Everything You Need to Know About Botox Before You Try It

If you feel like you’ve tried everything to treat your wrinkles and nothing has worked, Botox might be your next step. However, thanks to the entertainment industry, the procedure seems a lot more dramatic and scary than it actually is.

Botox may get a bad rap, but as long as it isn’t overdone, there’s no reason to be afraid of giving it a try. Here’s everything you need to know about Botox if you’re considering going under the needle.

1. Botox is safe

A doctor injects a patient with Botox at a cosmetic treatment center

Make sure you visit someone who knows what they’re doing. | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Botox might sound scary, but as long as you find a qualified practitioner who will inject it correctly and in controlled doses, it’s totally safe. Dr. Stafford Broumand, a New York City plastic surgeon, explained just how it works in an interview with InStyle.

After the compound gets injected, it will bind itself to receptors in in your muscle, targeting its nerves. As a result, “When your nerve releases a chemical to make that particular muscle fire or trigger, it can’t.”

He added, “The function decreases, and the wrinkle that forms when the muscle contracts will diminish, or go away completely. It’s not a static thing, though. Your body regenerates those receptors over time.”

Next: Here’s everything you can get Botox for.

2. It can be used in a number of areas

Mature woman applying moisturizer to her skin in a mirror

The procedure can help in multiple places. | studiokovac/iStock/Getty Images

Botox can be injected in a number of areas — and for a number of reasons. Most commonly, patients will receive injections for “crow’s feet around the eye area, glabella creases between the eyes, brow furrows, and in horizontal wrinkles on the forehead.”

Broumand has injected Botox into patients’ jawline, with the purpose of counteracting bone loss and elevate a downturned lip. He explained it as “sort of like a Mona Lisa effect rather than a frowning look.”

Although it is less commonly known, Botox can eve be injected into the armpit to halt sweat and odor for months. Broumand explained, “It’s game-changing for some people, and is one of the most impactful non-cosmetic treatments for Botox.”

Next: Don’t get these two confused.

3. Botox isn’t a filler

Female Doctor Meeting With Patient In Exam Room

Your doctor will be able to explain the details. | monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Some might assume Botox is equivalent to fillers, but it acts completely differently. As InStyle explained, “While Botox impacts the muscle, filler does exactly as its name suggests: it’s used to fill wrinkles or even out any mismatches in volume on the face.”

Broumand added, “Products like Juvederm or Restalyne can be used to fill lips, and fill in certain creases around the face.” A filler might be a good idea for any wrinkles that are too deep for Botox, but it will still be a temporary treatment, lasting for about nine months.

Next: Here’s what you need to expect about the results.

4. Expect realistic results

Woman with braids

Results will vary. | MangoStar_Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Botox gets a bad rap for its overuse in Hollywood, so don’t go into it thinking you’ll look like a Real Housewives star afterward. The goal should be to simply stay looking the same, rather than making some drastic change. Broumand advised, “It’s a good way of averting fine wrinkles, but I don’t want young people to be negatively influenced into believing it’s necessary.”

He added, “People can start in their late 20s or early 30s, and it’s more about maintenance — if there are issues that are arising and can be resolved with medical treatments, then by all means, but we never want to change the character of a person’s face.”

Next: This is how long it lasts.

5. It lasts for about three to four months

Lyn Talent receives a free Botox injection

This is how long you can expect to see the results. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

The results of Botox are temporary, typically lasting about three to four months. Your body regenerates new receptors in the muscle over that period of time, so regular treatment will be necessary if you want a more permanent fix.

According to Broumand, regular Botox treatments will result in decreased muscle activity, so you may only need smaller doses each time. “As you treat the muscles that cause the wrinkles, they get smaller and less vigorous, so you aren’t as likely to form the wrinkles and won’t need it so frequently,” he explained. “You’ll get to a point where you need less Botox to achieve the same results you’ve been getting.”

Next: This is unlikely to happen.

6. Building an immunity to Botox is rare

Teenage Girl Visits Doctor's Office

Ask your doctor about your concerns. | M-imagephotography/ iStock/Getty Images Plus

Be aware that it can take between one and 10 days to see the effects of Botox, so if you don’t see an immediate change, don’t assume it isn’t working. Some have claimed their bodies have become immune to Botox, but it’s extremely rare that it would actually happen.

Broumand recalled, “I can count in the 15 years that I’ve been doing this, maybe two people saying they’ve developed an immunity, but I don’t know if it’s because they didn’t come in frequently.”

Next: This is the most important thing to keep in mind.

7. It’s all about moderation

Man wearing white clothes posing in sea scenery

Keep in mind that aging is natural. | iStock.com/Kiuikson

The most important thing to keep in mind when considering Botox? It’s all about moderation. You don’t want to overdo it by any means, but even if you somehow end up with a botched procedure, your features will eventually return to normal.

Broumand deems the best way to keep your Botox treatments moderate is by treating it like maintenance. He explained, “You don’t drive your car into the ground and get it fixed every 10 years — you do regular maintenance to keep it running like new.”

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