Botox Injections-What Happens When You Get Botox Injections?
Botox Injections - What they are and what they do.
Most people are aware that botox injections can be used to paralyse facial muscles and help to eliminate wrinkles, but many people considering botox are not sure what exactly happens when you visit a cosmetic surgeon to get botox.
To provide a little background information for those amongst you who are not completely familiar with botox I will first explain exactly what botox used for cosmetic purposes (botox cosmetic) actually is.
Licensed by the FDA in the US it is used to temporarily reduce wrinkles. Made from the botulism toxin it works by temporarily paralysing certain muscles in your face. Currently licensed for use in the glabellar lines between the brows it is also used in other areas with success. My own experience of using botox is for crows feet only.
Botox has been used in medicine for many years to treat problems associated with muscular illness but has only recently started to be used for cosmetic reasons.
In the surgery...
Although it varies from country to country botox is usually administered by a medical professional. My personal preference is to have my botox administered by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon due to the extensive experience that they have. My dermatologist specialises in cosmetic treatments so I feel comfortable allowing her to inject me.
On arrival for my first appointment with my dermatologist we discussed the cosmetic issues relating to my face. As I am only 37 I was keen to start with gentle solutions. I live in a very sunny climate, so have had a considerable amount of sun exposure. This probably means that my skin is more damaged than say a 37 year old who has lived in a cold climate.
My particular concerns were for the lines around my eyes, my crows feet. I have noticed in the last few years that not only do I have lines at the corners of my eyes and underneath my eyes, but that they are also starting to spread down my cheeks.
My dermatologist explained that these are best treated with something to improve my skin (more of that later) and something to paralyse the muscles, for which she would use botox.
As a botox newbie I was fairly terrified so we agreed that for my first time we would use a very small amount of botox and then I would return in two weeks when I would tell her whether I thought that I needed any more.
My dermatologist charges per unit, which is a measure of botox. For my first botox session she used 10 units which she charged me $16.50 per unit for. This is a pretty small amount but as my wrinkles are not very well developed yet she thought it would be sufficient.
As a first step I was asked to lie back on a reclining chair. My doctor then asked me to make a very large smile so that she could see exactly how the wrinkles in the corner of my eyes formed. Taking a felt tipped pen she marked the spots where she would inject- two injections per side. One of these was a couple of centimeters out from the corner of my eye, the other was on the top of my cheekbone below the eye on the outer side.
Having marked where she wanted to inject her assistant fetched some ice whilst she filled up the syringe. An ice pack was applied to the spot at which I was to be injected. This was uncomfortable - I don't particularly like cold things on my skin, but was more than bearable. The ice was held there for some considerable time until I could tell that the skin was becoming fairly numb.
The doctor then proceeded to inject me in the pre-marked points. She asked me to close my eyes, which I was more than happy to do as I had no desire to see the needle coming towards me. I also remember one occasion where my daughter was being injected as a child and some of the vaccine squirted out of the needle as it was being injected due to her moving. As I knew it was botulism in the needle I didn't want it in my eye!
The injection itself was not too painful in the areas where it was most numbed. In those areas it was more painful than say a flu jab, but was not really enough to make you catch your breath.
One area however seemed to have been numbed less than the others and I actually found this one quite sore. Enough to exclaim "ow" as I was injected. I can equate the pain to a very sharp stinging sensation. Thankfully it lasts only a couple of seconds.
After the injections the doctor asked me to press on the area with some gauze to help prevent bruising.
At this point I should point out that I am generally fairly squeamish. By this I mean that although I am not actually afraid of needles, I am generally afraid of medical situations. I think for this reason as I lay there pressing on the injection sites I did manage to work myself up into quite a terror. I didn't actually tell the doctor that I was panicking, but I was. So I was quite relieved after a couple of minutes when she told me that I was ready to get up and go. As soon as I sat up I felt better and stopped panicking and feeling dizzy.
After My Botox Injections
After paying my bill and heading out to the car I sat and stared at myself in the interior mirror. I could see four TINY dots where the injection went in and then a redness about the size of a mid sized coin around it. I am honestly not sure whether this came from the ice or the injection however.
Within half an hour the redness had completely subsided and my face looked perfectly normal.
Over the next 2-7 days I saw a gradual change in my wrinkles. Where before my face had tended to crease into masses of lines at the corner of my eyes when I grinned suddenly there was nothing. My skin looked smooth with just the kind of crinkle at the corner that someone aged around 20 might get. I was absolutely thrilled! I was also thrilled how natural it looked. I looked like myself, but myself a few years ago!
I hadn't actually told my husband that I was planning to get botox so I decided not to tell him. I must confess therefore that he noticed absolutely nothing. Whether or not this is a good thing I'm not sure but as I was looking for a mild effect I took it as a good thing!
However, about 3 weeks afterwards I went to a new hairdresser who mentioned something about my age being late 20s. Bingo! For a 37 year old I was pretty happy with that!
What Else My Doctor Gave Me...
My doctor also told me that doing something to brighten my skin would also help how I looked. She gave me a sample of Tazorac cream and you can read my review of that here:
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