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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]

Comments (39)

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I think the most important thing is finding a reputable, board-certified provider. I like to use ZendyBeauty to find mine since all of their providers are vetted. (Plus, I like the savings they offer.) I am so surprised by the number of people having bad results from Botox. I, or my friends, have never had any negative experiences like these.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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
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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...
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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.
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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...
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Just had my first Botox injections into my 11 lines/frown lines. I went to my dermatologist and the needles were fine...not a big deal. He said not to look for any results until 4 days from the day of the injections. However, I see results now, and it was yesterday I got the injections. My frown is gone as far as my forehead/brow area. The thing is my forehead just feels heavy and weird. I keep hoping I will feel more normal, but right now I feel like my forehead is not my forehead. So, now I am worried that 3 days from now my brow will be even more frozen and weird since I am told the full effect has not set in yet. Can anyone reassure me?
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I love Botox.
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I had botox on my crows feet 6 days ago. I'm trying to be patient but i see so little results so far. Will it really take the full 2 weeks to see the end result? I'm 41 and the crows feet wrinkles weren't that deep
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it doesnt show at all for 2 weeks-I get it a lot and its so amazing when you finally see the results. Patience!
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I got 20 units around my eyes and crows feet a week ago. Dont notice anything yet...will I see a difference in2 weeks???
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Just got my third Set of Botox injections today. Initially got it done because my five year old asked why I was angry all the time lol ! I do feel the heaviness and a little "off" feeling currently, but I went to a MD to have it done, referred by someone who had it done by him, he always uses a fresh bottle...schedules all patients in the same one or two day period. Love the results from the last two times...looking forward to two days from now when I lose 10 years off my face! Tension headaches are usually gone within two weeks . However....remember if you are thinking about doing this for the first time... You are getting something shot into your face. Yes it will hurt, yes you probably should start with a small area until you see the results, yes! You should use a doctor that does this regularly and get a recommendation from someone who looks great! I'm 44, I want to look my age but with a more pleasant appearance so Botox works for me. Good luck and do your research .

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i had botox last year and was GRWAT i got hooked, opened my eyes, got rid of my forehead lines and i still had good movement, had it again 2 weeks ago, form a different person, OMG after 3 days the tightness and heavyness in my forehead was horrendus, now 2 weeks on my eyes have been swelled bad for the past 10 days, my brows have been pushed down which has made me have bad hooded eyes and i have no movement at all, i feel shite and my head and face feels like its going to explode... is there ANY way i can speed the process up to get rid of it!!!

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Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be, but with most people it seems to pass through their system in 3-4 months. Some people have mentioned that lots of water, green tea, and exercise have seemed to help speed the process.

Here is a Q&A that might be of interest to you:

Can Anything Be Done to Speed Up the Process of Getting Botox to Leave the Body?

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Sauna...transparent liquid oozed out of each 2 month old prick. I noticed that little crusts were formed. When scratched this liquid came out like droplets of water. Not that I was trying to get rid of the botox though. I think it can only have been the (first time) Botox because it had never happened before after having a sauna.
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I went to a Light Therapist who got rid of it. She scans your body and then enters the info into the computer program, then you hold two plastic rods and the programed light the body needs is redirected back to you through the rods and feet. Honestly , I did not want her to remove the Botox since I just had it done a month before and was happy with the result. She scolded me for doing it and I felt humiliated. The procedure is about an hour. I was going for breast cancer treatment not Botox removal but it got rid of the botox.
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Hi, What is light Therapy as I'd love to get rid of my botox???? Thanks
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Hi, What is Light Therapy as I'd love for my botox to wear off quicker?
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Hi...i don't have experience with Light Therapy, but to get rid of botox you can try a long hot sauna. It got rid of mine- although that was not my desire. I asked my doctor last time I had botox and he confirmed that a sauna does shorten the duration of botox effects; so I'll stay away from saunas from now on, but you could give it a try if you're not happy with yours. I think maybe the trick to botox is to settle for more moderate results (i.e. Have less botox injected, perhaps just a little more often). Reduce rather than eliminate lines and - not having to deal with the side effects- keep smiling...
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Thanks Livlen, I will spend the next month in the Sauna thats for sure! I also just found out that Caci facials can speed up the process too so will give that a go. I went for one of the 'top' guys on Harley St, who is renowned for going for the subtle look and I even asked him to put the smallest amount possible so I don't know why he didn't listen to me! I suppose finding a good Dr to do your Botox is like getting your hair done, when you find a good one stick to them.
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j had botox in my forehead and upper/lower lip. have been to the er twice with chest pain. sob. hoarse voice. tightness in my jaws. thought i was having a heart attack. test were all normal. this is the worse feeling in the world. and athe sad reality i was never told by the doctor that there could be any side effects. never again.
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