Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly does Botox do?
Botox, Dysport, and other neuromodulators temporarily weaken the signal between the nerves and muscles of your face in areas that create wrinkling with facial expression. When performed conservatively as an individualized art, Botox can help you look more youthful and awake, but still completely natural. When done by someone inexperienced or heavy handed, Botox can create unnatural looks, heaviness, drooping, or other problems.
Is Botox safe for your face?
Botox, Dysport, and other neuromodulators like Xeomin are safe when used appropriately and conservatively by an experienced professional. This should ideally be a board-certified physician in the core four aesthetic specialties of dermatology, plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery, or ENT/facial plastic surgery.
At what age should you start getting Botox?
I am a conservative board-certified dermatologist who believes in balancing healthy self-image with reasonable anti-aging steps. I do not push my patients get Botox or Dysport too young. I think a board-certified dermatologist can most properly identify the timing between when lines may start to form, and when its time to start treatments to prevent the fine lines from etching into the skin and being more difficult to reverse.
How bad does Botox hurt?
When performed by an experienced core 4 aesthetic physician, Botox may be nearly painless. I use needles so small that sometimes my patients literally do not feel them at all. I do have some patients who prefer to come in early for a few minutes of numbing cream, but it is not necessary by any means.
What are the 3 areas for Botox?
Three common areas for Botox or Dysport treatments are the glabella (frown lines between the eyes, or the elevens), the crows feet (smile lines outside the eyes), and the forehead. However, I also treat patients around the lips, bunny lines of the nose, chin, jawline, and neck, depending on their needs.
What should I know before getting Botox?
The most important thing to know before getting Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, or other neuromodulator injection, is that it is important to see a respected, experienced, board-certified physician from one of the core four aesthetic specialties. Many non-physicians and weekend-trained physicians are performing Botox nowadays, and it is hard to know who has what understanding of how the skin works and what the facial surgical anatomy implies about how much Botox to place, where, and why. You should start by choosing a board-certified dermatologist/dermatologic surgeon, plastic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, or ENT/facial plastic surgeon.
What should you not do after Botox?
I recommend that you do not exercise or travel on an airplane within a few hours (ideally same day) of getting Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin. I also recommend not lying down for a few hours afterwards. Additionally, please avoid facial massage, a facial, or lying down with your face in a doughnut for a body massage. But each physician will have his or her own rules that you should be following. Please do ask.
How should I sleep after Botox?
If it has been at least 4 or 5 hours since your Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin was placed, you can feel free to sleep normally.
Does Botox make you look older after it wears off?
Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin do not make you look older after they wear off. However, you do look older than while your treatment was working (for the normal 2-4 months) because your lines will start to re-form when your muscles recover their normal strength and begin to crease your skin again. For this reason, it is valuable to get your treatments regularly so that you have constant improvement, instead of a back and forth improvement that does not get better over time. Finally, if the treatment you get is wrong, placed poorly, or excessive, you may actually look older while it is in effect, and younger when it finally wears off. In that case, please go next time to a board-certified dermatologist who can best assist with appropriate treatment judgment.
Why does Botox take 2 weeks to work?
Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin work by cleaving the muscle receptor that receives the nerve signal to contract. It takes time for this to happen. And then it takes 3 months (on average) for your muscles to regenerate new receptors. When the receptors are all regenerated, the Botox effect has worn off.