What is Botox?
Botox is an injectable formula that helps wrinkles of the face that are made, or made more severe, by facial muscle contractions (i.e. smiling causing crow’s feet, raising the eyebrows causing forehead wrinkles, or frowning causing wrinkles between the eyebrows). It’s made with the active ingredient of botulinum toxin type a, which inhibits nerve signals from reaching muscles in the area where it’s injected.
Botox does not help wrinkles that are already etched into the skin, or wrinkles that are present when your facial muscles are completely relaxed. The preferred treatment for those types of facial wrinkles is an injectable filler.
Where is Botox used?
Botox can be used for wrinkles of the forehead, wrinkles between the eyebrows, crow’s feet, bunny lines of the nose, wrinkles of the upper lip, cobblestone or dimpled appearance of the chin, and for vertical bands that appear on the neck.
Are there different types of Botox?
Botox used to be the only product available for botulinum toxin injections, but today there are several competitors, including Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau.
How does Botox work?
Botox’s botulinum toxin injection temporarily prevents nerve cells from sending signals to muscles telling them to contract. Over time, the effects of this cosmetic treatment wear off as the body metabolizes the Botox molecules, and the nerve starts to send signals to the muscles again. This is why repeated injections are necessary to maintain results in the long term.
Does Botox work instantly?
No. Botox usually starts to work after a couple of days, and it usually reaches its full effect in 7 to 10 days. Other botulinum toxin formulas may work quicker, although there are few scientific studies to prove that Dysport or other products work consistently faster than Botox.
How long does Botox last?
The duration of Botox varies between patients, depending on the injection site and how much formula is used. For most people, Botox lasts approximately 3 to 6 months. In some people, it can be shorter than 3 months, and in some people, it can last longer than 6 months. There are no guarantees of duration when it comes to Botox.
Is there downtime after a Botox injection?
Immediately after the injection, there may be some very mild redness and swelling. This goes away after about 15 minutes. Most people have their Botox injection in the middle of the day and go right back to work without anyone knowing.
Will I have a bruise after a Botox injection?
The amount of bruising depends on the location being injected. Bruising of the glabella, forehead, bunny lines, upper white lip, chin, and vertical bands of the neck are extremely rare. The incidence of bruising when injecting the crow’s feet area is about 25%. This is due to the thin skin in this area.
If a bruise occurs after a Botox injection, it is usually the size of a pencil eraser or smaller, and usually lasts about 7 days. If a bruise does occur, it can be covered with makeup immediately. Again, it’s important to remember every patient is different, so the outcomes will vary.
How much discomfort is associated with a Botox injection?
There is very little discomfort during a Botox injection. A topical numbing medication can be applied to the area before the injection if desired. However, most people do not require this.
A very small percentage of patients complain of a mild ache for a day or two at the site of the injection. This is easily controlled with Motrin or Tylenol.
What are my restrictions after a Botox injection?
Do not rub the area for 24 hours. No facials or microdermabrasions of the injected area for one week after the Botox injection. You can wear makeup immediately after the injection.
Procedures / Treatments often performed in conjunction with Botox
An injectable filler is often used at the same time to address other wrinkles due to aging or volume loss.
Botox injections are often combined with topical Retin-A, topical Vitamin C, topical Vitamin E, microdermabrasions, and facial peels.
What age should I start Botox?
When a patient begins Botox is a personal choice. However, most experts agree that a good time to begin preventative Botox is mid-late 20s and early 30s.