Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist, answers a few common skin-related questions sent in by FitnessRx readers!
Are there any known harmful effects from Botox?
When Botox Cosmetic is used by an experienced professional, risks are low. Botox is a protein that selectively weakens muscles that cause unwanted lines in the face, such as frown lines between the brows or crows feet. The procedure takes only a few minutes and has no downtime. You can go right back to work and it will slowly take effect over 10-14 days. As the muscles weaken, the lines in those areas will slowly smooth out. Bruising, although infrequent, is the most common side effect. Rarely can the protein move into the wrong muscle and cause a droopy eyelid. Going to an experienced injector and following your doctor’s instructions afterwards will minimize this risk. Occasionally, there may be asymmetry and returning to your doctor for a two-week touch up can rebalance the effect and perfect the right “recipe” for you.
Each treatment lasts an average of three months and needs to be repeated for best results. I equate Botox treatment to putting your arm in a sling— the longer it stays in the sling, the weaker the muscles will get over time and the crease will appear shallower without protruding muscles on either side. If you do not have any lines, Botox is the absolute best way to prevent them from forming.
Can I mix products without compromising their effectiveness— for example, mixing my lotion with my sunscreen?
I do not recommend mixing products, as many ingredients are proven to work only in their specific formulation. Sunscreen will be diluted if mixed with lotion. Instead, I recommend purchasing a high-quality sunscreen with SPF 30-plus with zinc oxide that also contains a moisturizer. If you want to use multiple products, speak with an expert on how to properly layer the products for best results. For example, use a body or face moisturizer, apply it first to hydrate the skin, let it dry, and then apply your sunscreen. Think of your sunscreen as a protective coating— all active ingredients should be applied first (vitamin C, growth factors, peptides, moisturizers, etc.) to enhance penetration with sunscreen as the last layer. Makeup can be applied over sunscreen.
Since I have been exercising more, I notice that I seem to have red dots and bumps around my inner thighs. Sometimes they itch or burn. What can I do for this?
Usually, red dots and bumps around inner thighs are from friction and heat irritating the hair follicles in that area. I recommend PCA Skin 5% BPO Cleanser— leave in place three minutes before rinsing to minimize bacteria and inflammation in that area. Make sure you are wearing tight and breathable clothing to avoid moisture build-up and friction. The worst thing you can do is sit around after working out with wet clothing, so shower and allow pores to flush after exercise. If shaving seems to make things worse for you, I recommend laser hair removal to thin the hairs in the area and make them less likely to form ingrown hairs.