Frequently Asked Questions about Botox® Cosmetic
What is Botox®?
BOTOX® is a protein complex that interferes with muscle contraction. It temporarily blocks nerve stimulation of muscles where it is injected, so that muscle contraction is weakened or inhibited.
BOTOX® has been safely used for many years to treat spasms of the muscles that move the eye (strabismus) and uncontrollable blinking (blepharospasm). In 2002 it was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use, and since that time it has been marketed as BOTOX® Cosmetic.
Many facial wrinkles and creases are active lines caused by muscle contraction, which can be blocked by BOTOX® injection. The effect is temporary, usually lasting 3 to 6 months. With repeated injection, the effect may last up to 5 or 6 months. Although some wrinkles and creases may completely disappear (temporarily), it is important to understand that some may improve but not completely disappear.
What areas can be treated with Botox®?
Many facial wrinkles and creases are active lines caused by muscle contraction, which can be blocked by Botox® injection. At Blue Water Spa, we safely and effectively treat the upper face, midface and lower face with Botox®. For more information on specific treatment areas, visit: http://www.bluewaterspa.com/botox-injectable-areas
What is a Botox® Treatment Like?
BOTOX® is precisely injected through a tiny needle into specific facial muscles. The areas to be injected are cooled with an ice pack immediately prior to injection to significantly reduce needle discomfort. The complete treatment lasts just one to three minutes (depending on the number of areas being treated) and does not require the use of topical or local anesthetics. BOTOX® begins to show its effect after 5-7 days, although some patients report a noticeable difference the very next day.
Could I Get a “Frozen Face” from Botox® Injections?
The effect of BOTOX® is dose-dependent, and thus the degree of muscle contraction impairment can be varied by the amount of BOTOX® that is administered in any given treatment area. The philosophy at Blue Water Spa/ Michael Law MD has always been conservative and natural.
Nobody seems to miss being able to scowl, but everybody wants to retain the ability to express hope, surprise or concern. Thus injection of the forehead to reduce horizontal creases should be conservative. Over-treatment of the forehead will also have the effect of lowering the brows, which is without question an undesirable BOTOX® result.
Patients will often if they can “get rid of this line” in regards to facial lines and wrinkles that may not necessarily contribute to the appearance of age or fatigue. Our strong feeling about the softening of facial lines and wrinkles is this: if it doesn’t ‘age’ you, and it doesn’t make you look tired or worried, then don’t spend your hard-earned money trying to make it go away. Some lines actually do add warmth and character to the face, and an older face with NO lines usually looks a bit odd.
Is There a Permanent Alternative to BOTOX®?
A truly remarkable consequence of BOTOX® administration is the gradual complete disappearance of deep, vertical furrows between the eyebrows (frown or ‘scowl’ lines). With long-standing muscle contraction, the vertical lines between the brows may become actual physical clefts or grooves in the dermis, resulting in creases that are still apparent even when the skin is spread apart tightly with a finger on each side of the crease. In such instances, the initial Botox® injection will soften but not completely eliminate the deep furrow. With regular BOTOX® treatment, however, such that the frown muscles are never allowed to fully regain their normal ability to contract, the deep furrows may gradually fade completely.
Permanent improvement in other facial wrinkles and creases can be accomplished with a variety of techniques, including non-invasive laser skin rejuvenation, laser resurfacing, structural fat grafting and surgery. Not all wrinkles are appropriate ‘targets’ for BOTOX®, so the evaluation and treatment of every face must be individualized and assessed by an expert.
What about ‘BOTOX ® parties’?
BOTOX ® is an injectable pharmacologic agent, and is most appropriately administered in a medical setting. It is my feeling that a ‘party’ is not the appropriate setting for the administration of a medical treatment, particularly an injectable one. The ‘BOTOX party’ that is held outside of a medical setting is a marketing strategy used to promote the treatment and to perhaps make it less intimidating to the general public.
Before joining the ‘party’, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I been asked to provide a complete medical history?
- Have I been advised of alternative treatments?
- Have risks or potential complications been discussed?
- Have I been asked to give my informed consent?
- Will I receive adequate follow-up care?