Botox is a true phenomenon in the aesthetic world. In less than 20 years this injectable has become one of the world’s most recognized brand names. Every year since its introduction in 2002, Botox® injections have been the most popular cosmetic procedure, surgical or non-surgical, across the world. Why all the adulation? Because Botox® works. Botox® effectively erases wrinkles and lines on the upper third of the face and elsewhere. Botox® is one of our injectable offerings at Bedrossian’s.
What Is Botox?
Botox® is classified as a neuromodulator. The FDA approved Botox® in 2002 for aesthetic use treating wrinkles on the upper third of the face. When injected underneath a wrinkle such as crow’s feet, Botox® relaxes the muscle that is creating the wrinkle, erasing the wrinkle for a period of about three-four months.
What Is The Botulinum Toxin Type A?
Botox® is a protein, botulinum toxin type A, produced by the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum. It is the same bacteria that can cause botulism. Back in the 1950s research scientists discovered that when injected in minuscule amounts into a muscle the botulinum toxin temporarily stopped the muscle from contracting. Botox® was born from that research. Actually, Ophthalmologists were the first to used Botox medically in the early 1970s, to help straighten ‘crossed eyes’ in children.
Candidates For Botox
Botox® is FDA approved for and works best on wrinkles on the upper third of the face, the expressive area of the face. If you want to erase wrinkles formed by muscle contractions when you make expressions such as frowning, Botox® is the answer. These are crow’s feet, forehead lines, and the 11s between the brows.
As an “off label use’, Botox® can also be used for wrinkles on the lower portions of your face and neck, often the result of sun damage and other factors. However, these lower face lines are often the domain of dermal fillers.
How Does Botox Work?
When Botox® is injected into a muscle it blocks the nerve signals that are sent from the nerve to the muscle. These are the messages to contract a muscle, for instance. When Botox® blocks these messages, the muscle never receives them so it never initiates the contraction, and the muscle stays at rest and relaxed.
Since wrinkles on the face are caused by repeated muscle contractions under the skin, Botox® stops these muscles from contracting for around three-four months. This keeps the wrinkles from forming.
You can see how this would have other applications. In fact, Botox® was first approved for the treatment of involuntary eyelid spasms in 1992. Its uses have continued to expand and Botox® is now used for the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder, migraine headaches, and even excessive underarm sweating and urinary incontinence.
Botox Treatment Areas
The FDA approved Botox® for use on the upper third of the face. It is effective for erasing crow’s feet, the 11s between the brows, and on forehead lines.
Botox® was given the moniker “lunchtime procedure” because it takes just 10-15 minutes for a session. Dr. Bedrossian injects Botox® with a very tiny needle and it is not injected to great depth, so patients generally don’t feel the need for any topical anesthetic prior to their session. After your injections, you can get right back to your typical activities.
Botox Before And After
Is There Any Pain Associated With Botox Injections?
As mentioned above, Botox® is injected with a tiny needle. Most patients equate the feeling to that of a pinprick. These injections are not considered to be painful.
Cost Of Botox
Botox® is priced by the unit. Once we know what areas you seek to address, we can give you a precise estimate of how much you’ll use and the cost.
How Long Will My Botox Results Last?
Botox® erases wrinkles and lines on your face for about three- four months. At that time, your body ‘breaks-down’ the now-inert Botox® and the muscle begins to contract again, creating the wrinkle again. Another Botox® session with Dr. Bedrossian will maintain your results.
Botox Vs. Dermal Fillers
Some people lump Botox® in with dermal fillers like Restylane®. But this is not correct. Botox® is known as a neuromodulator, and it works in a completely
different fashion than dermal fillers.
As described above, Botox® erases wrinkles on the surface skin that are formed by muscle contractions beneath the skin. Most commonly, these are crow’s feet, the 11s between your eyebrows, and forehead lines. When it blocks the muscles from contracting, the wrinkles don’t form on the skin above.
Dermal fillers go about their wrinkle erasing in a completely different manner. As their name implies, when a filler is injected beneath a wrinkle, crease, or area of volume loss the filler simply “fills” the space, pushing the skin back upward. It is basically a manual insertion of volume. Dermal fillers work on static wrinkles that are caused by sun damage, declining collagen production, thinning skin, normal fat loss, personal habits, and just natural aging. Static wrinkles are on display all the time because the skin is damaged or has lost underlying volume support.
Dermal fillers have no effect on dynamic wrinkles, such as crow’s feet. Botox has no effect on static wrinkles, such as cheek or jaw lines.
Can I Have Botox And Restylane Injected In The Same Session?
Yes, Botox® and Restylane® treat different wrinkles in different areas of the face, as described above. Botox® is most often used on the upper third of the face. Restylane® products are used predominantly on the lower third of the face.
Side Effects Of Botox
Botox has been injected tens of millions of times around the world with very few reactions. The main possible problem comes if Botox® is injected by an inexperienced injector. If Botox is injected into an incorrect muscle, it can cause issues such as a droopy eyelid. That’s why it’s very important to have Botox® injected by an expert in facial anatomy who has extensive experience with Botox®, such as Dr. Bedrossian.
Otherwise, the main issues after Botox® injections are slight swelling and redness at the injection sites. These usually resolve themselves in a day.
It is important for patients to refrain from rubbing their injection sites for the first 24 hours after their injections. Rubbing the sites can cause the Botox® to move to an unintended muscle.