Botox® Cosmetic is a purified protein that works by temporarily weakening or paralyzing muscles. It is used to soften dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles that form as a result of repeated muscle contractions). When you smile, frown, squint, or purse your lips, your facial muscles contract causing the overlying skin to crease. Over time, these creases become deeper dynamic wrinkles. Botox® Cosmetic weakens the offending muscles allowing the overlying skin to relax and the wrinkles to fade. A typical treatment takes about 10 minutes. Although no anesthesia is required, your doctor may choose to numb the area with a cold pack or anesthetic cream. A few tiny injections of Botox® Cosmetic are administered directly into the specific muscles causing the wrinkles. It takes about a week to see the full effect and lasts for 3 months. Botox® Cosmetic is FDA approved to treat frown lines or vertical creases between the eyebrows. Other common areas treated (“off-label” uses) include horizontal forehead lines, crows feet around the eyes, bunny lines on the side of the nose, vertical lip lines, and dimpling of the chin. Repeated treatments are necessary to maintain the complete effect. There is no down-time or recuperation
BOTOX® Frequently Asked Questions
Does a Botox injection hurt? - When Botox is injected there is an initial minor sting for a few seconds. Once the injection is complete, there is usually no discomfort.
Where can Botox be Injected? - The most common areas for the use of Botox are the frown lines between the eyebrows, the horizontal forehead lines, and the crow's feet. On occasion, some other areas may be treated as well.
How fast does Botox work? - There is no immediate response to the Botox injection. It takes several days for the muscles to be affected, at which time, one will notice the gradual loss of ability to frown or to create the lines affected by the treated muscles.
Does Botox affect other facial expressions or create numbness? Botox doesn't affect the sensory nerves, so there is no numbness in the area of the injection. Also, the effect of the Botox is only in the immediate area of the injection. Therefore, the muscles related to other expressions are unaffected.
How long does a Botox treatment last? - The effects of Botox usually last three to five months, at which time another injection is required. After several treatments, the effects of Botox may begin to last longer, sometimes up to six to eight months. We recommend treatment every three months for the first year, then repeat treatment as needed.
How safe is Botox? - Botox has been used safely and successfully in ophthalmology for over 20 years and for wrinkle therapy for over 10 years. In the amounts used for wrinkle therapy, the only possible side effects are temporary and localized to the area of injection. In rare cases this may cause a droopy eyelid or eyebrow. This seems to occur because some of the material injected finds its way into those muscles unknowingly. The problem usually goes away in two or three weeks and may be expedited by taking eye drops. Allergic reactions to Botox are extremely rare.
Is the treatment for everyone? - There are very few restrictions regarding Botox treatments. Patients who are pregnant, have a neurological disease, or are taking antibiotics should not be treated.