What is Botox?
Botox (Botulinum Toxin Type A) is a protein that since 1980 has been used in very small doses to treat various muscle disorders of the eye. It works by blocking the release of chemical transmitters that stimulate muscles, keeping muscles from contracting. The nerve endings grow new connections, so the effect is not permanent and will need to be repeated periodically.
Is Botox safe?
Botox has been recognized and approved as a safe and effective treatment for facial wrinkling by the FDA. It has been on the market for many years and used safely in tens of thousands of patients. Plastic surgeons and other specialists use it to weaken the muscles that produce the deep lines on the forehead and around the eyes. Botox can also be used to lessen or prevent perspiration or sweating. Typically Botox is injected in the axilla (armpit) area and the effects will last 3 to 4 months.
What type of lines is Botox good for?
Either because of habits of expression or overactive muscles, some individuals have furrows between their brows which give them a permanent frown. They may be asked why they always look angry. Other individuals may have habits of raising their eyebrows or squinting, causing permanent wrinkles in the forehead and crow’s feet. Botox injections can partially prevent those lines from forming by weakening the muscles that produce them. We do not want to weaken the muscles around the mouth which can affect your smile, therefore Botox is used very carefully around the lips.
How do the injections work?
Botox is injected in several areas in the muscles that cause the wrinkles. Typically several injections in the central forehead and several injections in each crow’s feet area. Botox relaxes or paralyzes the muscles that cause the wrinkles.
*Not all the muscles of the forehead or crow’s feet areas will be completely paralyzed, you will still have some motion and facial expression to look natural.
What are the advantages of Botox?
No allergic testing needs to be performed because Botox is not derived from animal protein. Wrinkles can be prevented with almost no pain, bruising or swelling, and at a fraction of the cost of a brow lift or facial resurfacing.
Are there any restrictions after treatment
The patient is told to resume normal, non-strenuous activities after the injections. They are also told not to rub the area for the next few hours, so the protein binds more effectively to the nerve endings and not spread to adjacent muscles. The effect begins in 24-72 hours.
What about long term effects?
The Botox effects last three to six months. Repeated injections have more profound effects and may last longer. To remove deep permanent lines, skin resurfacing using chemical peels, dermabrasion or laser may be necessary. Many patients have their lines removed first by skin resurfacing, then prevent their recurrence with Botox treatments.
*Remember* Botox does not eliminate wrinkles that are already on your face, it just prevents them from getting worse.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Dr. George A. Toledo is a leading provider of facial cosmetic procedures, including injectables (fillers) such as Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm. To learn more about these procedures, contact his practice today at 214-363-4444.