A Beginner’s Guide to Botox

Botox for beginners - a guide from ICLS Dermatology and Plastic Surgery

For those who’ve never tried Botox, there can be a lot of questions. Botox recently celebrated its 20 year anniversary, so concerns about its efficacy are rare. We know it works to relax and smooth dynamic wrinkles caused by repetitive muscle movements. We also know it’s safe, at least when administered correctly to individuals without contraindications.

How it will work on you, specifically, is another story. At ICLS our expert nurse injectors have compiled a list of their most frequently asked questions to help any Botox beginner wade through the confusion.

What will I look like after?
Most people feel like they look refreshed and relaxed after, or like they just had a good night sleep. There is no “ICLS Look” only the ICLS Advantage, and ours is having a team of highly talented, internationally trained, patient-centric injectable nurses. 

Are there any contraindications?
Yes, contradictions include previous allergic reaction, neuromuscular disease including myasthenia gravis and MS, pregnancy, and active infection.

I don’t want to look frozen. 
We don’t want you to look frozen either – just relaxed and refreshed. During your consultation, your nurse will discuss a tailored approach to address the areas of movement that concern you most.

How long does Botox last?
Botox has a half-life of two months, so by the two month mark you may see about half of your movement return. The majority of people get full movement back by 3-4 months.

What areas on the face can Botox be used?
Botox is approved for use in the forehead, the glabella lines (between the eyebrows) and for crow’s feet at the outer corners of the eyes. We also use it off label in the jawline, around the mouth, chin, DAO muscle (the one that pulls your mouth downward), neck bands, gummy smile, bunny lines and more!

Are there any risks with Botox?
The biggest risk with Botox is that it migrates into a muscle we do not want. Having an injector who understands anatomy well and uses appropriate dosing will alleviate that risk. After the treatment it is very important to follow post care instructions to avoid any complications from occurring. That includes no massaging the area for the first four hours, staying upright for the first four hours and no strenuous activity on the day of injection. No steam room, sauna, bath same day as treatment. You can resume all normal activity the following day.

What can I expect after a Botox treatment?
Immediately after you will have a few small red bumps that look like mosquito bites. These usually go away within about 30 minutes to one hour. Some patients may experience a mild headache afterwards. You can take over-the-counter pain medication as needed.

Is Botox painful?
The 30-gauge needle we use is very tiny. Some areas are more pinchy than others. Most people tolerate the procedure very well.

How long does it take to see results from Botox injections?
Botox usually takes 7-10 days to fully set. Sometimes you can start to see results within the first 48 hours. Some areas kick in faster than others.

How much does Botox cost?
At ICLS Botox is priced at $12/ unit. Standard on-label dosing for the forehead, glabella lines and crows feet is 64 units. Prices vary depending on number of areas treated on the face, and the strength of the person’s muscle. At ICLS we offer other neuromodulators that may differ in pricing. Always shop by the injector, not the price. Your face is worth it!

Interested in a consultation? Contact a patient coordinator to discuss your options. For patients who have already received Botox treatment at ICLS, walk-in appointments are available Monday through Friday, 8am – 4:30pm.