Am I a good candidate for Botox Cosmetic?
Botox Cosmetic is best suited for patients who do not want surgery, but desire reduction or elimination of wrinkles in certain areas. These include the forehead, the area between the eyebrows, the lateral eyes (“crow’s feet”), the upper lip, and the top of the nose (“bunny lines”). Botox Cosmetic can also be used to slightly raise the eyebrows and the corners of the mouth. There are no medical contraindications to Botox injections, but patients should not use blood thinning medications around the time of the injection to reduce potential bruising.
How does Botox Cosmetic work?
A motor nerve tells a muscle to move by releasing a “neurotransmitter”, or chemical that touches the muscle and causes contraction. Botox Cosmetic prevents the release of neurotransmitters, leading to paralysis of effected muscles.
When are the effects of Botox Cosmetic seen?
Muscle paralysis develops over the week following injection, and maximal wrinkle reduction is seen up to one month after injection.
What kinds of wrinkles are treated with Botox Cosmetic?
Wrinkles that are created by muscle movement are improved with Botox Cosmetic. These wrinkles are referred to as “dynamic”, and are usually not prominent when the muscles are relaxed. In contrast, a “static” wrinkle is present even when the face is completely relaxed. This type of wrinkle is usually not improved with Botox Cosmetic.
How long does Botox Cosmetic last?
Botox Cosmetic effects last up to five months, at which point muscle movement returns to normal.
How many times can I have Botox Cosmetic injected?
There is no limit to the number of injections a patient can have over time.
Do Botox Cosmetic injections ever become ineffective?
Some patients develop resistance to Botox Cosmetic over time, but this is very uncommon.
When should I consider surgery instead of Botox Cosmetic?
Since the effects of Botox Cosmetic are temporary, patients may eventually want to consider surgical procedures that can have a longer effect on wrinkle reduction. Also, surgical lifting of soft tissue (through facelift, neck lift, midface lift, and brow lift) is the often the best way to restore volume and a more youthful position of the face.
What are the risks of Botox Cosmetic?
Botox Cosmetic is extremely safe. One risk of the injection process is bruising, which is rare and resolves quickly. Another potential risk is weakness in surrounding muscles, created by unwanted spread of the Botox Cosmetic. For example, the upper eyelid may not open completely after injecting into the brow region. This effect resolves quickly, and with proper injection technique the risk is eliminated.