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The Top Six Botox Mistakes to Avoid for Flawless Results

by | Injectables

Botox has become an increasingly popular treatment in both cosmetic and medical communities. While it’s most commonly used for its effectiveness in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, botox injections can also effectively treat chronic migraines, neck spasms, excessive sweating, overactive muscles, and to reduce muscle size and strength. You always want to receive your botox injects from a professional who knows the botox mistakes to avoid.

We often get questions about the advantages and disadvantages of Botox as well as any potential Botox side effects. In response, we first note that Botox is a safe and often effective treatment when performed by a trained and experienced provider. Next, we share some tips that can help patients ensure the effectiveness of their treatment while also decreasing the risk of complications. Here are six of the most common mistakes to avoid to ensure that your treatment goes smoothly.

Do not rub or massage your face for four hours after having a Botox injection.

Applying pressure to the treated area can cause the Botox to spread to unwanted areas. Not only will this make your treatment less effective, but it could also result in the relaxation of unintended muscles in other areas.

Be mindful of how you move after Botox.

We advise patients not to lie down, bend over, or exercise for the first four hours after a Botox injection. These activities increase blood flow to the face, which can more or less wash away the Botox before it has fully diffused to the treated areas.

Avoid alcohol immediately before and after receiving Botox.

If you have bruised in the past or are concerned about bruising, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol for 24 hours before and after your treatment. Alcohol won’t impact the effectiveness of Botox, but it is a vasodilator, meaning it stimulates the relaxation and expansion of blood vessels. This increases blood flow near the surface of your skin and causes small puncture sites to continue to bleed and cause bruising. It also can increase the risk of bruising by inactivating platelets, the cells that stop bleeding.

Limit sun exposure.

Patients should avoid exposure to the sun and saunas after Botox. Sunlight can cause pigmentations in the skin that has been punctured by needle injections, so it’s a good idea to limit or avoid sun exposure in the days following an injection. Saunas should be avoided for the first four hours after getting a Botox procedure done, but are acceptable after that. Cold temperatures should have no impact at all.

Always make sure that you are working with an experienced provider and that they follow all best practices.

Having a qualified provider is perhaps the most important way to ensure that your treatment is effective and that there are no complications. Always ensure that you are working with someone who has the proper training and qualifications. Here are some things to keep in mind when asking questions prior to treatment:

  • It might not be a good idea to inject your forehead without also treating frown muscles, as this can result in “brow heaviness.”
  • A properly placed brow lift may be beneficial so that muscles practice and stay up over time.
  • Your provider should consider including bunny lines when doing crows feet so that you don’t get diagonal lines.
  • You should consider getting Botox in your chin so that dimples don’t permanently form over time. However, avoid the sides; the center is the only safe zone.
  • When injecting masseters, which is the treatment of the jaw muscles responsible for grinding and clenching, your provider should try to stay posterior to avoid affecting your smile.

When done properly, Botox is both safe and effective. Our team of medical professionals has the training and experience to help make your treatment easy and reduce the risk of complications. If you are considering Botox and have any questions or concerns, call us today to schedule a consultation.

Botox Mistakes FAQ

Is Botox a Poison?

Botox and other similar wrinkle relaxing agents such as Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau are safe and have been FDA approved for many cosmetic and medical indications. Produced by Clostridium botulinum, Type A formulations on the market are currently indicated for cosmetic use, while Type B is approved for the treatment of muscular dystonia. Just as aspirin can be lethal in high dosage (the mechanism that made it popular as rat poison), other medications can also be harmful in lethal dosage. However, while the lethal botulism dose of Botox is in the 2,500 to 3,500 units for a 150 lb person, a typical cosmetic amount used is significantly below this amount (usually less than 100 units), making the treatments safe for use.

What Is Botox Used For?

Botox is used to treat many conditions from migraines to TMJ pain, to excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Many patients choose to use Botox to diminish signs of aging and aid facial symmetry. Botox is FDA-approved currently to reduce the appearance of frown lines, forehead lines, and crows feet. Off label, it can be used to lift brows, open the eyes, reduce nasal bunny lines, lift the nose tip, decrease nasal flaring, decrease dimpling of the chin, raise lip corners, evert the lips to create a fuller look, decrease a gummy smile, slim the lower part of the face, lift droopy jowls, smooth out neckbands, reduce calf size, treat asymmetry from Bella’s palsy (facial paralysis) amongst other cosmetic and medical implications. Clinically, it is considered safe and effective in these applications and further clinical trials are underway for each FDA approval.

How Long Does Botox Last?

The length of time results will last from Botox depends on several factors. The quantity used, the area injected, the strength of your muscle, your level of sensitivity to the botulinum protein, your metabolism, stress level, and your activity level can all affect the duration of your Botox. On average, patients undergo repeat Botox procedures every three to four months to maintain their results as they notice their muscle action returning.

How Much Does Botox Cost?

The cost of Botox injections can vary greatly. Some providers price their treatments according to the number of units used. Other places price based on the number of areas treated. Price may also vary based on location and the provider’s experience. On average, Botox is priced at $12-20 per unit. A single treatment session typically uses between 20 and 70 units of Botox, depending on the number of muscles treated and the strength used. Therefore, the average price for a session of Botox ranges from $500 to $800. Schedule a consultation with a cosmetic provider to learn how much your treatment will cost.

What Are the Bad Side Effects of Botox?

Botox is considered to be a safe and effective way to treat fine lines and wrinkles. That being said, some minimal side effects can uncommonly be associated with its use, including headaches, dry mouth, infection, itching, and rashes. Other more rare but serious side effects include severe muscle weakness, loss of bladder control, and trouble breathing, talking, or swallowing. Your cosmetic provider will provide you with a comprehensive list of symptoms and make sure you are aware of any life-threatening issues that can occur.

What Should You Not Do After Botox?

For four hours after your Botox treatment, you should avoid exercising, bending over, and lying down. Also, avoid touching or rubbing the areas that are injected to reduce the risk of infection or diffusion into surrounding muscles.

Can I Go For a Walk After Botox?

Many cosmetic providers urge patients to avoid exercise altogether for the first four hours following treatment, as this can decrease their effectiveness due to increased blood flow. We recommend avoiding exercise for 4 hours after your Botox procedure. After that time, you can return to your regular activities.

Should I Move My Face After Botox?

Yes. Contracting the treated muscle twice every 15 minutes helps to uptake the Botox and make your procedure more effective. The area may initially feel numb or strange. However, avoid touching or rubbing your face following Botox treatment since these actions can cause Botox to spread to other, unintended areas and cause adverse side effects.

Can I Drink Coffee After Botox?

While some believe that Caffeine—as well as alcohol, cigarettes, spicy foods, and Niacin supplements—can contribute to increased swelling and irritation, these symptoms are unlikely with Botox injections as the needles are very small and Botox does not cause much trauma.

Can I Go Back to Work After Botox?

Botox is a quick, effective procedure and often only takes 10 minutes or less to complete. Patients typically have no recovery time because Botox is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure. Patients who have active jobs may want to avoid working for 4 hours. Otherwise, most patients can return to their jobs on the same day as their procedure. 

Does Botox Make You Look Older After It Wears Off?

One common misconception is that Botox makes patients look older once it wears off. This is not true! One of the positive “side effects” of Botox is that it can ward off signs of aging, as the areas that are treated have reduced movement and, therefore, are less able to produce further wrinkles. Also, the muscles that pull the face downwards or create frown lines are atrophied a bit after treatment which can continue to be beneficial even after Botox wears off!

What Is a Good Age to Get Botox?

More and more people are getting Botox—and some are doing it pretty early. Although most patients choose to undergo Botox treatments in their early 30s, some people in their mid-20s are choosing Botox as a preventive measure to fight signs of aging. Ultimately, it depends on you, your goals, and your genetic predisposition. If you are one who has extremely deep wrinkles when frowning, the damage from the folded skin can form wrinkles at an earlier age than someone who doesn’t fold as much. Hence, you may want to start prevention earlier. Speak to a cosmetic provider to find out whether Botox is a good fit for your needs.

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