If you believe your appearance is important and if you are concerned about looking your best with minimal down time, if any, perhaps you may want to consider Botox cosmetic surgery. Botox therapy is not a filler substance like Juvederm or Restylane. It does not directly affect the skin.

Botox is a natural purified protein that, when gently placed into the skin with a very tiny needle, will relax the targeted muscles. Over time, Botox will result in a softening of deep wrinkles known as dynamic skin folds, and it will also relax your ability to move the specific muscles involved in making the lines/wrinkles that will make certain expressions such as frowning difficult to make.

Here are five questions to ask yourself when considering Botox:

1. Am I pregnant? If so, Botox is not for you.

2. Do I have any neuromuscular disease? If so, or if you are unsure, you will need to check with your neurologist or treating physician first.

3. Do I take certain antibiotics or neuromuscular medications? If you believe you do or are unsure, ask before considering Botox treatment.

4. Do I have any active skin disease on my face? An example of an active skin disease is acne, cysts, infections, rashes, etc. If you do, the skin disease must be cleared up or under control before getting Botox therapy.

5. Am I prepared to change my facial appearance, although not permanently. If you are unsure, you need to rethink Botox therapy and/or research it further.

Here are four questions to ask your dermatologist:

1. How much experience do you have with Botox therapy for facial lines?

2. Have you ever had Botox yourself?

3. How do you charge for Botox therapy? (For me, I believe Botox treatments should always be charged by the volume, the amount of units used. This way, everyone pays for the amount they actually use.

4. What is the Botox dilution and the number of units used on each area treated? Why? The reason is if you move away or choose to go to another provider in the future, you will know the exact number of units needed to treat the specific areas of your face.

Keep in mind the old adage, “buyer beware.” If it sounds too good to be true, it is probably worth rethinking about Botox therapy at the time. If you go to an experienced, reputable and board-certified dermatologist, you should experience great results with Botox therapy.

• Dr. Eugene Conte is part of Ahwatukee Skin & Laser, 4425 E. Agave Road, Suite 148. Reach him at info@ahwatukeeskincare.com.

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