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Botulinum toxin therapy: Preparation

To protect your health and get the results you seek, you should see a dermatologist. Injecting botulinum toxin may look easy, but to inject it safely requires in-depth medical knowledge of how the body works.

The AAD recommends the following to everyone interested in botulinum toxin therapy.

Questions to ask before the procedure

Before performing a cosmetic treatment, a dermatologist offers a consultation. During the consultation, you should ask questions. Asking questions will help you know what to expect so that you can make an informed decision.

The AAD recommends asking the following questions before getting this procedure:

  • How many of these procedures have you performed? Results depend largely on the expertise of the person performing the procedure.

  • Who will give me the injections? You should get all injections from a board-certified dermatologist or a member of that doctor’s medical staff. When a member of the medical staff gives these injections, the dermatologist should be in the office and immediately available. 

  • How much will the treatment cost? Most insurance companies do not pay for cosmetic treatments. Some patients need to pay a portion of the cost to treat excessive sweating. Make sure you know your cost before you get the procedure. 

  • What results can I expect? A dermatologist can tell you whether the procedure will deliver the results that you seek. A dermatologist can do this by considering the condition of your skin as well as your age and health. 

  • Do I have a higher risk for any complications? By reviewing your medical history, a dermatologist can tell you whether you have a higher risk. 

Your dermatologist also can tell you whether another treatment would be a better option for you. You may find that your dermatologist recommends using more than one treatment. Results from many research studies show that combining treatments can lead to better, longer-lasting results.

Vital information to tell your dermatologist

If you decide to have botulinum toxin therapy, be sure to give your dermatologist the following information:

  • All medicines you take. Be sure your dermatologist knows about all pain-relievers, blood thinners, and other medicines. Include medicines that you buy without a prescription, such as aspirin. 

  • All herbs, vitamins, and minerals you take. Even if you haven’t taken these for a while, be sure to mention them. 

  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether botulinum toxin therapy can harm an unborn child. 

  • All surgeries and cosmetic treatments you have had. While some patients feel embarrassed talking about this, the information you share can make a difference in the results you see. Don’t omit anything — even if it seems unimportant.

If you are considering any cosmetic treatment, be sure to watch this AAD video: Who should be providing your cosmetic treatment?

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