BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the brows in people 18 to 65 years of age for a short period of time (temporary).
BOTOX Cosmetic is administered by a healthcare professional as a simple, nonsurgical treatment that is injected directly into the muscles between the brows. It works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles. This reduces muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form between the brows.
Every patient of mine is encouraged to ask questions and be as educated as possible regarding our treatments. Therefore, it is important to me to take the time before and after all appointments to ensure that we answered any questions that you may have and review the expectations of the procedures. The initial consultation is often 30-45 minutes, depending on the patient, and involves a detailed discussion of your cosmetic concerns and our treatment options. We will also review your medical history, including allergies, medications and any condition that wouldn’t make you a good candidate for BOTOX. This visit is intended to be a comprehensive and therefore allows for much quicker visits in the future. However, anytime a patient has additional questions, the visit is always complimentary.
Why would you get treated with BOTOX®?
A lot of people think those stubborn frown lines between your brows make you look tired or upset. I have had a large number of patients that tell me, “People think I’m mad because I am frowning and I don’t even know it.” And of course, it’s not just celebrities that are concerned about their skin and desire a youthful image. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery ranked BOTOX® as the most popular physician-administered aesthetic procedure in the United States for the fourth year in a row (surgical and non-surgical combined).
BOTOX® is certainly not just for women. Women may talk about their looks more often, but men are concerned about their appearance as well.
Why does the skin age?
Have you ever looked in the mirror and studied those lines that furrowed your brow, and you wondered, “Where did they come from? And when did these new lines appear?” Is it just aging? Too much sun or stress? In general, how skin ages and wrinkles is a complex process that involves cellular changes, collagen depletion, hormone loss, and damage caused by free radicals.
The lines that appear between your eyebrows (glabellar lines) actually result from muscle movement over time. You may have heard the expression “wearing your emotions on your sleeve,” but in reality you wear them on your face. If you’re angry or annoyed, for example, you knit your brows together. As your facial muscles contract, it causes a pleating of the overlying skin because the muscle is attached to the skin through fibrous tissue.
After years of crinkling and wrinkling, those glabellar lines start to linger longer and can become more pronounced. For women, whose faces tend to be more animated than men’s, and whose skin is typically more delicate, these lines may appear exaggerated and more permanent.
Fortunately, there is a way to temporarily reduce these lines and wrinkles, as well as prevention of additional lines and wrinkles.
What is Botox?
BOTOX® is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. One of the most common concerns I hear from new patients is related to the term “botulinum toxin.” And it is counter-intuitive to think of putting a “toxin” into our bodies. However, it is important to remember that Botox is a drug. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a drug is defines as: articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being.”
And ALL drugs are toxic at a certain level. For example, acetaminophen or Tylenol, which is over-the-counter, leads to numerous deaths every year from overdose. Botox is a highly concentrated “drug” that is well studied and known to cause desired results.
How does BOTOX® work?
Those frown lines between your brows form over time as the result of repetitive muscle activity. BOTOX® is injected directly into the muscles between your brows. It works by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to the injected muscles; this reduces the activity of the muscles which in turn allows for the skin to be more relaxed and soft. By relaxing the muscle, and not allowing the skin to make that creased, it works to prevent lines and wrinkles from forming.
When will I see results from a BOTOX® treatment?
Within 3-7 days, you may see a marked improvement in the lines and wrinkles, but it often takes 14 days for optimal effect. Especially with the frown lines and forehead, the last 10-14 days are often a time for “fine tuning” as the body adjusts to the new muscle movement (or lack there of!:) In some people, the lines continue to improve for up to a month.
How long does BOTOX® last?
Results from treatment with BOTOX® can last for up to 3-4 months. Depending on your skin and often metabolism as well, we will find the right timing for next treatment. If you discontinue treatment, the lines will gradually look like they did before treatment.
What does the injection process involve? Does it hurt?
Pain control and anesthesia is a priority to me and therefore you are encouraged to ice the area extensively which allows for substantial numbing, as well as minimizing bruising. Numbing cream is also available upon request, but most of my patients state that with the ice and my injection technique, “It really doesn’t hurt much at all!”
After all of the questions and expectation have been discussed, I will help you to find a comfortable position—either lying down or sitting up. I will wipe off any make-up or cream from the skin and thoroughly cleanse it with alcohol. The actual procedure takes less than 10 minutes there is no downtime—meaning you can go back to work or out to dinner right after the procedure! Any discomfort is usually minimal and brief. I will make several tiny injections over the desired area and the BOTOX® is placed directly into the muscles that cause the corresponding wrinkles
What are the potential side effects?
The most common side effects following injection include localized pain tenderness, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding/bruising. Nausea and headache are also possible but less common. Temporary eyelid droop, known as ptosis, is the most talked about side effect, but it is also the most rare. I have never had a patient with eyelid droop, and I plan to keep it that way!
Who is NOT a candidate for BOTOX®?
Botox should not be used in the presence of infection at the proposed injection site(s) and in individuals with known hypersensitivity to any ingredient in the formulation. Patients with neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome may be at increased risk of serious side effects. Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Botox. The following medications can interact with BOTOX® and should be avoided: antibiotics used to treat infections, such as gentamicin, tobramycin, clindamycin, and lincomycin; medicines used to treat heart rhythm problems, such as quinidine; medicines used to treat myasthenia gravis or Alzheimer’s disease. As with all prescription medicines, you should also notify your practitioner if you are taking any over-the-counter medicines or herbal products.
Will my facial expressions continue to look natural?
My rule of thumb with all of my aesthetic treatments is to have significant, visible results that always look natural. I want you to still be able to enjoy your facial expressions, just without the wrinkles! BOTOX® will not radically change your facial appearance or make you look as if you “had work done.” In fact, the people that draw attention at the grocery store because they look so “done,” are in the minority. The best aesthetic results are when you think someone looks naturally beautiful or just has “good genes.”
Is BOTOX® affordable?
Isn’t it true that we are often willing to pay a little more for something if it is really worth it? That’s why one of the things I love most about Botox is that the results are reliable and very rewarding. When considering your facial aesthetic options, BOTOX® is quite affordable. Like other appearance-related investments, such as hair coloring, teeth whitening, and chemical peels, the cost must be weighed relative to your expectations.
What does it mean to say that BOTOX® is FDA approved?
You’ve heard it many times before: A product is advertised as “FDA-approved.” But what does that really mean? In the United States, prescription drugs and biologics are required to undergo rigorous laboratory, animal, and human clinical testing before they can be put on the market. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews the results of these studies to verify the identity, potency, purity, and stability of the ingredients. All drugs must demonstrate that they are safe and effective for the intended use. BOTOX® received FDA approval in 2002 for the temporary treatment of moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in people 18 to 65 years of age.
Do men do BOTOX®?
Why shouldn’t they? In nature, some male species have all the luck when it comes to looks. Think about a peacock and a peahen. It’s the male who’s got that gorgeous train, not the female. And the father of the lion family is the one with the glorious mane. With humans, it doesn’t always work that way, but the fact is, guys do care about their looks—and their wives do too!
A man who has pronounced lines between his brows may be perceived as angry or stressed—and he doesn’t want to look that way. That’s why it’s not surprising that men are also choosing to do Botox. Although the amount of units and injection pattern is different than for women, the main goal is still to help a man achieve a natural look.