WHAT IS BOTOX?
Botox is actually the brand name for botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin protein that is an FDA-approved cosmetic drug for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on certain areas of the face. Because the main cause of facial wrinkling is the contraction of the underlying muscles (think of the analogy of a purse string causing the overlying fabric to contract and wrinkle up), it makes sense that a treatment that reduces muscle contraction will reduce wrinkles!
WHAT AREAS ARE TREATED WITH BOTOX?
The most popular areas to treat with Botox are the forehead (for the “worry lines”), glabella (the area between the eyebrows, for the “frown lines” or “elevens”), and the lateral eyes (for the “crow’s feet”).
WHEN SHOULD I START BOTOX INJECTIONS?
Botox works best for dynamic wrinkles, or “wrinkles in motion.” These types of wrinkles appear during common facial movements such as smiling, frowning, and laughing. Deep, etched-in wrinkles, or “wrinkles at rest,” may not be completely erased with this treatment, although they may be softened or made less noticeable. Of note, there is a growing trend of getting Botox as a preventative measure, that is, not waiting until wrinkles appear to undergo treatment. While there is no specific age range to get Botox (unless you are under the age of 18), your provider will give you an honest assessment as to whether Botox is right for you and what are realistic effects.
HOW LONG DO THE RESULTS LAST?
Botox treatment typically lasts about 3-4 months, although some may experience effects up to 6 months.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL TREATMENT LIKE?
Botox is quick, minimally invasive, and one of the safest cosmetic treatments. After being screened to see if the patient is an appropriate candidate for Botox, he or she will undergo several injections into the muscles in each treatment area with a very fine-gauged needle (I say it feels like a bee sting). There is minimal swelling, bruising, or pain afterwards. Right after treatment it may look like you have very tiny “mosquito bites” at the injection sites, but by the next day most people report they look back to normal as if they never had a procedure done! Keep in mind, it can take up to 2 weeks to see results after undergoing Botox treatment.