The Cosmetic Uses of Botox
When a low dosage of Botox is injected into the facial muscles that create wrinkles, those muscles relax. That relaxed state prevents the muscles from contracting and creating the facial wrinkles, frown lines, furrows and creases.
The facial muscles respond very well to Botox treatment. Specifically, Botox eliminates and/or reduces:
- Forehead frown lines and Crow’s feet around the eyes
- Down turned corner of the mouth and lip lines
- Furrows between brows
- Neck lines, Jaw clenching and wrinkles
There are also other medical uses of Botox – it can be effective in treating chronic migraine headaches, hyperhidrosis (a condition causing excessive underarm sweating) and certain types of muscle spasms.
The Botox process is a 15 minute procedure and is fast, easy and minimally invasive. Following is an explanation of the process:
Examination – The doctor will begin with a careful examination of the area you want to treat. During part of this exam, you will move certain facial muscles per the doctor’s request. This is so that the physician can identify the spot where a Botox injection will produce the best results.
Prep-work – No anesthetic is required for Botox. However, an ice pack may be used to cool the area to be treated. This keeps any discomfort to a minimum.
Treatment – After the exam and patient preparation, the doctor precisely injects the Botox into the pre-determined point. This part of the process lasts just one to three minutes. Any discomfort is minimal and of a short duration. Your normal activities can resume immediately.
You will begin noticing results within two to five days and the treated area may continue to improve for as long as a week. Usually, the results last for three to four months. If you regularly receive Botox injections, that might stretch out to as long as six months. Wrinkles that are “dynamic” (i.e. present only when the muscle is contracting) can completely disappear in one treatment. Lines that are fixed will improve with one treatment, but depending on their depth, may take several treatments to disappear completely or may need filler or additional skin treatments.
Injectable fillers have been extensively used and are safe for filling in deep wrinkles, and augmenting facial areas that have experienced soft tissue loss or descent with aging. There are a variety of fillers that our physicians use and they will make treatment recommendations based on individual needs and desired results.
JUVEDERM injectable gel is a smooth gel filler your doctor places under your skin to instantly smooth out wrinkles or folds around the sides of your nose and mouth. JUVEDERM can also be used for forehead lines, crow's feet, acne scars, vertical lip lines and lip plumping.
Radiesse is an injectable filler composed of calcium hydroxyappepetite. The procedure is similar to JUVEDERM and results can last up to 6 months or longer. Radiesse is used to fill in deep wrinkles and can augment the cheek area.
Botox is injected into the skin to treat the symptoms of severe underarm sweating (severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis) when topical medicines used on the skin do not work well enough in people 18 years and older. It is not known whether Botox is safe or effective for severe sweating anywhere other than your armpits. The actual procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes and is relatively straightforward. A small amount of BOTOX ® solution is injected into the affected underarm area through a very fine needle. You receive about 15 injections per side during the session based on your doctor's assessment of the area that needs treated.
Botox treatment for hyperhidrosis can last up to 6 and a half months. It is not a cure; your symptoms will return gradually, and you will know when the time is right for another treatment. Your physician will recommend a treatment strategy to ensure that you receive the best possible results with Botox treatment.
If you decide not to have further treatment, your sweating will gradually return to its pre-treated state. The effects of BOTOX ® treatment will gradually wear off, and your underarm sweating will resume.
Botox injections are not just for the older patient. Botox injections are frequently used in 20-30 year old patients to both eliminate and prevent developing wrinkles. We have found that you can actually prevent the formation of wrinkles when Botox Cosmetics is used preventively in younger patients. Since deep wrinkles and furrows are caused by the repetitive action of facial muscles pulling on the overlying skin, relaxation of these muscles with serial Botox treatments will slow down and prevent the development and progression of wrinkles.
Many older patients in their 40s, 50s and beyond with deeper wrinkles and soft tissue loss from the normal aging process, use either Botox alone or depending on their goals, often combine Botox Cosmetic with injectable fillers such as Juvaderm or Radiesse to improve their appearance.
Low doses of Botox Cosmetic are injected in tiny doses directly into the muscles making the frown lines. By blocking the release of a chemical that causes these muscles to contract, Botox Cosmetic allows them to relax. The muscle activity that causes frown lines is simply reduced, so you can still show expression, such as a frown or surprised look, but without the wrinkles and creases. It has been used for over 25 years and is a safe and effective treatment in experienced hands. Botox Cosmetic has also been shown to be effective for treatment of migraine headaches, excessive underarm sweating, and certain muscular spasm disorders.
You can expect to see results starting 2 to 5 days after your treatment and the area may continue to improve for up to a week. Some patients notice a difference the day after treatment. Results last on the average 3 to 4 months. Patients who have had serial Botox Cosmetic injections for a long period of time find that their results may last a bit longer, up to 6 months.
We have all seen photos of celebrities who have been treated with Botox and have unnatural appearances ranging from brows lifted too high to too low, or a frozen face appearance. The effect of Botox Cosmetic is primarily dependent on three important factors: The qualification and experience of the person providing the treatment, the dose of Botox that is injected – the amount of muscle contraction disruption depends on the amount of Botox that is administered into the particular treatment area, and the dose has been injected correctly into the appropriate treatment area to achieve the desired effect. The goal of our physicians when performing Botox Cosmetic injections is to provide the most natural-appearing result as possible to meet our individual patient’s goals in a realistic manner.
Dr. Moore, the founder of Premier Plastic Surgery states, “my goal when treating a patient with Botox Cosmetic injections who wants to correct horizontal forehead creases is not to totally eliminate them but rather soften them while preserving the patient’s ability to elevate their brows, thus avoiding a “frozen face” look. My goal is not to erase every line and wrinkle from a patient’s face. I advise my patients that it is best to focus on those wrinkles or creases that play the largest role in making you look tired or worried. With this treatment approach, patients are very pleased with their natural, rested, refreshed appearance while avoiding the over-treated appearance that you can get by either using too much Botox in an area or not completely understanding the anatomy of the facial muscles and inappropriately injecting Botox in an area that may cause an unnatural look.”
You should not receive Botox Cosmetic if you:
Are allergic to any of the ingredients in Botox or Botox Cosmetic
Had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc® or Dysport®
Have a skin infection at the planned injection site
You Should Not Be Treated With Botox Cosmetic If You Have:
- have a disease that affects your muscles and nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease], myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome)
- allergies to any botulinum toxin product
- had any side effect from any botulinum toxin product in the past
- a breathing problem, such as asthma or emphysema
- swallowing problems
- bleeding problems
- weakness of your forehead muscles, such as trouble raising your eyebrows
- drooping eyelids
- any other change in the way your face normally looks
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Botox Cosmetic can harm your unborn baby.
- are breast-feeding or plan to breast feed. It is not known if Botox Cosmetic passes into breast milk.
If you are considering Botox Cosmetic for the first time prior to a special event, such as a family or school reunion, or a wedding you should schedule an appointment approximately 4 months prior to the event to allow for an initial consultation and treatment. This will allow you to undergo an initial treatment as a "trial" to see how the treatment will look and to refine any other additional treatment areas if you decide on subsequent treatments. For established patients on Botox, you should schedule a treatment 3 to 4 weeks in advance of a special event.
Click here to learn more about Cosmetic Procedures or Skin Care Treatments prior to reunions, weddings and other special events.