looks unbelievable! Literally took five years off... not to mention, it lifted my eyes up and opened them up way more! [by RdLlRose]
When I got Botox at 38, I seriously couldn't believe how great I looked. I really did look more like 29. It was very natural looking. It messes up your judgment, a bit. I got sucked into the idea that my value is tied to my looks. My kids didn't care about my wrinkles and neither did my husband. [by Natick]
Think long and hard before getting Botox around your eyes as it has ruined my face. I had Botox between my eyebrows for frown lines twice before and I was really pleased with the results. I should never have thought that just because it was a success in that area it would be a success around my eyes. The eyes are such an important feature in our faces: They show laughter, sadness, fear, etc. Once you take away the eyes' ability to show emotion, you do not look real. [by Beth F]

11) Preventative Botox

One suggestion I will give to the younger ladies (and guys) out there: If you know you don't like wrinkles, start getting Botox BEFORE they set in. When you smile or frown, the lines you see will eventually permanently crease in your skin. I wish I could have gotten to my frown lines five years ago. Now I may need to spend much more money for fillers. [by aboutface]

12) Botox Isn't Just for Wrinkles

I got Botox in my neck and shoulders for pain after a fusion. They gave me two full syringes each time. [by Della Palladino]
I receive Botox in my brow furrow, forehead, crow's feet, and also he injects me just above the outer third of my eyebrow, creating a very cool arch that I normally don't have. This is called an Anterior Brow Lift. I really love this. [by Yecatsr]
I had Botox for hyperhidrosis under my arms about 16 months ago (50 units, each arm). [by jellycar27]
I had my first Botox injections and had great results for not only deep-set frown lines but, miraculously, my migraines, which plagued me daily, were gone! However, the Botox wore off in two months and my migraines returned. I believe that Botox is the answer for migraine sufferers. [by Rhee1985]
I have had terrible muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders for 30 years. It is constant and painful. On a scale of 10 for relief, the best chiropractors might make a two and the treatment lasts maybe a few weeks. But Botox is awesome! I had seven shots in each side from the edge of my shoulders up to high on my neck. The relief was easily an eight, and lasted several months. It was the best I had felt since the problem started. [by 4096anon]

13) Does Botox Train Your Muscles?

I was told, with extended use, Botox might last longer. For me, this is not the case. I still get Botox about every three months, even after years of having it done, but it is worth it! [by paducahapss]
It is strange not to be able to move your forehead muscles when you are used to making faces. But, my doctor claims that a few years of training myself not to flex those muscles will take a decade off my face by the time I'm 50 and I believe him. I do not at all look frozen or mask like -- no one knows I've done anything except the few people I've told. [by ClaireK]
I notice that the more I get it, the less I need it because it causes my muscles to stop wrinkling my skin, and over time my skin looks smoother and smoother. It is a great investment! [by Krystal]
I haven't found that my muscles have gotten trained to relax the wrinkles, so I still require the same routine visits as when I started. [by Kelly A.]

14) Expert Tips From Long-Time Botox Fans

I have been getting Botox for more than 10 years for frown lines. Although I was hooked from the start I was often surprised to find that sometimes I had great results and other times not so great. I have learned that some doctors are better injectors than others and that fresh Botox (reconstituted on the same day) is far better than day-old or week-old Botox. [by octonc]
I get "toxed" with 50 iu (international units) to my brow, glabella and crow's feet approximately every 4-6 months. For me it was important to allow the Botox to help me retrain my muscles. Now that's hard to explain, but I'd watch myself in the mirror and keep myself from making certain movements. When I felt that "heavy" feeling while making certain brow expressions it was an indication that I shouldn't make that movement. [by bb7880]

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Comments (58)

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Dentists are experts in all head and neck anatomy. It does make sense to allow your Dentist, if they are trained, and have experience to do your botox and fillers. In terms of comfort, Dentists know the best techniques for anesthetizing and trying to get you comfortable. Usually, those that the do the most of a procedure, do the best at it. That is why nurse practioners, tend to do a great job. This is all they are hired to do, while the physicians, Dermatologists and plastic surgeons, are busy doing biopsies, face lifts, and other kinds of surgeries to do botox routinely.
Anyone who questions the validity of someone becoming seriously ill or disabled from botulinum toxin injections is clearly ill-informed. A simple Internet search (or quite through the thousands of comments on the various threads in this site) will reveal the thousands of articles on adverse reactions to this toxin. Over 35,000 reports to the FDA....and those are only the reports that the manufacturer deemed to count as "serious"....meaning people who were hospitalized. It doesn't count someone who had visited the ER numerous times from breathing issues...(like me) or seizures (like me)....or severe muscle spasms (like me)....or count people who have become disabled (like me).....or who had to go on medical leave (like me)....or whose life has completely changed as a result (like me). I know of hundreds of people who have suffered horrifically....young children who are now on respirators....others who are bedridden. It is maddening that physicians and the pharmaceutical company allow this to happen to unsuspecting patients. How dare you accuse someone else who is suffering so horribly from side effects that are clearly documented as known in the literature. Those of us who are sick wish that we would have known of these risks and made a different choice. Educate yourself instead of showing not only a lack of compassion but your ignorance.
This post was meant for the person that posted that she didn't believe that illness can result from these injections.
The post is very informative and you have put it very well. Keep updating in future on other similar techniques.
Yes, these points have really got me thinking. You need a lot of patience and have to wait for some time before you can see the full impact of Botox treatment.
This comment thread is hilarious!
very concise! I have always considered this one of the less tricky procedures (but also with less great results) but who am I to judge? Learning this in one weekend is ridiculous! NO WAY should that be legal or we all could do it. It's not hard to learn the facial muscles, or how to inject things. But there is far more to it than that.
You know what I wish I knew before getting botox? I wish I knew it had the potential to ruin my life. I have a very reputed plastic surgeon and I trusted him as he had already performed a breast augmentation, a breast lift and other operations on me and the results were amazing. At the age of 25 I've received botox injections to lift my eyebrows and it's been the biggest mistake of all my life. Botox has caused permanent damages to me. It's been 2 years that I'm SEVERELY sick. I can't have a normal life anymore. Everyday is a living hell to me. I suffer from nausea, vomiting, atrocious blackouts, migraines, convultions, jaw pain, occular pain, heart issues, pain in my left arm, indigestions, hallucinations and way more other horrible symptomes. I cry everyday. I've made some internet searchs and found thousands of other people whose life has been ruined by botox. A single botox injection can inoculate botulism: a very serious and incurable disease. Go to the site of Allergan, it's written in the side effects. I would turn down $10,000,000 if I were asked to get botox again.
Your story just doesn't sound real. Permanent damage from one set of injections between your eyebrows? I don't believe it. If there were really live Botulinum in what you received, there would have been other people affected, because they don't use a whole bottle on your eyebrows. Other people would have received injections from the same bottle. Not to mention that even live Botulinum only causes temporary effects. It most certainly is NOT an incurable disease. You are not telling us the whole story. Stop trolling. It sounds to me like you're fishing for money from the company.
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I am so sorry I know where U are coming from.
It doesn't sound real to me either. I still can't believe that such a tragedy has truly happened to me....But at the end of the day you realise that I have nothing to win by posting such a comment, especially not money. The only ones making money are plastic surgeons, dermathologists etc that inject this poison. I wouldn't be suprised if you were one of them considering you've registered just today and only to post that....Just know that a single botox injection can inoculate botulism if it ever leak in your blood stream. And if you don't believe me just go to the site of Allergan (the laboratory that sells botox). SHARLA HELTON has suffered from horrible side effects (for YEARS) , she is the first doctor who has been poisoned by Botox. She sued Allergan and won the case. In 2009 Allergan issued and admitted the truth and all possible side effects. FDA ordered Botox to the “ black box “ category which means Botox can cause death or very serious side effects. There are entire websites and facebook pages dedicated to people whose life has been RUINED by botox. Some of them are now in wheel chairs. (AND SORRY I CAN'T POST LINKS, ONE OF MY COMMENT ALREADY BEEN DELETED)
Thanks Irishprayer
Evidently U have not been through what any of us have. I had 4 injections buy a headache specialist. From the first time I started with nausea, intestinal disorders and was in & out of the hospital. I though it was my gallbladder. It took me 9 months, 7 test and the worst reaction after my last session with the worst headache I have ever had. (5 days 24 hours a day) and I knew. That was 6 months ago and I still have relapses. U don't know this is not permanent! Since U know not of what U speak don't judge what U have NO experience of what can happen.
Why, She speaks the truth!
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There is only 10% that will have adverse reactions. I just happen to be one of the 10%. Thank U for sharing.
I am currently holding my wife's hair back as she is getting sick again over the toilet. She used this treatment for her chronic migraines and it has only made her life ten times more miserable. These side effects were never addressed by the manufacturer and the Administering Dr. Has never heard of them. She is in continuous pain and has only been back and forth between the couch and toilet for the past week. She cannot eat or drink. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THIS TREATMENT. THE COMPANY HAS BEEN 100% irresponsible and failed to disclose all pertinent information regarding this drug. Complaints have been sent to the FDA and the works of a lawsuit are now beginning. My only hope is that this message gets to at least one person and they decide to utilize alternative means than this treatment. Please share more comments, email me, and spread the word so we can battle this problem together.
I am so sorry she is going through this too. I took four sessions before it dawned on me I had felt ill since the 1st shots for headaches. The last shot was the worst, I was sick week one & had the worst headache ever (5 days 24/7) I have ever had. I have lost almost 20 pounds in the last year & I am now underweight. It will get better but it takes weeks or months I'm sorry to say. Thank U for sharing & time has helped me but I will never be the same!
I had Botox for headaches (four of before I realized I had felt bad since they started) the last one I had the worst headache I have ever had. I now have periods where I feel unwell, I will never take Botox again. I don't know how long it will take, I have had so many test and have lost 20 pounds. I am 75 years old and do not have a wrinkled forehead so it was not for looks it was to help me with headaches I have had for years...what a downer. I hope eventually I will get rid of all to toxin
I am sorry to hear botox gave you such trouble. I am happy with mine, perhaps because my doctor really keeps it very conservative. Maybe the trick is to not exaggerate with quantities and settle perhaps for more moderate results but also less side effects. If you wish to get botox out of your system I'd recommend a long hot sauna. Last time i went for botox i asked my doctor and indeed he said it should be avoided in order to keep the botox effects if you wish the opposite sauna seems a good solution...
Thank you for your comments. I found that only 10% of people have adverse effects. I just may be one of that group. I am drinking lots of water to flush out the toxin.
Yes, I think that can help. Also exercise (sweating), repeatedly bending over so blood flows to your head and pressure (rub and hold pressure) on the area maybe could help...good luck...