Of the 14.2 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures performed in the US, Botox remains one of the top 5. Botox softens the appearance of wrinkles by paralyzing the muscles. As a matter of fact, the FDA has now approved Botox as a treatment for migraines.
Although it is minimally invasive, Botox aftercare plays a big role in ensuring there are no secondary complications after the procedure.
It is common practice for doctors to usually provide a verbal set of instructions after your procedure, but if you're having a Botox procedure for the first time then you're likely to forget.
So you should familiarize yourself with what happens before, during and after your Botox procedure.
This guide should help you get the best results from your procedure with a few botox aftercare tips. But first, you should know how to prepare for the procedure.
What is Botox Precare?
Botox precare are safety tips you should follow prior to your procedure. So what should you do and not do?
For starters, don't drink alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to your Botox. This is because alcohol can inhibit the clotting ability of the blood, thereby resulting in increased bruising and bleeding.
Also, avoid blood thinners like aspirin, Motrin, heparin, warfarin, and painkillers for the same reason.
Certain herbal medications also have a similar effect. These include Gingko Biloba, omega-3 capsules (fish oils), and vitamin E.
Avoid shaving, bleaching, waxing or using a depilatory cream in the area that will undergo the procedure. Also, stop using any anti-aging or wrinkle creams that have ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid, and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA's).
You should not use chemical peels for at least 3 days before your botox.
On the flip side, what should you be telling your doctor?
Your doctor may also be in need of a few information.
For one, let your doctor know if you have a history of herpes in the facial area and if you have a current episode. This will need to be treated before your procedure.
Inform your doctor about your last menstrual period as well. Botox is contraindicated in women who are breastfeeding, pregnant or have neurological disorders.
Finally, don't wear make up for the procedure. You want your face to be free of microbes and chemicals as the syringe will carry them through your skin.
Once you've prepared for the procedure and have completed your botox, there are a few steps post botox that you must take.
What Is Botox Aftercare?
Botox aftercare involves following a few safety tips post botox that goes beyond simply applying ice. You shouldn't ignore this step because it could undo the work that has already been done.
Aftercare for botox not only involves helping your skin heal faster but also requires you not performing certain activities which could damage your face.
First of all, don't drink alcohol for 24 hours after Botox. Doing so will inhibit the clotting factors in your blood causing you to bruise and bleed.
Try to sleep on your back if you must. If possible, try and avoid lying down for a minimum of four hours following your Botox procedure. And when you do, don't lie on your side or stomach. Doing so will put undue pressure on your face.
Don't forget to rest after your botox. This means avoiding vigorous exercise and activity that involves bending over and stretching. The injected area needs to stay firm and undisturbed.
For how long shall you wait for the Botox effects to appear?
The full effect of botox takes about two weeks. So, you may not see the effect of the treatment immediately or even the night after. This is because it will take some time for your facial muscles to adapt to the effect of the botox and for the redness to fade away.
Within this time, you also need to deal with the pain associated with the healing process.
While doctors allow mild Tylenol for the pain, avoid strong painkillers. These tend to prevent the blood from clotting, causing more bleeding or bruising in the area of the botox. Examples of strong painkillers are Motrin, ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve.
Also, practice moving your facial muscles naturally, by smiling, frowning, raising your eyebrows, clenching your jaw, etc. What this does is that it helps the botox to penetrate your muscles naturally.
If there is any redness or bruising, apply ice or a cold gel pack. This reduces swelling and potential bleeding from taking place.
Should you go back to applying makeup immediately?
The best thing to do is to avoid makeup. But if you must apply it, wait till the bleeding has completely stopped and the swelling has subsided.
Don't forget to be gentle with your skin after it has undergone botox. Don't use a harsh facewash or a scrub. The last thing you want is to rub or massage the delicate skin. Try and avoid pressing or kneading this area as well.
You also need to stay away from the sun, especially till your redness and swelling have completely subsided. Wear sunscreen if you must face the sun.
What about other skin treatments?
Avoid other skin treatments like peels, microdermabrasion, facials, and laser therapy for at least 24 hours after Botox. Don't get another botox procedure done until two weeks have passed, and the effect of this procedure has been assessed.
This is important since Botox has a cumulative effect.
Don't forget to attend your follow-up appointment. While you may be happy with the results, your doctor will want to assess you for any muscle paralysis, neurological injury or even for a follow-up with another dose if the botox has not had the desired effect.
You also need to watch out for any dire side effects.
For instance, if you have any swelling, redness, brushing, or bleeding, contact your doctor immediately. Or, if you find any your facial muscles moving unequally then let your doctor know.
In addition to this, watch out for any headaches, neck pain, muscle stiffness, cough, flu, runny nose, dizziness, drowsiness, and tiredness. This will warrant a visit to the emergency room.
Need More Information On Botox Aftercare?
There is no consensus on botox aftercare. But it does act as an extra safety measure to ensure the procedure is successful.
Different doctors will have different instructions for post botox care. Some may allow you to return to normal activities immediately, while others would prefer you rest for 24 hours. Though all agree that after your procedure, you should avoid massaging the area.
But don't fret about complications.
Since it's injected in minuscule amounts, the chances of complications are very low. But with the right botox aftercare, you'll have the most natural looking results from your treatment.
If you want to know more, like what to expect at your Botox appointment, check out our FAQ section here.