Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a popular anti-aging beauty product that is produced by the clostridium botulinum bacterium. Botox is extremely effective at reducing wrinkles and fine lines in the face; as well as, helping reduce hyperhidrosis, or overly active sweat glands. If you live in the Houston metropolitan area, it’s important to understand how to care for your skin; especially after Botox treatments.

On average, Botox lasts up to three months. It’s widely used for cosmetic applications such as, smoothing lines and creases on the face, neck, and chin. And for those living in hot and humid climates, like Houston, who also experience excessive sweating on their back, forehead, or underarms, Botox can effectively treat those conditions.

Botox Treatment Procedure

Although a Botox injection may look like a simple procedure, it requires finesse during administration to avoid over injection and possible adverse reactions. In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends botulinum toxin injections to be performed by qualified and experienced doctors only. There are several types of Botox, including Serotype A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F, and G. Serotype A is the most potent, and is the only commercially available botulinum toxin variant.

With this in mind, Botox treatment starts with an appointment. Of course, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor who is licensed to offer botulinum toxin injection services. During consultation, your doctor will review your medical history and evaluate your overall health. If you qualify to receive Botox injections, your physician will have you sit in a reclining chair to relax. Your doctor will then identify the right injection areas to achieve the desired effect. For instance, the face has about 43 muscles, so correctly identifying the right muscle/s is necessary. Upon identifying the right muscle/s, your doctor will then apply the injections, using a 30-gauge 1-inchmicro-needle.

Overall, this procedure takes less than 15 minutes to complete, and it doesn’t typically involve the use of anesthesia. However, applying an ice pack on the area of interest may help ease injection pain and swelling. The number of injections administered range from 10-17, and vary depending on the cosmetic needs of the patient and the muscle mass on the targeted body part. The larger the muscle mass, the higher the botulinum toxin dose, according to an article published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Some physicians use electromyograph (EMG) equipment when administering these injections to enhance the accuracy of targeting the right muscle/s.

Botox Aftercare At Home

Proper Botox aftercare is vital to avoid health complications. Firstly, Botox injections tend to cause mild pain, swelling, and bruising that may take a while to resolve. As such, you should not rub or massage the injection site, because doing so, can cause the botulinum toxin to migrate to a different area. In fact, a research study appearing in the Indian Journal of Dermatology warns that temporary weakness, or paralysis, of muscles near the injection site is a problem that affects 1-3% of patients; taking up to a few weeks to resolve.

Secondly, you should remain in an upright position for about 3 to 4 hours after receiving Botox injections. Doctors recommend doing so to avoid inadvertently manipulating or disturbing the injected area while lying down, or in a position that unnaturally stresses the injection site. In the same vein, physicians discourage performing strenuous activities or exercises after treatment. Finally, you should avoid using a sauna or exposing your body to elevated heat levels. This means you should shun sun-tanning, and procedures such as, microdermabrasion and laser hair removal.

Spring Weather in Houston and Its Effect on Botox Treatment Recovery

During springtime, temperatures in the Houston area often range anywhere from 65 °F to 80 °F, depending on cloud conditions and precipitation. According to Mark Taylor, MD, a Salt Lake City dermatologic surgeon, weather rarely affects recovery after Botox treatment. The only exception is that patients receiving Botox should avoid using a Jacuzzi, sauna, tanning bed, and steam room; most importantly, patients in warm and sunny climates should not be exposed to extended hours of direct sunlight for the first 48 hours after treatment.

Nevertheless, some medical experts still note that botulinum toxin may have clinical effects that we have yet to understand; so it is important to remain on the safe side, and for patients to follow their plastic surgeon’s recommendations for after care and healing. This is especially if patients want to receive the intended beauty and treatment results that Botox can offer over a period of time. Doctors also know that applying an ice pack to a body part that may be exhibiting adverse symptoms, helps to improve nerve-muscle signaling and communication. A good example is applying an ice pack to drooping eyelids, which leads to resolution of the droopiness in less than five minutes. This means mild cold weather may be the ideal temperature for recovery after Botox treatment; or if you live in warmer climates, remain indoors and keep the atmosphere extremely cool.

For people living in Houston, it’s important to keep skin in good condition. You should keep your body well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. An article published by the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health, states that insufficient hydration typically causes the skin to dry, tighten, and become flaky. Besides drinking water, apply moisturizing skincare products after taking a shower/bath to help the skin retain water. In addition, avoid heavy makeup because it could clog skin pores. If you intend to spend time outdoors in Houston, remember to apply sun screen with a high SPF rating to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays; just don’t do this after Botox, or after any kind of laser skin treatments.

Botulinum toxin is a biological compound that many consumers use for cosmetic purposes such as, smoothening facial wrinkles, and treating hyperhidrosis. Botox treatment procedure is generally straightforward, safe, and takes about 15 minutes to complete. People who receive Botox injections usually experience mild side effects, such as reddening and swelling of the injection site; however, these effects usually subside after a small period of time, and patients experience a fuller more youthful and softer appearance.

Connect with Dr. Patt at Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery.