Botox Q & A with Kelsey

Outside of Verticity, Kelsey is a board-certified physician assistant with experience in both dermatology and plastic surgery. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia then attended Boston University School of Medicine for her Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies. It was at BU that Kelsey researched cosmetic injectables and wrote her master’s thesis, The Association Between Age and Cosmetic Effect of Treatment with Botulinum Toxin (Botox), about the benefits of starting preventative Botox at a younger age. Kelsey believes in enhancing every patient’s natural beauty through skilled and conservative use of cosmetic injectables.


What is Botox and how does it work?

Botox is a solution containing tiny amounts of a highly-purified botulinum toxin protein refined from the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. It restricts muscle movement in the specific area it is injected. It does not plump or fill like a filler, but rather blocks repetitive movement that causes wrinkles in the affected area.

How long does it last?

Botox typically lasts around 3 months after the first treatment and can last longer with subsequent regular treatments.

How long until I see results?

You may begin to notice results within 24 to 48 hours, but it takes about 1 week for the Botox to fully take effect.

It is normal to need an adjustment after the first week, especially if it is your first time getting Botox or your first time with a new injector. Everyone’s anatomy is slightly different and nobody is 100% symmetrical, so if one muscle proves to be stronger than another, I will learn that after the first treatment and make a note for all future treatments.

Does it hurt?

Botox is very tolerable. I use the tiniest needle (smaller than a safety pin) and a little ice to dull the feeling of the stick. You’ll feel a slight pinch as the solution goes into the muscle, but it’s over before you know it. You may also hear a slight crunch and that is just a sign the needle penetrating the muscle.

Bruising is always a risk with injections, but depending on the area being treated, it is rare to bruise from Botox. If you do get a bruise, it will likely be small and easily covered with makeup for a couple of days until the bruise goes away

How long does the treatment take?

Your specialist will discuss your treatment goals and perform a facial analysis to determine the appropriate treatments for you. The actual injection process takes about 5 – 10 minutes.

How long is the recovery time after treatment?

After your treatment, you can resume your day. There is minimal downtime and your specialist may give you specific aftercare instructions.

What is the post treatment care?

It’s important to be careful with the treated area for the remainder of the day post treatment. It’s ok to make expressions, but do not put physical pressure on that area. Don’t go get a massage and or lay face down, don’t put on a motorcycle helmet or tight fitting hat. If you can avoid applying makeup, do so, but if you need to wear some, apply using a very gentle touch or preferably a brush. Don’t do any heavy rubbing and when applying, always use a gentle upward motion. Don’t work out or go to a sauna or do any excessive sweating (i.e. get your Botox after spin class). You can resume any normal activity the following day.

Will Botox make you look like you’ve “had work done”?

No. Botox is a technique-sensitive treatment, so if it is performed conservatively most untrained eyes cannot tell that you have had Botox. You should not lose the ability to show expression when you are treated by someone who is licensed, trained, and a medical expert in facial anatomy. It is important to talk to your injector about the results you want from treatment.

What were common side effects seen in clinical studies?

Three percent of patients experienced eyelid drooping in the frown lines studies and 1% of patients experienced eyelid swelling in the crow's feet studies. I do everything in my power to stay away from “danger zones” that could potentially lead to a dropped eyelid, and in turn you should do your part to not do anything post treatment that could cause it.

Other possible side effects include: headache; dry mouth; discomfort or pain at the injection site; tiredness; neck pain; eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight and dry eyes; and allergic reactions, but these are very rare. Please see the Botox Important Safety Information including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide, and talk to your doctor.

What is the average treatment cost?

-Your cost not only includes the price of the product, but more importantly, the skill and expertise of the healthcare professional who is administering your treatment. Botox is a technique-sensitive treatment—look for someone who is licensed and trained and has experience treating patients.

-Be wary of discount products or “cheap” Botox—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, beware of places that charge per area. It is transparent pricing, but most of the time per unit pricing is significantly less expensive than a flat rate per area.

-All that being said, here are some estimated price ranges. They will fluctuate based on age, anatomy, line severity, number of previous Botox treatments, etc.

Forehead: $60 - $160

Frown (“11’s”): $130 - $260

Eyes (“crow’s feet”): $50 - $200

How many injections will I receive?

Again, this will vary.

Forehead: 3 – 7

Frown (“11’s”): 3 – 5

Eyes (“crow’s feet”): 2 – 6

Do men get Botox?

Yes. “Brotox” is on the rise. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 10% of all cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2014 were on men—that is more than 1 million procedures. 


Kimberly NovoselComment