Botox® is one of the world’s most well-known brand names and is renowned for its ability to erase wrinkles. This all began in 2002 when the FDA cleared this injectable for the treatment of wrinkles on the upper third of the face. Every year since then, Botox injections have been the single most popular cosmetic procedure across the world.
What is Botox®?
Botox injections are made of botulinum toxin type A. In the 1950s scientists discovered that when the botulinum toxin was injected, in very minuscule amounts, into a muscle that it effectively paralyzed that muscle for a period of time, without any side effects. In its early days, Botox was used to treat involuntary muscle contractions such as involuntary eyelid spasms, TMJ disorder, and other muscle spasm conditions. More recently, Botox has been approved to treat migraine headaches and facial wrinkles.
How does Botox® erase wrinkles?
Skin develops two types of wrinkles. Static wrinkles are caused by sun damage, declining collagen production, personal habits such as smoking, and other factors. Static wrinkles show themselves at all times, however, Botox has no effect on static wrinkles.
The second type of wrinkle is a dynamic wrinkle. These wrinkles form on the skin due to muscle contractions when we make certain common expressions. Expressions such as frowning and squinting engage muscles on the upper third of the face, or the expressive area. Wrinkles are more likely to form from these expressions over time, as our skin becomes less elastic.
When Dr. Schaffer injects Botox into a muscle responsible for a wrinkle such as crow’s feet, at the outside of the eyes, Botox blocks the nerve messages sent from the brain to the nerves in the muscles. When the brain’s messages can’t get to the muscle, the muscle doesn’t contract to form the wrinkle above it. So, the wrinkle either vanishes or is dramatically reduced.
What areas can be treated with Botox®?
Botox is so popular because it works. Botox removes wrinkles on the expressive upper third of the face including crow’s feet, the 11s between the brows, and forehead lines.
Would Botox® work for me?
As long as you’re trying to address dynamic wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes, Botox is awesome. If you want to treat other wrinkles, such as smile lines or marionette lines, however, Botox has no effect on them. Those static wrinkles need to be treated with dermal fillers such as Juvederm® or Restylane®.
What’s the Difference Between Botox® and Dermal Fillers?
People lump Botox and dermal fillers into one category, but they are totally different. Dermal fillers literally “fill” a wrinkle or area of volume loss from beneath it. They are injected beneath the wrinkle and they add volume, which pushes the skin back upward.
Botox is injected directly into the muscles and blocks muscle contractions for a period of time. When the muscles don’t contract, the wrinkle that would typically form on the skin above doesn’t appear. Dermal fillers can’t be used on dynamic wrinkles, and Botox can’t be used on static wrinkles.
How Long Does a Botox® Session Last and What’s Involved?
A Botox session with Dr. Schaffer only takes about 15 minutes. He injects the Botox with a very tiny needle at a shallow depth. Most patients don’t feel any topical numbing is necessary, however, it is available if you desire.
How Long Before I Will See My Results?
Botox doesn’t immediately erase wrinkles. It needs a little time to block the nerve messages and stop the muscle from contracting. Patients typically see the full effect in three to seven days.
How long will my results last?
Botox stops dynamic wrinkles for four to six months. This span is due to different rates of absorption by different people. At some point, your body will absorb the now-inert Botox and the wrinkles will return. When that happens, it’s time for another session with Dr. Schaffer to maintain your results. There is some thought that repeated Botox treatments train the muscles to relax more easily and for longer periods of time, but this varies with different patients.
Are there side effects with Botox®?
Botox has been used hundreds of millions of times since its 2002 aesthetic debut, and there have been few side effects. The main issue can be slight redness or bruising at the injections sites, but this usually passes within just a few hours. Headaches are also possible, but they are very rare.
It’s important, after a session, for the patient not to rub the areas where the Botox was injected for 12 hours. This can cause the Botox to migrate to an unwanted muscle, which can lead to temporary drooping of an eyelid or other unintended effects.
Experience is key to success
The skill and facial knowledge of your injector are important to obtain the best results with Botox. Dr. Schaffer has extensive knowledge of the facial anatomy surrounding the eyes and on the forehead. This ensures that he will inject your Botox into the proper locations giving you the natural-looking results you seek.
Is Botox® expensive?
Botox is priced by the vial, so pricing varies depending on how much Botox you use. Dr. Schaffer will be able to give you an idea of how much Botox he thinks will be necessary to achieve the results you want prior to any injections.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in Botox or our other nonsurgical cosmetic enhancement, call 210-227-3223 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Schaffer. Our practice serves San Antonio, Austin, and surrounding areas in TX.