You’ve heard about Botox all over the media and wondered to yourself, “Is Botox right for me? Why is everyone talking about it?” Well, there’s good reasons why Botox is the most common minimally invasive procedure performed in the United States today.
First of all, it works. You’ve probably looked in the mirror and sighed in frustration over the creases in between your brows, the forehead and your crow’s feet. These are all areas that are very effectively treated with Botox. You may not notice these lines as much because you don’t spend all day looking into a mirror. However, these are the lines that people see immediately when they are talking to you. Prominent lines like these can make you seem mad, sad, tired, worried, stressed and aged even when you are not.
Second of all, it’s easy. Getting Botox is virtually painless. It is also a very quick procedure that has almost no down time. Believe it or not, but Botox may be the easiest thing you do all day!
Thirdly, it may even be preventative. By softening the lines now, we are preventing these lines from forming deeper and deeper creases. By addressing the lines sooner rather than later, we hope to avoid the creases from becoming “etched in stone”, so to speak.
What is Botox?
Our facial expressions are the visible signs of how we feel. Although we seldom think about it, many of our expressions involve contraction of facial muscles. Over time, this repeated muscle action to create certain expressions may result in wrinkles, creases and deep furrows that remain visible even when our faces return to a more neutral or relaxed state. These persistent wrinkles may make us look angry or anxious when we are not, and they may be among the first visible signs of facial aging.
Botox is a prescription medication that is injected into the muscles and works by temporarily reducing or eliminating frown lines, forehead creases, crows feet near the eyes, and thick bands in the neck. The result is a smoother facial surface and a refreshed, more youthful appearance.
Botox has a long track record as a safe and effective medication. It has been extensively studied for decades. Botox has been used for over 20 years for medical conditions and, in 2002, it was introduced for cosmetic purposes. Since then, over 11 million people have been treated by Botox for cosmetic improvement.
Benefits of a Botox Treatment
There are many benefits to Botox. Botox can:
- Relax the muscles that create unwanted facial expression lines
- Soften wrinkles and furrows, and, in many cases, virtually erasing them
- Helps to give the face a smoother, more refreshed appearance
We charge for Botox “by the unit”. Pricing it this way is upfront and honest, that way you know exactly how much Botox you are getting. Our practitioners are very experienced Botox injectors and will tell you at the consultation how much Botox you should receive in order to get the improvement you desire. For example, a person who is 60 years old will need a different amount of Botox than a 30 year old. Some people’s lines are deeper than other people’s lines. Because every individual is different, we tailor the amount of Botox based on your preferences. Please call our office at 951-699-9201 to find out the approximate price of Botox at our office.
A successful Botox treatment requires careful observation of the facial muscle action. By creating specific facial expressions, strategic points on your face can be identified based on your unique anatomy. A topical numbing agent may be used to help decrease the discomfort associated with the injection.
The injection sites are cleansed with an antibacterial agent. The injection takes only a few minutes. Following injection, any markings will be cleansed. Depending on the patient, the injection areas may be iced. Care must be taken not to apply pressure or massage the treatment areas. This could disperse the Botox into other areas.
An improved appearance and smoothing of creases and wrinkles will appear over the next few days or up to a week, depending on individual factors.
Recovery from Botox Treatment
Most people do not have any “down time” at all after the treatment. At about 5-7 days, you will see improvement of the treated areas.
Occasionally, initial treatment with Botox does not produce as much relaxation of the muscles as you wanted. If that happens, you probably need more Botox units. You may make a return visit to the office after 7 days for an evaluation and additional treatment. Otherwise, follow-up will be required within 3 to 4 months to maintain the results of the wrinkle reduction therapy.
Over time, the treated muscles may gradually weaken and Botox treatments may last somewhat longer than in the past. Because Botox is a temporary procedure, should you decide to discontinue treatment, the muscles that have been treated will eventually regain full mobility. In addition, when facial muscles resume their prior activity, the creases and wrinkles associated with these muscle actions will also return.
Possible Risks and Complications
Botox is relatively straightforward. In our experience, side effects have been rare. However, there are risks associated with any treatment. For Botox, these may include:
- Bruising, redness, discomfort or pain at the injection site
- Allergic reactions
- Asymmetry: Did you know that the face is different on the left and the right sides? For example, when carefully studied, you may notice that one side of your face has more wrinkles than the other side. One side of your face may also have stronger muscles than the other side. Because of these preexisting differences, it is normal for there to be differences after treatment with Botox.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are some common side effects of Botox injections?
A: Some of the more common side effects include temporary bruising and swelling. Overall, side effects after Botox injections are rare. Reported side effects include headache, nausea or flu-like symptoms, respiratory infection and eyelid or eyebrow droop. All of these are reported to be relatively uncommon and temporary in duration.
Q: When should I start seeing results?
A: It generally takes 3 to 5 days after Botox injection before you notice any changes. Often, the changes are gradual over a few days.
Q: How does Botox affect skin surfaces?
A: Botox injection does not change the skin surfaces. It only relaxes the underlying muscles that cause creases and wrinkles to appear. Surface wrinkles can be further improved with additional skin resurfacing treatments such as a chemical peel or microdermabrasion. Medical skin care products combined with Botox can dramatically improve the appearance of your face.
Q: What options are available if the lines are too deep for Botox?
A: Soft tissue fillers can fill and reduce the appearance of deeper creases and furrows that may not fully improve following treatment with Botox. Ask the doctor about this at the time of your consultation.
Q: How long do the results last?
A: While the exact length of time varies with each individual, the effects from Botox injections typically lasts 2 to 4 months
Q: Do the injections hurt?
A: Most patients only experience mild discomfort during the injections.
Q: How does Botox work?
A: Botox works by relaxing very specific muscles to prevent it from creating certain expression lines. This process is called temporary denervation.
Q: Can I use Botox if I am pregnant / nursing?
A: Treatment is not recommended for pregnant and/or nursing mothers.