Botox® is an injectable cosmetic treatment used to temporarily diminish or eliminate the appearance of facial wrinkles by relaxing the muscles that cause them. It contains a diluted form of botulinum toxin type A, which causes controlled weakening and paralysis of the muscles. As a result of the injection, the skin over the muscles is able to relax and the wrinkles are smoothed. Many patients find that Botox® can dramatically improve the appearance of smile lines, frown lines, and other facial wrinkles caused by muscle movement. This exceptional treatment is often used in conjunction with facial plastic surgery procedures such as a brow lift or eyelid lift to maximize its cosmetic benefit.
Additionally, there are many other applications for botulinum toxin. The toxin was first isolated in the 1940s, and medical applications were discovered in the 1960s. Alternative uses for Botox include:
Botox®, Xeomin®, and Dysport® are very similar with similar targets. All three of these products can be used to relax facial wrinkles. Some patients find that one product works faster or lasts longer than the other ones. In some cases, resistance can develop to one of the products, but the other products still work well. All of these products enjoy a high safety record and can be used elsewhere in the body. Whether Xeomin®, Botox®, or Dysport® is used, success depends on precise injection of just the right amount of product to achieve the desired result.
Cosmetic injectable fillers (Restylane®, Juvederm®, Belotero®, Radiesse®) improve the appearance of deeper, discrete wrinkles by filling in the depression. Botox is not a filling substance, but reduces the motion of the underlying muscles, reducing or eliminating the overlying wrinkles.
Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® injections are done by hand in Dr. Liu’s office. By using a very tiny needle and precise injection techniques, Dr. Liu can deliver cosmetic muscle relaxers with minimal discomfort. Further, with her extensive training and years of successful results, she can relax target muscles while keeping expressive muscles active. This means that your face will still be dynamic, just without any unsightly wrinkles.
Treatment does not require any type of anesthesia, although in some cases Dr. Liu can offer topical anesthesia. Once the skin has been cleansed, Dr. Liu will inject each targeted facial muscle with the solution. The entire treatment session lasts less than half an hour and you can expect to see results in around 1 week.
Botox® is known as a “lunchtime procedure” because patients can return to their daily activities, including work, immediately. There are no incisions, sutures, or bandages required. Side effects are mild, and may include bruising, swelling, or redness around the injection site, as well as minor headaches. Patients must avoid applying pressure to the treated area for twelve hours, as this can cause the injected solution to migrate to other areas of the body.
It is difficult to provide pricing before a patient has had a consultation with Dr. Liu. The cost of injections can vary depending on what a patient needs and what the desired outcome is. More importantly, many patients come to Dr. Liu believing that they need a certain procedure, only to find out during the consultation that a different procedure will provide a better outcome. Dr. Liu believes that patients should be able to speak with their physician before experiencing any out of pocket expense, which is why consultations with Dr. Liu are complimentary.
Botox® is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the world. In 2016 alone, over 7 million Americans received this simple yet remarkable treatment, with more people getting the procedure all the time. Botox® has a stellar safety record when performed by a qualified, trained medical professional. While very safe, there are still medical considerations to take into account. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should typically not receive botox injections.
As with all medical procedures, there are some possible complications. While rare, you should call your doctor if you experience:
Millions of people are enjoying the benefits that Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® bring to their lives. Injections are highly technique- and experience-dependent. This means that results can vary based on the doctor’s knowledge of facial anatomy, particularly of the peri-orbital (area around the eyes) facial musculature and function. Although the actual injection is a relatively minor procedure, it still requires steady hands and a good injection technique to maximize results and decrease the risk of bruising.
Results can also vary between patients and even between same-dosage treatments in the same patient. This is because each patient has a unique sensitivity to the effects of Botox® and also because between each treatment session there may be slight differences in the exact position of the needle tip that delivers the Botox®. In some cases, more than one session may be needed for optimal results. A Botox® “touch-up” may be administered 2 or more weeks after the initial injections if an additional improvement is desired, but keep in mind that it can take 2 weeks for the effects of Botox® to completely set in.
Most patients find that the results of treatment are visible for about three to six months. Gradually, the treated muscles regain their ability to contract, and the wrinkles reappear. Many patients choose to return for follow up injections in order to maintain the results.