Have you ever heard of “dynamic wrinkles?” Well, if you have prominent lines on your forehead or between your eyebrows, you probably already have them. Not all wrinkles are created equal. Dynamic wrinkles are the type that is formed from underlying facial muscle contractions, like squinting or raising your eyebrows. This makes them a perfect treatment target for Botox injections.
Botox injections make a great alternative to traditional cosmetic procedures. Although traditional surgery is certainly effective, Botox injections are known for being quick, painless and largely free of side effects.
If you are considering Botox, you will need some solid information on how it works, who makes the best candidate for treatment, and what to expect during your appointment. You may also want to know how long your results will last.
What Is Botox?
The Botox product itself consists of an injectable liquid. This liquid contains something called botulinum toxin. Do not be alarmed; Botox is completely safe. The product is manufactured within a controlled laboratory environment.
What Does Botox Treat?
Botox treatment is most often used for:
- Horizontal forehead lines
- Lines around the eyes
- Nasal squint or scrunch lines
- Frown lines
Botox is sometimes used in tiny amounts in other areas of the face, depending upon your unique facial expression. It can be used to raise part of an eyebrow when it is sagging, lift mouth corners and smooth cobblestoned or dimpled chins. It is not typically used in the mouth area, since this could lead to difficulty with speaking and eating.
You may be surprised to hear that Botox treatment is also given to sufferers from migraine headaches. It can even be used to treat a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox works by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles that form dynamic wrinkles. When the activity of these muscles is reduced, they no longer create dynamic wrinkles. What is really happening is that Botox acts as a nerve block to prevent the transmission of nerve impulses from the treated person’s brain to their injected muscles. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles formed by repetitive facial muscle contractions.
Botox treatment has an excellent safety profile. Both the company that manufactures it and the product itself have a very safe reputation. It is important to keep in mind that the effects of Botox injections will eventually wear off, and facial muscle movement will eventually return.
Another key point is that when Botox is injected, it stays at that location and does not travel elsewhere within your body. Some people mistakenly believe that Botox will numb their face. You will experience full sensation in the area of treatment. The only difference is that the muscles in the treated area will be temporarily relaxed.
Botox injections have been proven safe for the typical patient. The treatment is designed particularly for anyone wishing to eliminate dynamic wrinkles. The procedure actually works best on younger people, and is advised for those who are between the ages of 18 and 70. If you are older, you will probably take part in a consultation with us to determine if you have enough skin elasticity to be responsive to the treatment.
Although Botox works for most people, it is not for everyone. It is not advised for anyone with allergies to bovine products, weakened facial muscles, or anyone on blood thinners or antibiotics. It may also not work as well for those with non-dynamic wrinkles that are due to sun damage, skin infections or gravity.
What To Expect
There are a few precautions that you will need to take prior to your Botox injections. You will need to avoid taking products containing aspirin, ibuprofen and vitamin E to minimize your chances of bruising after your treatment.
Patients appreciate the fact that Botox injections are quick and painless. We will apply a topical numbing agent to your skin a few minutes before your treatment. Then we will deliver as many as eight injections into designated muscles. Some temporary skin redness and irritation is normal for a few hours after injections.
Right after you receive your Botox injections, you will need to make a number of facial expressions. This is to ensure that the liquid is evenly distributed around the injection sites. Your physical activity will be somewhat limited for a day or two after your Botox treatment to encourage the product to settle into the correct location.
Patients normally find that their Botox injections last up to about six months. It is normal to experience a slight return of muscle movement after three months. This is when most patients undergo follow-up injections to maintain their results.