Botox Treatments – All Your Questions Answered

Botox Treatments

Life is about celebrating your journey through time and cherishing the precious moments. Some people believe it’s a lot more fun when you can count your blessings and accomplishments while still looking young and fresh, unscathed by the cruel hands of time.

Thanks to the advances in anti- aging medicine, 50 has become the new 30 and age is literally nothing but a number — now you can look as young as you feel.

Look in the mirror – If the frown lines stare back at you and the gradually deepening network of horizontal wrinkles tracing your forehead bother you, it’s time to start the intervention.

If you believe in raising your shields up against aging and looking forever young, botox is for you — if not, there is no harm in aging naturally.

Naturally the next step is doing your homework — understanding the pros and cons before you can make your final decision to join the “Eternally Youthful Botox Club”.

Here’s a full run down on botox to help you answer all the questions floating in your head about the treatment before you make a commitment.

First Off — Is Botox Going To Make Me Look Frozen and Expressionless?

In 2015 Botox Translates To Natural Results — No more over dosing with plastic Stepford wives club look. Botox is an amazing intervention for mechanical aging — some areas of face which are over-expressive can lead to early wrinkles e.g. forehead frown and horizontal lines, smile lines radiating from the corners of your eyes (also called the crows feet) . With the help of micro doses of botox your doctor can bring harmony and youth back to your face. In the right hands, Botox can leave you looking like a more relaxed, more youthful version of yourself.

Get To Know Thy Wrinkle Relaxers

The very word — Botox has been synonymous with scary in many minds as it’s a neurotoxin that paralyzes muscles, but in the last thirty or so years botox has proven its self to be the perfect antiaging friend, fighting the good fight against the age-related wrinkles and fine lines.


Currently there are four brand names of reliable neurotoxins available in the market: Botox by Allergan, Myobloc by Solstice Neuroscience, Dysport by Ipsen ltd, and Xeomin by Merz. They all work in a similar way relaxing muscles and have been declared safe for use by FDA and European authorities.

There are also a lot of cheaper Chinese and Korean brands flooding the markets, they give the exact same results, but the only problem is we are not sure how the proteins are purified in those brands. As there is no standardization, the side effects can be unpredictable — after all it’s a neurotoxin we are talking about.

I recommend only going with the big four names for the sake of safety.

Another thing to keep in mind — A lot of people come to my clinic and point to their deepening smile lines from nose to mouth and ask I need Botox here — Botox relaxes muscles it is not a filler. It cant plump up the volume like fillers do.

Botox Treatment In A Nut Shell

It’s as simple as this — Your physician will examine you and ask you to animate your face — frown, look up, smile, scrunch your nose, make a sad face, whistle, grind your teeth etc. After a thorough assessment of the musculature of your face your doctor will discuss with you what the crucial areas are that will make you age faster. Your physician will also ask you which areas bother you the most and then draw a customized treatment plan for you.

Once the treatment plan is decided, skin is cleaned and a numbing cream with 2% lidocaine is applied on the areas to be injected. A micro 30 or 32G needle (insulin syringe) is used to deliver the correct dosage in the hyperactive muscles. The total procedure takes anywhere between 20-40 minutes from start to finish.

Is The Botox Treatment Painful?

After the numbing cream most people tolerate the micro needle pricks quite well. Botox when injected into the muscles causes slight burning and pressure sensation, most people refer to it as uncomfortable but not very painful. My regular botox clients are so comfortable with the procedure they do it without even the numbing cream only with ice rubbed on the area. For my very sensitive patients I use vibration anesthesia along with numbing cream. Some doctors use even NO2 (laughing gas) for people who are faint at heart and have very low threshold for pain.

What Are The Common Side Effects?

In expert hands most side effects with botox are minor. Post procedure, the injection sites look like tiny mosquito bites which resolve naturally in 20-30 minutes. As with any injectable there is a slight chance of bruising, which if happens can last 4-5 days. To minimize bruising I advice my patients to avoid blood thinners, like aspirin, ibuprofen, Vitamin E, fish oil supplements, green tea, ginger etc. before any treatment with needles.

If injected in the wrong anatomical zone Botox can cause lid lag or drooping eyelid. Wrong injection sites can also lead to eyebrow drop, over surprised Spock-Look and sometimes -facial asymmetry. Lower face should only be injected by someone who has an in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy, injecting into wrong muscles can lead to facial asymmetry.

What To Expect After Your Botox Treatment?


Botox generally takes three to seven days to take full effect. You’d have to go back to your doctor two weeks post injection for a follow up, if any retouches are required your doctor will take care of it.

These days, natural results are preferred, if too much Botox is injected it can lead to a frozen expression, giving off a plastic look. So make sure you talk to your physician about a natural outcome while discussing the treatment.

After an artistically fine-tuned treatment results should be — ‘has she or hasn’t she’ got any work done? — No one should be able to tell.

How Long Does One Treatment Last?

Botox protein sits between your nerve end plates and muscles for 3-5 months, some people metabolize it fast and start to see muscle movement return in 3 months while some people are slow metabolizers they keep the action until 5 months. Though the general observation is that in people who have this procedure done regularly it usually tends to last longer .

What’s Autoimmune Resistance To Botox? —

It is possible to develop a resistance to Botox, but this is extremely uncommon (1:10,000). What happens is that your body forms an antibody response to the Botox protein rendering it ineffective.

Other reasons for failure of botox treatment can be related to injection technique or inadequate number of units. If Botox is not stored properly, freshly opened or mixed properly the fragile protein can lose its action. The dilution technique is not relevant, but the total number of units injected is the key to get the right results.

If you do have resistance, there are other forms of Botulinum toxin that can be used.

How Expensive Is A Botox Treatment?

To give you a rough idea the price of Botox per unit is generally anywhere between 10-16$ per unit. Botox is a custom designed procedure – one size does not fit all. Every person has a different musculature and we can’t inject the same number of units as copy paste in everyone. The dosage is decided according to the strength of the individual muscles e.g. some people need 10 units for the frown lines and some need 30, so the price always varies accordingly.

Second factor controlling the price is how many areas need to be injected. And the third and most important factor is who is injecting? — Having a treatment with an expert injector with deep insight of your facial anatomy will cost more than having a session with a novice.

Can I Get Botox At My Beauty Salon?

Absolutely not! Only a health care professional should administer Botox. Doctors who specialize in aesthetic medicine and cosmetic procedures have the most experience and give you the best treatment results.

Moral Dilemma — How Young Is Too Young For Botox?

Last week at the Antiaging World Congress in Monte Carlo this pertinent question was raised — how young is too young? And the consensus was definitely not in teenagers and younglings unless there is a medical need.

There is no ‘ideal’ age for starting botox treatment. People as young as in their 20’s to as old as in their 80’s can have this procedure done. In younger people treatment is geared towards preventive action so they don’t develop wrinkles as they age. A lot of young patients with heavy eyelids and droopy eyebrows come in for brow lifting only. While in older people treatment is mainly focused on bringing the harmony of youth back to the face.

Botox Is More Than A Mere Wrinkle Relaxer

Apart from anti-aging measures, Botox is currently approved for 27 uses by health regulators in some 88 countries. It is used in ophthalmology, urology, neurology and dermatology it works for migraine treatments, lock-jaw treatment (temporomandibular joint symptoms TMJ) and even excessive sweating in underarms, hands and feet.

New off label uses are being discovered and reported ever so frequently e.g. neck lift with platysmal band reduction, face reshaping with masseter injections, slender legs with calf muscle reduction, breast lifting, reducing pore size and controlling oil production on face, combating hair loss, control flushing face etc. to name some.

The bottom line is – Botox is a very safe antiaging treatment in expert hands. The results can be naturally subtle to frozen-in-your face depending on who you sign up with, so chose your injector smartly and you can preserve your youth and natural beauty for as long as you wish. <3

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Shazia Ali
A certified dermatologist, Skincare guru to the who's who of the Middle East, Dr. Shazia knows the secrets of anti-aging, the insider tips and tricks on how to achieve healthy, beautiful radiant skin and everything in between. Currently the brand Ambasador for University of Westminster, and the head Dermatologist at Tababa Clinics.

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