The thought of needles in the face concern a lot of first time Botoxers, and many people avoid Botox solely for that reason. In reality, Botox injections don’t really hurt very much – very tiny needles are used and these tiny needles are not injected very deeply. Everyone has a different pain threshold so its hard to predict how much it is going to hurt you. But, the average person describes a slight pinprick sensation and most agree in retrospect that it was “no big deal”. On average, the crows feet injections around the eyes hurt the least and upper lip injections hurt the most.
Typically a Botox injection session goes like this. The patient sits on a table, partially reclined with a pillow supporting their head. The injection areas are cleansed and a topical anesthetic gel is applied. Each injection point is marked with an eyebrow pencil. The needle is inserted just barely through the skin. Facial muscles sit very close to the surface and so the injection doesn’t have to go deep at all. The appropriate number of units are then injected. Botox is injected as a highly concentrated solution, so only a small volume of liquid is needed. The Botox is quickly injected and the needle is withdrawn. Usually a small raised area of skin is left behind and this quickly returns to normal with 10-20 minutes.
Depending on the area injected, several injections are usually required. As an example, 5 injections are required in the brow area (between the eyebrows.) A common misconception is that only 1 unit is injected per injection site. This is usually not the case. For the typical brow injection, 4 units per injection is needed at 5 injection sites for a total of 20 units.
What can you expect after your injections? Unlike common portrayals in the movies, Botox does not work immediately. It can take a few days for you to start noticing the relaxation effect. The muscles then continue to relax for several more days after that. You won’t see the full effect of your Botox for two weeks.
How long does Botox last? Typically this is quite variable and is different from person to person. It is dependant on how many units are injected (more units = longer effect), the strength of the muscles, and each person’s own unique chemical makeup. The muscle-relaxing effects of your Botox should be expected to last anywhere from 3-5 months. Most regular Botox clients see their doctor 3-4 times yearly. If your Botox is lasting less than 3 months and you would like it to last longer, then your doctor will likely recommend that a few more units be injected the next time.
Steven Jepson, M.D. operates one of Utah’s most popular medical spas and is a recognized expert in Aesthetic Medicine. He is also one of Utah’s top Botox injectors. He is author of the book “7 Ways to Look Younger Without Undergoing the Knife”. Visit his website at http://www.UDMPC.com.