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Avoid Being a Botox Horror Story — Know What to Look Out For

Published in For the Health of It, Dermatology Author: Susan Luetmer,PA-C

The media has been full of Botox horror stories — people who think they are getting injections from a reputable company and come to find out it’s not what they signed up for. That is why it’s important to know how to find a reputable facility and be able to spot authentic Botox solutions.

What is Botox and how is it used?

There are different varieties of Botox. Botox is Botulinum toxin Type A. It is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The product is a purified form which makes it safe to use. Several companies now make that purified solution and send in their product for rigorous testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Botox treats a variety of medical conditions like excessive sweating, muscle spasms and chronic migraines. When used cosmetically, Botox can:

  • Provide a younger appearance without surgery.
  • Improve existing signs of aging, but also prevent new ones from forming.
  • Help you age gracefully with a natural appearance.

If I’m interested in Botox, where do I start?

I always recommend getting your injections from a health care setting. This ensures your safety and that you are getting the product you’re paying for. You want a physician, advanced practice provider or a registered nurse administering the Botox solution.

I also encourage people to find someone who gives them individual advice about skincare concerns they may have. You should feel comfortable asking questions. The provider should always go over the potential risks and side effects if it is the first time you are receiving Botox.

Look for a company or provider that has been around for a while and has positive reviews.

What do I look for when choosing a Botox provider?

  • It is a licensed and accredited facility.
  • Botox is from the company Allergan or another FDA-approved health care company.
  • Injections are administered by a physician, advanced practice provider or registered nurse.
  • Safety protocols are being followed.
  • You receive a customized consultation detailing a treatment plan and plan for follow-up care.
  • There is honest communication about benefits and possible risks.
  • The facility has positive reviews and ethical practices.

A person can buy Botox online, but unfortunately, those products are more than likely counterfeit and do not have the same FDA-approved solution. These fake products are designed to look nearly identical to the Botox used in the clinic but can cause serious side effects and concern about how the product was made.

Botox takes anywhere from three to 10 days to take effect. Other botulinum toxins may start working within one to three days but none of them work immediately. You should expect to see the results in a week or two.

After a successful Botox session, you will like how your face looks once the solution has time to kick in and wrinkles will stop forming when you try to make certain facial animations.

If you’re going in for your first Botox treatment, it’s important to manage your expectations.

  • Don’t expect the treatment to be pain-free. It is normal to experience some minor bruising or soreness after the procedure.
  • Understand the potential risks and side effects.
  • Everyone is unique and may require different amounts of Botox to achieve the desired result.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t like your injection after the first time. Sometimes touchups are needed to help find the right amount of Botox for you.

Botox should last anywhere between three to six months. When you notice your wrinkles coming back, that’s when you know it’s time for a treatment.

Many of us want to look as young as we feel — just make sure you trust your care to a reputable company that will put your health and safety first.