Botox® is the brand name of botulin toxin type A. It is a therapeutic muscle-relaxing drug that works by blocking nerve impulses transmitted from the nerve endings of the muscles. Botox injections are used to selectively relax the muscles in the face that cause deep wrinkles. These include crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eye), frown lines and forehead lines.
When you concentrate or frown, the muscles between your brows contract, causing your skin to furrow and fold. After years of frequent contraction, those skin creases can linger even after the muscles have relaxed. Botox injections not only smooth out these areas, but also with repeated injections help prevent these wrinkles from recurring.
Botox® Cosmetic has been the most popular of all physician-administered cosmetic procedures for 6 years running. Approximately 9.4 million Botox Cosmetic procedures have been administered in the United States since 2002. Botox has been used safely by ophthalmologists to treat medical conditions for more than 20 years.
The injections are given using very fine needles to minimize discomfort. Often called a lunch time procedure, treatment is brief and requires no recovery. No anesthesia is required, although your health care provider may choose to numb the area with a cold pack or anesthetic cream prior to injecting. Although the effect is temporary, usually lasting 3 to 6 months, many patients choose to have this procedure performed because of its dramatic results with a simple injection.
Within 1 to 2 days, you may notice a softening in the appearance of your wrinkles. The area may continue to improve for up to a month. The muscle activity that causes frown lines is simply reduced, so you can still show expression – smile, frown, or look surprised – but without the deep wrinkles and creases. Visible results have been shown to last up to 6 months. Your own results may vary be sure to talk to your health care provider about what you can expect and when to schedule your next appointment.
The most common side effects following injection include temporary eyelid droop and nausea. Localized pain, infection, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding/bruising may be associated with the injection. Men and women of varying ethnicities and skin types have been successfully treated with Botox Cosmetic. Because it works only on the underlying muscles, you needn’t be concerned that it will affect you skin color or texture.