Treatment with botulinum toxin should not be taken lightly; that is why it’s important to know what not to do after botox infiltration.
Botox or botulinum toxin is a protein whose main function is to block the nerve’s connection with the muscle, thus, obtaining its temporary relaxation.
A Botox treatment is indicated for people who want to reduce expression wrinkles on their face. It has other indications, but in this post, we will focus on the purely aesthetic ones.
However, before diving deeper into the topic, we will first explain its possible side effects.
Guidelines to be followed before and after botox
Choosing a botulinum toxin treatment to eliminate wrinkles will guarantee optimal results. This substance is administered by a qualified professional locally in the area you want to improve.
Although it has an extensive safety margin, it is necessary to follow some guidelines before and after its application.
It is crucial to follow a series of steps before starting a Botox treatment on the face:
- According to Health & Aesthetics UK, treatment is recommended for people over 20 years of age
- Find a good specialist in facial treatments since the results depend on the patient’s musculature, technique, and doctor’s skill. Therefore, you should go to a center with accredited professionals
- Do not hide anything from your doctor. The relationship must be one of trust in both ways, so you should not hide any details of your medical history to ensure that there are no contraindications (pregnancy, allergies, neuromuscular diseases, etc.)
- Ask all your doubts to the attending physician about the procedure
- Don’t drink alcohol in the days before injections. In case you take any medication or nutritional supplements regularly, ask your doctor if you can continue taking them. Remember that, for everything to go well, you should discuss with the professional everything you take, even if it’s natural
What NOT to do after botox injections
After the treatment, your doctor will give you a series of recommendations:
- Avoid massaging or rubbing the treated area for the next 24 hours
- Don’t go to swimming pools or saunas, as they may reduce the effect of the treatment
- Do not perform intense physical exercises that make you lie face down (some yoga postures, for example) during the hours following treatment
- Do not lie flat for at least four hours after the botox treatment
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol
According to experts and experience from patients, these are crucial tips for before and after botox. On the other hand, you should know that the treatment is not permanent and does not work the same for everyone.
After three or four months, you will notice how the effects gradually diminish, and in five or six months, they will disappear, so if you wish, you can “rinse and repeat.”
Botox uses and main benefits
Again, botulinum toxin, also known as botox, has the function of relaxing muscles, which is why its most popular use is to smooth expression gestures that end up causing wrinkles.
Nevertheless, botox can be used for other purposes, not yet known by a lot of people.
Dr. Alejandro Swett Perez, plastic surgeon of the Clínica Alemana and a titular member of the Chilean Society of Plastic Surgery, detailed the various uses that can be given to botox in addition to the aesthetic ones.
He also pointed out that the product has been approved for medical use for many years, so it is a safe treatment with predictable results.
Hyperhidrosis is a disorder that causes excessive sweating. Botox is mainly used to treat axillary hyperhidrosis, as this is where it has shown the best results.
“It produces a decrease in sweating; in this case, it is not applied in the muscles, but more superficially, depending on the sweat glands. In this way, it significantly decreases the production of sweat for a period of between 10 and 12 months,” the specialist points out.
Dr. Swett says it’s a good option because it does not require a ward, since it is performed in a consultation room or procedure room, so it is considered easy to apply, obtaining good results.
It can also be applied in patients with heavy forehead perspiration.
Bruxism is the exaggerated contracture of the masticatory muscles. It causes headaches and some effects on the teeth, such as breaking or loosening them due to constant clenching.
“Botox is indicated to relax the muscles. In this case, you selectively relax the masseter muscle, which is the one that causes the jaw to contract, so you can partially relax it,” says Dr. Swett.
This procedure can reinforce the relaxation treatment plan that people who suffer from bruxism usually use.
Botox for bruxism is mainly performed by plastic surgeons, although dentists are also trained in this treatment.
Intense headaches can also be relieved from botox techniques, as the doctor explained that even people who have the aesthetic treatment performed on expression lines noticeably reduce headaches. “There are neurologists who apply botox to reduce headaches,” he explains.
4. Muscle hypertonia
Botox also has multiple options for people who present hypertonia. These are patients who have neurological diseases that produce an exaggerated contracture of the muscles.
In these cases, large amounts of botox are applied to relax the muscles and thus be able to stretch the extremities.
Among the most important advantages of using a botox treatment are the following:
- Reduces aging signs and, in many cases, avoids surgery
- It allows you to return to work and personal activities immediately
- Botulinum toxin can change your life if you have hyperhidrosis or have involuntary muscular tics
- It requires no prior preparation and is an almost painless technique
- It leaves no scars or marks. Your expression will not be affected, and you will look very natural
Side effects of botox
The most common side effects that may appear with the infiltration of botox, reported by patients, are the following:
- Small pimples that disappear after a few minutes
- Slight swelling that usually disappears in a matter of hours
- Redness of the area that usually disappears within half an hour
- Transient headache that may last up to two days
- Nausea and vomiting. These are not usual but may occur. They are transitory and disappear spontaneously
As the most serious side effects when infiltrating the toxin, we can observe:
- Eyebrow drooping can be uni or bilateral, and it is also a transitory effect
- Mephisto effect. An excessive lifting of the central arch of the eyebrow; side effect totally reversible with correct dosage and performance at the time of infiltrating the botox
- Difficulty in opening the eye due to an excess of infiltrated units
- The appearance of bags in the lower eyelid. This effect usually appears when it is infiltrated beyond the “safety zone” of the lower eyelid so that the drainage is altered and an excess of liquid accumulates in this area, especially first thing in the morning
Bear in mind that all the side effects that appear with the misuse of botox are temporary and that in a matter of a short period of time, everything will return to its place.
It is also true that many of the side effects can be reversed by a good professional, although not all of them.
Where is botox infiltrated?
Our body is composed, among many other things, of bones, muscle, fat, skin, and water, anatomically speaking.
It must be taken into account that the muscle movement is usually reflected in the skin, especially in certain areas where the amount of fat is minimal.
If we focus on the upper third of the face, we will see that this area has little fat. For this reason, it is usually the place where botox is infiltrated.
What is the main function of botox?
The function of botulinum toxin is to block the local neuromuscular connection.
Due to its function, it is essential to only act in the precise infiltration point, so you must keep the area as static as possible during the first hours after treatment.
When infiltrating the botulinum toxin, the aesthetic doctor must, above all, make the patient gesture so that the muscles to be infiltrated are active, and you can see what type of wrinkles they produce.
Whenever you use this treatment for aesthetic purposes, the specialist must make a comprehensive assessment of your history, allergies, previous infiltrations, etc…
Once the aesthetic professional has observed the movement of the muscles to be treated, for example, the frontal muscle (the one that causes forehead wrinkles), the corrugator muscle of the eyebrows (the one that forms the wrinkles between the eyebrows), and the orbicularis oculi muscle (the muscle that causes crow’s feet), he will begin to calculate the necessary dose as well as the exact points of infiltration.
To obtain a correct and satisfactory result when infiltrating botox, it is essential that the aesthetic doctor who will perform the Botox treatment has extensive experience in the field.
Once the infiltration points have been identified, the treatment can begin.
At this point, it is necessary to be very careful since any deviation can have disastrous repercussions.
The objective is that the product (botulinum toxin) acts only and exclusively in the targeted areas.
Hence the importance that during the following hours, the patient does not exert any pressure or movement on the infiltrated points.
Following this advice is the best way to prevent the product from migrating to other muscle groups.
Other applications of this aesthetic medicine treatment include eliminating excess sweat in armpits and hands, the elevation of the eyebrow’s tail, and the tip of the nose…
Knowing the positive effects that botox can have, why does it sometimes offer such frightening results?
The answer is quite simple; many doctors see aesthetic medicine as a source of extra income, and according to them, it’s relatively easy to apply.
As a result of this intrusion, and because aesthetic medicine is a branch that is not yet regulated as aesthetic surgery is, many doctors are dedicated to infiltrating botox with basic notions, or directly without them, not to mention many other health professionals such as nurses who also perform this practice without even having the right training.
Like any other aesthetic medical treatment, the act of infiltrating botulinum toxins into your body is not necessarily risk-free.
That’s why we insist on choosing a good aesthetic doctor who should previously inform you of the whole process, what objectives can be achieved, and also the side effects and risks associated with it.
Also, he or she should talk about what precautions should be taken before and after treatment.
Once the patient has been analyzed, and all doubts have been clarified, the treatment can be performed.
What not to do after botox: Summary
After performing a botox treatment, the patient must be extremely cautious during the following 3 or 4 hours. It is essential to bear in mind that under no circumstances should the infiltrated area be touched.
When we say that you should not touch the infiltrated area, you should not do things such as: rest your hand on your face or head, wear sunglasses, wear a bike or ski helmet, swimming, etc.
The idea is to avoid putting pressure on the infiltrated area (and near parts), not wearing swimming caps, and sleep carefully since you could move unconsciously and place your head’s weight on the contralateral point.
If you don’t consider these indications, you could favor the transfer of the product to another side, which could have negative repercussions.
Another aspect to take into account is that small wheals always appear at the infiltration sites after treatment.
This corresponds to the infiltrated product, and these small spots are reabsorbed in a matter of minutes, usually before the patient leaves the office, and are usually completely corrected.
After a botox treatment the patient can go about their daily activities, work, study, walk, …
The only precaution is, once again, DO NOT TOUCH THE INFILTRATED AREA IN THE FOLLOWING HOURS. To avoid the migration and contamination of the product, as it should only act on the muscles selected by your aesthetic doctor.