As the most popular cosmetic treatment in the United States, Botox continues to deliver real results to millions across the country. With just a few little pricks, you can fade fine lines and wrinkles from your face. While it may seem simple for some patients, Botox can cause fear and confusion for others. If you’ve been considering giving Botox a try but still have questions, Dr. Asha James explains it all.
Let’s start with the basics …
What is Botox?
Botox is a neurotoxin injectable that works by temporarily stopping the movement of muscles underneath the skin. The movement of these muscles is what causes wrinkles such as worry lines, crow’s feet, frown lines and 11s (those pesky vertical lines between the eyebrows). Once the muscles are weakened by the injection, wrinkles stop forming. The BOTOX® Cosmetic brand was the first FDA-approved cosmetic injection and currently the most well-known injection for the treatment of wrinkles.
How long does Botox last?
The effects of Botox will last between three to six months, depending on the patient. As Botox wears off, muscle movement will gradually return and lines and wrinkles will start to reappear until your next treatment.
Once you start, do you have to continue using Botox?
No, you don’t have to continue to use Botox once you start. For example, if you try Botox and decide it’s not for you, you have no obligation to keep getting injections after your initial treatment. Your Botox will fade away with time, along with its effects.
Does Botox disappear suddenly or gradually?
Botox fades gradually. While the length of time your Botox lasts will vary from patient to patient, the effects of Botox will slowly disappear over time instead of all at once.
Why does Botox take one to two weeks to kick in?
The effects of Botox take time and rarely appear right away. It may take up to two weeks for the results of your Botox to take full effect. This is due to the intricate nature of the injection. Botox works at a very specific level where the nerve meets the muscle, and it takes a while for this process to unfold fully.
Does Botox hurt?
Like most injections, Botox can cause slight discomfort. A typical Botox treatment is not one single injection, but a bunch of little ones spread out across the areas of concern. Some areas may hurt more than others, but each actual injection takes just a couple of seconds. Overall, most patients compare it to a slight pinch or prick. The entire Botox treatment usually takes less than 10 minutes to administer.
Will I look frozen after Botox?
There are many ways to avoid the “frozen” appearance many are fearful of. The most important way is to make sure your physician understands what you want from your Botox. Secondly, the physician should personalize your treatment according to the shape of your face and exactly how your face moves, being careful not to under or over treat.
How many units of Botox should I get?
The number of units varies for each patient but usually ranges from 20 to 60 units. Botox is not a cookie-cutter treatment; it is very personal and depends on each individual’s areas of concern and the look they desire. Dr. James asks patients to move specific parts of their face several times as she is treating them to ensure optimal placement of the injections.
Do I need fewer units the longer I get Botox?
Again, this varies with the patient. Some patients do end up needing a lower number of units after getting Botox treatments for many years, but most patients tend to need the same number of units to achieve the same results. As the patient ages, an individual may even require a higher number of units to achieve a similar look, simply due to the aging process.
How much does Botox cost?
The cost of Botox depends on how many units you get. At Columbia Skin Clinic, patients can save more when we run special promotions. Check our monthly specials. If you are interested in learning more about Botox or would like to make an appointment, call our office to see one of our physicians for Botox today.