Frequently Asked Questions: Botox®

Dynamic wrinkles are caused by contractions of the delicate underlying, facial muscles every time you smile, laugh or frown.  The more emotion you show, the deeper these wrinkles and lines are likely to be.  While you may have earned every one of your worry lines, you don’t have to show them anymore.  Now, thanks to a new use for an approved drug, dynamic lines can be dramatically softened.  The procedure known as cosmetic denervation uses Botox® injections to improve the appearance of worry lines, frown lines, crow’s feet and other dynamic wrinkles.


How does Botox® work?

Botox® blocks impulses from the nerve to the tiny facial muscles that are related to expression lines.  Botox® relaxes the muscles so they do no contract.  After treatment, the overlying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled while the untreated facial muscles contract in a normal fashion, allowing normal facial expressions to be unaffected.


Are Botox® treatments safe?

Botox® injections have been used safely and effectively for over ten years to treat many ophthalmological and neurological disorders.  Each year thousands of patients receive Botox® treatments for a variety of conditions and it is quickly becoming a popular treatment for reversing the visible signs of aging.


What is the treatment like?

Cosmetic denervation with Botox® is a simple and safe procedure.  Using a tiny micro-needle, a very small amount of Botox® is injected, very precisely, into several locations of the face.  Because the needle is so fine and only a small amount of liquid is used, the pain associated with the injections is minimal.  Most clients compare the sensation to a bug bite.  No sedation or local anesthetic is required, and you can resume normal activities immediately.  You can even drive yourself home or back to the office.  Some clients experience a slight temporary bruising at the injection site.  This can be covered with make-up.


Are there any side effects?

Temporary bruising is the most common side effect.  In some cases, Botox® can migrate and cause a temporary weakness of nearby muscles.  In rare cases, there can be a drooping of an eyelid or asymmetry of facial expression.  The risk of any side effect depends on the muscles injected.  Your doctor will discuss this with you in length before your treatment.  Because the effects of Botox® are completely reversible, any side effects are temporary, lasting only a few weeks.


What results can I expect?

It can smooth out fine lines and give you a more youthful and pleasant appearance.  However, this procedure cannot improve wrinkles due to aging and sun damaged skin since they are unrelated to facial muscle contractions.  Botox® injections will not improve sagging skin or replace the need for a facelift or brow lift.


What are the limitations of Botox® injections?

Unfortunately, Botox® injections are a temporary solution for the treatment of dynamic wrinkles.  The effects of the injection last from three to six months.  You will need to have injections about two to three times a year.  The early clinical studies indicate that the duration of treatment benefits is increased over time so that you should require injections less frequently in the future.  Also, the duration of effects varies from client to client.


Is Botox® used to treat other symptoms?

Yes.  Botox® has been used for over ten years on thousands of patients to treat blepharospasm associated with dystonia.


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