For the past couple of years I have been putting a lot more focus on upping my skincare game. We are finally in a place where I feel like I can invest more in regular treatments and good skincare products. As I get older, I really want my skin to be a top priority. One of the treatments I mentioned getting a little while ago was Botox. And after posting about it on Instagram, I learned it is a hot topic! A lot of you were very for it and love getting it. But so many of you were skeptical and full of questions.
So to help clear the air on a few myths, as well as answer some questions on the actual benefits of Botox, I sat down with our close friend Jerry to answer all your questions! Jerry is an amazing Plastic Surgeon and Hand Surgeon here in the Salt Lake area + also works at Form Med Spa and is so educated on what he does. I honestly don’t think I would have ventured in to trying Botox if it weren’t for his knowledge and professionalism, and I know his answers will help you out so much in knowing if it is right for you! So let’s get started!
:: I know most people get Botox for “preventative” reasons in regards to aging or their looks. What are the actual medical benefits?
Botulinum toxin was originally used for the specific purpose of medically treating “bleoharospasm,” a medical condition that causes one to blink uncontrollably. Ophthalmologists used botulinum neurotoxin to help decrease the spasms, and in the process, noticed less wrinkles around the eyes!
The medical use has expanded over the years. The FDA has approved various botulinum toxins to treat conditions like cervical dystonia, severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (significant sweating in the arm pits), striabismus, as well as significant glabellar rhytids (wrinkles).
:: Does it really help with migraines?
Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) is FDA approved for treatment of chronic migraines, so yes! It can help with certain types. The best way to find out if it would help one’s migraines would be to talk to your plastic surgeon!
:: What is the typical price for Botox? Is it always priced per unit.
Most plastic surgeons and medical spas will charge by the unit, because it is sold by the manufacturers by the unit. Dosing is also based on units, so it is the most straightforward way to calculate cost. Usually it can run $12 – $16/unit locally. Always know who is injecting you and what product they are using! There are unapproved neurotoxins being shipped here from out of the country that are not regulated and the dosing/effect is unknown. So be careful! If the price per unit is extremely low (let’s say, $6/unit) be very careful! You get what you pay for.
::What are the long term effects?
There are no long term effects, other than it may help prevent deeper wrinkle formation over time.
:: Does it make your skin or muscles worse in the long run if you stop doing it?
I’ve never heard of anyone complaining that neurotoxin made their skin or muscles worse. We specifically target certain muscles of facial expression that are temporarily paralyzed, but these come back over time. It is a dose dependent medication, meaning the more you inject at once has more of an effect on those muscles.
:: Once it “fades” are you more susceptible to wrinkles?
The effects of botulinum toxin injections are temporary, so there is no permanence to their effects. That is good and bad! Good, because if it doesn’t provide exactly what you were expecting (which is rare!), it will “fade” over 3-4 months. Bad, because if you really like the effects then it will also “fade,” and you will need repeat injections! Actually, people that get it frequently are less susceptible to wrinkles over time.
:: Is sensitive skin a risk factor with Botox?
People have varying skin types and tones. Regardless, botulinum toxin doesn’t typically affect skin.
:: What is the typical maintenance?
After the first injection, most people start to see the botulinum toxin “fade” around 3 months and muscle movement (and wrinkles) start to return. This is the best time to have a repeat injection or “maintenance treatment.”
:: How often does the average person have to get injections to maintain the same look?
Typically every 3-4 months initially, but if done frequently and timely it can be stretched out to six months to have the same effect.
:: I’ve heard it causes a lot of bruising. Is that a normal/expected reaction?
It is pretty uncommon to have bruising (at least from what I’ve seen) and is not an extremely common side effect, although, it can happen. Best is to gently ice and is usually covered up easily by a little makeup.
:: How painful is it?
Very minimal pain. There are also vibrating devices (e.g. NuVibe) that help distract while the injections are made. When I inject, it typically takes less than 45 seconds. The needles used are very small (29 or 30 gauge).
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Hopefully that helps answer some of your questions in regards to Botox and knowing if it is something that is right for you! If you have any other questions, please leave them here or over on Instagram and I will have Jerry answer them as well and add them to the post for everyone! You can follow along to learn more about Botox + Plastic Surgery from Jerry (and really because he is so dang funny too) over at @jerrychidestermd on Instagram.