Many men and women seen by Dr. Gulin at Plastic Surgery Associates at Naples - Fort Myers wish to have frown lines in the forehead, between the brows and lines around the eyes and lips smoothed out. Often the worried or angry look caused by the pulling in of the brows in the midline is improved through Botox Cosmetic injection. Platysma muscle bands in the neck are also relaxed by Botox Cosmetic injection.
What is BOTOX Cosmetic?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription drug that, when injected, temporarily paralyzes muscles. It contains a purified and safe form of botulinum toxin A, which is produced by the microbe that causes botulism. Manufactured by Allergan, Inc., it is used to treat permanent furrows and deep wrinkles in the skin that are formed by the continual contraction of facial muscles. In addition to its cosmetic applications, it is used to treat a number of medical problems, including excessive sweating, overactive bladder, neck spasms, crossed eyes, chronic back and jaw pain, and migraines.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is the only FDA-approved treatment to temporarily improve both moderate to severe frown lines between the brows and crow’s feet in adults.
You can get treated in both areas at the same time—that’s the beauty of BOTOX® Cosmetic.
What Does BOTOX Treat?
BOTOX® Cosmetic was first approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of crow’s feet, the 11s between the brows, and forehead wrinkles. These wrinkles, known as dynamic wrinkles, form when a person makes expressions such as frowning, grinning, showing surprise, or squinting.
BOTOX® Cosmetic works on the upper third, the expressive area, of the face. BOTOX® Cosmetic does not work on the other kind of wrinkles — static wrinkles. Static wrinkles show themselves at all times, not unlike a wrinkled shirt. Static wrinkles are the result of sun damage, decreasing collagen production, and natural aging. Static wrinkles can be addressed with dermal fillers.
How Does it Work?
BOTOX® Cosmetic targets one of the underlying causes of frown lines and crow’s feet—the repeated muscle contractions from frowning and squinting over the years. BOTOX® Cosmetic temporarily reduces this muscle activity so you’ll begin to notice a visible smoothing of these lines.
Using a very fine needle, BOTOX Cosmetic is injected directly into facial muscles that are causing furrows and lines. Receiving the injections requires no anesthetic, but some doctors choose to numb the area to be injected with ice packs or a topical anesthetic cream.
- For temporary improvement of moderate to severe crow’s feet, your doctor will inject BOTOX® Cosmetic into the muscle surrounding the sides of your eyes—called the orbicularis oculi muscles.
- For temporary improvement of moderate to severe frown lines, your doctor will inject BOTOX® Cosmetic into 2 muscles—the corrugator and procerus muscles.
Results can usually be seen within a few days of treatment, and typically last up to four months, although areas that are treated on a regular basis may retain results longer. Injections should be given only by qualified medical professionals.
Who Are the Best Candidates for BOTOX?
The best candidates for BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments are people plagued by dynamic wrinkles. When you smile, frown, squint, or make other expressions, if the muscle contractions create crow’s feet at the outside of your eyes or the 11s between your eyebrows, then BOTOX® Cosmetic injections are the perfect way to erase these wrinkles for a period of 4-6 months.
However, if you have lines from your nose stretching down to your mouth (nasolabial folds) or parentheses lines around your mouth, these are static wrinkles, and BOTOX® Cosmetic will not help with those. You need dermal fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane to fill static wrinkles.
What Are the Advantages of Using BOTOX?
Patients like using BOTOX® Cosmetic because it allows them to address some of the signs of aging on the upper third of the face without resorting to surgery. A brow lift can address some of these wrinkles, namely the 11s and crow’s feet, but this is a surgical procedure. Some people opt instead to take the 10 minutes required for a BOTOX® Cosmetic session to say goodbye to their dynamic wrinkles, even though the results are only temporary (4-6 months).
How Long Does Treatment Take?
The treatment takes approximately 10 minutes and requires minimal downtime or recovery—it’s often called a lunchtime procedure.
Will I Look Overdone?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a techniquesensitive treatment. You should not lose the ability to show expression when you are treated by someone who is licensed, trained, and a medical expert in facial anatomy. It is important to talk to your provider about the results you want from treatment.
Does It Hurt to Have BOTOX Injections?
Dr. Gulin injects BOTOX® Cosmetic with a very tiny needle. Most patients equate the feeling of these injections to a pinprick. For that reason, we usually don’t use numbing cream on the injection sites. However, if you would like to have numbing cream, of course we’re happy to provide that for you.
Is It Safe to Have BOTOX Injections?
People sometimes worry about injecting the botulinum toxin (basically what BOTOX is made of) into their skin. But scientists first discovered back in the 1950s that when the botulinum toxin is injected in minute amounts, it does nothing more than temporarily stop a muscle from contracting. This is how BOTOX® Cosmetic stops dynamic wrinkles from forming during muscle contractions. Since its approval in 2002, BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used hundreds of millions of times around the world, with very few side effects of any sort.
The skill of the injector is important to be sure BOTOX® Cosmetic is injected into the correct muscle. That’s where Dr. Gulin’s extensive understanding of facial anatomy and experience with BOTOX® Cosmetic comes into play. An inexperienced injector can inject the BOTOX into an incorrect muscle, or it may migrate, leading to temporary problems such as a droopy eyelid.
After your session, patients may have some temporary redness at the injectionsites and possibly some slight swelling. This passes quickly. Otherwise, it’s important not to rub your injection sites for the first 24 hours after your BOTOX® Cosmetic session. Rubbing the sites can make the BOTOX migrate to an unwanted muscle.