When BOTOX® treatment first emerged in the 1990s, it was the celebrated wrinkle-eraser of the rich and famous. While it still is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments today for many people, it also has power in other medical areas. The many uses of BOTOX® is one of the biggest medical breakthroughs of the last few decades. Here at South Lake OBGYN, we are proud to offer this cosmetic solution and encourage you to learn more about it.
What is BOTOX®?
The BOTOX® substance used to remove your crow’s feet and frown lines is a purified protein serum. When it is used for cosmetic and medical purposes it is used in such tiny amounts that it is completely safe. When it is injected into you in extremely small concentrations it blocks the signals from the nerves to the muscles. This effectively paralyzes the muscles. Your face looks smooth and wrinkle-free. Some of the other medical conditions of which it relieves symptoms are multiple sclerosis, chronic muscle spasms, cerebral palsy, migraine headaches, and excessive sweating.
Static vs. Dynamic Wrinkles
BOTOX® treats dynamic wrinkles and has virtually no effect on static wrinkles although it may soften their appearance to a certain extent for some time. Our experts in the field of dermatology can distinguish between static and dynamic wrinkles. Static wrinkles form on the face as we age no matter what we do and deepen as time goes by. They may make you look older than you are. The most common static wrinkles are across the cheeks, along the corner of the mouth and the neck. These appear because collagen production declines and the skin loses elasticity. Static wrinkles are usually treated with dermal fillers.
BOTOX® treats the wrinkles that form when we make repeated facial expressions. These are called dynamic wrinkles. Emotions such as worry, sadness, fear, joy, or surprise all require facial expressions. Laughing and crying are probably the most common. When the emotions pass and your face relaxes, the wrinkles are gone. After repetitive muscle movements, all of these emotions leave their mark on the face in the form of dynamic wrinkles. The main ones are frown lines between the eyebrows, crow’s feet, forehead lines, and smile lines. BOTOX® may also be used to give a lateral eyebrow raise, minimize dumpling of the chin, and minimize the muscle of the face that we use to chew.
BOTOX® injections block the movement of the muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles. The source of the movement is paralyzed and the treatment can be given every four to six months depending on several factors that will be mentioned later.
The Many Uses of BOTOX®
Along with the aesthetic application that helps you look younger by removing the frown lines between the eyebrows and canthal lines or crow’s feet, BOTOX® is used to treat more than 20 medical conditions and is constantly being tested to treat more applications. Among many conditions, it is approved to treat:
• Eyelid spasms called blepharospasm, which are abnormal contractions of the eyelids. The symptoms may develop without warning and start as gradual blinking or eye irritation. It may be in conjunction with emotional tension, fatigue or light sensitivity. When the symptoms become more frequent, facial spasms may begin.
• Chronic migraine headaches mean you have a history of migraine headaches and get about 15 tension headaches a month of which eight are a migraine. BOTOX® was approved in 2010 for adults who get chronic migraines.
• Excessive underarm sweating called severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis can be stopped for a number of months with BOTOX® injections. BOTOX® was approved by the FDA in 2004 as an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis.
What to Expect
When you talk to our doctor about your cosmetic or medical issue, you can learn about the many ways BOTOX® treatment may help. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need to wait until you have delivered and finished breastfeeding. If it is determined that BOTOX® you can benefit from BOTOX® injections, you should tell our specialist if you have had any BOTOX® treatments in the past four months. Also mention any prescription drugs you take such as anticoagulants, allergy medications, muscle relaxants or sleeping aids. Our physician will tell you which medications to stop for a few days before your treatments. You should also mention if you take any herbal remedies or dietary supplements.
It is important before any cosmetic procedure that will alter your appearance that you understand your motivations and desired results. If you have unrealistic expectations, our experts can help you understand the possible results. No one should undergo a cosmetic procedure because he or she is being pressured to do so by someone else. The decision is yours alone. Once you realize this, you will be happy with the outcome.
The procedure is virtually painless. If you prefer, we can apply a topical numbing cream approximately half an hour before the treatment. Some people who are having their palms treated for excessive sweating prefer a numbing cream. We perform the injections in our office. How many injections you need may depend on the size of the area being treated among other things. The dosage is also different for each person.
After the treatment, you should not rub or massage the treated area for at least 24 hours. This means only gently wash your face at night. We don’t recommend that you do a strenuous exercise where you get overheated for a day or two after the treatment. There is no recovery time and you can return to work or other daily activities immediately after the procedure.
It may take up to five days to see the results. The effects are not immediate but some people see a difference after 24 hours and some need to wait a week. It could take two weeks to reach the maximum results. The time it takes to see results depend on how long it takes for your body to start reacting to the toxin. Each individual heals differently. Age and the degree and depth of the wrinkling, as well as the underlying strength of the muscles all, play a part.
Some facial muscles are very strong in the treatment area and take longer to respond to the toxin. If your lines are deep, they may not resolve completely although they will reduce. It may depend on your age when you have your first BOTOX® treatment.
How long the results last is another variable. Once you have the treatment there are certain steps to take to help prolong the effects. Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, sun exposure and stress all contribute to collagen breakdown. Collagen is the protein that holds your skin together. When it starts to breakdown it will decrease the length of time the BOTOX® results will last. Our skin specialist will give you instructions about how to care for your face to prolong the effects and recommend skincare products such as moisturizers, makeup and sunscreens that will work best with your skin type.
Factors That Affect How Long BOTOX® Lasts
• The individual’s rate of metabolism as some people metabolize the toxin quickly
• The strength of the facial muscles as it wears off more quickly in strong muscles
• The time BOTOX® stays effective can be reduced by hard cardio exercise
• The more treatments you have, the weaker the muscles become and the longer the effects last
• The first time may last a shorter time than subsequent times as the muscles are still strong
BOTOX® is still being tested for many other conditions that may be related to dynamic muscle activity. One of the most interesting is as a treatment for depression. Based on the idea that if you can’t frown or make a sad or worrisome expression, you may be able to avoid some of those emotions. It may be one way to help some people avoid bouts of depression.
BOTOX® Can Be Combined with Other Cosmetic Options
BOTOX® injections to help you look and feel younger need not be the only treatment you get. They can be done in conjunction with several other non-invasive cosmetic procedures for overall smoother, more youthful looking skin. These may include:
• Injectable fillers that may be used to restore volume to the skin especially static wrinkles for a softer, smoother appearance. These fillers may also be used for cheek and lip augmentation.
• Different types of skin rejuvenation treatments such as microdermabrasion, facials and chemical peels that may remove fine lines and wrinkles giving a more youthful appearance.
• Facial surgery such as a facelift, brow lift, eyelid surgery or neck lift can all be augmented with BOTOX® injections.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
BOTOX® is a powerful tool to treat many unwanted conditions and symptoms. Starting with its amazing ability to take years off your face and give you back a youthful appearance for years to come, it may also reduce your migraine headaches and stop eye twitching and excessive sweating. To learn how BOTOX® treatment may help improve your self-confidence and quality of life in more ways than you thought possible, feel free to make an appointment with South Lake OBGYN! At our convenient locations in Clermont, our caring and devoted team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option to you in full and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!