What is Botox?
Botox Cosmetic is a non-surgical injectable procedure which can temporarily eliminate frown lines, forehead lines, crow’s feet, and lipstick lines; return the corners of the mouth to an upturned position; create a more youthful-looking upper lip, and eliminate an “orange-peel” appearance of the chin. Botox may be used on a variety of wrinkles and lines caused by underlying muscle contraction.
How does Botox work?
Botox works by temporarily relaxing the muscles responsible for expression lines on the face.
Are there any limitations to what Botox can achieve?
Botox is only effective on hyperdynamic lines, or those wrinkles caused by underlying muscle contraction. If a resting line remains in the absence of muscle movement, this is a reflection that the skin has been wrinkled over a long period of time, thus developing an inherent crease. In these cases, Botox will do little to improve the appearance of the line though it will prevent the muscle from creating an even deeper wrinkle. These lines may be treated with a combination of Botox and a filler.
Who is a good candidate for Botox?
The best candidates for Botox include men and women who have unwanted wrinkles that appear with animation and emotional expression, termed hyperdynamic lines. Patients often describe a deep crease or line that is formed as a result of certain facial expressions. Botox may not be appropriate for patients with certain neuromuscular disorders.
Where is the Botox procedure performed?
Botox is a physician office-administered procedure.
What type of anesthesia is used for the Botox procedure?
Local numbing is necessary only when treating the area around the mouth because sensitivity is greater there. A topical anesthetic may be applied to the skin of the treatment area thirty to forty-five minutes prior to treatment. For additional anesthesia, a cold compress may be used just prior to treatment. Other areas do not require anesthesia.
How is the Botox injection performed?
Patients are asked to contract the muscle under the unwanted wrinkle or crease. This may mean elevating the brow, frowning, squinting or smiling. The Botox is then administered using a very fine needle with the injections distributed equally and symmetrically across the muscle. Botox injections should be strategically distributed directly into the desired location based on the presence and degree of hyperdynamic muscle movement. Botox is given based on a ‘unit’ of measurement with a standard mixture of Botox containing 100 units that is diluted in 3-4ccs of fluid. The average number of units per area is as follows: 10-25 units for the forehead area, 20-30 units for the glabella area, 10-25 units for the suprabrow area, and 5-15 units per side for the crow’s feet and cheek area.
It’s important to note that if patients are charged for Botox treatment based on a treatment area rather than a number of units, they will have no idea how much Botox was actually administered. They could have received a syringe filled with a more dilute solution than recommended. In addition, charging based on the number of units given will provide patients with a better idea of how much Botox is needed for effective change in a given area.
How long does the Botox procedure take to perform?
The Botox injection usually takes just ten to twenty minutes to complete.
Is the Botox injection painful?
There is little pain associated with the Botox injection. Patients may experience a brief sensation similar to a pin prick.
What is the recovery period after the Botox injection?
As with any injectable procedure, patients may experience some minor bruising at the injection site. Otherwise, there is no real recovery associated with the Botox procedures and patients can immediately return to their normal activities. Patients usually begin to notice an inability to create the unwanted wrinkle within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after treatment, and the effects will last approximately three to four months. While it will take about two weeks for the maximum effect to be achieved, patients will begin to see the effects within five to seven days after treatment.
What are after care recommendations?
Patients may notice some temporary redness and swelling for a few minutes after treatment and ice compresses will be applied for several minutes. Most patients are readily presentable in public upon leaving the office and can return to work and other normal activities. Prolonged bending and vigorous activity and exercise should be avoided for the rest of the day.
Will I need to take time off from work after the Botox injection?
Though some minor bruising may occur at the injection site, patients are able to immediately return to work and other normal activities after receiving a Botox treatment.
Are there risks or complications with Botox?
If excess Botox is injected and/or treatment is done too close to the eyelid, a drooping eyelid can result. It is important to have a complete understanding of the muscle groups involved and to avoid injections that may promote leaking of Botox into unwanted adjacent areas. This is fortunately a rare complication that is temporary if it occurs.
How long do the results of Botox last?
The effects of Botox last an average of three to four months.
Does insurance cover the Botox procedure?
Insurance generally does not cover Botox procedures which are performed for cosmetic reasons alone. Some coverage may be available when Botox is used for medical purposes like migraine treatment. Patients should be sure to talk with their own insurance carrier.