Although it has been used for medicinal purposes for several decades, Botox has become a household name in recent years for its cosmetic use as an injectable wrinkle relaxer. And while Allergan, the makers of Botox, can attribute some of the product’s popularity to marketing strategy, the vast majority of the credit must go to Botox’s reputation as one of the world’s safest, most effective wrinkle treatment and prevention products.
What is Botox?
Botox® Cosmetic is an FDA approved, non-surgical wrinkle treatment that not only reduces dynamic wrinkles (created by habitual facial movements), but also prevents static wrinkles (present when the face is at rest) from forming. Although it is typically only used for wrinkle reduction in the upper face, it may also be used at times to reduce lip lines and neck bands or wrinkles.
In addition to its wrinkle treatment indications, Botox is also FDA approved to treat migraines and other disorders associated with nerve pain and spasticity.
How Botox Injections Work
Botox uses a neurotoxin called botulinum type A to temporarily paralyze facial muscles that cause wrinkles by blocking nerve receptors. Basically, after Botox is injected, the product prevents muscle movement in the forehead, between the eyebrows and near the corners of the eyes. This prevents the development and deepening of forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet and 11’s, or frown lines.
During your consultation, Dr. Basu may recommend Botox and injectable filler products such as Radiesse, Juvederm or Restylane to achieve the facial rejuvenation and wrinkle reduction results you desire. Before your Botox treatment, Dr. Basu will cleanse your face, administer local anesthesia and inject the correct amount of Botox (measured in units) to help you achieve natural-looking wrinkle reduction.
Botox treatment only takes about 15-20 minutes, and patients may return to normal activities immediately (avoid strenuous activity and bending at the waist for 24-48 hours.)
In about 1-2 weeks, Botox will take effect and start smoothing away wrinkles. Botox results last about 3-4 months in most patients, at which point repeat injections are needed.
Botox Side Effects
Botox is FDA approved and has been used for both medical and cosmetic purposes for decades. The treatment is very safe and low-risk for most patients; however, it is important to be aware of all potential side effects that can occur before undergoing any cosmetic procedure.
After Botox treatment, temporary redness at injection sites and mild bruising and swelling may occur. Makeup can easily camouflage these side effects until they resolve, in a few days to a week.
More serious (and less common) potential Botox side effects include unintended facial muscle paralysis (e.g. droopy eyebrows or crooked smile), headache, or development of flu-like symptoms, but these side effects are quite rare, especially if you choose a skilled physician injector like Dr. Basu who has many years of experience using Botox.
Botox vs. Restylane
Botox and Restylane are two of the most widely known injectable wrinkle treatments worldwide, and although many people often confuse the two, these products work quite differently and achieve different results.
Botulinum toxin type A is the active ingredient in Botox, and it works by temporarily paralyzing muscles in the forehead and between the eyebrows to reduce dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles that occur with facial movement. Botox is typically only used to correct horizontal forehead creases, frown lines, or 11’s, and crow’s feet. Occasionally it is used to reduce wrinkles around the mouth, or smoker’s lines, but it certainly does not plump thin lips and should be used with great care in the lip area.
Restylane, on the other hand, is a gel made of hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in the body that acts as a cushion and lubricant. Restylane does not affect facial muscles but rather fills skin depressions and static wrinkles, or wrinkles that remain when the face is at rest. Restylane is most commonly used to correct laugh lines near the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds) and to add volume to the lips and other facial areas.
Schedule Your Botox Consultation
Houston Botox specialist Dr. Bob Basu routinely sees patients at his offices in Katy, Cypress, the Woodlands and downtown Houston, Texas, who are interested in non-surgical facial rejuvenation with Botox and other injectables. If you would like to learn more about Botox for wrinkles or migraines, or if you wish to schedule a consultation at one of Basu Plastic Surgery’s four convenient locations, call us at 713.799.BASU (2278).