Botox Cosmetic® is a therapeutic muscle-relaxing agent that works at motor nerve endings (nerves that lead to muscles) to reduce dynamic wrinkles. These are the wrinkles caused by repeated muscular contractions such as frowning, squinting and brow furrowing. Botox Cosmetic® has been used commercially for over 10 years with thousands of patients worldwide.
Botox Cosmetic® is derived from purified protein toxin and is in a class of drugs called neurotoxins. When considering neurotoxin therapy, it is important to understand how the product works, the history of its use in patients, its protein content and possible side effects.
A few drops are injected with a tiny needle into the muscle, blocking the nerve impulse from reaching that area. As the muscles weaken, the wrinkles in the skin gradually soften and often disappear, giving the face a more refreshed and relaxed look. Areas most commonly treated are the frown lines between the eyebrows.
In some cases, the toxin can migrate and cause a temporary weakness of nearby muscles. In rare cases, there can be a drooping of an eyelid or asymmetry of facial expression. The risk of any side effect (including temporary bruising) depends on the individual patient and the injection technique. Dr. Patterson will discuss this with you before your treatment. The most common side effects of Botox Cosmetic® are temporary and reversible, lasting only a few weeks.
Some patients report minor and temporary discomfort from the injection.
The effects of Botox Cosmetic® usually last 3 to 4 months, at which time another injection may be administered.
A. Botox Cosmetic® is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Although derived from a bacteria, it is able to be used for the treatments described because it is applied in extremely small amounts and applied properly, does not spread through the body.
A. A tiny amount of Botox Cosmetic® is injected into the muscle that creates the dynamic wrinkle. This blocks the nerve impulse from reaching that area and, as a result, the muscle relaxes. As the muscle relaxes, the dynamic wrinkle overlying the muscle is smoothed away.
A. The most common areas for the use of Botox Cosmetic® are the frown lines between the eyebrows and on the forehead. On occasion, some other areas may be treated as well; however in Canada, Botox Cosmetic® is only cleared for use for frown lines between the eyebrows.
A. No. Botox Cosmetic® only relaxes the overactive muscle underneath the dynamic wrinkle. The other elements of facial expression remain active.
A. The effects of Botox Cosmetic® usually last three to four months, at which time another injection is required. After several treatments, the effects of Botox Cosmetic® may begin to last longer.
A. Botox Cosmetic® has been used safely and successfully in ophthalmology for over 10 years and for wrinkle therapy for over 6 years. In the amounts used for wrinkle therapy, the most common side effects are temporary and localized to the area of injection.
A. There are very few restrictions regarding Botox Cosmetic® treatments. Patients who are pregnant, nursing, or have a neurologic disease should not be treated. Patients should discuss with their physician if Botox Cosmetic® treatments are appropriate for them.
A. A tiny amount of Botox Cosmetic® is injected, very precisely, into the muscle being treated. Because the needle is so fine, and only a small amount of liquid is used, the pain associated with the injection is minimal. Most patients compare the sensation to a bug bite. No sedation or local anesthetic is required and you can often drive yourself home or back to the office. Some patients experience a slight temporary bruising at the injection site. This can be covered with make up.
A. If you would like to learn more about your cosmetic options, or find out if Botox Cosmetic® treatments might work well for you, you are warmly invited to schedule your Consultation.
A. The cost depends on the area to be treated. This unit cost $12. The different treatment areas, the amount of Botox usually needed and the cost is in the captions of the images below.