Botox 101: What To Expect At Your First Appointment
Getting Botox Injections for the first time can be really intimidating. It’s hard to know what to expect at your first Botox appointment and even harder to know what you should expect from your Botox clinic. That is why I put together a complete guide for your first Botox appointment!
So at this point, you’ve probably already decided you’re getting Botox. Yay!! In my opinion, getting Botox is no different than getting lash extensions, fake nails, or a spray tan. At least Botox can be seen as an ~investment~ in your skin.
If you still aren’t sure whether or not injections are for you, I suggest you start here first:
Botox 101: What To Know Before Your Appointment
In short, Botox acts as a paralyzer to our facial muscles that cause fine lines and wrinkles over time. It is not a permanent solution to fine lines or wrinkles, and there are some things to be aware of before your first appointment.
RELATED: Filler 101: Your Guide To Facial Fillers
How To Pick The Right Clinic And Botox Injector
First, let’s discuss how to go about picking the perfect clinic and injector.
When picking a clinic there are a few important things we are looking for. For starters, do they have good reviews? The internet doesn’t lie these days, and I would recommend reading MANY reviews before scheduling!
If the reviews check out, then I would suggest you find them on social media next. All great clinics and injectors show off their work, so if you find a page with only a few pictures- that’s a major red flag. On the contrary, if they have endless before and after pictures, then you’re in the clear!
Botox Cosmetics has a service on the website to help find a provider.
Lastly, how does the staff sound on the phone? They should sound kind, professional, and knowledgable. The front desk staff should be able to answer most of your questions and make you feel comfortable with choosing them as a practice.
The clinic you choose may have different options for injectors. Most often, their titles range from Registered Nurses to Physicians Assistants to Doctors. What’s more important than their title is how long they’ve been injecting. You may be able to find an injector with hundreds of before and after pictures on Instagram, which would rock. But if not, choose the injector with the most experience.
Questions To Ask Before Scheduling Your Botox Appointment
Once you decide on the perfect clinic and injector, it’s time to call and get on the schedule! Woo hoo!
The clinic will get your information and find a time to fit you in with the injector you’ve chosen. Once you settle on a date and time that works best for you, it’s time to ask some important questions.
First, we certainly want to know how much they charge per unit for Botox
As I’ve discussed in other articles, most reputable places charge between $11-$13. In all honesty, I would be sketched out by anyone charging less than $11 unless its for a promotion they have going on. If they start to go on and on about Dysport, don’t let that low price get you. I explain more on that here.
Trust me when I say Botox treatments should not something you price shop for – 90% of Botox results are in the hands of the injector, so you’re paying for the expertise, not the treatment.
To add on to finding out the price per unit, also find out if they’re currently running any specials. Don’t be alarmed if they require a deposit to reserve promotional pricing as this is normal.
Next, Ask If They Participate In Brilliant Distinctions
Brilliant Distinctions is a free loyalty program for Botox and Filler that turns points from treatments into coupons for money off. I would definitely favor a clinic that uses Brilliant Distinctions over one who doesn’t!
The reason I say that is because the company that created Brilliant Distinctions, Allergan, often requires staff training (beyond injectors) to ensure everyone is knowledgable on treatments. This means they invest in the clinic staff to be experts from the front desk to check out. Who wouldn’t want to be in the hands of a more knowledgeable staff?
I also say that because Botox is expensive, so why not get a discount when you can.
Third, Ask If There’s Anything Special To Do Before The Appointment
This may include completing an online medical history, signing up for their patient portal, etc.
This would also be when they would tell you any specific recommendations their clinic makes to new Botox patients.
Finally, Ask If They Offer Complimentary Consultations And Same Day Treatment
I say this for two reasons:
- A complimentary consultation will offer you the opportunity to meet with the injector, have your areas of concern evaluated and get a specific personalized quote all at no expense to you and without the pressure of receiving treatment if you get ~bad vibes~ or don’t feel comfortable with the injector.
- If they offer complimentary consultations with the option of same-day treatment, you can hear the injector’s expert opinion and decide if her ideas and the price work for you!
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What To Do Before Your Appointment
There really isn’t anything special to do for the most part. If you can, avoid blood thinners for about 24 hours before your appointment (unless your doctor has prescribed them for you to take regularly, then do that!!!!).
You should also try to refrain from drinking a lot of alcohol the night before your appointment. Both of these things will help control the bleeding at the injection sites.
To avoid bruising and swelling, I take these homeopathic tabs that reduce pain and bruising that I purchased from my clinic! They help a ton and I recommend them to anyone who is getting injections.
Otherwise, there isn’t any prep work to be done! Feel free to wear makeup to your appointment if you have to as well. The injector will have no problem wiping off the injection areas before treatment.
You may also want to purchase some small ice packs to help with bruising, swelling, and headaches. These are my favorite, I have a bunch at home.
What To Expect At Your Consultation
After you check-in and are brought into a room to meet with your injector, the first thing she’ll do is have a consult with you. This is where she gets the opportunity to hear what concerns specifically brought you in, what your budget might be, and what she thinks would be best for you.
During the consultation, she may have you hold up a mirror while she points out areas she can enhance with Botox while also determining whether your concerns should be solved with Botox, Filler, or Aesthetic procedures such as laser treatments or skincare products.
RELATED: The Ordinary Skincare Routine Guide
The injector will discuss how many units she recommends for each area and will then give a quote on the treatment. Here is where you can decide to add on other areas of the face or take away less concerning areas to find your happy ground.
The injector should feel comfortable explaining the process to you and how Botox works. They should also have no problem talking you through the process.
Once you determine your units and areas of treatment, they will most likely take before pictures for your chart. Don’t opt out of this! Make sure they won’t use them on social media without your permission, and if they assure you the pictures will stay in your chart, then take them. It is so fun to see the before and after’s once your treatment sets in.
What To Expect During The Injections
After they take pictures, it’s probably time to begin the injections. They will inject multiple sites for a single area. They will typically ask you to make faces in between injections to ensure proper injection sites.
The injection itself is not as painful as you would think. To me, it feels like a toothpick dipped in rubbing alcohol is firmly pressed in different spots around your face for a second at a time. If you’re worried about pain, ask if they offer topical numbing to help!
Most injectors have an assistant with them to help clean the area between injections and wipe up any blood.
You may bleed, that’s okay! It’s totally normal! If blood makes you woozy or light-headed, make sure to eat a snack before your appointment and let your injector know so they can be prepared. The last thing you want is to be passed out with a botched Botox job because she was caught off guard!
Usually, they are only truly injecting for about 10 minutes of the appointment. It is a super quick and easy process!
What To Do After Your Appointment
After your injections are all done, they may give you an ice pack, warn you about any bruising and give you restrictions after your treatment. Always follow the clinic’s directions following treatment, not the internet’s (that includes me!)!!!
*Note that although most patients see results in 24-48 hours, your injections can take up to two weeks to show full results.
You’ll go to check out, pay your account balance, and will most likely be asked if you want to schedule a two-week follow-up appointment. Do this! You can always cancel if you love your results and feel you don’t need another appointment. However, coming back in two weeks allows the injector to evaluate your treatment and fix any unevenness!
Having unevenness doesn’t mean you have a bad injector. The muscles are often hard to predict, and slight unevenness is common. At your two-week follow-up appointment, the injector will have the opportunity to fix these issues (most likely free of charge).
I, personally, take a couple of Tylenol immediately after Botox injections as I find it gives me a headache the evening of my appointment. This is normal and nothing to be alarmed of. If you’re prone to headaches, I would recommend taking some Tylenol afterward.
Again, listen to the injector’s recommendations first and foremost, but avoid heavy drinking the evening after your appointment and vigorous exercise. Find out from your injector how soon you can apply makeup again as they each have different recommendations.
You will also find that for about 10-15 minutes after your injections, you’ll have bumps that look like horns at all your injection sites. These do subside very quickly, so don’t let them scare you.
And finally, avoid laying down flat for 4-5 hours after your injections.
Know that if you are having concerns or worries, call the clinic and ask to speak to a nurse or the injector to make sure what you’re experiencing is normal. Google can be very helpful but also very scary. It’s better to hear it out of the horse’s mouth than to .. ?? Not sure, but you get what I mean.
And That Is What You Can Expect At Your First Botox Appointment!
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