What it is
Botox is the most popular cosmetic enhancement procedures performed globally. The procedure is simple, painless, and can be completed in a matter of minutes. It uses a medically refined substance that relaxes the muscles responsible for causing lines, furrows, or other unwanted appearances. It is used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face that are caused by muscle movement, including forehead lines, frown lines, and smile lines. It can also be used to soften the tiny lines around the mouth, often referred to as “smoker's lines”.
Botox is most commonly used in areas where there is repeated muscle movement, such as the eyebrow and forehead regions of the face. Crow’s feet, which form on the outside corners of the eye, are a very popular treatment area. Furrows on the forehead and frown lines can also be treated with Botox injections. Some wrinkles, such as those caused by sun damage or gravity, cannot be treated with Botox and other options, such as fillers, may be more suitable.
Botox can also be used in the treatment of Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. It works by temporarily blocking the signals sent from the nerves to the sweat glands, which prevents sweating in the treatment areas. The most common treatment areas for Botox Hyperhidrosis include the underarms, hands, feet, scalp, and back. There is no need to worry that this procedure harms the body in any way, as the sweat does not get backed up. Sweat is simply not produced at all in the treatment areas and the rest of the body is free to produce moisture as normal. If you suffer from Hyperhidrosis, the cost of the Botox treatment is actually covered by many third-party insurance companies. The creators of Botox also offer a savings program to help offset the costs associated with the treatment. More details can be found on their website, which can be found here: https://www.botoxsavingsprogram.com/.
How to Prepare
If you are considering a Botox treatment, we recommend our patients to follow the general guidelines outlined below:
- Avoid alcohol consumption for at least 1 week prior to your appointment
- Avoid taking Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications 2 weeks prior to your appointment
- Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, who have a neurological disorder (ie: Myasthenia Gravis or Eaton Lambert Syndrome), or an allergy to the ingredients (ie: albumin) in the botulinum toxin formulation are not eligible for Botox
How it works
Using a very fine needle, Botox is injected into the muscles around the eyes that cause crow’s feet or between the eyebrows to relax the frown lines. The procedure requires zero use of anesthesia and many patients report very minimal to no pain when receiving Botox. If you are sensitive to pain, you may find it helpful to minimize discomfort by taking acetaminophen 1-hour prior to your procedure, especially if you are undergoing Botox for Hyperhidrosis.
Botox is derived from the botulinum toxin type A, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safe cosmetic use. It treats the appearance of facial wrinkles and dynamic folds by blocking the nerve signals to the facial muscles responsible for creating the lines. You will notice that wrinkles and lines will be reduced and softened after your procedure with results that will become more noticeable in the following days.
The results from Botox injectables are almost immediate, with patients experiencing very minimal side effects and no down time. Many times, results can be seen in only 48 hours, although this does depends on the depth of the wrinkle being treated. Typically, full results can be seen within 10 days after your treatment.
Patients often pair Botox injections with other non-surgical facial cosmetic procedures such as dermal fillers, or other plastic surgeries such as face lifts or eye lifts to maximize its effectiveness. Botox injections can also be used as a non-surgical procedure to treat “square jaw”, eyebrow re-shaping, and neck lifting.
The effects of Botox injections are temporary and results can last from 4 to 6 months, depending on the depth of the treated wrinkles. Smaller lines, such as Crow’s feet, tend to show results quicker as opposed to deeper lines on the forehead or the nasolabial fold. Repeated Botox treatments can result in long-term improvement in your areas of concern by training the muscles to relax and will help prolong the effects of your treatment.
Aftercare and Recovery
Botox injections require no anesthesia and are non-invasive, many of which are performed within 15 minutes at our office. You can return to your normal activities almost immediately after your treatment, although we do recommend avoiding exercise or strenuous physical activity for the rest of the day following your procedure. Ice may be applied to the injection site to minimize redness and swelling. This is normal and to be expected, and will resolve on its own in a few hours or days.
While it is considered relatively safe and effective procedure, potential side effects of Botox can include bruising, swelling and localized pain at the injection site. In rare instances, an adjacent muscle may be affected, which can result in an unwanted effect such as a drooping eyelid. Other serious adverse reactions such as difficulty swallowing are rarely reported and are listed in Botox’s official drug monograph.
Myths and Facts
There is a common misconception that Botox will give you a “frozen” or “expressionless” look. However, this is usually due to an overdosage of a Botox injection. Botox does not radically change muscle movement but instead, temporarily reduces it. Dr. McLean is an experienced medical professional and knows exactly how many Botox units to use so that you will look natural to ensure you receive the best results possible.