Common questions about Botox.
Botox. Who would think that a substance that is responsible for food poisoning could also make us look more youthful!
Below I've listed some of the more common questions I'm frequently asked by my patients.
What is Botox?
Botox is a prescription drug and is made by the drug company Allergan. It works by temporarily blocking muscle activity by preventing the transmission between nerve endings and muscle fibers. In lay terms this means that when Botox is injected into your muscle the muscle will temporarily relax.
What areas do you treat?
Common areas treated are:
- Forehead wrinkles.
- Frown lines.
- Crow's feet.
- The muscle bands in the anterior neck.
What can I expect from my first Botox procedure?
The procedure is quick and easy, it usually takes about 10 minutes. The first thing I will do is assess your facial wrinkling to make sure that Botox is indicated. I will then mark your face to pinpoint the injection sites. A small fine gauge needle is used to inject the Botox into the target areas. You will feel small pin pricks in the treatment areas. My patients tell me the pain is a 1-2 on the scale of 10.
What kind of results can I expect to see?
Botox does not work instantly, so don't expect to see immediate results! Results are generally seen anywhere from 1-7 days after the procedure.
Botox is not permanent, it will gradually wear off. My patients generally return for repeat injections every 3-4 months.
Will my face look frozen?
We've all seen the people with overdone Botox. They look expressionless and strange. Their faces may be frozen, their eyebrows may take on an unnatural arch. It's proof that you can have too much of a good thing! With my patients the goal is to have them look relaxed and rested. The goal is to eliminate wrinkles, but not at the expense of eliminating all facial movement. I believe in a less is more approach. When patients come to me for the first time seeking Botox, I like to err on the conservative side. Once the Botox has taken effect, if patients want to come in and have a little bit more injected then we can do that. I think this is preferable to injecting too much and having the patient be unhappy with the result and then having them have to wait 4-5 months for it to wear off.
Your face will most definitely have a lack of movement in the areas treated. The goal is to relax the muscles not paralyze them. When done correctly it will reduce the appearance of wrinkles while maintaining some movement and expression. I seek the maximum wrinkle minimization while maintaining some facial expression.
Is it safe?
Botox is used for a variety of cosmetic and non-cosmetic purposes and has been safely used since the early 1990's. In 2002 the FDA approved it for use of frown lines. There have been many clinical trials and over 400 peer-reviewed articles in scientific and medical journals about it's use. Though rare, there can be serous side effects. Some people with certain medical conditions should not use Botox. Additionally, some individuals on certain medications should not have this procedure in case it leads to a drug interaction. It is important to disclose your full medical history and provide a list of medication to your doctor before he begins the procedure.
Who administers the Botox at your office?
I administer all of the Botox injections to our patients at Kadlec Clinic Plastic Surgery and Dermatology. The chance of complications can increase when administered incorrectly by an inexperienced injector. Complications might include problems swallowing, problems breathing, muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision, blindness and drooping eyelids.
It depends. Some of my younger patients are in their early 30's and use Botox to prevent wrinkles from forming.
How can I find an experienced injector?
I can't stress enough the importance of seeking out an injector with skill and experience. I recommend limiting the search to board certified Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists. Be wary of anyone who gives injections 'on the side'. You want an injector who has studied facial anatomy and will customize your injections to your face. An inexperienced injector may inject too much, or they may inject into the wrong muscles. Just a millimeter off can make a world of a difference. Some of these complications from Botox being administered incorrectly by untrained injectors can be very serious, even life threatening. Do you really want to put your safety into the hands of someone who has learned to do Botox during a weekend class? Just because the procedure is less invasive than surgery it does not mean it should be rushed into without proper research and thought.
Do you do Botox parties?
No. While they sound like a lot of fun I do not think they are safe. For patient safety I believe in maintaining the highest medical standards. This means administering Botox in a safe clean clinical setting with no alcohol involved.