Botox injections are the fastest growing non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the United States. Many are aware of using the purified protein to areas such as the frownlines, forehead, and crows feet. Botox, which is FDA approved, relaxes the facial muscles to reduce the appearance of the line or wrinkle. The popularity of the procedure stems from no recovery period and has an excellent safety record. Botox will last approximately 4-6 months.
The uses of Botox are expanding. Since Dr. Short is a member and trainer of the National Education Faculty for Botox, she has performed as assortment of advanced uses of Botox. Botox has been found to be very effective in upturning the lateral eyebrows to achieve a non-surgical browlift. Botox can be used to reduce the paper like crinkles under the eyes and creases around the chin. Other effective treatment options for Botox, which are less well known, are to treat the “bunny” lines on the side of the nose, correction of lip asymmetries, vertical and horizontal neck lines and folds, decreasing the gum line with smiling, upturning of the nasal tip, vertical lip lines and the oral commissures. Botox can also be used in combination with dermal fillers (injectables) to decrease the appearance of lines and wrinkles. This combination therapy may used in the frownlines, lines and wrinkles around the mouth and upper lip, commonly referred to as “smoker’s lines.” Botox can also increase the longevity of the dermal filler (injectable) to the lips, nasolabial folds, perioral folds, and frownlines.
What is Botox?
Botox is a new concept in treating facial wrinkles in the forehead, between the eyes, fine lines around the mouth and in the “crows feet” areas. Botulinum toxin, or Botox, works by weakening or relaxing the muscles of facial expression. Once the resting tone of the treated muscle is weakened, the pull of the muscle relaxes and the overlying skin flattens. This approach is different from other local treatments for the aging face. By physiologically weakening the muscles, as with Botox, wrinkles are removed automatically. Results are noted within 1-2 days following the injection and the full effect of the Botox injection is noted after 2 weeks.
Is Botox Approved by the FDA?
Botox was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in Spring of 2002.
How Long Does It Last?
Injection of this material into the small muscles between the brows, in the forehead, around the mouth, and at the corners of the eyes cause those specific muscles to halt their function (be paralyzed), thereby improving the appearance of wrinkles. This paralysis is temporary and re-injection is necessary within three to ten months. Options for alternative treatment include: injection of a soft tissue filler or the surgical excision of the muscles, usually through a brow-lift incision. Complications are rare but may include paralysis of a nearby muscle resulting in its temporary loss of function (e.g., drooping eyelid). For this reason you should make sure that the person performing the injections understands facial anatomy!
How Is it Used?
Botox is prepared fresh on the day of the injection. Once prepared, the medication needs to be used within 4 hours as the potency diminishes with time. Because of the short shelf life and the cost, Botox is not available every day in our office. In order for the treatment to be cost effective more than one patient must be treated on the same day. Very small amounts of Botox are injected into the muscles to be paralyzed using a very tiny needle. Depending on the areas being treated, 2-4 needle pricks (or more) may be required. Discomfort is minimal and last only a few minutes.
Occasionally, the tiny needle may puncture a small blood vessel during the injection and a small black and blue area may develop. Such an area can last 5-10 days and requires makeup to cover. There are no known generalized side effects to Botox. If any of the Botulism toxin reaches a facial muscle not being treated, partial weakness of that muscle may last for several months. (It is for this reason that you are requested not to massage the injected areas for 12 hours following injection.) In the event of an area of unwanted muscle weakness, the only “treatment” is to wait for the effect of the toxin to wear off.
Botox has been used safely in the treatment of muscular facial spasms for over 15 years. Botox injected in conjunction with nearby facial surgery has caused spread of the toxin and unwanted facial weakness in at least one patient. For this reason, we will inject Botox only as an isolated facial procedure or treatment.
One Botox treatment has been known to last in some patients up to 6 months. You will require additional injections to maintain the results.