Botulinum Toxin (Botox™ or Botox Cosmetic™)
Botox™ is a cosmetic injection that stops the nerve signals that cause muscles to contract. This effect reduces the lines and wrinkles caused by repetitive movements on the face—most commonly, between the brows (11’s), crows-feet around the eyes, and horizontal forehead creases. Botox™ is also used cosmetically to balance facial asymmetry and relax tight neckbands, as well as to reduce perspiration and to treat migraine headaches and muscle spasm.
When to Consider Botulinum Toxin
- Deep lines between your eyes make you look tired, angry, sad, or harsh.
- Your facial expressions cause wrinkles in and around your eyes and forehead.
- There is asymmetry in your eyelids, eyebrows or face that can be corrected by relaxing a muscle.
- You suffer from migraine headaches and Botox™ may provide relief from this condition.
Many people who consider botulinum toxin injections also consider fillers, facelift, fat grafting, brow lift, blepharoplasty and laser skin resurfacing.
- Injections are relatively painless and carry a low risk, with almost no downtime.
- Can help you appear softer and more approachable
- Make changes that give you a refreshed or well-rested look
- Effects of injections will last three to six months
- Risk of a temporary droopy eye or muscle if injected incorrectly
- Bruising may occur
These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering Botox™. If you wish to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with Amy Jensen, NP.
Am I a good candidate for Botox™ injections?
You may consider Botox™ injections for cosmetic reasons if you are developing lines and wrinkles on your face due to common facial movements. Depending on genetics or stress, lines can appear on the face as early as your late twenties to as late as your early forties. If you are prone to developing lines and to making facial expressions that lead to wrinkles, Amy Jensen may also recommend using Botox™ as a preventative measure.
Certain deep lines or creases in the face caused by the weakening or sinking of the soft tissue, such as the nasolabial folds, which extend from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth, are best treated with fillers, fat grafts or surgery.
If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for Botox™.
How is a Botox™ administered?
Botox™ injections can usually be completed on the same day as the initial evaluation. They require less than 30 minutes to perform and usually hours to recover. Once you and Amy have decided on an appropriate treatment, she will prepare you and the medication for the procedure. The injection site will be cleansed and will usually not require anesthesia prior to injection. The needles used are very short and thin, causing little discomfort. Depending on your specific concerns and condition, a number of injections will be needed to achieve the desired result. Slight discomfort, short-lasting swelling, and minimal redness and bleeding will likely occur as a result of your procedure.
Once the neurotoxin has been injected, it will take up to seven to ten days to reach full effect and a follow-up visit is often scheduled weeks to months after the initial injection.
In the hands of an experienced injector, such as a certified Nurse Practitioner, your procedure will seem simple and you will experience minimal discomfort.
What are my options?
Botox Cosmetic™ is widely recognized and was the first neurotoxin to be FDA-approved for cosmetic use in the United States. Other brands, such as Dysport and Xeomin, are also used for cosmetic reasons and share many of the same attributes as Botox but may vary in dosage, propensity to spread, time of onset and duration of action. Having used them all we still feel Botox™ is the Gold Standard.
The following is a list of both cosmetic and medical conditions that Botox™ can help treat:
- Lines and facial wrinkles
- Facial asymmetry
- Muscle spasticity
- Eyelid spasms (blepharospasms)
- Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating (see perspiration reducer)
- Chronic migraines
- Cervical dystonia
- Movement disorders
- Crossed or lazy eyes
Dr. Jensen and/or Amy Jensen, NP will help you determine which botulinum toxin will be best for you.
How do you prepare for a Botox™ injection?
Although Botox™ injections are generally low-risk and do not require the intensive screening of a surgical procedure, you should always disclose a full medical history and any medications you are currently using to our staff. Regardless of the type of procedure to be performed, hydration is very important before and after treatment for safe recovery. Our staff may ask you to stop smoking at least six weeks before your procedure.
Inform our office if:
- You have had botulinum toxin injections in the past.
- You are using medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil or Aleve), anticoagulants or blood thinners.
- You are taking muscle relaxants, allergy or sleeping medication.
Such medications could cause complications, bleeding or extra bruising.
After the injections you can return to work and your regular activities immediately; however, strenuous activity is discouraged for the remainder of the day. Redness and swelling that occur at the time of injection usually resolve quickly. Any bruising that might occur will usually resolve over a week or two but can be covered with makeup.
Some quick tips for the best results:
- Avoid massaging or touching the injected area afterwards.
- Lying down or inverting the body shortly after injection can also cause complications.
- Avoid strenuous or vigorous activities for the rest of the day.
- Ask or call our office before taking painkillers or medication.
Although all procedures have some degree of risk, FDA-approved injections of Botox Cosmetic™ are relatively low risk in the hands of an expert injector. The most common side effects are:
- Temporary muscle weakness.
- Redness, irritation, bruising and swelling at the injection site.
- In rare instances, patients may experience dry mouth, headache, dizziness, nausea and fever.
- If you have a symptom that is more serious, such as a rash or trouble breathing, please call our office immediately.