There’s one question that inevitably comes up at every initial botox consultation: How much is this going to hurt?
It seems as though discomfort and beauty are always linked, whether we’re pursuing flatter abs or a firmer jawline. Knowing just how much pain we’re in for isn’t necessarily going to make it any easier to endure, but it is an essential part of beginning to process what’s about to happen.
To that end, here’s a deeper dive into a few popular anti-aging treatments, including Botox, focusing on how you can expect to feel during and after the procedure.
Botox: An injectable neurotoxin that’s used to temporarily paralyze facial muscles and smooth wrinkles.
Many plastic surgeons will numb the area first with ice, which can feel like a brain freeze. The injections themselves are quick. You shouldn’t feel a thing. The area just underneath the eyebrows tends to be more sensitive. Injections there can feel like a bee sting, but the pain should go away immediately.
Some bruising may appear during the first few days after the treatment, though it shouldn’t be anything that can’t be covered up with concealer. It’ll take about five days for the Botox to kick in. At which point, the muscles in the treated areas will start to feel kind of stiff or heavy. It’s an odd sensation at first, but you’ll get used to it after a few days.
Restylane and Juvéderm: Hyaluronic acid-based gels that restore contours and fullness to the face and lips.
Your plastic surgeon may give you the option of applying numbing cream beforehand, but it shouldn’t be necessary unless you have a very low tolerance for pain. The injection can feel like a splinter, and the pain comes and goes just that quickly.
The lips, however, are one of the most sensitive areas on the body, so an injectable anesthetic may be in order. Icing is often enough, though, because many of the most popular fillers, including Restylane and Juvéderm, have lidocaine mixed in.
A little swelling after the injections is to be expected. It’ll take about a week to dissipate, but your lips should feel like normal within a few hours.
Kybella: Deoxycholic acid that reduces a double chin.
Typically, numbing cream is first applied, followed by lidocaine injections. Without them, the injection can throb a bit and burn for about 15 minutes. It’s bearable, but it’s enough to make your eyes water. Once the lidocaine wears off, the area can be achy for a few hours, and there may be some slight bruising.
Everyone experiences some mild swelling following the treatment. It can last anywhere from a week to two weeks, but you’re likely the only one who will ever notice.