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BOTOX® – My Two Cents

BOTOX® – My Two Cents

I was driving to pick up my daughter from school one day and as I was sitting at the red light, I caught my face in the rear view mirror….in my opinion the dreaded rear view mirror that shows way too much and the light just always seems to catch all the imperfections! What I saw surprised me…I noticed these two small vertical lines right in the middle of my eyebrows, that I now know they are referred to as 11’s. For the rest of the drive and the evening I kept looking at these lines that I had not noticed before but were now definitely there clear as day. I wasn’t frowning or showing any facial expression if anything it was the typical “resting bitch face” that I had going on. And man was I not happy with the new Mr. Eleven’s.

At this point, I began doing some research on BOTOX® and what it can be used for. Allergan, the manufacture of BOTOX® has done a great job of marketing considering BOTOX® is like a household name that we all hear, know and recognize but do we really understand?!

What exactly is it? Botulinum toxin type A, the popular neurotoxin that, when injected in the face, will reduce muscle movement and lessen the appearance of wrinkles. There are many other functions for BOTOX® including the treatment of migraines, TMJ, and hyperhidrosis (excess sweating) just to name a few.

The cost to do an area like the 11s is typically about $200-$250. Smaller areas like the little lines around the eyes called “crows feet” are typically about $150-$200. Larger areas like the whole forehead are typically around $250-$300. The areas of which BOTOX® can be used are numerous on the face including what’s already been reference plus around the mouth to prevent the “downy frowny” look and the platysmal bands of the neck.

surprised looking womanWhat I expected:

Lots of needles and a frozen face. My biggest fear was having to walk around with that surprised look on my face all the time. Thankfully what I got was a small needle that I barely felt. It hurts worse to tweeze my eyebrows. And I got a natural looking unfrozen face. I was still able to make all my normal facial expression I just didn’t have the ugly Mr. Eleven staring back at me. I was still able to give my daughter the “I am Mommy and you are in trouble if you don’t stop” look.

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What’s the difference in providers or is there even a difference?

These days you can get BOTOX® at the dentist and even in the OBGYN office. Personally, I won’t go to the foot doctor for my heart condition. My choice is to get my BOTOX® done in a plastic surgeon’s office by the doctor and not the Nurse injector. The reason for this is the plastic surgeon has completed many of years of schooling and practice including residencies and such, giving them the more advanced training. This is not a person who took a weekend course to inject me with neurotoxin in my FACE! The other piece I loved about meeting with a plastic surgeon is she noticed that my one eye droops more than the other and she suggested a little BOTOX® to lift the one side so that they matched. She also made some suggestions for the lower part of my face including my neck for some tightening and my lips for some filler (more to come on these topics in the future).

Getting a comprehensive consultation in order to review my goals and suggested treatment options was very helpful. Knowledge is key in order to make the best and right decision based on individual needs.

What it’s actually like:

I held a small ice back to my forehead in between my eyebrows for about 3 minutes. Dr. Bowen had me make a few facial expressions in order to show where the muscle was pulling the strongest. She made a little mark with a marker based on these facial expressions. Then I closed my eyes, Dr. Bowen did about 3-4 injections in about 1 minute and then it was done. It was quick, easy, and painless. Literally, I tear up when I tweeze my eyebrows, and this didn’t even do that.

The Aftermath:

Since getting BOTOX® for the first time, I get it every 3-5 months depending on my schedule. Typically, it is suggested to be treated every 3-4 months to maintain your results. For some people it lasts longer.  BOTOX® typically takes up to 5 days before you see the full result from the treatment. I saw a slight improvement immediately but the full result at 5 days is spectacular.

After receiving BOTOX®, it is important not to exercise, bend over, or lie down all day. Things like getting a massage or taking that Zumba class needs to be before your appointment or not until the next day. Typically, it is suggested for 4 hours post treatment not to do these things but the longer you can wait the better it is. The reason for this is because the BOTOX® can move and that is when things like what we see on an episode of “Botched” happens. It could result in a dropping or lazy eye effect for example. The good news is it wears off, so even if you forget or don’t follow the post care instructions the lazy eye is not a permanent feature.

I have never experienced any bruising in the few times I have gotten BOTOX®, however the chance for a bruise is still possible as there is still a needle that is puncturing the skin.

The best way I can explain what happens after you get BOTOX® done is that you have this refreshed look. It opens up the facial features, smooths out the fine lines and wrinkles making you look more rejuvenated and younger. I always get compliments after getting my BOTOX® done and most of the time it’s in the form of asking if I have gotten my hair done or if it’s a new lipstick since the improvement is so subtle most are unable to determine what it is that looks better.

For me, I will continue my routine BOTOX® treatments to keep Mr. Eleven at bay but also as a method of prevention in the anti-aging arena. I would highly recommend Dr. Diane Bowen at Golden Isles Center for Plastic Surgery for all your surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation needs!