What is Botox?
Botox is an injection formula that helps wrinkles of the face that are made, or made more severe, by repetitive facial muscle contractions (i.e. smiling causing crow’s feet, raising the eyebrows causing forehead wrinkles, or frowning causing wrinkles between the eyebrows). Botox does not help wrinkles that are embedded in the skin (wrinkles that are present when your facial muscles are completely relaxed and your face is in repose). The preferred treatment for embedded wrinkles is an injectable filler.
Where is Botox used?
Botox can be used for wrinkles of the forehead, wrinkles between the eyebrows, wrinkles in the crow’s feet region, bunny lines of the nose, wrinkles of the upper white lip, cobblestone appearance (peau d’orange) of the chin, and for the vertical bands of the neck below the chin.
Are there different types of Botox?
Botox used to be the only product available, but today there is a competitor known as Dysport.
How does Botox work?
Botox temporarily prevents the nerves from sending the signals to the muscles that make the muscles contract. Overtime, the effects wear off, and the nerve starts to send signals to the muscles again.
Does Botox work instantly?
No. Botox usually starts to work after a couple days, and it usually reaches its full effect in 7 to 10 days. It is my anecdotal experience that Dysport has an earlier onset of action than Botox in about half of the patients who have used both products. However, there are no scientific studies out yet that prove this theory.
How long does Botox last?
The duration of Botox varies from each person, the injection site, and how many visits. 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 incidence 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 embedded wrinkles.
Botox injections are often combined with topical Retin-A, topical Vitamin C, topical Vitamin E, Microdermabrasions, and Facial Peels.