What is botox?
Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.
How does it work?
Acetylcholine is released from nerve endings and causes muscles to contract. Botox binds to nerve endings preventing the release of acetylcholine and therefore preventing muscle contraction.
How is it used?
Botox is used to treat numerous medical problems. It is most commonly known for treatment of facial wrinkles and, in fact, is the most common cosmetic procedure in the world. It also can be used to treat parotid gland hypertrophy, profuse sweating of the underarms, hand and feet, and for the treatment of migraines.
For facial wrinkles, where is it commonly used?
Common areas for injection for improvement of facial wrinkles include the frown lines of the glabella (vertical lines between the brows), forehead wrinkles, smile lines, crow’s feet, bunny lines, elevating the corners of the mouth, dimpled chin, and for the platysmal bands of the neck.
Does the injection hurt?
A very fine needle is used to induce the least amount of discomfort. Some patients prefer a lidocaine cream applied to the area to be injected to temporarily numb the skin. Some patients tolerate the injection with little discomfort without the lidocaine cream.
How long does it take the botox to take effect?
Results are typically apparent after 2-3 days.
How long does botox last?
Each patient is different in terms of response, the average length of time of effectiveness is 3-4 months.
Are there any side effects and any limitations after injection?
- Some patients may experience a headache following injection. This typically subsides without treatment.
- Occasionally injections are not symmetric which may result in asymmetry. These asymmetries may be remedied with a small “touch up” injection.
- Overtreatment of the forehead may result in a drooping brow. After the botox “wears off,” the brow position will return to normal.
- Upper eyelid droop may occur if injections on the brow are too low. This can be treated with eye drops prescribed by your physician that counteract the effects of botox.
- Limitations following treatment will vary from physician to physician. Some recommend no exercise the day of injection, others recommend no lying down for 4 hours after treatment, and some do not restrict their patients.
How can I learn more?
Call Mountain Brook Plastic Surgery (205) 871-4440 for consultation!