Botulinum toxin type A injections, otherwise known as Botox, is a common medical procedure for many individuals who desire to fill in wrinkles and other facial creases. Botox injections have been administered by many doctors for years and are safe, effective, and efficient in removing unwanted facial lines.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox injections consist of material that prohibits the facial muscles from contracting where injected. It does this by blocking the signals from the nerves to the muscles. This forces the relaxation of the face in that specific area, thereby smoothing out wrinkles and creases. Some common areas of use for Botox include the forehead, eyes, eyebrows, lips, corner of mouth, and chin.
Botox is designed to improve dynamic wrinkles. These are the wrinkles that are caused by moving your face. Static wrinkles, on the other hand, are those that are always present and not caused by facial movements. Botox will not have an effect on static wrinkles. To determine if you have wrinkles that can be assisted by Botox, look in a mirror and smile. The wrinkles that show up when you do this are likely dynamic and perfect candidates for the injections.
Getting Botox injections takes merely minutes and does not require any form of anesthesia. A tiny needle is injected into the muscle around the specified area, which causes very minimal discomfort. After the injections are complete, it can take anywhere from three to seven days for you to see the full effect of the treatment, assuming that you follow after-care instructions properly.
After your procedure is finished, after care is critical to a successful outcome of Botox injections. It is important to avoid alcohol, aspirin, or other medications that may increase bruising for about a week after having a Botox injection performed. Also, some doctors recommend avoiding exercise, lying down, or repetitive bending immediately after receiving Botox. The reasoning behind this is that the material injected into your face is more fluid at this point and could move around to potentially unwanted areas. If you are in enough discomfort to warrant using any pain medications, make sure to talk to your doctor about ones that are safe to use immediately after your procedure. They will likely prescribe an alternative to oral pain medications, such as a topical numbing cream. Ice packs can also be extremely useful in decreasing the swelling and pain that may come along with Botox.
Though Botox injections have been administered successfully for many years, it is important to note the potential side effects that can occur with this procedure. The most common, as mentioned above, is the possibility of slight bruising around the injection site. Another rarer side effect can be mild headaches, which usually subside within 24-48 hours after the procedure. Another rare, but potential side effect includes drooping eyelids, especially with Botox injected around the eyes or eyebrows. This is temporary, and usually goes away within three weeks.
Dos and Don’ts of Botox
1. DO be forthcoming with medical history. If you are considering Botox, you must be open and honest with the person you are trusting to do the procedure. Not telling the doctor about a medication or allergy could have serious consequences.
2. DO be realistic with expectations. While Botox is an extremely effective substance to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, you may be disappointed if you have unrealistic expectations of the product. If you are considering this treatment, you should consult your doctor and inquire as to the overall outcome in your individual situation.
3.DON’T be afraid to ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to medical procedures! Before seeking this type of treatment, you should write down any questions that you may have and make sure to bring those to the consultation. Asking questions not only informs you of critical information regarding the procedure, but also helps to calm nerves going into the actual event.
4. DON’T touch your skin for 24 hours after the Botox was injected. This could cause the injection to move around, potentially affecting unwanted areas of your face.
Botox injections can be extremely effective if you have dynamic facial creases that you’d like to temporarily get rid of. Do ample research so that you are comfortable with the procedure, schedule your initial consultation, and then enjoy the results.
Contact our office for any questions about Botox or other options for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.