Wrinkles are an inevitable part of the aging process. As you get older, your skin gets drier and less elastic. Wrinkles can form around your eyes (also known as ‘crow’s feet’), on your forehead and on the edges of your lips. If these lines are making you frown when you look in the mirror, perhaps it’s time to do something about it. Botox may be the answer.
“Botox is an injection that can relax muscles and prevent laugh lines,” says Heidi Efinger, nurse practitioner at Central Wellness in Billings, Montana. “It tells the muscles not to move and makes those wrinkles literally disappear.”
It is clinically proven to decrease the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines and wrinkles in over 11 million women and men, but if you’ve never had a Botox treatment before, here are five things you should know before your first visit:
- Botox is safe. It’s an FDA-approved treatment for the area between your eyes (your scowl), the forehead, and for crow’s feet. Botox is also used to treat migraines, neck and shoulder pain and excess sweating. However, tell your Botox professional if you have any muscular conditions.
- Professionals should be certified. Botox is a medical procedure that takes approximately 30 minutes and should be done by a certified medical professional. “You should know who is injecting you and choose a certified professional who has had Botox experience,” says Efinger.
- You’re not ‘numb.’ Contrary to popular belief, Botox injections prevent the muscles from moving, but do not give you a numb feeling.
- There may be minor side effects. Botox injections are done with a very fine needle, which can cause swelling, redness, bleeding and bruising, but every patient is different. “You might also have a headache in the first 24 hours because the tension in your muscles is starting to relax,” says Efinger.
Certain vitamins can increase your chances of bruising and you should not drink alcohol before your procedure. However, you can take Tylenol to reduce the chances of bruising.
- The effects of Botox injections last about three months. There is no recovery time with Botox injections. “It takes a seven to 10 days to take full effect, and costs approximately $350 per treatment,” says Efinger.