First-Time Botox? The Do’s And Don’ts To Follow

Is this your first experience with Botox? Also known as botulinum toxin type A or botulinum treatments, this cosmetic procedure is a popular pick for women and men of all ages. If you're not sure what to expect from your first procedure, how to prepare, or have questions about this dermatological treatment, take a look at the top tips for first-timers.

Do Choose the Right Provider

Botulinum toxin type A injections require the experience, education, and training of a qualified, licensed medical professional. Unlike waxing, facials, hair coloring, or spray tans, this type of cosmetic treatment isn't something a spa staff member or a stylist can do for you. 

Before you go to your first injection appointment, make sure the provider has the right credentials. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), only a board-certified dermatologist or a medical staff member under their supervision should give botulinum toxin type A injections. These practitioners may include a physician's assistant (PA), nurse practitioner, or registered nurse. Non-medical, unlicensed office staff should never give this type of injection.

Don't Get More Than You Need

More is not better when it comes to botulinum therapy. A medical provider will know how much botulinum toxin type A to inject. Even though you might want the smoothest skin possible or to reduce the appearance of every fine line, you should never go overboard with this type of injectable. Excessive Botox injections can flex the forehead muscles more than necessary. This can result in overly-arched eyebrows and a constant surprised look. 

It's better to start slowly. You won't know how your body reacts to the injection. If you're not sure how far you want to go with this type of treatment, talk to the provider about using a lower dose. You can't remove this type of injectable—but you can add more.

Do Ask for Before/After Photos

How do you know if an injectable provider knows how much is too much Botox? Start with the practitioner's qualifications—such as their medical license, board certification, educational background, and number of years/type of practical experience using injectables. 

Along with what the dermatologist or provider can tell you, ask to see concrete proof. The practitioner should have before/after photos for prospective patients to view. These pictures aren't samples to choose from. Instead, they are examples of the doctor's work that can help you to get a better feel for how they use injectables.