What is Botox?
Botox is an injectable drug that provides beneficial effects by causing temporary muscle weakness. Doctors administer Botox to treat a wide variety of medical and cosmetic conditions, from migraines to wrinkles. Botox is very effective, so patients ask for it by name – in fact, it is the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure doctors in the United States perform today.
How Does Botox Work?
The active ingredient in Botox, botulinum toxin type A, temporarily block the chemicals that carry messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Specifically, Botox injections can prevent muscles from contracting. Botox injections can temporarily relax the facial muscles that cause wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes, for example. Botox can also block the chemical messengers that cause migraines and other health problems.
Botox vs Fillers
Botox is like other cosmetic treatments, such as dermal fillers, in that it addresses wrinkles and other aesthetic issues. Botox is also like fillers in that both are injectable treatments that should be performed by a qualified dermatologist. Fillers and Botox are quite different, both in how they work and in the results they provide.
Specifically, Botox prevents muscles from moving the skin in ways that prevents wrinkles, while fillers plump up the skin to smooth out lines and contours the face.
Botox is predictable and provides reliable results. The results of Botox are temporary, lasting only a few months.
The cost of Botox can vary. Some dermatologists charge by how much Botox they use, while others will charge for the total area treated.
How Long Does Botox Last?
Botox generally takes effect in 3 to 5 days, although it may take up to 10 days for the full effects to be noticeable. These effects do not last, though, as the action of the botulinum toxin type A wears off and allows the wrinkle-causing muscles to start contracting once again.
The beneficial effects of Botox typically last for 3 to 4 months. The effects may only last for two months for some patients, while the results of Botox treatments can last for 4 to 6 months for others. The results of Botox may not last as long after the first treatment, but may last longer after subsequent treatments.
Is Botox Safe?
While botulinum toxin type A can cause life-threatening effects in large amounts, the amount of botulinum toxin in a dose of Botox is very small; health experts believe these small doses of botulinum toxin used in cosmetic procedures are quite safe. In fact, there were only 36 cases of adverse effects associated with botulinum toxin between 1989 and 2003, and 13 of those had more to do with underlying conditions than with the injection itself. Considering between 1.1 and 1.6 million patients used cosmetic Botox in 2002 alone, the number of adverse reactions is incredibly small.
What does Botox treat?
Botox injections can treat a wide variety of medical conditions and cosmetic problems.
Botox for migraines – in addition to blocking the chemicals that make muscles move, Botox blocks the chemicals that carry pain signals to the brain in ways that stops migraine pain
Masseter muscle Botox – treats the masseter muscles that play a role in chewing solid foods; overworked masseter muscles can change the shape of your face
Botox for TMJ – temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the jawbone to the skull and problems with the TMJ joint, known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ syndrome, can cause pain in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles; Botox for TMJ prevents the jaw muscles from clenching or otherwise engaging in movements that cause pain
Botox for smile lines – temporarily relaxes the muscles of the mouth used for smiling
Droopy eyelid Botox – Botox injections can lift the outer tail of the eyebrow to lift the upper eyelid
Jawline Botox – reduces the appearance of an asymmetric jaw line by reducing the size of the muscles that make the jaw line look uneven
Preventative Botox – this treatment prevents the development of wrinkles
Botox brow lift – treats the frown lines that often develop between the eyebrows and elevates the height of eyebrows; this treatment works by relaxing the muscles between the eyebrows
Botox around eyes – the injection can soften the appearance of crow’s feet and the “11 lines” between the eyebrows; it can also correct asymmetric eyebrows or eyelids
Botox under eyes – used off-label, Botox injections can reduce the appearance of dark circles or wrinkles under the eyes
Botox forehead treatments – smoothes horizontal lines and vertical wrinkles between the eyes
Botox lips treatments – also known as a lip flip, an injection of Botox into the middle of the upper lip and into the corners of the mouth relaxes the muscles around the lip to give lips a fuller appearance
The goal of Botox aftercare is to provide the best results possible, and minimize the risk of bruising and the spread of botulinum toxin to other parts of the body. Botox aftercare begins immediately after the treatment and usually involves:
- Gently exercising your face
- Relaxing for the rest of the day
- Maintaining a normal heart rate
- Avoiding any touching, rubbing, or physical pressure on the treated area
- Leaving the treated area alone
Botox Side Effects
Like all other treatments, Botox can cause side effects, which can include:
- Swelling, pain, or bruising at Botox injection site
- Fever and chills
Side effects can affect the treated area to cause:
- Drooping eyelids
- Uneven eyebrows
- Dry eyes
- Excessive tearing
For more information on Botox, make an appointment with the professionals at the Center for Dermatology & Laser Surgery today!.