According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, neuromodulator injections are the number one minimally-invasive rejuvenation treatment in the United States. In 2014, 6.7 million of these cosmetic procedures were performed. Small wonder – Botox treatment is an easy, effective way to address the underlying causes of frown lines between the eyebrows and crinkles at the corners of the eyes. Dr. Pamela Carr at Carr Dermatology in Sugar Land, TX would love to talk with you about how Botox can help you look refreshed and younger.
What is Botox?
Botox is made from the botulium toxin type A, the same bacteria that cause botulism. During research in the 1950s scientists discovered that when miniscule amounts of the botulinum toxin were injected into a muscle, the muscle ceased contracting for a period of time. Botox was born from that research.
Initially, Botox was approved for treatment of involuntary eyelid spasms. Since then its uses have expanded widely to treat migraine headaches, TMJ disorder, excessive underarm sweating, even bladder incontinence.
But Botox became famous in 2002 — that’s when the FDA approved it for cosmetic treatment of wrinkles on the upper third of the face. Ever since that approval, Botox has been the world’s most popular cosmetic procedure, surgical or non-surgical, every year.
How Botox smooths wrinkles
Your facial skin covers a foundation of muscles. Each time you contract those muscles, skin goes along for the ride. Eventually, repeated muscle contractions, such as squinting or frowning, leave lines and furrows in the skin. Resurfacing techniques such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion attack the problem from the outside, but they can only go so deep. Dermal fillers add volume to plump the wrinkles from underneath. Botox is different. It gets to the source of the wrinkles.
Dr. Carr injects this FDA-approved neuromodulator at precise points on the face. The protein blocks impulses from nerves that tell your muscles to tighten. As the muscles relax, skin naturally smooths out as lines and wrinkles flatten.
Treatment areas and results
The FDA approved Botox for treatment on the upper third of the face. You can think of this as the expressive area of the face, where we make expressions such as frowning, showing surprise, and others. When you make an expression, you can feel the muscles around the eyes, between the brows, and on the forehead engage. Over time, these repeated muscle contractions begin to create wrinkles on the surface skin above the muscle. Botox relaxes these muscles, so the wrinkles don’t form. These are called “dynamic” wrinkles.
Botox works on crow’s feet at the sides of the eyes, the vertical lines between the brows (the 11s), and on forehead lines. It can be used off label on other locations, but these results aren’t as consistent as on the upper third of the face.
An estimated 220 million people live with hyperhidrosis. If you have excessive sweating under your arms or elsewhere, talk with Dr. Carr. Botox can help to get sweating under control by blocking the production of the chemical that activates your sweat glands. Most patients see significant improvement – up to 87 percent – with dryness lasting as long as 6 months.
Who is a candidate for Botox?
Whether or not Botox will erase your wrinkles depends on their location and the type of wrinkle. Botox doesn’t have any effect on what are called “static” wrinkles. These show themselves at all times and are usually the result of sun damage, declining collagen production, and natural aging. Typical static wrinkles are smile lines, parentheses lines, barcode lines, and such. Static wrinkles can be treated with dermal fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane.
However, if the wrinkles you seek to treat are on the upper third of the face and are the result of muscle contractions under the skin, then Botox is the answer.
What is a Botox session like?
Botox was the original “lunchtime” procedure, as it takes just 10-15 minutes, and patients can return to work or their other activities immediately. Dr. Carr uses a very tiny needle to inject the Botox, and it is not injected deeply, so patients don’t feel the need for topical numbing.
Is a Botox session painful?
Dr. Carr injects Botox with a very tiny needle. Most patients equate the feeling to that of a pinprick, and they don’t require topical numbing. However, provided that if you choose.
How long does Botox provide results?
Botox doesn’t take effect immediately. It usually takes from 3-4 days for Botox to relax the muscles it is injected into. Once it does so, it erases the wrinkles caused by these muscles for about four months. At that point, the body will absorb the now-inert botulinum toxin and the muscles will start contracting again. Another Botox session with Dr. Carr will maintain your results.
Is Botox safe?
Botox has been used around the world millions of times and has been proven to be very safe. The only real risk is when Botox is injected by an inexperienced injector, as it can be placed into an incorrect location, leading to issues such as a droopy eyelid. But Dr. Carr has extensive experience with Botox and with facial anatomy, so any risks are minimal.
Patients may have some redness and slight swelling at the injection sites. Some patients may have a slight headache for the first day.
Botox has become extremely popular, but that doesn’t mean that you should trust just anyone with your appearance and your health. Botox is a real medicine, available only by prescription from a doctor. Call Carr Dermatology to learn more about safe, effective rejuvenation with Botox.
How expensive is a Botox session?
Botox is priced by the unit, so the costs vary depending on what areas you seek to treat. Once Dr. Carr has an idea of the areas you want to target, she can get a good idea of how much Botox you will need, and she can give you a cost estimate.