Botox 101: An Overview

Before and After of Dysport for Crow's Feet at Skin by Lovely Santa Monica
*Individual results may vary

Women and men around the world count on Botox to diminish the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines. If you’re looking for a solution to wrinkles appearing between the eyes, Botox might be the answer.

Botox is an FDA-approved prescription medicine that’s injected into the skin. The treatment uses injections to stop nerve impulses from reaching muscles, causing the muscles to relax for a softer look. With no down time required, the treatment makes an effective, affordable alternative to cosmetic surgery.

You’ll notice a difference in a few days, with more dramatic improvements appearing within weeks. Need further proof that Botox works? A 2010 study found that 92 percent of participants were happy with the way Botox made them look.

Pain during Botox injections is minimal and doesn’t last long. Local numbing with anesthetic cream or a cold pack helps minimize discomfort. The procedure usually takes only about 10 minutes, and side effects are generally minor.

Results last for several months; more treatments are required to maintain your smooth, youthful look. After a number of Botox cosmetic injections, however, your facial muscles become trained to relax and less frequent treatments may be required.

Botox Side-Effects: What you need to know

All aesthetic procedures carry the risk of side-effects, which is why our experienced and licensed injection specialists will take a thorough medical history to determine if you’re a good candidate for Botox or Botox alternatives, like Dysport or Xeomin, injections for anti-aging.

Common, minor side-effects include bruising, bleeding and pain, though these side-effects can be minimized with good preparation and aftercare.

Some people do have allergic reactions to Botox, although this is rare and can generally be predicted with a thorough medical history before injections. Symptoms of allergic reaction include dizziness, itching and wheezing. Our injection specialists will discuss these reactions and what to do in the unlikely event that you have an allergic response to Botox.

What about frozen faces, droopy eyelids and lopsided smiles?

Many patients are concerned with potential side-effects that will affect their results and make them look strange, frozen or droopy. This rarely happens, though when it does it’s usually due to the patient rubbing or massaging the area that was treated. Sometimes it can also be caused by an injector who isn’t qualified or experienced with Botox and filler injections, so it’s important to make sure that your injector is highly-skilled, qualified, trained and certified to perform these injections.

Reduce your potential side effects by disclosing your entire medical history prior to a Botox treatment; this includes any and all medical problems you have and medications, antibiotics, vitamins, supplements and herbal treatments you take or have taken recently. Make sure to stop taking anything your injection specialist instructs you to discontinue, but discuss this with your regular doctor prior to stopping any medications.

How Much Does Botox Cost?

Are you thinking about a Botox procedure to get rid of your frown lines? Botox offers a great method of looking younger, but cost concerns may have you thinking twice. How much does Botox cost? The exact price varies widely from person to person. Your individual needs will factor into the cost, but there are some facts about the price of Botox that you can review before you make an appointment.

Botox costs are based on the number of units that need to be used to treat problem areas. The number of units depends on the severity of lines and the size of the area. A professional at Skin by Lovely can discuss your individual needs to help you understand the costs of your Botox procedure.

Discounts are available through the Brilliant Distinctions program from Botox manufacturer Allergan. You earn points to save money and earn free procedures and products during future appointments each time you come in for a Botox procedure.

Booking an appointment with a top-quality facial rejuvenation clinic is always worth the cost. Skin by Lovely is a world-class advanced facial aesthetics practice that is conveniently located in Santa Monica, CA and Portland, OR. Improve your appearance with a Botox procedure. The procedure takes only about 15 minutes to complete, and Skin by Lovely features a luxurious atmosphere that helps you feel at ease during any treatment.

Before and after Botox Treatment at Skin by Lovely Lake Oswego
*Individual results may vary.

Botox Alternatives Available

Botox is one of today’s best cosmetic treatments since it effectively decreases the signs of aging. As we age, wrinkles begin to form, lines appear and cheeks start to sag. Botox relaxes your facial muscles while other injectable formulas, such as Restylane, are inserted underneath your wrinkles and lines to smooth them out of your skin.

Botox Alternatives

Several alternate anti-aging treatment options are available. For instance, you can purchase a topical treatment that combines medications with cosmetics. Industry experts refer to the combination as cosmeceuticals. According to the product’s manufacturers, the substance will decrease wrinkles and lessen the occurrence of new ones on your face.

Topical treatments with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid may also reduce the signs of aging. To uncover younger looking skin, the treatment option strips away old skin cells from your face. It also decreases the appearance of wrinkles.

Many also believe that facial acupuncture can give you younger looking skin, and many aesthetic practices, including our
own in Santa Monica, offers micro-needling treatments to stimulate collagen production for anti-aging.

Other Botox alternatives include Dysport and Xeomin, which are also botulinum toxin injectables that may be used in lieu of Botox for different results and indications. Ask your injection specialist which wrinkle relaxing injectable is right for you.

Are Alternate Treatments Better than Botox?

Botox alternatives have their place in any anti-aging regimen, but it’s important to discuss which ones are best for your specific needs to make sure you get the results you’re looking for without the side-effects. Basically, there are no wrinkle relaxing treatments that are “better than” Botox, but there are many that are better suited for you or necessary to complement your Botox treatments.

Botox for Migraine Treatment

Botox is one of the most widely studied products in the history of medicine. It has 10 approved indications from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as of the publication of this article. Botox isn’t just for wrinkles and frown lines. It has practical medical applications in addition to its cosmetic uses. It’s been used to treat excessive sweating in the armpits, feet and the palms of the hands. It can alleviate eye spasms, overactive bladder, neck pain, muscle spasms, stroke symptoms and stiff muscles. It is also used to effectively control migraine headaches by desensitizing nerve pathways.

A migraine causes acute, throbbing, localized pain in the head. Frequently, sufferers also experience nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light. Some three million people in the United States suffer from migraines regularly. Around 75 percent of those folks are women. Most people take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen to relieve the symptoms, though many must rely on prescription strength medications under the care of a physician. However, some people get no relief from those drugs. If you’re one of those people, Botox is another possible solution for you.

To treat migraines, Botox is injected around the neck and head to relax the muscles and block any headache pain signals. Treatments must be repeated every 12 weeks. If you suffer from chronic migraines, you’ll find that regular treatments are well worth it. They provide such extensive relief that most patients can reduce their use of pain medications.

Migraine headaches can completely disable a person. Continued treatments with Botox enable sufferers to resume their normal business and social lifestyle.

How to Find Botox Deals in Portland, OR and Los Angeles, CA

If you are considering Botox treatments in Los Angeles or Portland, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal. That doesn’t just mean the cheapest price; you want the best price AND professional results.

Contact our office to ask for Botox pricing. Different offices use different methods: some charge by treatment area while others charge by number of units used. Our practices in Santa Monica and Portland focus on per-unit pricing, so you only pay for the Botox we use for you.

Next, ask about the qualifications of your treatment provider. Botox treatments must be performed by an appropriately licensed aesthetic healthcare providers. If the treatments are being performed without this level of training, it doesn’t matter how cheap the price is: it’s not worth the risk. Ask how many treatments they have performed to determine their level of experience and check out their Botox before & after photos on their websites.

Skin by Lovely is classified as a “Black Diamond” practice by Allergan, the makers of Botox and Juvederm, and a “Chairman’s” level provider of Restylane and Dysport with Valeant. These are the highest possible ratings, placing us in the top 1 percent of aesthetic treatment offices in the United States.

Skin by Lovely has TWO national trainers on clinical staff. Our teaching faculty members travel around the United States and Canada teaching surgeons and dermatologists how to use these amazing anti-aging products. Our office also serves as a training center for Allergan and Valeant and hosts Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs. When patients come to our office, they are coming to where aesthetic physicians learn their craft.

Do Botox Injections Hurt?

Thousands of men and women receive Botox injections each year, and it only takes a few minutes to administer the injections. The popular procedure is well-known for smoothing away facial wrinkles, but Botox can also be used to stop excessive perspiration and relieve migraine headaches, in addition to many additional medical applications that are currently being studied. If you are considering Botox injections but fear that the procedure will be too painful, you will be relieved to know that Botox injections rank very low on the pain scale.

Botox injections are administered via a very thin needle, and that is part of the reason why many patients do not report having an unpleasant reaction to the procedure. When asked to describe the feeling of a Botox injection, patients often compare it to an insect bite or a brief pinch. Others state that the injection stings but promise that the feeling goes away after just a few minutes. You typically won’t feel much discomfort during or after the procedure, and you can even return to work or school that same day.

Watch this First-Time Botox Treatment in Portland, OR

Numbness is another possibility that concerns many Botox candidates. Your face may temporarily feel a bit numb after the procedure, but numbness is rare and does not last permanently. Botox is not injected into nerves, so it cannot cause long-term damage that results in numbness. The injections are safe and effective, and the odds are in your favor that you won’t experience a significant amount of pain from the procedure.

FDA Approval for Botox

As of the publication date of this article, Botox has received 10 FDA approvals, more than any other medication in history! This alone shows the safety of this cosmetic treatment for anti-aging, plus several medical applications that improve quality of life for migraine sufferers, hyperhidrosis patients and abnormal spasms of the eyelids (blepharospasms).

If you have questions about the safety of Botox, come in for a complimentary consultation in our medical spa in Los Angeles or our Portland facial aesthetic practice to find out more.