One of the most effective treatments to erase frown lines, forehead wrinkles, and crow’s feet is injecting a minute quantity of botulinum toxin (Botox®, Dysport® or Xeomin®) into the facial muscles. These injections block nerve impulses, weakening muscles to relax wrinkles and give the face a rejuvenated look. Injections of these relaxing agents can also improve neck laxity, fine lip lines, and excessive sweating. Injection results typically last 3-8 months.
WHAT IS BOTULINUM TOXIN AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Botulinum toxin is a neuromodulator produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles.
WHY ARE BOTULINUM TOXINS EFFECTIVE?
The vertical lines between the eyebrows are the direct result of the repeated muscular action of the corrugator and procerus muscles. After many years of squinting, frowning and sun exposure, the skin is left with deep vertical lines that persist even when the face is at rest. When injected with expertise, Botox immobilizes the muscles for several weeks, smoothing the face as well as lifting the brow.
WHAT FACIAL CONCERNS ARE COMMONLY TREATED WITH BOTULINUM TOXINS?
- Crow’s feet
- Forehead lines
- Frown lines between brows (11s)
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS?
There has never been a solution to facial wrinkles as effective as botulinum toxin. Conventional surgery involves a large incision, raising the hairline and cutting the muscles. Newer endoscopic surgical techniques avoid the large incisions, but still involve prolonged healing and the expense of major surgery. Collagen injections can fill some of the wrinkles, but as long as the underlying muscles continue to move, the fold will quickly reappear. Both surgery and collagen injections carry their own unique risks as well.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS?
Although no medical or cosmetic procedure is without risk, treatment with neuromodulators is safe and effective. The most common risk, aside from bruising and pinpoint bleeding, is weakening of the muscle fibers that help raise the upper eyelid. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence with experienced injectors and eye drops can reverse the effect quickly, or it will resolve itself in a few weeks.
Infrequently, a headache lasting a couple of days has been reported.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT IMMEDIATELY?
Minimal bruising may occur at the injection sites, but usually, there are no signs you’ve had a treatment, even within an hour or so of the injections. Makeup may be used directly after treatment, but care should be taken not to press or massage the area for several hours after injection. Avoid heavy physical exercise for several hours after treatment.
WHEN WILL I SEE RESULTS?
It generally takes about two weeks for the full effect. There is no change in sensation in the skin, only the ability to wrinkle the brows.
HOW LONG WILL THE RESULTS LAST?
According to our observations, a treatment is effective for three to eight months. Without re-treatment, the body will naturally restore full muscle action, resulting in lines and wrinkles returning.
WHERE ELSE CAN IT BE USED?
This treatment is the only FDA-approved injection to treat moderate-to-severe frown lines between the brows and moderate-to-severe crow’s feet in adults. Horizontal forehead lines, muscle bands of the neck (“turkey” neck or “string” neck), lines under the eyes, and lateral eyebrows can be treated as well. It can be used in other places on the face; however, this use is off-label and should be discussed with one of our experienced providers at your consultation.
If you would like more information, please contact our office for an appointment. For more information on BOTOX® Cosmetic, visit: www.botoxcosmetic.com.
To learn more about BOTOX®, please schedule your consultation by either filling out the form on this page or by calling Levy Dermatology at (901) 624-3333. Levy Dermatology serves patients in the Memphis, Germantown & Collierville, TN areas.