Okay, I admit it, I was a Botox snob.
Whenever someone said they were interested in getting Botox, I would reply, “Oooooh, I would NEVER get THAT….it’s derived from a TOXIN! I would get an injectable that was made of more natural ingredients versus a toxin any day.”
Well, the fact of the matter was, I never TRIED Botox…and being in the anti-aging field, it kind of made sense to at least try it….
I did NOT begin my day thinking, oh I think I’ll get some Botox today. Rather, I scheduled an consultation appointment with Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald to write up an article about what it’s like to get an injectable.
You might remember Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald from my article on Sculptra. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology and a Fellow of both the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and the American Society of Dermatological Surgery (ASDS). She is on the clinical faculty at the University of California — Los Angeles (UCLA). And as a filler doctor, her clients swear she’s an artist.
And so begins my journey:
More than a few days before the appointment, I got a call reminding me of the day and time of my appointment, and to look at Dr. Fitzgerald’s “GUIDELINES” section on her website. I did, and it was full of information on what and what not to do before your dermal injection.
Medications to Discontinue 7 Days Before a dermal filler are:
– Aspirin (unless it’s prescribed)
– Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Aleve)
– St. John’s Wort
– Omega 3 fatty acids (Fish Oil)
– Vitamin E
Staying away from these will result in less bruising after you get your injection.
Once I arrived to her lovely office in the Larchmont LA area, it was PHOTO TIME. Dr. Fitzgerald’s assistant takes various photos of your face to have on file as reference, and to examine the before and after results.
During the consultation, Dr. Fitzgerald thoroughly examined my face. This doc did not just glance at it, as some doctors might, but she took time to really examine it from different angles and talk to me about skin care and what would improve my looks naturally. She even educated me on sun damage using diagrams in her office. All in all, I felt completely at ease and in good hands, PLUS she was funny and super nice.
When she asked, “Have you tried Botox?” I kinda got into my “snob” mode again. I told her about my concerns about it being a toxin and concerns about the side effects.
She replied, it’s all about the “risk/benefit ratio” and assured me that it was safe.
I’ve read if Botox side effects DO occur, they will be temporary, and side effects will depend on where the Botox was injected. For frown lines, side effects include dry mouth, discomfort or pain at the injection site, nausea, headache and drooping eyelids.
To read all of Botox’s side effects, visit the Allergan site at:
Dr. Fitzgerald recommended 25 units of Botox for me in 3 areas: right on my “11,” the middle vertical line I had, and above the beginning of each eyebrow. Since I knew that Dysport is similar to Botox, I asked what the difference is.
The answer? “One is Coke, the other is Pepsi”. Okay, Botox it is…
Of course, I’m immediately thinking of my old GF and her botched Botox. Her mistake was in NOT consulting with me on WHERE to go…her injections resulted in little bumps between her brows giving her that “Klingon/Star Trek look.” And I KNEW this was not going to happen to me….
Sometimes, it’s ALL about the doctor.
Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald is one of Allergan’s specially designated National Educational Faculty members and a nationally recognized expert in Botox use.
What I absolutely love about this doctor is that she looks at aging from a “full face perspective” to ensure natural looking results. She believes that the face ages like a 3D interlocking puzzle…a change in one place will cause a change somewhere else…and given my results, I know she truly believes this and KNOWS how to produce those changes.
So I’m taking the plunge and trying Botox for the first time…in my 40’s.
Per standard procedure, I then I filled out a release form that said I was fully aware of the risks and authorize the injection.
Was I nervous? Not at all. Did it hurt? Just 3 little pricks. They applied a little cold balloon for “distraction” and 1-2-3 PRICK, 1-2-3 PRICK, 1-2-3 PRICK. And it was over.
At that very time, the doctor scheduled a follow up appointment so she could see how the injection was doing.
This is AMAZING, because even the dermatologist on the Housewives of Beverly Hills just shouted out to his filler patient, “Let me know if you have any problems…” But Dr. Fitzgerald will always schedule a follow-up for all new patients. Her rep says this is important for many reasons but since everyone reacts differently, it is important for her to see new patients a week or two after their first injection so she can determine a baseline for how they react to the injectables. For certain established patients who have had several visits with injectables, she may not schedule a follow-up since both she and the patient know what to expect.
So, I went home and back to my routine. The next day I got a follow-up call from the office, reminding me that any results should kick in between 5-7 days and not to get discouraged if I don’t see any results right away. Again, this is FANTASTIC customer service.
I couldn’t get in for about 4 weeks (this doc. is very popular), but when I did, Dr. Fitzgerald’s assistant took more pics. When she saw me, she looked at me with her critical eye and said, oh you got some great lift… and she sat me down to go over the before and afters.
Now since Botox basically paralyzes the nerve endings in your cells so they can no longer contract, I thought Botox was simply used to soften the appearance of lines.
But according to Dr. Fitzgerald, sometimes Botox is more about the “lift” than the line.
Do you know what a WATERSHED moment that is to KNOW that? Just THINK of all the crazy celebs that have rushed to get Botox to fill all of their forehead lines…. It’s no WONDER they have frozen face !!! Cuz Botox LIFTS as well as softens lines.
The muscles in your forehead pull up and the muscles over your brows pull down. Botox works by knocking out the depressor muscles in the forehead above the brows. Since the depressor muscles extend across the brow lines, it works on the whole muscle. Dr. Fitzgerald strategically placed the Botox where I would experience a lift…and THAT lift, made me look as tho I had an eyebrow lift.
All with 3 little pricks. Check out the photos. Yes, I can still raise my eyebrows.
I admit the eyes are not the same size in the photo, but the main benefit Botox gave me was a lift in the skin right above the eye and below the brow.
How’d did it do with the little “one” wrinkle I had above my nose? Softened it significantly, altho I can still see it. The doc told me that sometimes it takes a couple rounds to see it disappear completely, but the results of the lift and softening will last around 3 months.
Have I been converted to the Botox side? You know, I’m DEFINITELY not a snob anymore, and YES, with an expert doctor, I think I would do it again. Absolutely zero side effects and great results. Can’t ask for more.
Right now, Dr. Fitzgerald’s office is having a limited time offer. Botox Cosmetic: Buy a 100 unit bottle for only $1000 – that’s a savings of $400.00. Use your Botox as needed. You can even buy your Botox on a preloaded card online!
Another way to save — schedule your Botox injection 3 months in advance and save 10%.
Want a bit of Botox for lunch? Now, Dr. Fitzgerald’s office has “Botox Only Hours,” hours set aside for a quick in-and-out for Botox patients:
Mondays 5-6 P.M
Wednesdays 1-2 P.M
Fridays 9-10 A.M
Of course you can schedule Botox or Dysport at other times, but these times slots will only be for these injections and they won’t be able to schedule combination treatments during those hours.Rebecca Fitzgerald M.D.
321 N Larchmont Blvd. Ste 906
Los Angeles, CA 90004 Phone: (323) 464-8046 http://www.rebeccafitzgeraldmd.com
After your Botox shot, it’s best to avoid excessive sun and heat, no squeezing or massaging the area, and as usual, don’t forget the sunscreen.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about how much Botox and where. Remember that “full-face perspective? A little strategically placed Botox, (versus a few vials) is going to give you a natural-looking, more youthful appearance.
If you are still not convinced and are a Botox no-no die hard, you can always go with “Bang-Tox” — that’s where you just grow your bangs over your forehead and call it a day. It’s all natural 🙂 And relatively inexpensive.
If you’re interested in Botox and other fillers, but there’s not enough cash in the kittie, I found a great program that rewards you for your filler purchases. You build up points which you can redeem for what else? More Botox and fillers. Look for the write-up soon.
Converted Botox Snob,
~The Anti-Aging Analyst