What is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is classified as a neuromodulator, not a dermal filler. It is derived from the botulinum toxin type A, the same bacteria that cause botulism. That sounds scary, but it’s not.
In the 1950s, scientists discovered that when the botulinum toxin was injected into a muscle it temporarily stopped the muscle from contracting. Originally, BOTOX® was used to treat involuntary eyelid spasms. From there its uses expanded to where it is used today to treat migraine headaches and excessive sweating, among many other things.
BOTOX® was approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of wrinkles and lines on the upper third of the face. Since that time, it has become one of the world’s most famous brands.
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How does BOTOX® work?
BOTOX® works on what are called “dynamic” wrinkles. These are wrinkles that form due to muscle contractions under the skin. Dynamic wrinkles occur mainly on the expressive upper third of the face when you make certain expressions, such as frowning and squinting. BOTOX works by blocking the nerve messages from the muscles to the brain. When injected into the muscle below a wrinkle, BOTOX® blocks the nerve signal, so the brain never receives the command to contract the muscle. Without the contraction, the wrinkle on the surface doesn’t form. This paralysis lasts from four to six months before the body absorbs the now-inert BOTOX. At this point, the muscle will start contracting again and the wrinkle will return. When this happens, another injection will maintain the results.
Where are BOTOX® injections used?
BOTOX® works on wrinkles on the upper third of the face. Make a frown and you’ll feel the muscles of your forehead and brows contract. This is where BOTOX is effective. BOTOX works on crow’s feet, the 11s between your brows, and on most forehead lines.
Would I be a good candidate for BOTOX®?
This depends on the wrinkles you seek to erase. If your wrinkles are caused by muscle contractions on the upper third of your face, BOTOX® will make them disappear or dramatically lessen their appearance. However, BOTOX doesn’t work on “static” wrinkles that show themselves at all times. These are smile lines, lip lines, parentheses line, and the like. For those lines, you’ll need a dermal filler.
Allergic reactions to BOTOX are very rare, but if you’re concerned we can test you to check for a reaction.
How long does a BOTOX® session take?
A BOTOX® session at Dominion Plastic Surgery takes less than 30 minutes. It is a true “lunchtime” procedure.
How long before I see results from my BOTOX® injection?
Unlike dermal fillers, BOTOX results are not immediate. It takes 4-7 days in most patients for BOTOX to fully block the nerve messages and stop the muscle from contracting.
How long do the results last?
BOTOX® stops wrinkles from forming for 4-6 months. At that point, your body will absorb the now-inert botulinum toxin and the frozen muscles will begin contracting again, and the wrinkles they produce will return.
Are there any side effects of BOTOX®?
BOTOX® has been used for millions of injections across the world. Year in and year out, it is the single most popular cosmetic procedure worldwide. It is well tolerated and rarely has any side effects. As with any injection, there can be slight bruising at the BOTOX injection sites, but the tiny needle used for these injections minimizes this. You may also have some slight redness, but this passes in a few hours. Headaches are possible but are a very rare reaction. Although not a true side effect, patients must be careful not to rub their injection sites for the first 12 hours after their BOTOX injections. This can cause the BOTOX® to migrate to an unwanted muscle, which can cause temporary drooping of an eyelid or other unwanted effects.
Can BOTOX® be combined with other injectables?
Because BOTOX® and dermal fillers address wrinkles in different ways, BOTOX can be combined with any dermal filler. For instance, you could have BOTOX® to address your crow’s feet, and a filler such as Juvederm® to fill out volume loss in the cheeks or under your eyes during the same appointment.
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Dominion Plastic Surgery proudly provides patients with BOTOX®
injections. We serve patients in Washington DC, Falls Church, Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria VA, and Bethesda and Potomac MD. Contact our office at (703) 544-8971
or fill out our Contact Form here.