We can reduce the appearance of wrinkles in 2 main ways in Skin Sense GP Clinic. We either relax the muscles that cause wrinkling of the skin, using Botulinum Toxin (Allergan, Bocouture) or we plump out the skin and underlying tissues using Hyaluronic Acid dermal fillers (Juvederm) or using both.
At consultation we can discuss with you which treatments may be suitable for you.
What is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is the brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large amounts, this toxin can cause a form of muscle paralysis known as botulism, which is generally associated with food poisoning. Despite the fact that one of the most serious complications of botulism is paralysis, scientists have discovered a way to use it to human advantage. Small, diluted amounts can be directly injected into specific muscles, causing controlled weakening of the muscles. The FDA approved such usage in the late 1980s upon the discovery that BOTOX® could stop ailments such as blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking) and strabismus (lazy eye). Cosmetic physicians have been using BOTOX® for years to successfully treat wrinkles and facial creases.
How does BOTOX® work?
BOTOX® blocks the signal from the nerve to the muscles. So that the injected muscle can no longer contract as forcefully, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. It can be used on the forehead lines, frown lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye), bunny lines (lines in the nose), chin (for dimpling), and around the mouth (for smoker’s lines and down-turned corners of the mouth).
How is the BOTOX® injection procedure performed?
Injections of Botoulinum toxin may seem like a simple procedure to you, since it’s just a few shots. But it’s actually both an art and science that only an experienced healthcare professional should do.
There are 43 muscles in your face and it’s vital that the person who performs Botoulinum toxin injections understands and pinpoints the correct spots to optimize your treatment. A very thin needle is used to inject small amounts of Botoulinum toxin into specific muscles with only minor discomfort.
By carefully choosing specific muscles, your healthcare provider weakens only the wrinkle-producing muscles, preserving your natural facial expressions.
Botoulinum toxin treatment injections usually take less than 15 minutes. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect.
The number of injections you need will depend on your facial features and the extent of your wrinkles. Crow’s feet, for example, usually demand two to three injections. Furrows above your brow could take five or more.
It is best to avoid alcohol at least one week prior to treatment. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped two weeks before treatment (if given permission by a physician) in order to reduce bruising.
How long does a BOTOX® injection last?
The effects of BOTOX® will last four to six months. As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear and will need to be re-treated to maintain the effect. After repeated injections, the lines and wrinkles will often appear less severe because the muscles are being trained to relax.
What are the side effects of BOTOX®?
You may resume normal activities immediately.
Although generally safe, Botulinum toxin side effects and complications can include:
- Temporary bruising is the most common side effect.
- Pain at the injection site
- Flu-like symptoms
- Headaches, which resolve in 24 to 48hrs can occur but this is rare
- Temporary facial weakness or drooping. A very small percentage of patients may develop eyebrow or eyelid drooping, drooping of the corner of the mouth, or inability to use a straw, depending on where the BOTOX® is injected.
- No serious adverse effects have been noted when using BOTOX® at the dermatologic doses
Very rarely, the toxin can spread beyond the treatment area, which can cause temporary facial weakness or drooping or botulism like signs and symptoms such as breathing problems, trouble swallowing, muscle weakness, and slurred speech.
One note of caution: For this reason, one should not rub the treated area for 12 hours after injection or lie down for three to four hours.
Who should NOT receive BOTOX® injections?
Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding, those who have a neurological disease, or those allergic to albumin or a constituent of the preservative should not use BOTOX®. As BOTOX® does not work for all wrinkles, a consultation with a doctor is recommended.
Will my insurance pay for a BOTOX® injection?
BOTOX® is not generally covered by insurance when used for cosmetic purposes. Check with your insurance carrier for coverage details.