When you smile, laugh, frown, or look puzzled, you contract the muscles of your face. Over time, these contractions produce wrinkles in the skin. These lines can make you look older, sad, angry or tired. BOTOX® Cosmetic helps prevent these lines from deepening while it softens or erases these marks of aging, leaving you looking younger and more refreshed.
How BOTOX® Cosmetic Works
BOTOX® Cosmetic is the brand name for onabotulinum toxin A, a therapeutic muscle-relaxing agent derived from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. When injected in small doses in specific areas, BOTOX® injections block nerve conduction to muscles responsible for repetitive actions. Originally approved by the FDA for the treatment of eye muscle spasms, BOTOX® was quickly recognized for its cosmetic value.
In 2002 the FDA approved BOTOX® Cosmetic for cosmetic use in the area between the eyebrows. Since then it has also been approved to treat forehead and crow’s feet (laugh lines beside the eyes) wrinkles. As it relaxes the muscles in the face that cause wrinkles the skin in those areas becomes smoother, helping a person look relaxed, less tired, and perhaps less angry.
The BOTOX® Procedure
Through the use of a small, fine needle, BOTOX® Cosmetic is injected under the skin into specific muscles of the face that are causing lines and wrinkles. The treatment takes just a few minutes. Most clients like to have a topical anesthetic applied to their skin before the treatment. There’s really almost no ‘down time’. People return to their normal activities within an hour or two.
Botox Frequently Asked Questions
How long does Botox last? The effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic typically last between 3 and 4 months. It takes about 5 days to begin to see the effects. As the medication’s effects diminish, the muscles become more active and the wrinkles return.
Who is a candidate for Botox? BOTOX® Cosmetic is FDA-approved for use in anyone from age 18 to 65. It is often used in patients older than 65 and may at times be used in people younger than 18. It’s a great treatment for someone with wrinkles in the forehead, between the eyebrows, and beside the eyes. A person should be in good health, not pregnant or breast-feeding, and not have a neuromuscular disorder. Individuals taking blood-thinners may experience bruising during and after treatments.
How often can I have Botox treatments? It is possible to have treatments every 3 to 4 months. Most people, however, don’t receive treatments that often. Some clients receive two or three treatments a year. Others do it more selectively. They get treated about a month before a class or family reunion, wedding, or other prominent social engagement. Having a treatment one month before a major even ensures that BOTOX® will be working fully by the time of the event and any bruising will be gone or very easily concealed.
Do Botox injections hurt? Very little, if at all. Having said that, we do often place a topical anesthetic on the areas to be treated and leave that on for about 20 minutes before the procedure. Some facilities have clients use ice on the areas before they are treated. While that works, we prefer the topical ointment. After the injections are completed it is extremely uncommon for someone to have any pain.
Is there bruising after Botox? Rarely. A tiny needle, like those used for insulin injections, is used. Most people have no bruising at all. Sometimes one or two very small bruises may develop. A person taking a blood-thinning medication is more likely to have bruising. If a bruise does occur, it might be visible for a few weeks.
What are the risks of Botox? In our experience perhaps the biggest “risk” is that there may be a slight asymmetry of the effectiveness of the medication. Perhaps a client may notice a little more movement of one side of the forehead than the other a few days after treatment. In cases like that, sometimes she might come back and have a little more Botox placed in that area. Other risks include bruising, temporary redness at the injection sites, and headaches. In rare cases slight drooping of an eyelid may occur.
The Importance of Choosing a Qualified Provider
Even though BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments are not surgical procedures, it’s important to choose an experienced, qualified person to do the injections. Dr. Kunkel and his Aesthetic Nurse Injector Krista are intimately familiar with BOTOX® Cosmetic and have successfully treated hundreds of patients at our Fort Worth office. They take time to talk with each candidate before beginning the treatments. This helps them understand what each person wants to achieve and allows them to determine how to best correct the problem area(s).