I Am Always Asked Two Questions – Is Botox Safe & Why Do I Do It?

So, if you had asked me 7 years ago would you do Botox? I would have said no way. I, like so many other people, believed it was a toxin that would kill you. Well, dear Lord, I hated needles in general. I use to be the kid that my mom would have to run away and leave to the nurses to hog tie me down just for my shot. I am not exaggerating guys. I delivered my daughter in 2008 and the minute they put an IV in my arm I fainted…not from childbirth, but the IV. If that tells you anything about me and needles, it certainly doesn’t mean I am the person to put one in my face.

I started working in plastic surgery with Dr. Dana Goldberg over 7 years ago. I had just turned 30 years old. I knew I had done some damage to my skin with all the years of basking in the Florida sun, but not nearly the reality of how bad had done on it. In middle school, sunbathing with your mamma’s cooking oil on was cool. Who could get the best burn… that peeled to a tan won! Yep that was us. Pretty dumb hahah. Well, that in turn became huge freaking wrinkles….and worse….could of given me SKIN CANCER!

The thing is, you guys, is it is so far from bad for you. I want to tell you guys being in the industry you learn so much. First, I want to tell you how Botox has helped so many people from chronic pain and illnesses. How could something people talk about as a toxin or harmful help people? Well…because that’s not true. It’s not harmful, but yet helpful! It isn’t all about being wrinkle free. Botox has been in cosmetics for 15 years now. That is a long time!

One great medical advance through studies was a treatment for migraines. This is a godsend for a large amount of people in the US population suffering from migraines. I myself suffer from migraines and for three to four months of my life I may have one migraine out of the normal 6-7 I would have normally had in that time. I would take this and keep the wrinkles if that is all I got from it. Botox is used in patients with cerebral palsy, muscle spasms, back pain, neck pain, hyperhidrosis (severe sweating), spastic bladder and much more.

The average for one area of Botox on a cosmetic patient for wrinkles is 20-25 units. The patients being treated for the conditions I mentioned are getting triple the amount and more. Some get hundreds. Now ask yourself if this was toxic would a doctor, usually board certified, put it in such high doses to a person with a medical condition? The answer is no. The FDA approves all of this and more. The amount of time a product has to go through FDA study is insane in the US. It should give a little ease to the questions of safety.

Now, let’s talk about the cosmetic world of Botox. I have been getting injections for 7 years. I use less Botox now because those muscles are not used all the time. If I stopped using it my wrinkles still are not as bad as they were when I started. I started off small. Most people have a misconception that they should not start till the wrinkles are bad. This is wrong. You should use it as a preventative measure to stop them before they get bad. If you start just as you’re getting wrinkles, they will stay at that point and sometimes even reverse some.

I have to say the first time I did it I held my breath anticipating the excruciating pain… then a little prick and sting for a half a second happened. That was it????? Then the anxiety kicked in because I read the side effect list. Oh, what had I done people?! Well, knowing now what I didn’t then, that side effect list has to list anything anyone calls in on, without true findings it was from the Botox itself. Take this scenario, If go get Botox and go home 6 hours later run a 101 fever with a sore throat, go to the doctor and they say it’s either viral or maybe your reacting to Botox. Then I call Allergen and ask questions or report this… bam it’s on the list. Most likely …it’s a virus though. In all 7 years I have worked in the industry, I have never seen a reaction to it on any of our patients. So when I started I just tried a small area in order to see how it felt and how I would react. If you have never done it before I recommend starting with baby steps. Your brow feels heavy at first but then it goes away, and sometimes you can have a slight headache (dull) for a day. I always take Tylenol the first day and never get one now. You have a few limitations like not lying flat for a few hours, working out that day, drinking alcohol right away, or taking blood thinners. These are just precautions so either the product doesn’t move from the place it was put (never seen that happen ever either), or you don’t bruise. I have seen people bruise and I have bruised because I may have had a little bit of wine the night before LOL. It still wasn’t a bad bruise. I recommend following the instructions your given of what to avoid.

So here is how it could possibly not be safe. This entirely depends on whose hands you have trusted to do your injections. This is a medical treatment that should only be administered by a medical practitioner trained by the company Allergan. There is a scary side to this world others wouldn’t know. There are places that order these products from outside the country through shady websites and if it is not coming from Allergan itself, then there is no idea what is in that product. The other tall tell sign is if they are using “Botox,” They also should be a part of a program call Brilliant distinctions- the reward program by Allergan (this tracks your vial numbers).

I love my Botox. My makeup goes on so smooth and flawless. I am an expressive person and love all my expressions so I go a little lighter now, so I still can make them, but my face doesn’t look like a Shar-Pei when it does. Those people who have a completely frozen face …they desire that look and ask for it, trust me. How much you want and the look your going for can be discussed with the practitioner. Not everyone has the same concept of what is attractive. The usual protocol is to correct the wrinkles leaving the ability to have movement still, which shows aging gracefully. Our office thrives on looking as natural as possible and I love that. All our staff does stuff but looks good, not stuffed, plucked and pulled like so many out there.

I decided to write this to you all, because I once was in so many peoples shoes questioning the product Botox myself. I fought with the guilt of was it being vain or fake, but then, I die my hair, put on nails, do extensions and spray tan… and more. So I guess I kinda already broke that seal. Then I worried was it safe, and this is more why I wanted to reach out and share this with you all. I couldn’t say all of this 7 years ago. I didn’t know what I do now. I truly am so glad that there is a product like Botox to use. I want to look how I feel on the inside. I don’t feel 37. I feel like I am in my twenties. I choose to do maintenance, so that aging doesn’t hit me all at once. That is the key guys. I recommended if you are contemplating having Botox and are on the fence, just try a small spot. I am in no way pushing anyone to get Botox, but yet only hoping if there are people out there that truly want to try it they hear some truth.

~Kimberly Sanchez
Cosmetic Coordinator & Director of Patient Relations