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Does Botox Come Over-the-Counter?

One of our most requested cosmetic treatments at Arcadia Wellness Center is Botox and for good reason. Whether you want to smooth away frown lines that make you look old and grumpy, or flip your top lip for more volume, Botox can have wonderful aesthetic results. However, it does require a professional to administer the treatment properly, which means an investment of time and money. A question we get asked is whether there are any types of Botox you can get over-the-counter. To answer that question, you need to understand how Botox works and why you only want a professional injector to perform your treatment.

What Is Botox?

Over a million Botox cosmetic treatments are given each year in the U.S. and the numbers keep growing. It is a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of cosmetic concerns, from smoothing dimpled chins to shrinking the jaw muscles for a more feminine face. While it is safe, it is a prescription medicine. Like most prescription medications, Botox could be dangerous if not used properly. This is why it cannot be bought over the counter – you need a medical professional to ensure you get the right dose and placement of your Botox injection.

Botox is derived from the same bacterium that can cause botulism, C. Botulinum. It is one of the toxins this bacterium produces – the active ingredient in Botox is botulinum toxin A, which is also used in other neuromodulators like Dysport, Xeomin and Jeuveau. This purified form of botulinum toxin A is used to relax targeted muscle. The neurotoxin interrupts nerve signals to the targeted muscle, causing a temporary paralysis effect.

The muscle relaxation effect is the key to the effectiveness of Botox. Relaxed muscles in the forehead can smooth frown and worry lines that are caused when muscles contract. Relaxing the muscles in the neck can reduce pronounced neck cords that appear as you get older. While there are many benefits of Botox, the wrong placement or dosage could relax the wrong muscles, which could have unwanted side effects. This is why it is vital to have Botox injections performed by a professional – it is not something you would want to do at home.

What Botox Does, and Doesn’t Do

Relaxing certain muscles can have wonderful aesthetic effects, but Botox is not a cure-all for facial enhancements. It does not tighten the skin or increase collagen – its power lies in the weakening of certain muscles. When you stop muscles from continually contracting, you can change the appearance of certain traits on the face or skin. Some of the most popular cosmetic treatments with Botox include:

  • Frown and worry line reduction on the forehead
  • Bunny lines removed from the nose
  • Gummy smile reduction
  • Masseter (jaw) muscle reduction
  • Neck cord/band reduction
  • Smoothing chin dimpling
  • Crow’s feet treatment
  • Lip-flip – increasing the pink area of the upper lip
  • Line and wrinkle prevention with Micro Botox injections
  • Non-surgical eyebrow lift

All these treatments involve relaxing certain muscles. This takes precise injections of the correct amount of Botox units to achieve the desired results without affecting the surrounding muscles. The wrong placement of Botox injections could result in a droopy appearance of the facial muscles around the eyes or mouth, which is not desirable. You want to ensure that your Botox treatments are performed by an experienced professional, like our injectors at Arcadia Wellness Center in Phoenix, AZ.

Botox vs. fillers: Uses, effects, and differences

While Botox is great for certain cosmetic treatments, it does have its limits. It is not recommended for certain lines and wrinkles as they may not be caused by muscle contractions. For example, marionette lines and smile lines are not usually treated with Botox. These lines occur as the skin loses elasticity and volume. Botox injections for these lines could also negatively affect mouth movement, which could impact your smile and speech. A better option for these lines would be a dermal filler, which adds volume under the skin without affecting the movement of the mouth. Other treatments that are NOT recommended to accomplish with Botox include:

  • Skin tightening
  • Lip lines
  • Lip plumping
  • Improving skin tone or texture
  • Facial contouring
  • Eye bags or dark circles under the eyes

There are non-surgical treatments for all these conditions, but Botox is not the right option. Our aesthetic team can recommend the right treatment to address these conditions, from facial filler injections to RF skin tightening or ILP treatments. The good news is that Botox can be combined with these treatments, which can offer stunning facial enhancements.

Only Use Professional Botox Injections

While it may look easy to inject Botox, it is not something you want to try on your own. Even if you could buy Botox at a drugstore, injecting a neurotoxin without the right training and education is not safe. Once Botox is injected into a muscle, there is no way to undo the effects. It takes at least 3-4 months for the muscle paralysis to wear off, which is a long time to live with unwanted effects.

It is understandable to want to save money on your cosmetic treatments, but you do not want to cut corners with your Botox treatment. While you will see OTC cosmetics that claim to be at-home Botox, they do not have the same effects. You may also hear of “at-home” Botox parties – these may sound alluring, but you need to ensure that you have a medical professional completing your injections for your own safety.

Our injectors at Arcadia Wellness Center are some of the most skilled in Phoenix. Not only do our clients trust our staff to achieve gorgeous results with our Botox treatments, but we have trained many of the injectors in the greater Phoenix area. We ensure our clients receive precise Botox injections with the minimum number of units needed for safe, effective results. Our injectors have completed thousands of cosmetic injections with excellent results for our clients.

How Much Does Botox Cost?

When you receive professional Botox injections, the price is based on how many units are used for your treatment. Each treatment is personalized to the client – one person may need 15 units to erase glabella lines between the eyebrows, while another needs 20 units. It depends on the strength and size of the muscles treated, as well as other factors. Gender, metabolism and other factors can impact how many units will be needed for your treatment, which ultimately determines the cost of your procedure. For the current per-unit cost at Arcadia Wellness Center, call our office for a free quote.

Alternatives to Botox

None of the over-the-counter cosmetics offer the same effects as Botox, but there are other neuromodulators that can have similar effects. Dysport is another form of botulinum toxin A that may be a better option for some individuals that have poor results from Botox. If you have resistance to the effects of Botox, trying another neuromodulator may be an option to achieve the desired cosmetic results.

Botox treatments are not available over the counter – it is much safer and effective when these injections are performed by a medical professional. You can have beautiful results from Botox, but you want to ensure that you choose an experienced injector for your treatment. To schedule a Botox treatment or consultation, contact us at Arcadia Wellness Center.  Call our facility in Phoenix, AZ today or contact us online to book your appointment.