Botox injections have been growing in popularity year over year. It has been one of the top five minimally-invasive procedures most requested for years. Among the 15.9 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures performed in 2018, Botox® accounted for 7.44 million procedures, up 3% from 2017.
There are various things to consider when receiving a Botox® treatment. For starters, it is essential to receive the injection from a qualified healthcare professional. This ensures that the best practices are used, and the results of the Botox® injection are correctly administered.
While a Botox® treatment is not a dangerous procedure, there is a wide array of do’s and don’ts; you must keep in mind.
The Do’s of Botox®
Here are certain factors patients need to follow through for a successful Botox® treatment.
1. Choose the right practice
Not everyone is qualified to administer Botox injections. For the best and safest results, it is essential to seek out the right clinic for your procedure. Make sure that the professional who does the procedure is equipped with the right qualifications and skills to do so.
When searching for the right practice, look at the qualifications of the professional. Remember, only certain healthcare professionals, typically medical doctors and nurses can offer injectable cosmetic treatment and they must have attended qualified certification training. In some states, other healthcare professionals may be allowed within their scope of practice, e.g. PA’s, dentists, and naturopathic physicians. It is always best to research who will be injecting you.
Additionally, those who administer Botox® injections undergo a wide variety of training. In some unique cases, some issues can happen. For instance, some people tend to have an allergic reaction to the injection. In such cases, prompt action needs to be taken by the practitioner, which can only occur if the said person is trained for all Botox® injection outcomes.
When choosing the right practice, it is also essential to consider the location where the procedure will be carried out. Make sure that the place is safe, clean and appropriate to avoid the onset of any infection. As per FDA guidelines, Botox® injecting should be done in a clinical and clean environment. Botox® parties are not that.
2. Be honest with the physician before the treatment
Sometimes patients are so determined to improve their appearance that they might be untruthful about any element that they may think hampers their chances of getting the procedure done. However, this can be very dangerous. The best-case scenario of lying to the physician is that the procedure won’t be as successful as it should be. The worst-case scenario is that you might be allergic to some elements of the treatment, which the healthcare provider has not been made aware of.
Therefore, it is essential always to be upfront with the healthcare provider regarding any ailments you have or the medications you are taking. The latter is necessary because sometimes certain medications can cause the blood to become thin. Other drugs may alter the way the body processes the Botox®. Either way, a healthcare provider needs a transparent patient history beforehand to ensure the safety and quality of the procedure.
3. Take it slow
Some patients want quick results and think there will be desired results with their first injection. However, to best guarantee satisfaction after the results begin showing, it is recommended that a conservative approach be taken. Being conservative with the Botox® injection is the best approach. Begin by getting a minimal quantity injected. See and evaluate the results and then decide whether more is required or not.
4. Stay still during the procedure
Botox injections are not unbearably painful, however, there is still some discomfort. If you are sensitive to pain, it is advisable to inform the healthcare provider so they can walk you through the procedure to ensure you are comfortable. To ensure that the Botox® reaches the desired area of the face and no mistakes are made, it is essential for the patient to stay still when the Botox® is being injected.
5. Follow the right aftercare
After receiving Botox injections, there are various things patients must do to guarantee the best results. For instance, it is essential to stay upright for at least two hours after the completion of the treatment. This helps in making sure that no additional pressure is exerted in the area. This, in turn, helps in avoiding increased blood flow to the area. If the pressure is exerted to the said area, it might result in the Botox® being dispersed, and hence the effects won’t last long.
Similarly, it is recommended that the patient should make an effort to move the injected areas during the first hour following the treatment. Do so by making different facial expressions, ranging from raising eyebrows to frowning. After the Botox® has been injected into the area, movement plays a role in transporting the Botox® to the right cells.
It is also advised that rigorous exercise causing sweating to be avoided for at least 48 hours after the procedure. This is because heat also increases the blood flow to the face, which reduces the longevity of the procedure.
The Don’ts of Botox®
There are quite a few things that should be avoided before, during and after a Botox® procedure. This includes the following:
1. Take certain medications
Some medications that may seem harmless and familiar to patients are the worst enemies of Botox® treatments. This is because such medicines cause the blood to become thin, which leads to post-Botox® bruising. Such medications include Ibuprofen, Omega 3, Aspirin, Vitamin E and other meds or supplements. To best ensure that such side-effects are avoided post-treatment, seek the advice of the healthcare provider before taking anything.
2. Get Botox Injections if pregnant or breastfeeding
While there is no definitive study showcasing any harm or danger if Botox® is injected into pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding, there haven’t been any clinical tests that showcase that the process is not dangerous. There is no current way to determine whether the process is safe in such situations.
To be on the safe side, it is better to avoid such injections when pregnant or breastfeeding.
3. Bother the injected area
The face may feel different after facial Botox injections. It is common to feel uncomfortable during and after the procedure. One might also get the urge to massage or rub the area the Botox® has been injected in. However, this should be avoided at all cost, especially right after the treatment. This is because the injected area needs due time to recover from the procedure. While natural movements like frowning and raising eyebrows etc. are recommended, unnecessary movements like massaging the face should be avoided.
4. Lie face-down
It takes at least two and up to four hours for the skin to recover from the treatment. Since the Botox® procedure can be exhausting for some, it is understandable that some patients might want to crash after getting the surgery done. However, it is not recommended to do so. For the first few hours, you should not lie face-down. This is because the injected areas might experience a surge in pressure, which reduces the effectiveness of the treatment.
Sunbathing is a very popular activity during the summer, however, Botox® patients should not expose their skin to extreme heat. While you might think that you can bear the sunrays, the fact is that your skin cannot. The reason is that right after a Botox® procedure, the skin becomes very sensitive and can bruise quite easily. By exposing it to the sun, the risk of dilating the blood vessels, and hence causing redness, increases. It is best to avoid sun tanning and heat lamps until the initial swelling of the process has disappeared.
6. Drinking alcohol
Alcohol and Botox® do not work well together. In fact, alcohol can cause some serious consequences if consumed right after getting a Botox® treatment. Alcohol can thin the blood and it can cause the blood vessels to dilate, which can result in unnecessary bruising. It is recommended that drinking alcohol be avoided for at least a few days following the treatment.
Botox® is a safe and minimally invasive procedure. If administered from a qualified healthcare provider, there isn’t much to worry about. But, it is vital to play your part and follow the do’s and don’ts before and after the surgery for the best results.
For more information, visit the IAPAM’s Aesthetic Medicine Symposium with Botox Training website!