When it comes to eliminating fine lines and wrinkles, Botox has made quite a name for itself. More than 7 million procedures were performed in 2018, a nearly 900 percent increase since 2000. Despite its popularity, there’s still a lot you may not know about getting Botox for wrinkles. Let’s explore how it works and if it might be right for you.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox works by blocking the signals to targeted nerves and muscles. An injected muscle loses its ability to contract for several months.
When injected into the face, Botox relaxes wrinkles that are caused by frequent or semipermanent facial expressions. You can no longer make those expressions until the injection wears off. These expressions typically include scowls and other expressions we usually don’t intend to make—those associated with anger, anxiety, or sadness. Botox is most often used for wrinkles in the forehead, on the neck, and around the eyes (crow’s feet). Botox may also be used to treat TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), decrease chronic migraines, and calm down overactive sweat glands.
How Many Treatments of Botox Do I Need?
Depending on the area being treated, the number of individual injections for your Botox treatment will vary. Your provider will determine the number of injections you need to treat a specific area based on the depth of your wrinkles and strength of your muscles in a particular area. Plan on scheduling at least 30 minutes for your first appointment and all subsequent appointments to discuss your treatment plan and receive your injections.
How Frequently Will I Need Botox for Wrinkles?
The frequency of your treatments will depend on many factors. A treatment of Botox has FDA approval to last for up to 90 days, but some results may last for up to six months. Note that it can take up to 7-14 days for the treatment to take effect.
Botox doesn’t wear off all at once; it very slowly leaves your system. As it does, your face returns to normal little by little. In other words, you don’t have to worry that you’ll wake up one morning for work with all of your wrinkles and fine lines back in place. It’s gradual, so you have plenty of time to schedule your next appointment.
Are There Any Risks to Getting Botox Injections?
Botox can cause some side effects and risks, as can any other procedure that involves injections to the skin. The most common side effects usually only last a few days and could include:
- Redness and swelling at the injection site
- Minor bruising
- Dull headache
To reduce the risk of side effects, it is best to avoid alcohol, aspirin, or ibuprofen the week prior to your Botox treatment.
Less common side effects may include:
- Migration of the product to muscles outside the targeted treatment, causing a lack of symmetry
- Infection of the injection site
Botox can also cause facial drooping, trouble closing the eyes, and temporary paralysis, which may impact your appearance and function for months. This can be avoided by seeing a skilled injector.
It should be noted that the bacterium Clostridium botulinum is the active ingredient in Botox. It’s rare in nature, but is actually a serious bacteria, causing a condition known as botulism. Over time, your body may develop antibodies to fight what your body perceives as an infection—because, technically, it is. This may make Botox less effective or necessitate more units to get results.
It’s incredibly important that you know who is administering your Botox here in Northern Virginia to reduce your risk of these and other side effects.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Botox Treatment?
A good candidate for Botox should be in good general health, without any nerve or muscular disorders that the injections could interfere with. Based on articles like this one and before/after photographs, you should have realistic expectations for the outcome of the surgery.
Should I Get Botox?
If you are bothered by forehead creases, crow’s feet around your eyes, or other signs of aging, Botox will help. It relaxes the facial muscles that you are using, which causes the skin over the wrinkle to relax as well. Botox is a nonsurgical alternative to a facelift and a great way to achieve a natural look.
Am I a Good Candidate for Botox?
Botox is not recommended for anyone younger than 18 years old or anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding. Additionally, if you have one or more of the following, Botox might not be right for you:
- Skin problems around the expression lines you want to treat
- Drooping eyelids
- Muscular issues such as pronounced weakness in the facial muscles you want to treat
- Severe allergies
- Severe skin reactions to injections
- Scars or very thick skin around the injection site
Consider Dysport as an Alternative
Dysport offers the same type of results as Botox; it just has a different brand name. It functions the same as Botox, with the same effects and comparable pricing. However, Dysport takes effect faster within 3-5 days of treatment
Ready to get started? Contact NOVA Plastic Surgery, and we will discuss your situation with you to choose the right treatment for you.