Yes, I got Botox. Yes, I will do it again!

I’ve been think­ing about get­ting Botox for rough­ly a year, espe­cial­ly after my birth­day and third baby. As a mom of three, fit­ness instruc­tor and a busi­ness own­er, I was feel­ing like tired and dull skin was not reflect­ing my ener­gy and activ­i­ty. When sev­er­al local moms in a Face­book group start­ed a thread about Botox, I knew it was time to give some seri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion to this cos­met­ic procedure.

Botox is offered every­where – at your local med spa, from a plas­tic sur­geon, from a der­ma­tol­o­gist, some­times even from a pri­ma­ry care doc­tor! I want­ed to know where to go, who was the most qual­i­fied, pric­ing and of course, how the treat­ment actu­al­ly feels. I start­ed ask­ing around and received TONS of help­ful opin­ions and rec­om­men­da­tions, but the one that stuck with me was Dr. Alix Charles.

To be com­plete­ly hon­est, I hadn’t even thought that my local and most favorite der­ma­tol­o­gist, Dr. Charles of DMG Aes­thet­ics, per­formed Botox. In fact, I’ve known Dr. Charles for near­ly two years because I take my daugh­ters there for warts (he is AMAZ­ING with kids) and oth­er med­ical der­ma­tol­ogy fol­low-ups. So, when some­one rec­om­mend­ed Dr. Charles for Botox, it was a no brainer.

In every inter­ac­tion I’ve had with Dr. Charles, it’s been obvi­ous that he takes his role as a der­ma­tol­o­gist very seri­ous­ly. The care he takes in treat­ing my girl’s skin, to the research he puts in to seek­ing out the most advanced, non-inva­sive cos­met­ic pro­ce­dures, is out­stand­ing. I couldn’t wait to get an appoint­ment to talk with him about Botox!

On the day of my appoint­ment I will ful­ly admit, I was ner­vous. I was wor­ried about the pain, how it would look and how I would feel after­wards. What if it didn’t take? What if I hat­ed it?

But let me tell you…I loved it! It was not pain­less, but com­pared to so many oth­er mom-life-moments (Hel­lo! I’ve had three babies!), it was a breeze.

Dur­ing the con­sult, a nurse assist­ed Dr. Charles to take notes and get me ready for the procedure.

Dr. Charles answered all of my ques­tions before and after my Botox injections –

How did he know what amount of Botox to inject?

For any giv­en part of the face, there is a range for the num­ber of units that can be inject­ed. How­ev­er, I like to assess a patient’s face as well as the strength of their facial mus­cles to decide how many units to inject and exact­ly where to place them. There can be a lot of art to inject­ing Botox!”

What would I do right after this?

Imme­di­ate­ly after a treat­ment the patient might have a few bumps that look like mos­qui­to bites, maybe with some pin­point bleed­ing. This will go away after a cou­ple of hours. Rarely will a patient devel­op a bruise at an injec­tion site. If so, it tends to be very small and will resolve in a few days. In our office we also have a laser that can be used to make bruis­es heal more rapidly.”

How would I feel the rest of the day?

Patients will feel fine after hav­ing their Botox injec­tions per­formed. Many patients will go right back to their dai­ly activ­i­ties, mak­ing this a pop­u­lar lunchtime’ procedure.”

When would I start to see the results?

It can take up to sev­en days for the Botox to take effect. Some stud­ies have shown that exer­cis­ing” the facial mus­cles right after treat­ment may help the results to take effect more rapid­ly, some­times in as lit­tle as two to three days.”

Is it true that it wears off faster for active fit pros like me?

While the dura­tion of Botox’s effect seems to vary from patient to patient, I have not found that the patient’s fit­ness lev­el has much to do with dura­bil­i­ty of results. In my patient pop­u­la­tion, most of the peo­ple I treat are rather fit. I see dura­tion of effect any­where from three months to even five months in some patients.”

How would I know when to come back?

I usu­al­ly have my patients set up a fol­low up appoint­ment around three to four months lat­er for re-injec­tion. Some patients pre­fer to wait for the Botox to wear off com­plete­ly, but I feel that if you keep the mus­cles relaxed you might find that you enjoy longer dura­tion of effect over time with repeat­ed treatments.”

When it came to injec­tion time, the nurse used her fin­ger­tips to light­ly tap dif­fer­ent parts of my face over and over while Dr. Charles per­formed the injec­tions. The tap­ping was mag­i­cal! It almost com­plete­ly dis­tract­ed me from the dis­com­fort. I was even able to chit-chat with Dr. Charles about my girls and plans for the rest of the day.

He was patient and kind, just like in my pri­or der­ma­tol­ogy appoint­ments. He walked me through every step. They gave me a small ice pack to help dis­suade bruis­ing and a detailed list of post injec­tion instruc­tions. The one instruc­tion that sur­prised me the most was not being able to lie down for four hours! Who knew? But I fol­lowed every instruc­tion to the T and began to see results on about day four. 

I couldn’t believe it! My deep fore­head wrin­kles were slow­ly dis­ap­pear­ing. My 1 (some peo­ple have a 1, an 11, or 111 between their brows) was slow­ly dis­ap­pear­ing too.

After a cou­ple days there was one thing that didn’t look per­fect to me — my eye­brows. They would arch up high­er on one side than the oth­er. It kind of made me look evil, or as Dr. Charles would say, like Dr. Spock from Star Trek. Ha!

Dr. Charles explained that Spock­ing”, or an excess ele­va­tion of the eye­brows fol­low­ing Botox to the glabel­la (the space between the eyes), is basi­cal­ly a tug-of-war” between your eye brows and fore­head since your fore­head mus­cles no longer have to com­pete” with the mus­cles between the eyes. This can eas­i­ly be cor­rect­ed with a cou­ple of well-placed fore­head injections.

I called the nurse and was able to bump up my fol­low-up appoint­ment for Dr. Charles to take a look. He assured me that this was pret­ty com­mon and easy to fix with one more unit in each eye­brow. It was so quick and set in even faster than the pri­or injections.

Friends have told me I look less tired and a lit­tle fresh­er — exact­ly what I was going for. I feel my inter­nal ener­gy reflect­ing again on the outside.

Do I plan to do this again? 100%, yes.

I real­ize that Botox is not for every­one, and that is total­ly okay. How­ev­er, I’m a firm believ­er in doing what makes you feel con­fi­dent and com­fort­able, and Botox has helped me con­tin­ue to feel this way.

It’s not about look­ing flaw­less’ or defy­ing the nat­ur­al aging process, it’s about feel­ing com­fort­able in my own skin, from the inside-out.

I hope my jour­ney has inspired you in more ways than one, whether that means pur­su­ing Botox or not!

Les­ley Lehman,
Entre­pre­neur, ACE Cer­ti­fied Group Fit­ness Instructor

Les­ley and her hus­band live in Elmhurst with their three daugh­ters. Les­ley loves pur­su­ing a pas­sion for fit­ness and sup­port for moms that allows her to spend time with her girls.

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