These are a class of neuromodulators, chemicals that are used to paralyze muscles for a variety of different medical treatments. When targeted to the muscles of facial expression, it will help eliminate or soften wrinkles, resulting in a noticeably younger appearance. The specific muscles that are typically treated are the frontalis muscle for wrinkles in the forehead; the glabella for wrinkles between the brows and orbicularis oculi for wrinkles responsible for crows feet.
BOTOX® Cosmetic Dynamic wrinkles are caused by contractions of the delicate underlying facial muscles every time you smile, laugh and frown. Over time, these emotions form deeper lines and wrinkles. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a simple and safe procedure where a very small amount of product is injected precisely into targeted locations on the face, blocking the nerve impulse to the muscle under the skin in the treated area. Results can last from three to six months. However, the duration of treatment benefits is increased over time. There is no downtime with this procedure.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is the brand name for botulinum toxin type A, natures most potent blocker of nerve impulses. It initially was used in 1989 for blepharospasm but the FDA approved for treatment of glabellar lines since 2002. A registered trademark of the Allergan Corporation, BOTOX® Cosmetic is costly because it is tedious to manufacture and because no generic substitute is available.
BOTOX® Cosmetic works by partially blocking the nerve impulses to the tiny facial muscles that are related to expression lines. This causes the muscles that are related to expression to relax. After the solution takes effect, the overlying skin will be smooth and unwrinkled while your untreated facial muscles will still function normally.
What is a BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment like?
This is a simple and safe procedure. A tiny needle is used to cause minimal sensation and discomfort and to also allow greater precision in delivery of BOTOX® Cosmetic to the specified facial area. Most patients remark that there is minimal discomfort comparing the sensation to a bug bite. No sedation or anesthetic is required, and you can resume most normal activities immediately. Botox generally takes 2-4 days to take effect reflecting the time necessary to disrupt the synaptic process, with full effect visible at 2 weeks.
What areas can be treated?
BOTOX® Cosmetic injections are primarily used in the upper third of the face. Forehead, lines between the eyebrows, and lines around the eyes (“crow’s feet”) respond favorably to Botox. Off label uses frequently performed that could be performed are a “lip flip” or softening of “bunny lines” on the bridge of the nose or a softening of “straw/smoker lines” around the mouth. “Gummy smile” is an additional indication that can be treated and others.
Am I a candidate for BOTOX® Cosmetic?
Most patients are candidates for this procedure if they have dynamic wrinkles and lines. Contraindications generally are minimal therefore making this a suitable treatment for most patients. Patients that are pregnant or nursing or have neurological problems are not candidates. We will go over the contraindications at your initial consultation.
How does BOTOX® Cosmetic last?
BOTOX® Cosmetic injections are temporary. On average the effect lasts 3-5 months with individual variations. Early clinical studies have indicated that the duration of treatment benefits are increased over time so that you could require injections less frequently in the future. However, if you engage in frequent cardiovascular exercise, you may metabolize the Botox quicker and the effects last a shorter duration.
Is BOTOX® Cosmetic used to treat other conditions?
Over the past two decades the clinical applications for BOTOX® have been numerous. BOTOX® is now used in the treatment of strabismus, blepharosplasm, hemifacial spasm, spasmodic dysphonia, oromandibular dystonia and cervical dystonia. These are all medical conditions and non-cosmetic in nature. Botox Cosmetic is referring to the product that is used specifically for temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines and moderate to severe lateral canthal lines (crow’s feet)
Are there any side effects to BOTOX® Cosmetic?
Temporary bruising of the injection site is the most common side effect. This is indicative of each patient and their normal response to any tissue change. In some cases, BOTOX® Cosmetic can migrate to the wrong muscle causing drooping of the eyelid or unevenness of the brows. With skilled technique and knowledge of the the face and underlying muscles the chances of this are reduced to about 1%. Because the effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic are completely reversible, any side effects are temporary.
What results can I expect?
Most patients desire a more youthful appearance. Some prefer to look less “angry”, while others are concerned about preventative therapy. Whatever the reason, the outcomes are the same. Wrinkles that are controlled by muscle movement are decreased and smoothed. Wrinkles that are from sun exposure or not muscle related will not be affected by BOTOX® Cosmetic. BOTOX® Cosmetic will not improve sagging skin or replace the need for a facelift or browlift.