What Botox is Really Like: Before and After
At Belle Vie Wellness & Medical Aesthetics, we understand your desire to enhance your natural beauty. Janell Ocampo and her team of licensed medical professionals are certified experts in administering injectables such as Botox, Dysport, Jeuveau, and more. We have many of happy patients in our Cerritos and Costa Mesa locations, serving both Los Angeles and Orange County.
It is understandable to have some fear before trying something new, such as getting Botox for the first time. We want to walk you through the process so you have a full understanding of exactly what to expect. We will cover prep for the treatment, what the treatment feels like, what it feels like kicking in, and what it feels like wearing off.
Before getting your first treatment, it is recommended to come in without makeup. The practitioner will help you identify the area to be treated based on your concerns. Your expectations will be gauged so the provider will know what to educate you on. For example, if you are looking for the most natural result, a lower dose may be discussed, but it is important to educate that more natural results will still reduce movement in an area. If you are looking for a strong line to disappear with Botox injections, it may educated that a stronger dose will be more likely to help, but that depending on the severity of the line, it may take a long time to get the line soft enough to make you happy.
Some supplements, medications, or medical conditions can interfere with the treatment, so a thorough medical history will be taken. It is important to avoid blood thinning medications or supplements, such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil, +), St. John’s Wort, garlic, alcohol, ginkgo biloba, fish oil, and more. This decreases the risk of bruising, although it is possible to bruise despite avoiding all blood thinning supplements.
Right before the treatment, the skin will be prepped with alcohol. This may be a little strong scented, cold, or even mildly irritating to the skin. This is necessary to clean the skin. Other cleaning solutions may be used, such as chlorhexidine.
What Botox Treatment Feels Like
A very small needle will be used to administer the Botox. Between the eyebrows it is common to have three to five mild pokes. In the upper forehead, two to five or more pokes are common. Around the eyes for crow’s feet, two to four pokes are common per eye. Most describe Botox feeling like a small pinch. Some areas are more sensitive than others. For example, Botox for a lip flip is more sensitive than Botox between the brows. For most patients, pain during Botox treatment is little to none. For those with lower pain tolerance, Botox may feel like mild to moderate pain. Even for lower pain tolerance patients the treatment is still very tolerable because it typically takes about five minutes.
After the treatment the area will have small bumps for anywhere from five minutes to an hour. These bumps are the Botox fluid localized in the area. Do not touch or press on these bumps. It is common that patients may not even see them because they typically disappear very quickly. Mild to moderate redness may be expected for five minutes to an hour associated with the needle pokes. For most patients, by the time they get home, all signs of treatment go away. Typically nobody can tell you had treatment.
What Botox Feels Like Kicking In
Different products may kick in faster or slower than other products. For some, this is preferred, but for others it does not make a big difference. Dysport and Jeuveau tend to kick in faster. This averages at showing signs of muscle relaxation at twelve hours after treatment. Botox starts showing signs of muscle relaxation at about twenty-four hours. First time treatments may take longer to kick in. Generally, patients are told that their product may start to kick in at day three, and is done taking effect at day ten. Follow up appointments are often held fourteen days after to keep the same day for convenience of the patient.
What Botox Feels Like Kicked In
Once fully kicked in, at day ten, the Botox is at its strongest. At rest, the muscle feels relaxed. At concentration it can also feel relaxed. Some describe the feeling as tight. Others may say it does not feel like anything but not moving the muscle. The area is not numb, it has full sensation, but the muscle’s ability to move is softened. This is typically associated with a stronger dose. This may be experienced at the beginning of the treatment. Each week that passes by the Botox will wear off. FDA approved areas have doses approved to last three to four months. Other areas may not last three to four months, depending on dose and the strength of the muscles. Depending on dose, the first month feels the strongest and second to third will slowly allow for more movement. If longer duration of the strong effect is desired, a higher dose is typically recommended.
What Botox Feels Like Wearing Off
Anywhere from one to six months later, the muscle relaxation will wear off. It is possible but not common to have mild muscle twitches as the muscle regains movement. As the movement comes back, the concern may come back. For example, if a concern was lines between the eyebrows, Botox will keep the skin flat so the line is not aggravated and has the potential to soften or smoothen out. When movement is regained, the movement has the potential to create the lines again. This is why it is recommended to retreat three months after initial treatment. If movement has not come back in three months, it is okay to wait a few weeks, or until movement starts to come back.
Some ask if once Botox is started, if it has to be continued forever. No, you do not have to continue to treat, you can stop, but you will want to continue. It is possible to treat and to not continue if the treatment was not for you, or if you forget to schedule an appointment. The concern will come back, and you will then have an option to treat again. If there was anything that was not liked about the treatment, bring it up to the provider, because it is likely that it can be addressed, or the treatment be changed next time so to meet your expectations.