Q: What Does Botox® Treat?
A: Botox® treats dynamic wrinkles, those little annoying facial lines we call frown lines, worry lines, laugh lines and crow’s feet. Botox® works by blocking the chemicals that normally signal these muscle groups to contract. When these muscles don’t contract, they relax and your dynamic wrinkles fade and smooth out. Botox® smoothes flattens and relaxes:
- Horizontal creases on the forehead
- Vertical creases between the eyes (the Glabella area)
- Wrinkles on the temple side of the eyes, the “crow’s feet”
- Wrinkles on the sides of the nose, “bunny lines”
- Wrinkles on the upper lip, pursed lips
- Vertical cords on the neck, platysma muscle defects
Botox® is also used in a variety of medical conditions, including treatment of migraine and tension headaches, chronic muscular pain, abnormal facial movements, tremors, and excessive sweating of the palms, soles of the feet and underarms. Although effective, most of these treatments are “off label” treatments, i.e. they are not FDA approved indications and thus are not normally covered by insurance.
Q: What Are Botox® Treatments Like?
A: Botox® treatments are quick, simple, safe and with minimal pain. Botox® treatments generally take about 15 to 30 minutes and are performed in our office. Using a tiny micro-needle, a minute amount of Botox® is injected very precisely into several locations on the face. With a Botox® treatment, no sedation or local anesthetic is required, and you can resume most non-strenuous activities immediately. You can even drive yourself home or back to the office. Results from Botox® normally appear in five to seven days after the procedure and generally last around three months.
Q: How Does Botox® Work?
A: Botox® blocks contractions of the small facial muscles that are related to expression lines. Botox®, a substance made of Botulinum toxin Type A, is a purified protein derived from the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum. By relaxing the muscles so they do not contract, Botox® smoothes the overlying skin and irons out the wrinkles. Even though these muscles have been treated and are relaxed, they still can contract in a normal fashion, allowing normal facial expression to be unaffected. A Botox® treatment lasts about 15 to 30 minutes and has virtually no down time.
Q: What should I expect from Botox® Treatment?
A: After checking your medical history to establish that you are a good candidate for Botox® treatment, we can discuss and determine which areas of your face may benefit from Botox®. Most procedures take place in our office and last 15 to 30 minutes. Immediately after the procedure you should stay upright for three to four hours and avoid rubbing the injection sites to prevent the Botox® from moving to other muscles in the face.
There can be some mild discomfort during a Botox® treatment that some describe as feeling like mild bug bites or a crunch sensation. Generally the procedure is performed without any anesthesia. Some people may experience mild, short-term bruising at the injection site which covers easily with make-up. Ice packs after treatment can help minimize bruising. Some people may notice a mild headache, which can be simply treated with Tylenol. In rare cases, the Botox® injection can spread beyond the desired area.
After treatment, you can continue with all of your activities the day following the injection. The degree of improvement varies from person to person, and the maximum results are seen five to seven days after treatment. The results normally last for around three months. With subsequent treatments, the results tend to last longer. The treatment will need to be repeated to maintain the result.
Q: Is Botox a new drug?
No, Botox has been used for over 20 years.
Q: Is Botox poison?
No, Botox contains no live bacteria. It is a purified protein.
Q: Will I lose sensation, numbness, or the ability to make expressions where Botox is injected?
No, Botox does not affect the sensory nerves and when properly injected the muscles will be relaxed, not frozen.