Answering The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Botox



Answering The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Botox

Botox remains to be one of the hottest minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in the market, with over 7 million injectable treatments administered worldwide every year. In this article, we provide you with everything you need to know about this popular injectable treatment by answering your most common Botox FAQs. 

Woman getting Botox treatment in Mississauga

Let’s delve right in!

What Is Botox?

Botox is derived from the Botulinum toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which causes a rare disease called botulism. As an injection treatment, Botox is best known for its impressive facial rejuvenating and anti-aging properties. 

Nowadays, Botox is frequently used as an umbrella term to refer to all types of Botulinum toxin. But the truth is it’s the registered name of the first drug (onabotulinumtoxin A) released by Allergan Inc. Other commercially available brands include:

  • Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA)
  • Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA)
  • Myobloc (rimabotulinumtoxinB)
  • Jeuveau (prabotulinumtoxinA)

Although they all contain the Botulinum toxin, these products are quite different from each other due to their dosage and behaviours. 

What Does Botox Do to Your Body?

Botox is a neurotoxin that works by blocking nerve transmission or the signals sent through the synapses in the nerves of the muscles. Once injected, the product penetrates the dermis and paralyzes the muscle in the treatment area. The injected muscle will not receive the brain’s signals to move or contract. 

If you had Botox injection into your forehead between the eyes, you wouldn’t be able to frown involuntarily. As a result, the vertical and horizontal fine lines on your forehead soften and become less visible. It effortlessly trains the muscles not to do wrinkle-forming expressions that crease the skin in the area and eventually deepen and develop into wrinkles. 

Can Botox Travel to Other Parts of the Body?

Hardly ever. Another popular Botox FAQs asks about whether it can roam and affect other parts of the body. To set the record straight, Botox injections have a very targeted and localized effect, not a systemic one. The furthest the product can move is up to three centimetres from the injection site. 

The recommended cosmetic doses are also significantly low (less than 100 units) compared to the toxic dose (2,500 to 3,000 units). This powerfully illustrates the point that even if Botox gets into your bloodstream or travels to another body part, the chances of serious adverse reactions are little to none. 

How Long Does Botox Last?

Botox injections are not permanent. Their effect lasts for about three to four months, and then they dissipate as the product is broken down into amino acids and metabolized out of the body. At this point, you need to get another round of Botox injections to preserve and maintain your youthful appearance. Theoretically, Botox lasts longer in areas where the muscle is smaller than in bigger ones with more range of motion. 

How Long Does It Take to See the Effects of Botox?

While a Botox injection treatment can only take around 10 to 15 minutes, patients are asked to wait for three to four days before noticing any significant changes and up to 14 days to see the maximum results.

Can You Stop Botox Once You Start?

Yes. Contrary to the common misconception, your skin won’t shrivel and dramatically wrinkle into a prune if you decide to stop using Botox. In reality, it’s quite the opposite. Since the Botox injection successfully stopped the muscles from being used aggressively for months, it has also slowed down the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, essentially pressing pause on your natural aging process. 

This means that you’ll still look younger than your actual age and continue to age gracefully, months after you’ve discontinued your Botox treatments. It does not have a rebound effect where the skin will develop wrinkles at an accelerated speed to make up for the months of lost time.

Beautiful woman getting Botox for facial rejuvenation

What Age Should You Start Getting Botox?

Generally, Botox treatment is approved by the FDA for patients 18 years old and above. But if you are after its anti-aging benefits, age is probably one of the least important aspects to consider. It’s because aging affects people differently. Depending on a myriad of factors, including genetics, diet, and lifestyle, the aesthetic manifestations of aging become prominent at various ages—some in their 30s; others not until they reach their 40s. 

Getting Botox injections is a personal and empowering decision to make. Do it at a certain age when you’ve grown personally concerned about the signs of aging and decide to do something about it. At 30, patients can consider getting Botox treatments as a proactive and preventive approach against premature aging. Younger than this, there’s a relatively low chance that you have enough wrinkles to warrant a Botox injection. 

Who Should Not Get Botox?

When performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, Botox is generally safe and effective for most of the population. But your doctor may strongly advise you to think otherwise if you fall under any of these conditions.

  • Pregnant or trying to conceive
  • Breastfeeding
  • Have a neuromuscular disease (i.e. myasthenia gravis)

Your doctor will also ask or conduct some tests to check if you are allergic to cow’s milk protein, which is used as a bonding agent in Dysport. However, there’s still no sufficient scientific evidence to support this allergy claim.

Can Botox Make You Look Older?

When done properly by a professional, Botox could be the next best thing to a fountain of youth. On the contrary, when this cosmetic treatment is executed carelessly, yours can be one of the worst Botox horror stories ever. 

If you’ve seen before and after photos of Botox online, you’ll notice that the patients of botched procedures display a stiff or frozen appearance, which is the complete opposite of a youthful face that can be described as soft and glowing.

Frequently, it’s the byproduct of injecting high cosmetic doses of Botox in one go. Go for doctors who opt to take a conservative “less is more” approach when administering Botox treatment to their patients. For first-time Botox patients, they will recommend starting with the lowest dosage. 

Meanwhile, getting Botox treatments aggressively for several years also has some drawbacks. The biggest one is that there’s a risk that your muscles atrophy, leaving them weak and losing their natural volume. As a result, you can end up with looser and thinner skin prone to sagging and showing subdermal veins. But don’t fret. A little breather from Botox and your muscles will be able to regain its strength.

Female patient getting Botox injection in the upper lip area

Can Botox Lift Your Eyelids?

Botox can also be administered as a non-surgical brow lift to reduce forehead lines and raise the droopy eyebrows. As a result, this gets rid of the hooding and enhances the appearance of the upper eyelids. Dubbed “baby Botox,” this requires a high level of skillful precision from your doctor in injecting minute doses into the key areas of the glabella and forehead. A Botox brow lift can open up your eyes beautifully. It also comes with fewer complications compared to surgical brow lifts. 

However, it’s not going to work for everyone. If what’s causing your hooded eyelids is excess skin, a Botox brow lift cannot reduce or tighten that; an upper eyelid surgery may offer a more viable solution.

What Should You Not Do After Botox?

Ensure that you get the maximum results of your treatment by following your doctor’s recommended Botox aftercare guidelines. These includes:

  • It’s best to wait for at least four hours before touching, rubbing, or massaging your face or going to bed to allow the Botox to settle in the treatment site 
  • Refrain from doing vigorous exercises or strenuous physical activities for the next 24 hours.
  • Schedule flights 24 to 48 hours after treatment to prevent the sudden shift in pressure to disturb the Botox in the targeted muscles.
  • Avoid having a hot shower bath, going to the sauna, or anywhere where there’s an extremely high temperature.
  • Do not consume alcohol 24 to 48 hours before and after getting your Botox injection to lower your bleeding and bruising risks.  

Who Can Administer Botox in Canada?

Botox is recognized as a prescription drug. It should only be administered by a licensed physician or a registered healthcare practitioner under their close supervision. These include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or practical nurses. Dr. Hugh McLean is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in aesthetic surgeries and non-surgical cosmetic procedures like Botox. 

Ask Us About Botox!

Do you have a question that wasn’t in our list of Botox FAQs? For more information about the latest non-surgical cosmetic treatments, give McLean Clinic a call. Our friendly representatives will be more than happy to address your concerns and help you schedule an appointment with Dr. McLean.

Book a consultation now!


July 9, 2020

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