There has been much news of late about Botox and its positive effects on wrinkles. But what exactly is Botox? Botox is a bacteria produced (Clostridium Botulinum) toxin that blocks transmitted nerve impulses thereby weakening the muscles. Botox is a non-surgical treatment that temporarily reduces moderate to severe dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles caused by facial movement). Recent studies show added benefits of Botox. Specifically, that Botox is not only a wrinkle remover, but also increases skin elasticity and the production of collagen in the skin.
Botox injections have become an affordable and efficient way to manage facial wrinkles and lines. As lines and wrinkles are prominent during facial movement, Botox prevents them from appearing when the mouth, brow or nose move, by temporarily paralyzing muscles.
It can be used in the glabella region (between the eyebrows), the forehead, around the eyes and in very small amounts occasionally around the mouth. Beyond its use to combat facial imperfections, Botox is deployed to treat ailments such as cervical dystonia, hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, lazy eye and overactive bladders. Botox has many other prevalent uses including Blepharospasm treatment, involuntary twitching and spasms of the muscles and Meige's syndrome. Botox injections have also been shown to be beneficial to sufferers of chronic migraines.
What Botox injections do specifically is prevent certain neurotransmitters from sending signals to nerves that generate movement. The facial muscles that reveal wrinkles and lines become relaxed and underlying imperfections are temporarily diminished. This creates a cleaner, fresh look to the overall face.
Botox is used to manage Crow's feet - lines in corners of the eye - frown lines between eyebrows and forehead furrows. These injections are also applied for treatment of other conditions, including:
- Lazy eye
- Muscle contractures
- Cervical dystonia (repetitive neck spasms)
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Bladder dysfunction
- Eye twitching
Botox as a Non-Surgical Brow Lift
Botox can also be administered into the brow depressor muscles to lift the brow, and one can achieve a “ Botox brow lift." Botox will not fill a depression, or hollowed area, but will stop a muscle from locally working and decrease any wrinkles caused by repeated movement of a muscle in that specific area.
Your cosmetic plastic surgeon will ask about your health and if you've received Botox injections in the previous four months. They will need to know what medications you're taking, including sleeping aids, muscle relaxants and allergy meds. If you're on blood thinners, the injections will have to be carefully scheduled to avoid bruising or bleeding.
While not always necessary, some patients want to be numbed. Patients being treated in their hands or feet for hyperhidrosis often prefer this. The cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon may use anesthesia including vibration anesthesia or ice to numb treated areas.
A thin needle is used to inject Botox into areas that need treatment. How many injections a patient receives will be dependent on the treatment. Most patients find the injection to be mildly discomforting. During the Botox treatment, a few tiny injections will be given directly into the muscles. The procedure requires no recovery time, with little to no discomfort. A topical anesthetic agent or ice can be administered to the treated area to avoid any discomfort. The treatment takes approximately ten minutes and one may resume normal activity immediately afterwards. Botox is frequently given in conjunction with other surgical and non-surgical treatments. After the treatment is administered it generally takes four to five days before it takes effect. Our patients can expect to see the full results within two to four weeks after the injection and for up to four months. It is important to note: patients should NOT touch or massage the treated areas because it can cause the toxin to migrate to other areas of the body.