Cost, benefits, side effects of Botox injections and more

Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are all used to fight wrinkles. They are a purified form of botulinum toxin A, which means there is no risk of botulism when used correctly. They work by blocking the nerves that contract the muscles, thus reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Benefits and Side Effects

Botox is most effective on wrinkles that haven’t quite set in — “dynamic” wrinkles that appear when you move your face, like when you frown. “If you don’t move the muscle too much, you won’t form a wrinkle,” says Monica Halem, a dermatologist at Columbia University. She sees Botox as preventative.

If you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, the FDA recommends that you speak with your doctor before starting Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin.

Side effects are possible: headaches, bruising, pain at the injection site and, in less than 1% of cases, droopy eyelids or eyebrows that return to their natural position within a few months.

If you decide to try:

Don’t be a pill. You are more likely to bruise at the needle injection site if you take aspirin or ibuprofen; these drugs thin the blood and increase bleeding, which causes the bruise. Skip the pills for 2 weeks before your treatment. You should also tell your doctor – before treatment – about any supplements you are taking, even if they are “natural”, as some (such as fish oil pills, ginkgo or vitamin E) also thin the blood. Your doctor may ask you not to use these supplements for 2 weeks before your treatment.

take it easy. Ask your doctor for a more natural and expressive look. Your doctor may adjust the dose accordingly.

don’t party. Spas and parties are fun, but not for injections. These anti-wrinkle treatments should only be performed by a doctor licensed in dermatology or plastic surgery.

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