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!
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.