Botox is a relatively simple; virtually pain free, 10 minute “lunch time” treatment that will dramatically smooth even your toughest active wrinkles within a few days. No recovery time is needed and most people return to work immediately.
Minute amounts of Botox are injected with a tiny needle into the specific points of the muscles causing YOUR wrinkles. The Botox then temporarily interferes with the ability of nerve impulses to cause contractions in those specific muscle areas. By relaxing these specific parts of the underlying frowning muscles, Botox smoothes active facial lines and wrinkles.
A beautifully rested, smooth, wrinkle-free skin above these muscles and a more placid younger look gradually appears within 3-7 days after the injection. Depending on the individual, the smoothing effect can last 4 to 6 months following which the wrinkling muscles slowly regain their strength and reproduce the wrinkles.
Why it’s done?
Botulinum toxin injections block certain chemical signals from nerves, mostly signals that cause muscles to contract. The most common use of these injections is to temporarily relax the facial muscles that underlie and cause wrinkles, such as:
Frown lines between the eyebrows Crow’s-feet, the lines that fan out from the corners of the eyes Forehead furrows, the horizontal lines that form when you raise your eyebrows
In addition to these cosmetic procedures, which simply improve your appearance, botulinum toxin injections have also been used to treat conditions that affect how your body functions. Examples include:
- Cervical dystonia. In this painful condition, your neck muscles contract involuntarily causing your head to twist or turn into an uncomfortable position.
- Lazy eye. The most common cause of lazy eye is an imbalance in the muscles responsible for positioning the eye. This can result in crossed eyes.
- Muscle contractures. Some neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, can cause your limbs to pull in toward your center. In some cases, these contracted muscles can be relaxed with botulinum toxin injections.
- Hyperhidrosis. In this condition, excessive sweating occurs even when the temperature isn’t hot and you’re not exercising. In some people, the sweat literally drips off their hands.
- Chronic migraine. If you experience migraines more than 15 days a month, botulinum toxin injections may help reduce headache frequency.
- Bladder dysfunction. Botulinum toxin injections can also help reduce urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.
How you prepare?
Your doctor will need to know if you’ve received any type of botulinum toxin injections within the past four months. If you take blood thinners, you may need to forgo these medications for several days before your injection, to reduce your risk of bleeding or bruising. Your doctor also needs to know if you take muscle relaxants, sleeping aids or allergy medications.
What you can expect?
Before the procedure
Although most people tolerate the injection discomfort well, you may want your skin to be numb beforehand. Several options are available, including:
- Injections. Your doctor can inject a numbing medication into your skin.
- Cream. A prescription cream can be applied 60 to 90 minutes before the procedure.
- Cold spray. A blast of very cold air is directed at the skin for about 10 seconds. The numbness only lasts a few seconds.
During the procedure
Your doctor uses a thin needle to inject tiny amounts of botulinum toxin into your skin or muscles. The number of injections needed depends on many factors, including the extent of the area being treated. Botox injections are usually done in a doctor’s office.
After the procedure
Expect to resume your normal daily activities right after the procedure. Take care, though, not to rub or massage the treated areas. This can cause the toxin to migrate to a different area.
Botulinum toxin injections usually begin working a few days after treatment. Depending on the problem being treated, the effect may last for three to 12 months.
To maintain the effect, you’ll need regular follow-up injections.
HOW ARE DERMAL FILLERS DIFFERENT?
Compared to other wrinkle correction methods, dermal fillers allow greater precision in wrinkle correction, and can more effectively treat medium to deep wrinkles. They do not cause any loss of ability to contract your facial muscles,
Compared to other scarring treatments, dermal fillers allow more effective treatment of boxcar scars, deep divots and icepick scars.
Compared to other methods of changing the shape of your face (such as your nose, lips or cheeks), dermal fillers offer the advantage of being non-permanent and creating a generally more youthful look.
Rhinoplasty carries its own major risks, and facelifts often create an overtight look. Dermal fillers allow you to experiment with different facial changes in a non-permanent way.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The benefits of using dermal fillers include:
- Fillers can reliably treat wrinkles at depths that other methods cannot
- They are biocompatible and rarely cause reactions
- The fillers can be dissolved by injection if there are any problems
- They are non-invasive compared to surgical solutions
HOW MANY DERMAL FILLER TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
A single treatment every 9-12 months is needed.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING DERMAL FILLER INJECTIONS?
The usual procedure for patients looking to lift and liven their face with dermal fillers is:
- You’ll speak with the doctor or nurse about your background and medical history at your initial consultation
- A treatment plan will be devised, which sets out how we can use dermal fillers (possibly in conjunction with other techniques and tools) to create the face that you want
At your dermal filler appointment:
- The dermal filler product we use contains a local anaesthetic that makes the injection comfortable.
- The area to be injected is marked out
- The dermal fillers are injected, and we apply cold packs immediately afterwards.
- Mineral make-up completes the look and allows you to resume your daily activity.
The procedure takes about 30-60 minutes in total, depending on the size of the area to be treated.
IS IT PAINFUL?
Local anaesthesia can be used if necessary, although it isn’t needed for all patients.
Without local anaesthesia, we would rate the pain of dermal filler injections at around 2.5/10.
With local anaesthesia, we would rate the pain of dermal filler injections at around 0.5/10.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT?
Much of the difference you see after your initial dermal filler injection will be due to swelling; you should see the ‘real’ results after about 3 days. You’ll be able to return to work and wear makeup immediately afterwards, although we recommend you don’t commit yourself to any activities after your first-ever appointment.