Injectables are one of the most popular non-surgical beauty treatments in Australia. Thousands and thousands of women all over the country are being injected with botulinum toxin (commonly called ‘botox’) to reduce the appearance of their facial ageing, reduce excessive sweating, and even treating neck spasm issues. I recently did a podcast with Dr Robin Chok on the use of ‘botox’ for bruxism (teeth grinding)!
There are a variety of brand ‘names’ for botulinum toxin, which is a classification S4 drug. The names include:-
Choosing a qualified & reputable Doctor for Botox
Choosing a suitably qualified, reputable and experienced practitioner to administer your Botox injections is extremely important and can definitely affect your outcome and results. In Australia, injectables should only be performed by a doctor, or a nurse under the supervision and instruction of a doctor and a written order provided by that same doctor. Be aware though that just because a doctor such as your local GP is allowed to perform the procedure, it doesn’t mean they’re good at it. Check out their experience and training specifically for injectables. Are they a member of any boards, associations, societies?
Minimising Your Risks for Botox Injections
To minimise your risks you want to be sure your practitioner is fully qualified and experienced with injectables – and without any ‘shady’ history. Check out their credentials, you might want to do a google search to check out any bad reviews (preferably verified!) or to ensure their or their clinic’s licence has never been revoked for any reason. Do they have positive feedback, testimonials and reviews? When you do this, keep in mind that there are usually always going to be unhappy patients with unrealistic expectations who are not ever going to be happy with their results. As well as this, it’s usually the unhappy patients who take the time to express their dissatisfaction. However, a bit of keyboard research will tell you if there is an overwhelming number of negative outcomes or any legal action taken against that practitioner, as well as an overall feel for previous patient satisfaction levels.
Is the Clinic Fully Equipped?
Botox should only be administered where there is appropriate equipment and protocols. The clinic should be able to deal with any side effects to anaesthetic or life threatening reactions. There should be infection control, safe injection practices including safe preparation and administration. You are within your rights to ask the clinic about all of these things.
Your Initial Consultation
You should absolutely have an initial consultation with your doctor or practitioner before the actual appointment to get your Botox Injections. It’s a good idea to have a consultation with two or more practitioners to get a feel for their clinic and see which one feels right for you. If you’re like me – you’ll want it done straight away – yes I’m a big sucker for ‘bright shiny objects’ – I’m a “Yes please fix me now” kind of person. Avoid this if you can! You want to eliminate any doctor who seems distracted, not completely focussed or interested in you as an individual or who seems too pushy or focussed on money. Also check out the clinic staff – if they all look like done-up dolls with similar looking faces that don’t have much expression, you should be concerned (unless of course that’s the look you’re after – then you’ve found your match!).
The initial consultation should include the doctor giving you a proper examination and going through your clinical history and and talking through realistic expectations and possible side effects and complications. It is also important for the doctor to gain your full written consent with details of the amount of Botox and the locations for which it is to be injected. Also make sure you are clear on the pricing of the Botox and how much it’s going to cost – you don’t want any extra costs at the end of the day. Ask about doses and how much Botox you will be receiving for the price you are paying. It will show your practitioner you are aware and doing your research. Do remember: the cheapest clinic may not always be the best one. Another great piece of advice, keep your own notes of ‘what’ is being injected (ie botox, dysport, xeomin), how much is being injected, and where. This is not only a good record for you, but a great reference for future appointments and handy if something goes wrong (you might get a droopy eyelid for example).
Check out the Practitioner’s Before and After Photos
Ask the doctor or practitioner you are having a consultation with to see photos of their work. To me there is nothing clearer than seeing previous patients and their results from the practitioner you are considering. Talk to others. Post a message on our closed Facebook page asking about a particular practitioner you’re looking at.
You’ve Chosen Your Practitioner – what else is there to consider?
- Pain threshold – Although the injecting procedure is not supposed to be too uncomfortable, some of us are more sensitive to pain (or needles!) than others. Ask your practitioner if they use topical anaesthetic creams or gels to numb the area prior to injection.
- How much Botox should you be getting? – Perhaps for your very first time, consider getting a lesser amount than what you think you might want. You can get touch-ups afterwards if you want more. You don’t want to freak yourself (and others!) out with over-done results.
- Helping your recovery – One tip we’re told helps your recovery is to try to stay upright for a few hours after your injections. Apparently it helps with swelling and inflammation.
- Don’t touch your face! – Try not to scratch or rub your face where you’ve had Botox injections – the toxin has been known to move before it’s settled and produce unwanted effects.
- Lastly, be patient – Botox takes a little while for the results to be seen. It can take a few days for the results to be fully visible so wait a little before rushing back to your practitioner worried.
If you have any problems deciding on a practitioner and need some help please feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.