My elevens. That’s why I had BOTOX®. What are elevens? Those two vertical lines between my eyebrows that are growing deeper with every movement of my face; and my face does move. It turns out I’ve created these lines with every squint, eyebrow lift, and quizzical look I’ve made over the last five decades.
It’s not aging that I’m fighting. Wrinkles are a part of the joy of having been alive this long. But it is about the way the world perceives me. I’m generally a very happy person, but the permanent scowl on my face, even when accompanied by a smile, tells the world I’m cross, angry, or tired even when I’m not. But I’m not about to have a frozen-looking forehead either.
Lucky for me, BOTOX treatments have come a long way since 2002 when they were approved for cosmetic uses. I chose a good cosmetic surgeon who softened the muscle action but didn’t paralyze it. His skill in determining where to inject the BOTOX gave me the natural look I was hoping for. Sure, I can still conjure up a scowl, but the BOTOX made my fine horizontal lines disappear, and it’s working on those vertical lines. That’s the beauty of BOTOX. It relaxes the muscles to keep them from being able to contract, and that’s what leads to the improvement.
Of course, my frown lines are beyond moderate and working their way toward severe. They may take me a year or more of BOTOX treatments to really smooth out. I may also have to consider a filler to help jumpstart the smoother appearance while I wait for my muscles to be retrained.
You can avoid this by starting BOTOX treatments when you first notice lines while your face is at rest. Those lines are called “static” lines, and they’re not going to go away without treatment. Topical options can temporarily puff up the skin surrounding the area, or it can fill in the grooves, but they rarely make any improvements. I’ve tried line erasers in every price range, including one that was $700 an ounce, and none of them made a lasting change. Save your money and tackle the real problem and to do that, you have to go beneath the skin.
Beyond BOTOX – What’s Next?
I’ll admit that now that I’ve seen the benefits of BOTOX I’ve been looking at other areas that I’d like to improve. I’m considering Juvéderm® to reduce the size of my smile lines (the technical term is nasolabial folds). You know, those deep lines from the base of your nose that run past the outer corner of your lips and down toward your chin? Yea, I have those too. I’ll also be moving towards an upper eyelid lift. My heavy lids are causing vision problems and infections in the inner corner of my eye. The first few days after my BOTOX injections that area was lifted, and I realized what an immense difference it made in my sight.
I’ll also be discussing the possibility of adding BOTOX treatments for my chronic migraine headaches with my neurologist. In the three months since my injections, my migraine headaches have been reduced significantly. In fact, I’ve had just two migraine headaches. My usual average is 12-15 per month. That means I was spared from 34 to 43 days of pain, downtime, and lost wages. Plus, the cost of my onset med, Zolmitriptan, runs nearly one thousand dollars a month, and I have to pay out of pocket if I need more than twelve pills a month. That’s pretty significant savings for both the insurance company and me.
BOTOX – What’s It Cost?
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) has created a Cosmetic Surgery Pricing Guide that can give you an idea of what the procedure will cost in your area. Choose your procedure and enter your zip code and you’ll be given the price range you can expect to find. BOTOX-type injectables in my are are said to start at $200 and go as high as $1400.
How Do I Find a Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon?
Looking to find your own Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon is easy with the Find ABCS Surgeons webpage. Provide your city, state, and zip code and choose to search for doctor’s within 25 to 300+ miles from your location and you’ll be shown a list of Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeons that fit your criteria. In my area, just southeast of Seattle, there are seven. Each doctor has a profile, contact information, and credentials. Having this depth of information makes choosing the right doctor for you easier.
Dr. Alexander Sobel is an award-winning, double board certified surgeon in cosmetic surgery and Otolaryngology (facial cosmetic surgery) who has performed thousands of cosmetic procedures. Located in the Seattle-area, Dr. Sobel specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, breast, and body.