We’ve all heard the myths. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a “face freezer” and only for those who are “obsessed with plastic surgery”. The truth is, however, BOTOX® Cosmetic is the most popular aesthetic treatment in the world today, with over 4 million treatments done last year because of its ability to make a person look refreshed, revitalized, and younger. The new, but similar, product called Dysport is also gaining popularity and is providing people the choice to decide if they like one product over the other.
There are of course horror stories, as with every medical and cosmetic procedure. What YOU need to know is that the product itself is not the bad guy, but instead the experience level of the person doing the treatment. In experienced, professional hands, the results of this non-invasive therapy are predictably wonderful.
BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used safely and successfully in medicine for over 10 years and was FDA approved for wrinkle therapy in 2002. Dysport was FDA approved in 2009. Within just a few days (and sometimes even right away) after getting the treatment, you will develop a younger, more relaxed appearance. BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport treatments elicit comments from friends and coworkers like “Wow, you look great, been on vacation?” and “Get a good night’s sleep last night?” They will recognize a change, but won’t understand why!
How does it work?
Botox® Cosmetic treatments involve the injection of very tiny amounts of a purified protein into specific areas to improve lines, wrinkles, and furrows caused by excessive facial movements, like frowning. The injections are typically used to erase forehead lines, crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eyes) and frown lines (in between your eyebrows). Other areas, on occasion, may be treated as well.
The wrinkles in these areas are actually creases that are created or worn into the skin by muscle contractions that make the same expressions repeatedly. The product is injected in minute amounts into the area, which causes specific muscles to stop moving. There is no numbness in the area of injection because it does not affect your sensory nerves.
What is the difference between BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport?
Both products are purified proteins, or neurotoxin A. It is easy to think of them as first cousins, because they behave very similarly in the body. The main difference between the two products is that some people prefer one over the other. During your consultation, Dr. Prasad can discuss these differences more specifically to help you decide which one would be best for you.
What concerns do patients have about BOTOX® Cosmetic injections?
The most common fear with BOTOX® Cosmetic is that the treatment will make you look frozen. The thing to remember is that how the treatment is done makes the difference, not the product itself. Dr Prasad’s goal is to achieve wonderful, natural looking results for each patient. Our patients learn to understand the approach and techniques we utilize to accomplish this goal, and are thrilled with their results time and again.
Another concern for most men is that BOTOX® Cosmetic is a procedure for women and women only. However, men get wrinkles too! Those that get BOTOX® Cosmetic or Dysport treatments are just as happy as women are to have a younger, more refreshed look when facing friends and coworkers.
How long do the results of the treatment last, and how can I make it last longer?
The results of a BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment typically last about 4 months. By coming in for retreatment before the effects of the last treatment fully wear off, the muscles never get a chance to fully recover and the longevity of the effect can be enhanced. If you discontinue treatment after the effect wears off, the wrinkles that you were treating will look like they did before the procedure, and could even get worse since they are allowed to move again.
Does the injection hurt?
Dr. Prasad uses tiny specialized needles for BOTOX® Cosmetic injections that make the process very easy and comfortable. No anesthesia is required and there is no downtime expected afterwards.
What happens after the procedure?
There’s no recovery time needed. You’re ready to get on with your day!
Can BOTOX® Cosmetic injections be done on the same visit as dermal fillers or with laser treatments?
Yes. Dr. Prasad often does dermal filler injections on the same day as Botox or Dysport. Dermal fillers include Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, and Radiesse, and are typically used on the lower half of the face to complement the work done by BOTOX® Cosmetic on the upper half. A common scenario is to use Botox for the dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles present during muscle activity and movement) and a filler for the static wrinkles (wrinkles present at rest, or creases in your skin). The results of each therapy provide a more comprehensive, rejuvenated appearance. Many laser treatments can also be performed on the same day as well, and Dr. Prasad will confirm that the specific laser being used will not interfere with the effects of your BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment.
What are the possible side effects and complications of BOTOX® Cosmetic?
Side effects and complications from the procedure are very uncommon. They include temporary decrease in brow height and rarely, eyelid droop. Localized pain, infection, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding/bruising may be associated with the injection, but these effects are extremely atypical. Dr. Prasad’s experience over the years has provided her with the expert eye and touch required to make the effects look natural and even.
We do not perform these injections on patients that are pregnant or breast feeding. Furthermore, we do not inject on patients with certain neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, all of which would increase the risk of serious side effects.
What other areas can be treated with BOTOX® Cosmetic?
In addition to frown lines, crow’s feet, and worry lines on the forehead, Botox can be used to treat vertical lipstick lines, bunny lines, dimpling on the chin, and other areas of the face. Botox can also treat vertical platysmal bands on the neck, and excessive palmar (hand) or axillary (underarm) sweating. Learn more about hyperhidrosis here.
Why should I go to Laser Esthetica for my BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment?
The most important thing about getting a BOTOX® Cosmetic injection done is making sure the practitioner doing the treatment is well-qualified, or else you might end up with a horror story of your own, which no one wants. With the rapidly increasing popularity of Botox over the last 10 years, there has been an influx of practitioners wanting to get in on the opportunity as well. Though this made it easy to find someone to do your regular Botox treatment, it made it harder to distinguish who could do it well. Dr. Prasad, being a licensed physician, has been working in medicine for most of her life and has an eye for what’s going on beneath the skin, which most injectors who have not worked in medicine do not have. Her patients claim that she somehow knows exactly where to inject to make their worst wrinkles disappear in a manner that keeps them looking like them, but younger. They are comfortable knowing that their face is in the hands of an experienced, professional doctor who will give them the natural look they want, not the frozen one that many unfortunately end up with.