25 Years of Botox®

I was talking with my friend Jo (Josephine) about wearing our masks when we came around to how the only thing visible these days is our foreheads. Jo's forehead has aged. She's annoyed. Next thing you know we're talking Botox®.

Jo is interested but unsure. Since Jo is a nurse it surprised me that she didn't understand how safe it is. You see I started getting Botox® in my “11” lines 25 years ago and have never had a single problem. I used to have vertical lines between my eyes that gave me a look of perpetual seriousness. When I realized that I could relax those lines I jumped at the chance and I've never looked back. I wouldn't be without my shots. But Jo's nursing background means she knows enough to read every warning on every label and not quite enough to interpret them correctly. Warnings might be pretty scary but they don't mean we should avoid the product. A warning tells you to ask a doctor first and to consult a specialist when necessary. And why it's important to use a specialist when you decide to try any injectable. In the right hands Botox® and newer line softening injections like Xeomin® and Dysport®  are safe and effective.

Typically, the worst thing that happens when you get softening injections from an unqualified injector is that your eyebrows are crooked. Next is that the treatment just doesn't work. When someone comes into our office and says, “Oh I tried that, it didn't do anything” it means she used the wrong person, not the wrong product. When used as intended Botox®, Xeomin® and Dysport® always work, but they're not one size fits all. When a medispa quotes you a price per unit there is no way for you to know how many units you are truly getting. A more honest quote gives you a price per area. In any case if you're given a quote without a face to face visit, that tells me that no attention is being paid to your individual needs. Your forehead is different from mine. The placement of your muscles, the depth of the lines, your age, your everything(!) is different. Only a surgeon understands how all of these things affect outcomes and only a specialist has the skill to tailor your treatment to you.

It wasn't until we all started wearing masks that I noticed my own forehead again. It's been years since I 've given it any thought. Botox® is part of my routine; the easy fix I've been relying on. The “11” lines are a distant memory. The horizontal creases that deepen each year are now part of my treatment too.  If I were to give it up I wouldn't look or feel like myself. Most people don't know I use it because I'm not overdone. My forehead looks natural, I can raise my eyebrows and show emotion-all due to the skills of my talented doctor/husband. He likes to say, “If a rattlesnake jumps out of a bush, your face should move. Well said!

Jo had her appointment last week and is now grinning behind her mask. Her eyes smile and her forehead is smooth. Easy.

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