When you think of aesthetic treatments, BOTOX may be one of the first things that comes to mind. It’s one of the best-known injectables on the market and has been steadily growing in popularity since it was first approved by the FDA for cosmetic application in 1989.
But what is BOTOX Cosmetic? Despite its popularity, many people don’t know what exactly BOTOX is, how it works or what it can do.
What Is BOTOX?
It can be surprising to learn that BOTOX is made from a neurotoxin. It is produced by a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum that produces this toxin naturally. Small amounts are injected into facial muscles in order to smooth out issues like forehead wrinkles, but BOTOX is also used in other medical settings to treat migraines, TMJ pain, excessive sweating and some muscle disorders.
BOTOX is formulated to be very safe, and the injections for cosmetic purposes are small and precise so that only the desired muscles are “frozen.”
Why Do Patients Opt for BOTOX?
BOTOX is so mainstream and has such a proven track record that patients often know to ask for it by name. BOTOX is FDA approved, so it is proven safe and effective. Finally, the results often speak for themselves – before and after cosmetic treatment photos can show dramatic improvements after application.
What is BOTOX Used For?
For cosmetic applications, BOTOX is used to help lessen the severity of what are known as “dynamic wrinkles.” These are caused by repetitive facial expressions, such as scowling or raising your eyebrows. Targeted BOTOX injections force the muscles that cause these wrinkles to relax, and this creates a smoother appearance over time.
Where is BOTOX Used?
BOTOX is most commonly injected into the following locations:
- Between the brows
- Crow’s feet
- Nasolabial folds
- Smile lines
- Chin dimples
For medical purposes, it may also be injected into jaw muscles, armpits, palms or the soles of the feet.
What Does a Typical BOTOX Procedure Look Like?
Fortunately, BOTOX is a simple outpatient procedure that requires little to no downtime. When you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon, you can expect to get amazing results from a procedure that takes less than 20 minutes.
You will have an initial consultation with your surgeon to determine the precise placement of injection sites. An experienced BOTOX provider will be able to target extremely specific muscle areas with the tiniest injection needle available so that only the wrinkle-forming muscles are affected. This means that you can maintain your natural expressiveness.
The amount of BOTOX injections that you will need depends on the location and severity of your wrinkles.
The procedure is quick and virtually painless. There is no anesthesia necessary, and you can resume your normal schedule immediately after leaving the doctor’s office. As long as you do not rub or massage the treatment areas afterward, there is little risk of complication. You may feel a bit of soreness and swelling at the injection sites, but this will resolve on its own.
What Results Can I Expect from BOTOX?
It’s important to go into all cosmetic procedures with realistic expectations. You may see noticeable results within a few days of treatment, but it may also take up to a week. The toxin must have time to work on the targeted muscles.
Overall, BOTOX can give you a smoother, more refreshed appearance. It can also help to prevent the deepening of existing wrinkles and the formation of new ones because it stops the wrinkle-forming facial muscles from contracting.
The smoothing effect typically lasts up to four months. Once movement begins to return to the treated areas, you will know it is time for a refresher.
Start Preserving Your Youth Now
BOTOX can not only treat existing wrinkles, but it can help to stop new wrinkles from forming. Aging gracefully, “slowing” the aging process and boosting your self-confidence are among the many common reasons to explore BOTOX treatments. A little BOTOX can make a big difference.
Dr. Shahram Salemy is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in cosmetic surgery in Seattle, Washington and Tri-Cities, WA. Dr. Salemy graduated from Yale University and The Yale School of Medicine, is a recognized member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Salemy is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at The University of Washington’s Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery. Since 2006, Dr. Salemy has been named “One of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons” every year.