As we age, the skin becomes thinner and less elastic, which leads to wrinkles on the skin. This can be seen with forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and frown lines on the face. Botox® can help temporarily improve the appearance of these wrinkles. Botox® is a medicine injected into muscles to temporarily improve the look of wrinkles including crow’s feet, frown lines in between the eyebrows, and forehead lines. Botox does this by blocking chemical signals from nerves, stopping the contraction of muscles.
What is the difference between Botox and Fillers?
Botox® and fillers are both injected with a needle. The biggest difference between Botox® and fillers is that Botox® is used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles. Dermal fillers on the other hand will fill in wrinkles.
Because the muscles do not move in the same way, the appearance of wrinkles and lines is diminished.
Botox® uses the toxin onobotulinumtoxinA, which stems from botulism, a type of food poisoning. This toxin is used cosmetically because it temporarily prevents a muscle from moving by blocking muscle contracture signals from nerves. While Botox® was the first to use botulinum toxin, Myobloc, Xeomin, and Dysport are all other products that contain botulinum toxin. They all vary slightly in dosage.
Because Botox® temporarily relaxes muscles, it is used outside of cosmetic treatments as well. It can be used to treat some conditions that involve muscle contractures. Hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive sweating, muscle contractures caused by some neurological conditions, chronic migraines, lazy eye, and spasmodic dysphonia are all medical conditions for which Botox® can be used to provide temporary treatment.
Overactive bladder due to a neurologic condition, cervical dystonia, strabismus, blepharospasm, also known as eyelid spasm, and spasticity conditions in children and adults are other conditions that can be temporarily treated by Botox®.
How is Botox® performed?
Botox® injections are a fairly short procedure, lasting about 20 minutes. Aspirin and any anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped at least 2 weeks before treatment. This helps to reduce bruising after the procedure. If needed, a topical numbing cream, usually lidocaine based, is applied to the injection sites. A thin needle is used to inject Botox® into specific muscles, targeting the best areas to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The number of areas injected depends on the specific needs of the patient. The injection sites can be iced after the procedure is finished.
Do not rub the areas around the injection sites for 24 hours after the procedure. After the procedure, you can return fully to normal activities. Exercise can be resumed the next day. You should begin to see results 1 to 3 days after the procedure.
How much does Botox cost?
The cost of Botox varies, depending on where and how much is injected. Botox is priced per unit. The amount needed depends on the locations injected and the facial makeup of the patient. Dr. Hardaway’s staff will discuss pricing at your consultation. Though any medical doctor is able to offer Botox injections, for the best and safest results it is best to visit a board certified plastic surgeon or a dermatologist for Botox or any cosmetic injection. Botox can be extremely dangerous if administered by someone who is unqualified, as it can result in muscle paralysis and spread throughout the body if placed incorrectly.
How long does Botox last?
The results from Botox will last for 3 to 4 months at a time. However, with regular Botox use, the muscles will stay more relaxed and begin to shrink over time. You should start to see results 1 to 3 days after the procedure.
What are the risks of Botox?
The most common risk of Botox is bruising, swelling, or pain at the injection site. Headache, droopy eyelids, neck pain, tiredness, eye dryness, and excessive tearing are complications that may occur. Eyelid drooping will normally disappear in about 3 weeks.
It is important to visit a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, someone who is qualified to administer Botox injections, for the safest results from the procedure.
Who is a good candidate for Botox?
You may not be eligible for Botox if you have any skin allergies or allergies to medications or bleeding disorders. You may not be eligible for certain injections if you have any allergies to the ingredients of the injections. Botox should not be used by individuals who are allergic to milk protein from cow’s milk. Those who have certain neurological conditions should not receive Botox. Let Dr. Hardaway and her staff know if you have any allergies to any medications or numbing agents such as lidocaine during your consultation. If you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to wait until you are done to receive any cosmetic procedures.