Friday, October 14, 2011

The Botox Experiment

On October 4, I did something I never thought I would do.  I got Botox.  Before you judge me, let me explain.

Because of an accident with a metal wagon handle when I was eight (my brother's fault, who also knocked out my front permanent teeth that same year, gotta love brothers), I have about an inch long vertical scar in the center of my forehead.  When it happened, I was bleeding a lot, and the babysitter put pressure on it, and my mom got home and looked at it and thought I would survive, so I never got any stitches.  Well, I should've really had stitches, in retrospect.  My mom can't even look at it now without breaking into tears about how she should've taken me to the ER immediately and dealt with it.  "Oh, I ruined your face, it's all my fault" and blah, blah.  However, I don't hold a grudge against her and have gotten used to it, and it is part of my face.  I can't even remember the time before I had this scar.   

As a result of the scar, I've always worn bangs, in part to hide it, and in part because I have a kind of high forehead.  Thick bangs, thinner bangs, wispy bangs, sideswept bangs, etc.  At some point over the summer, I decided I was tired of bangs, and the scar isn't all that noticeable anymore, and my forehead isn't really that high, and damn, I want to LIVE WITHOUT BANGS.  So, I started to grow them out.  I'm pleased to report that the bangs have passed the awkward stage where I just looked like I needed to trim them up, and are now almost to my chin.  But, upon getting close to passing the awkward stage I really took notice of something terrible about my forehead -- horizontal wrinkles.

I've noticed them before.  I've used Dr. Brandt, La Mer, L'Oreal Collagen filler, etc., to no avail.  But, it wasn't a huge concern to me because the bangs covered them up.  Once the bangs were long enough that I could play around, my forehead was exposed!  It looked terrible!  I seriously said "OH MY GOD!"  I couldn't let my poor forehead look like that.  I don't have any "between the eyebrows" vertical wrinkles, and barely any crows feet unless I squint or smile really, really hard, but the horizontal wrinkles on my forehead are deep.  I'm expressive with my eyebrows and wrinkle my forehead when I think and talk and everything.  To be fair, I've done a lot of thinking over the past 37 years, so, hence, wrinkles!  The horror! 

So, I figured I would try Botox in my forehead.  What the hell, right?  Nearly all of my friends do it, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon.  I went to my dermatologist to have it done.  I was really worried about random side effects, and they all seemed to think I was nuts for asking.  (Really, though, you are injecting something into my body, and I would be the lucky person who gets the weird ass 1% side effect, right?)  So, we went over it all, and ultimately, I said go for it.  My doctor warned me that my wrinkles were so deep that Botox wouldn't give me a smooth forehead, so I might have to do a laser peel to improve it more, but still felt that I should try Botox first to see where we ended up.  Okay, fine.  Whatever.  My biggest concern was that I would end up with an immobile forehead and look like Nicole Kidman.

They price Botox based on three regions:  horizontal forehead, vertical forehead (between the eyebrows), and eyes.  We all decided I only needed the horizontal forehead, so it was $420.  Each region is about the same price, but you do get a slight discount if you need multiple regions.  This shit isn't cheap. 

The procedure is quick and easy.  The doctor used a marker to dot where he wanted to put the injections.  A nurse held an ice cube over the region, then the doctor injected.  Then the nurse wiped the marker off my forehead.  All in all, it took about five minutes, and felt like a quick pin prick.  I'm a wimp about pain, and it was not a big deal.

I felt the effects immediately.  Day one, my forehead felt really heavy, but I could still move my eyebrows.  I didn't get any headaches or any side effects or anything.  It was all fine, except I kept waiting for the results.  (My doctor said 3-4 days, but maximum results at around 2 weeks.)  The waiting is torture, because you spend the money, get stuff injected into you, and want to see it!  I'm not at two weeks yet, but already I see amazing results.  The wrinkles are still there (as my doctor told me), but they are so much better looking and so much finer and hard to see.  It's actually shocking how much they have improved.  My forehead feels slightly heavy if I lift my eyebrows, but nothing that feels weird or immobile.  This surprised me the most, to be honest.  I thought I wouldn't be able to move it at all, but I still can.  I'm not sure if this means I needed more Botox, but I do see great results, so I don't know what to think.  I'm going back to see him in a couple of weeks for my yearly mole check (fun, right?  Gotta do that when they find and remove precancerous moles, God I hate getting old), so I'll inquire.

At any rate, though, even though I'm going to have to do this every 3-6 months (apparently you can do it less frequently once you start doing it and your muscles get used to being more relaxed), I think it's worth it.  I'm not going to feel weird at all about not having bangs if I can keep this up, and I'm happy that my forehead isn't immobile.  So Botox, you get an A+ in my book.         


  1. Thanks so much for this post! I trust you and have wondered so much about it so this is really reassuring.
    I keep hearing these med spas advertise cheap botox but I'm assuming it ads up with multiple injections. About how many did you get?

    I'm also really curious about dermal fillers for the lines beside your mouth.

  2. You know, everyone has asked me how much I got, but I dont know! His pricing was per region, so whatever was needed for that region I got for $420. Luckily I only needed one region. It may differ at cheaper places. I'll ask him when I go back, but maybe 5 or 6 pricks--not sure if that was multiple needles. I don't know how much that is. I wasn't counting, really. I'm also curious about the dermal fillers, because he also mentioned that for my forehead. I'll tell you, if this all works, it is worth it, and I don't feel all botoxed up or anything. It's way cooler than I thought, although expensive. All I know is that my forehead looks amazing! And, I can still move it!

  3. I experienced the same thing after I had my first botox Toronto treatment. the doctor told me the same thing that the full effect of the treatment will be fully visible after a few I 6 and no important change....
    I started to lose faith when miraculously the result came after 9 days...I went to bed and I woke up another person:))
    Then I realized the most important thing is not to lose faith because in the end everything will be OK.

  4. If you want to have botox to repair your skin after a traumatic experience, there's nothing wrong with that. That can help bring back your self-esteem and confidence. I'm looking forward for your new look.

    Terry Bayer