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What is Botox?

Kristina Cadwell  
October 1, 2019  

Have you been searching for a more youthful version of yourself? Are you ready to find the best place to get Botox in Scottsdale/Phoenix?

Botox is a hot topic that can lead to a lot of misconceptions and false information. To help you make an informed decision about having a Botox injection, we've put together all the pertinent, accurate info about this rejuvenation treatment. Read on!

What is botox and how it works?

What Is Botox?

Botox is a trade name of a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The toxin is called Botulinum toxin, hence the name Botox. There are other brand names for this substance, such as Dysport and Xeomin, and these products are not interchangeable with Botox.

To get a better idea about what is Xeomin, check out our article on Botox vs Xeomin differences.

How Is Botox Made?

The bacteria Clostridium botulinum is found in natural environments such as forests, lakes, and soils, and the intestinal tracts of some fish and mammals. Its toxin is highly poisonous in large amounts, and it can cause botulism. However, it is perfectly safe in small, diluted amounts and controlled conditions.

Botox is made by purifying the bacterium using different acids to leave only the Botulinum toxin and some proteins, and sodium chloride is added to the contents. It is a clear solution without any color and odor.

What Is Botox Used For?

Botox is used in the medical and cosmetic industries. It is an FDA-approved drug for various medical conditions (e.g. hemifacial spasms). When injected into specific muscles, Botulinum toxin can cause their controlled weakening, and that is why it is most popular in the cosmetic industry. Few people have heard of treating muscle spasms with Botox—but nearly everyone knows it can smooth out wrinkles!

How Does Botox Actually Work?

The human face has 43 muscles, and they contract every time you speak, eat, smile, frown, or make any other facial expression. When these muscles move, the skin moves with them, and over time this causes wrinkles.

When Botox is injected directly into the muscles, it blocks signals that are usually transmitted from your nerves. In the absence of these signals, the muscles stop contracting and become stiff, which forces the wrinkles to relax and soften.

Botox works well with wrinkles caused by muscle movements, such as frown wrinkles, crow feet (lines around the eye), and forehead lines. Unfortunately, Botox won’t influence wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity.

Who Can Use Botox?

If you want to improve the appearance of your wrinkles with Botox injections, you must be a healthy candidate and at least 18 years of age. Some conditions will, unfortunately, disqualify you from getting an injection. You shouldn’t get Botox if you:

• are pregnant or nursing
• have a neuromuscular disease
• have weakness in certain muscles on the face
• have skin problems
• have deep facial scars
• have very thick facial skin
• have asymmetrical facial features
• have drooping eyelids.

If you want to get Botox injections, be upfront with your medical professional about your medical history and all the medicines you are taking: prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal supplements, etc.

Your medical professional will decide whether you are the right candidate for Botox.

How Is Botox Procedure Performed?

How is botox procedure performed

Getting Botox takes only a few minutes, and the procedure doesn’t require any anesthesia. Your injector may use an anesthetic cream and rub it directly on your skin to numb the area of the injection. He or she will then inject Botox with a fine needle into specific muscles. It doesn’t hurt, but you may feel minor discomfort.

Once the procedure is complete, you will be back on your feet doing all your regular day-to-day activities! There is no downtime with this procedure.

You’ll notice the first results about three days after the procedure. It takes about three to seven days for the injection to take full effect, revealing a new, fresher you.

Important: Once you have a procedure scheduled for your Botox injection at our Scottsdale | Phoenix med spa, please refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages for a week prior to the treatment. Your medical professional might suggest that you stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications two weeks before the procedure to reduce bruising.

Botox Injection Sites: Where Can Botox Be Injected?

The most common areas on people’s Botox wish list are frown lines (between the eyebrows), forehead lines, wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet), and chin wrinkles.

Other wrinkles and lines are better treated with dermal fillers, either alone or combined with Botox. These include lines under the eye (tear through), lipstick lines, and neck wrinkles.

Botox may also fix your bunny lines (lines on the nose that appear when you crinkle your nose to sniff something), or droopy eyes. However, that will require extra careful administration, as you don’t want an over-surprised look, or your beautiful smile to be affected.

Is Botox Safe and What Are the Side Effects of Botox Injections?

Botox is a relatively safe procedure, as long as a qualified medical professional performs the injections. They will ensure you get the right amount in the right area in the safest manner.

Getting Botox from someone who doesn’t have the necessary qualifications and experience could lead to myriad issues you didn’t sign up for, such as asymmetrical results, frozen expressions, muscle drooping, and other unwelcome consequences.

Here at Vibrant Skin Bar, you will get your injection from qualified experts who will help you determine the right treatment customized just for you to get optimal results.

The most common side effect of Botox is bruising. Headaches are a rare side effect. If you get them, they will disappear in 24-48 hours. A tiny percentage of patients may develop eyelid drooping that will gradually correct itself in approximately three weeks.

In extremely rare cases, side-effects can include:

  • Difficulty in swallowing, speaking and breathing
  • Mild pain
  • Numbness
  • Temporary weakness
  • Neck weakness
  • Mild nausea
  • Flu-like illness
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Bleeding (in case the doctor injects too deep and hits a blood vessel)
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes
  • Swelling

Note: Bumps after Botox are another side effect that may appear. Learn how to get rid of them.

We need to emphasize that these are infrequent. All medical procedures and medicines can have side-effects, including the frequently used Ibuprofen.

Make sure you have the procedure in a certified place by a licensed professional who is experienced and prepared. Using the optimal dosage and administering the injections properly decreases the chances of any side effects. Side effects are usually minimal, and some patients may not experience any at all.

Most of our patients have undergone Botox in less than half an hour. You can come in for the procedure during a lunch break and go right back to work!

If you do experience some side effects, please reach out to your doctor immediately.

What Are the Benefits and Disadvantages of Botox?

Advantages and disadvantages of botox

Botox is the most common non-surgical cosmetic treatment worldwide: More than 6 million Botox treatments are administered each year! It is obviously popular, but does it have some negative sides? Let's explore Botox advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of Botox Injections

The wrinkle-less effect of Botox lasts for about three to six months. If you like this temporary effect and want to prolong it, you can book another treatment.

If you continue using Botox, your lines and wrinkles may appear less severe over time, because you’ll practically train your muscles to stop moving.

With regular use, you will need less Botox to maintain the same results as before.

Disadvantages of Botox Injections

To maintain the effects of Botox, you need to have the injections at certain intervals.

If you stop treating your wrinkles with Botox, the muscles gradually return to their original state and the wrinkles begin to re-appear.

When one area is treated, another muscle around the area can strengthen and take over the job of the treated area. For example, if you’ve had too much Botox on the forehead and want to frown, the activity will be concentrated on the top of your nose, creating new wrinkles in this area. This is called recruitment.

Too much Botox can weaken your muscles and activate the recruitment process. That’s why you shouldn’t go overboard with your Botox injections. Seek medical advice before going through with this type of procedure.

Did you know that...

  • When found in its natural environment, Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that makes botulinum toxin, is largely inactive and non-toxic.
  • Just one gram of the toxin could kill over 1 million people. A two-pound amount could wipe out the entire human population of our planet!
  • Botox can treat migraines, muscular disorders, excessive sweating, and some bladder and bowel disorders.
  • Botulism, an illness caused by the toxin, can cause failure to the respiratory system and have fatal repercussions.

What Are the Common Questions Before Botox Procedure?

1. How Many Units of Botox Will I Need?

How many units of Botox is required?

Your medical professional will determine the exact dosage of Botox based on the severity of your wrinkles and folds, your previous Botox injections, and the look you want to achieve.

Here are the averages:

  • Botox for forehead wrinkles: 6-15 units
  • Botox for frown lines: 12-25 units
  • Botox for crow's feet: 8-20 units per side
  • Botox under eyes: 2 units per side
  • Botox for the corners of the mouth: 3 units per side
  • Botox for eyebrow lift: 2-4 units per side
  • Botox for bunny nose: 2-6 units per side

On average, men’s dosing is double of the dosing above.

2. Can Botox Fix Uneven Eyebrows?

It is necessary first to examine why your brows are uneven. It may be because of over-plucking, so you can solve the issue by letting them grow and then reshaping them. If the cause lies in an imbalance of the muscles, a tiny amount of Botox can create the symmetry you desire.

3. Can I Do Botox At Home?

Please don’t! There are several reasons why we strongly advise against this practice.

While you can buy Botox online, it doesn’t mean you should try injecting it yourself, or have an untrained friend or relative do it. Botox has many uses in medicine, and people purchasing it online most probably use it as a treatment for muscle spasms.

The individual injecting Botox needs to have a thorough knowledge of facial anatomy. Botox needs to be injected precisely into the muscle. If it ends up anywhere else, as it can cause severe medical issues.

Besides facial anatomy, the person injecting Botox needs to know just how much you need. This will vary from patient to patient and will depend on how much Botox you’ve already received in the recent past.

Botox injections are definitely not a cookie-cutter type of procedure. If you get too little, you won’t see any results. Get too much and you’ll end up in the ER. That’s why it’s essential to get your injections in a safe place from certified and licensed experts.

Third, an expert injecting Botox must be informed about what happens with Botox in the first several days following the procedure so that he or she can advise you properly.

4. Who Can Administer Botox In Arizona?

In Arizona, only trained, licensed medical professionals are permitted to inject Botox. These include physicians, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, and nurse practitioners. A medical professional who wishes to inject Botox needs to attend a Botox Injection Training Course and complete the course with flying colors to become officially certified.

In Arizona, aestheticians and skin care specialist can’t legally perform Botox treatments.

Note that each state has its own regulations about Botox injections, so if you travel to another state, be sure to check their regulations for Botox.

5. Can I Get Botox While Pregnant?

No relevant studies have been conducted on the connection between Botox and the development of the fetus. Because it is uncertain whether Botox can cause any abnormalities of the fetus, it is recommended that you refrain from these types of procedures during your pregnancy.

6. Can I Get Botox While Breastfeeding?

There is limited data on the connection between Botox injections and breastfeeding. Researchers are not sure what harmful repercussions Botox might have on a baby if it consumes breastmilk that contains Botox particles—or whether Botox can even pass into breastmilk.

Since it is proven that Botox can cause botulism, your best bet is to refrain from Botox while breastfeeding.

7. When Can I Wash My Hair After Botox?

Can you wash your hair after botox treatment and when

If you need to wash your hair post-procedure, that is completely fine—as long as you refrain from taking a hot shower. The temperature of the water should be mild, as the heat from the hot water increases blood flow to the face and is likely to cause the Botox to shift, leaving you with unnatural-looking results.

Also avoid steam showers, soaking in a hot tub, cleansing your face with hot water, and saunas. Stay away from those for the first 24 hours after your Botox treatment.

8. Can I Wash My Face After Botox?

You may wash your face, but be wary of high temperatures. Only use cool or lukewarm water to keep Botox from shifting.

Don't rub the affected areas excessively—keep pressure to the minimum to avoid swelling of the treated area.

Twenty-four hours post-procedure, you can go back to your facial cleansing routine.

9. Can I Take Ibuprofen After Botox?

If you’re feeling pain after the procedure, along with swelling of the treated area and headache, you can help manage the discomfort with a pain-relieving drug.

We recommend our patients take Tylenol after their Botox injections. Tylenol is a trade name of acetaminophen, a non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that inhibits the production of the hormone responsible for pain and inflammation.

Ibuprofen is also an NSAID, but it can increase bruising even if taken after the injections.

You can consume Tylenol every four to six hours, as needed.

Note that you shouldn’t take NSAIDs prior to a Botox procedure. This includes not only ibuprofen but also aspirin, naproxen sodium (Aleve), and several prescription drugs in the same family of medications. These drugs reduce the ability of blood clots from forming, so taking them before the procedure may cause excessive bleeding both during and after the procedure. Avoid ibuprofen and other drugs in this category four days before your Botox treatment.

10. Can I Work Out After Botox?

You can do light exercises such as stretching or weight lifting after Botox. During the first 24 hours after the treatment, it is best to avoid cardio and activities that cause profuse sweating.

11. How Long After Botox Can I Lay Down?

Lying down to rest immediately after the Botox procedure isn't a great idea either, because it can cause the Botox to migrate. If you fall asleep, you risk getting some pressure on the treated area or rubbing it accidentally.

The general advice is to wait at least four hours after getting Botox injections before lying down.

12. Can I Drink After Botox?

No data connects alcohol consumption with the success of Botox. However, we advise our patients to avoid alcohol 48 hours prior to Botox injections to prevent bruising.

Alcohol stimulates the relaxation and expansion of blood vessels, increasing blood flow throughout the body, which also applies to the areas near the surface of the skin. Increased blood flow just beneath the surface increases the chances of bruising from a tiny needle puncture that would typically heal right away.

Alcohol also causes fluid retention, which may result in swelling and bloating.

If you undergo Botox injections before an important event, steer away from drinking, just in case.


Botox is quickly gaining popularity among people who want to slow down the effects of aging in a subtle way, maintaining their natural look. This rejuvenation treatment is minimally invasive, with little downtime, and it seems it is here to stay.

However, if you want to stop wrinkles from appearing altogether, you might want to check our article about preventative Botox and learn how it works and whether it can prevent wrinkles. If you want to compare botox to other treatments, read our article on microneedling cs. botox.

Botox Near Me: Prices

If you are a regular Botox patient and are looking for a reliable and professional place to get Botox in Scottsdale/Phoenix, why not join us at the Skin Vibe Tribe? We offer three amazing options:

Baby Botox

For $99 a month, you get 30 units to use every 3 months, or 120 to be used in a year.

Smooth Operator

For $139 a month, you get 45 units to use every 3 months, or 180 to be used in a year.

The Big Freeze

For $169 a month, you get 60 units to use every 3 months, or 240 units to use throughout the year.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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