The wrinkles caused by the everyday smile, laughing and frowning are the result of muscular contraction. The facial muscles have threads of attachments to the skin. When the muscles contract, the skin buckles, resulting in the mimetic wrinkles. The more you show your emotions, the deeper and more wrinkled you appear. We have been relatively unsuccessful treating these deeper mimetic wrinkles until now. The most recent advance is a procedure known as cosmetic denervation using BOTOX® Cosmetic. This is used to improve and soften the appearance of crow’s feet, frown lines, laugh lines, and other dynamic wrinkles.
What is BOTOX® Cosmetic?
BOTOX® Cosmetic works by blocking the neural impulses to fine muscles which pull the skin; this denervation relaxes the muscles and prevents contraction. While the remaining larger facial musculature provides facial expression, the overlying skin is smoother in appearance and less wrinkled. BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used safely and successfully for many years in treating voice disorders, ophthalmologic and neurological disorders. Now it is rapidly becoming a popular treatment to erase some of the signs of aging. Frequently, it is combined with other simple procedures such as laser resurfacing or eyelid procedures to provide optimal results.
Who Should Consider BOTOX?
BOTOX is suitable for a wide range of patients. Consider BOTOX if you:
- Want to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet.
- Want to lift downturned corners of the mouth.
- Have frown lines permanently etched between your brows.
- Notice deep creases around the eyes or on the forehead when you smile or squint.
- Want to postpone the onset of aging on the upper part of the face.
Am I Too Young For BOTOX?
Initially, BOTOX was used to reduce the appearance of dynamic lines and wrinkles that had already become permanent. Dynamic wrinkles are those that usually appear when we laugh, frown, cry, or squint. They are caused by muscle movement. As the skin ages and loses resiliency through collagen and elastin depletion, these lines become more prominent and more permanent. By reducing muscle contractions, BOTOX smooths out dynamic wrinkles.
In recent years, the use of BOTOX has extended into an area commonly referred to as “prejuvenation.” This use includes the conservative treatment of areas where dynamic wrinkles will eventually form, such as around the eyes or between the brows. This proactive use of BOTOX often begins during a person’s twenties or early thirties.
Does BOTOX Hurt?
BOTOX treatment involves several injections made across a treatment area, such as the forehead or at the outer edges of the eyes. The needle with which injections are administered is very small. Therefore, most patients experience only a slight, momentary pinch with each injection.
If you are concerned about discomfort, let us know. We can discuss the use of a local numbing cream or a cold pack to help you tolerate your treatment with minimal pain if any at all.
BOTOX Side Effects
The most common side effects of BOTOX are related to injections, similarly to the side effects of dermal fillers. After BOTOX treatment, you may notice slight swelling and redness where we have administered injections. Some patients also notice subtle bruising. Additionally, it is not uncommon for patients to develop a mild headache or flu-like symptoms such as general muscle stiffens and aching. These side effects do not imply that a complication has occurred. They usually diminish within a few hours of treatment.
Does BOTOX® Get Rid of All Wrinkles?
Following this treatment, dynamic mimetic wrinkles can be smoothed and softened in appearance, providing a more youthful look. However, it does not improve wrinkles and actinic changes caused by aging, sun damage, and cigarette smoking, since they are not related to muscular motion. Furthermore, bagging and sagging skin, usually treated with eyelid surgery or facelift surgery, is not improved with cosmetic denervation.
Will I Be Able to Move My Face After BOTOX?
Yes. The belief that BOTOX will prevent all facial expression is a myth. As doctors have become more familiar with the effects of neuromodulators like BOTOX, usage has become more conservative. It is possible to get more BOTOX if initial results are not as dramatic as you would like. Our objective in performing this injectable treatment is to refresh the face without affecting its natural beauty.
What Is the Difference Between BOTOX and Dermal Fillers?
BOTOX and dermal fillers have very different effects on tissue even though the general outcome of each treatment is facial rejuvenation. When we introduce BOTOX into the superficial muscle beneath the skin, it prevents neurotransmission that causes that muscle to contract. This leads to smoother skin. Dermal fillers introduce substances like hyaluronic acid into the space between the epidermis and the dermis. The organic chemicals in dermal fillers provide a cushion here, which plumps overlying skin.
How Long Does BOTOX® Last?
BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments provide a temporary treatment for the mimetic muscles, lasting up to four months. Initially, you will need treatments four times a year. Fortunately, early studies conclude that the effective duration of the treatments increases with time, therefore requiring less frequent treatments in the future.
How Many BOTOX Treatments Will I Need?
Each BOTOX treatment achieves results that last between three and six months. Repeat treatments may be performed based on your desired maintenance schedule.