What is it really?
Allergan, the manufacturer of BOTOX® Cosmetic, was the first to offer an anti-aging product to the market containing minute amounts of a highly purified botulinum toxin (a protein) derived and refined from the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. BOTOX® in its cosmetic application is used to target the facial muscles that cause us to squint and frown which after years of animation create the permanent frown lines (also known as Eleven’s or the Mean Mommy), crow’s feet, nasal squint lines (Bunny nose) and lines around the neck that we love to hate. A specially trained practitioner can inject these muscles with BOTOX® to temporarily “freeze” muscle activity which will cause a visible smoothing of crow’s feet lines and frown lines between brows and provide an overall relaxed and refreshed appearance.
Is it safe?
BOTOX® offers great benefits in anti-aging applications and when properly delivered, the effects are confined to the injection zone and do not affect the surrounding areas or travel around the body, as commonly feared. The success and safety of the procedure is in the hands of the practitioner as accuracy and proper dilution of the product are key to the success of the treatment. Most adverse reactions are caused by the injector, not the product itself, so do your homework in selecting a provider.
In addition to its use in the world of beauty, BOTOX® is widely used in the medical field to safely and effectively treat conditions such as:
- Hyperhydrosis (Profuse underarm or palm sweating)
- Migraine headaches
- TMJ pain
- Urinary frequency
- Strabismus (Crossed eyes)
- Blepharospasm (Uncontrolled blinking)
- Cervical dystonia and Torticollis (Muscle stiffness and spasm disorders)
Where does Dysport and Xeomin come in?
Dysport (Medicis) and Xeomin (Merz) are also injectable neuromodulators. Due to patented technologies, each brand has a slightly different formulation of Clostridium Botulinum, or Botulinum Toxin A, however, they all work the same way by blocking the nerve impulses of the injected muscles to temporarily paralyze muscle movements that cause wrinkles.
By reducing the intensity and frequency of contraction-induced wrinkles, injections prevent the continued formation of lines that continue to become deeper, thus making them an increasingly popular Aging-Prevention strategy.
Who is it for?
BOTOX®, Dysport, and Xeomin are safe for all skin types and skin colors. However, people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any neurological diseases should not use these injectables unless approved by a qualified cosmetic practitioner.
What does the treatment feel like?
During the treatment, a very fine needle, usually a diabetic needle, is injected into each specific muscle for a few seconds with only the minor discomfort of a tiny pinch. Topical anesthetic cream or ice can be applied beforehand for those who may be more sensitive.
How long do injections take?
15 to 30 minutes
Are there immediate side effects?
Slight redness or swelling at the injection sites, not altogether different from a mosquito bite is the most common side effect. Less frequently there may be slight bruising at the injection site, but nothing that a little Lira Clinical BB Creme can’t hide.
Although rare, a drooping brow or eyelid can be caused by improper technique. Fortunately, this complication can somewhat be corrected with Iopidine, prescription eye drops that stimulate surrounding muscles to contract and overcompensate for the laxity of the temporarily paralyzed muscles. Other risks correlated to inexperienced practitioners include headache, rash, localized numbness, and flu-like symptoms
What are anticipated results?
You should notice smoother, more wrinkle-free skin within 2 to 3 days post injection, but the full effects won’t appear for about 2 weeks. It may take as long as a month for results to peak on areas with stronger muscles, particularly in men.
At full throttle, your skin will feel smoothed and lifted, with a more youthful and awakened appearance. These results tend to last 4 to 6 months, at which point the muscle movement gradually returns and the wrinkles and lines start to reappear, but often less severe than before because the muscle is being trained to relax more.
Recommended course for optimal results.
For optimal results, schedule touch-ups every 4 to 6 months, according to how your skin responds to the treatment. The good news: intervals between treatments may widen over time because your muscles will become more relaxed and require less maintenance.
It is recommended to stay upright for at least 4 hours post injection to maintain the practitioner’s placement of the injectable. It is recommended to refrain from activities like yoga that involve potentially being upside down as well as any type of cardio type exercise for 12 hours.
First timer, anyone? Take baby steps, you can always add more, since you can’t undo a frozen expression. Please don’t lose touch with reality—it’s unnatural to be 100% wrinkle-free 100% of the time, BOTOX® (used generically as Kleenex is to tissue) is only meant to be a beauty enhancer. Stay Fabulous!