10 Things You Need to Know About Getting Botox

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Maybe you don’t know who to ask. Maybe you feel embarrassed to talk about it. Maybe you don’t realize it’s an issue. When it comes to your health, you have questions, and we want to get you answers. So, we sat down with Dr. Meika Roberson — the Chief Medical Officer at CarePoint Health in Hoboken — to pick her brain about some of those uncomfortable questions that may be on your mind {feel free to email them to us and we’ll pass them along!}. Today, we’re talkin’ botox. Tomorrow — who knows? But don’t worry, we’ll do the asking for you…

Hey, Dr. Meika,

What do I need to know about botox?  Is it safe? Should I be nervous?

– Sincerely,

Wannabe Botox Babe

Dr. Meika says:

Dear Wannabe Botox Babe,

Run for your lives! The laugh lines are coming… the laugh lines are coming! Well, unless you plan to live a joyless, laughless existence, either get used to it — or do something about it. Many of you are probably considering botox, but don’t know much about it. So, what do you need to know about it that people don’t discuss? There are many incredible benefits to it, of course, but also, some not so pleasant effects as well. A coworker recently went to botox-it-up two weeks before her wedding. This was not her first time with the needle, and not her first time with the doctor, but nonetheless it happened — the dreaded, but rare, side effect of eyelid drooping. So yes, she still looked beautiful, but had to part her hair on the opposite side to cover her droopy lid. Before you make a decision, here are some things you need to know about botox:

1. More people get it than you think.

Botox has been the #1 nonsurgical procedure since 2000. As of 2015, there have been 4 million procedures performed.

2. It’s helps with excessive sweating.

Yes, the sweaty pit syndrome can be relieved with a few shots of botox. Okay — I must admit it, I did it. And, oh yes, bring on the colorful shirts again. It can be used on hands, hairline, or even under the breasts or butt!

3. It’s addictive.

Not physically addictive, but you may need a BA {botox anonymous} after just a few pricks. I mean after the crows feet, the forehead and the lines under your eyes, you will just start looking for the next place to stick it.

^Ahhh, Big Ang. Our favorite botox queen, may she rest in peace.

4. Many women lie.

Okay, how many of the “real housewives” or your neighbors say that haven’t had anything done, but they act amazed that they have no smile lines and just give credit to their good genes and they’re 50 years old? Yeah, they’re probably lying.

5. It doesn’t go into your blood stream.

It is injected directly into a muscle and remains there. It doesn’t move around the body.

6. Don’t let just anyone touch your face.

These days many places are doing it — ER docs, at the gym, at the spa, family practice docs. The decision on where to go really is up to you, but I recommend only getting it done by a board-certified physician who is either a dermatologist, a plastic surgeon, an ear-nose-and-throat doctor, or an ophthalmologist. And you are allowed to see the box and vial so that you can make sure it is pure botox, and not a synthetic knock off.

7. Chances are good you’ll have little or no side effects.

But… you should know that these effects have happened: droopy eyelids, muscle weakness, localized pain, nausea, heartburn, facial pain, drooling, dental pain and others. Most of these are temporary and could last a few hours or even a few months until the botox wears off.

8. It can help with migraines.

In 2013 it was approved by the FDA to be used as a treatment for migraine headaches. No one knows exactly why it eases migraine symptoms, but it does for many.

9. Could it be the medical miracle…?

It may also help with bladder spasms, crossed eyes, uncontrollable blinking, cerebral palsy, muscle spasms, chronic pain, TMJ, teeth grinding, facial tics and depression. Many of these are off label, which means that the FDA has not yet approved botox for the treatment. But it’s not time to freak out yet, if your doctor has suggested it. Off-label treatment is legal and fairly common, but its safety may not yet be fully proven.

And the #10 most interesting and least known factoid of botox…

10. Biological Warfare.

At the beginning of World War II, the U.S. began researching biological weapons, including botulinum toxin. According to one story, a plan involved using Chinese prostitutes to slip tiny pills of botulinum toxin into the drinks of high-ranking Japanese officers. Pssst…The plan was never carried out.  

So there you have it. A peek inside the world of botox. Now it’s up to you to make the decision, and #nojudgement, either way.

Have a question for Dr. Meika that you want answered? Email it to hello@hobokengirl.com {and feel free to change your name/give yourself a nickname if you want to remain anonymous}. We’ll be treating this like Dear Abby, so don’t worry about asking weird Qs – we’re all ears and won’t blow up your spot 🙂


This information should not be used or relied upon for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Dr. Meika expressly disclaims responsibility and shall have no liability for any damages, loss, injury or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. Dr. Meika does not endorse specifically any test treatment or procedure mentioned on this site. If you are having a medical emergency please call 9-1-1.

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Meika {or rather Dr. Meika} is an emergency medicine physician turned administrator. She is currently the chief medical officer at CarePoint Health in Hoboken and she loves her job and the patients. When she's not at CarePoint, she dedicates her time and career to help against rape and human trafficking. Though originally from Boston, Meika lives in Hoboken with her husband and their dog Brooklyn. You may see her around town walking the dog, jogging or cycling through the streets, or just walking to work. If she hadn’t become a doctor she would have become a photojournalist with a camera and a backpack traveling to barely seen areas of the world {like Sean Penn in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty}.


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