Botox in Bethesda, MD
Botox is made primarily of the botulinum toxin type A, the same bacteria that are responsible for botulism. This sounds scary, but it’s not. That’s because back in the 1950s scientists discovered that when a minuscule amount of the botulinum toxin was injected into a muscle, it made that muscle temporarily stop contracting. Botox was born from that research. Initially, it was approved for use stopping involuntary eyelid spasms. Since then other uses, such as treatment of migraine headaches, neck spasms, crossed eyes, and TMJ disorder, have expanded its effectiveness.
But Botox became a worldwide phenomenon in 2002 when the FDA approved it for treating wrinkles on the upper third of the face: crow’s feet, the 11s between the brows, and forehead lines. Since then, Botox injections have been the world’s most popular cosmetic procedure every year.
How Does Botox Work?
When injected into a muscle, the botulinum toxin in Botox blocks the nerve messages sent from the muscle to the brain. Because the brain never receives the message to contract the muscle, the muscle remains at rest.
This is important for what are called “dynamic wrinkles.” These are wrinkles that develop above a muscle contraction. These wrinkles form on the expressive upper third of the face when we make common expressions such as frowning, showing surprise, squinting, and others. Over time, as our skin becomes less elastic, a wrinkle begins to form above the muscles used in these expressions. When injected into these muscles Botox stops the contractions, so the wrinkles don’t form or they are dramatically lessened in appearance.
Botox works on the upper third of the face. If you make an expression, such as a frown, you can feel the muscles engage. Botox stops these muscle contractions that form crow’s feet, the 11s between your eyebrows, and lines on the forehead.
Botox Cosmetic Procedure
Using a very fine needle, BOTOX Cosmetic is injected directly into facial muscles that are causing furrows and lines. Receiving the injections requires no anesthetic, but some doctors choose to numb the area to be injected with ice packs or topical anesthetic cream. Normal activities may be resumed immediately after receiving injections.
How Long Does the Botox Treatment Take?
Botox was the original “lunchtime procedure.” This is because a session usually only takes 15 minutes or so, and the patient can then immediately return to work or their normal activities.
Are Botox Injections Painful?
We inject Botox with a very tiny needle, and it is not injected to great depth. Most people equate the feeling to that of a pinprick. If you would like topical numbing cream applied beforehand, we can do that, but most patients don’t feel the need.
Botox Treatment Areas
- Forehead furrows
- Frown lines
- Crow’s feet
- Skin bands on the neck
Results of Botox Cosmetic
Botox doesn’t deliver instant results. It usually takes 3-4 days for the botulinum toxin to fully relax the muscle. From there, Botox usually keeps the muscle from contracting for about four months. At that point, your body will absorb the now-inert Botox and the muscle will begin to contract again. Another Botox session at Kaizen will maintain your results.
Candidates For BOTOX Cosmetic Injections
As mentioned above, Botox only works on dynamic wrinkles that form above a contracting muscle. So, if the wrinkles you seek to treat are crow’s feet, the 11s, or lines on the forehead, those all form due to muscle contractions so Botox is perfect.
However, if your wrinkles show themselves at all times they are called “static wrinkles.” These form due to sun damage, declining collagen production in our skin, and personal habits such as smoking. Smile lines, parentheses lines, marionette lines, barcode lines — these are all static wrinkles. Botox has no effect on these wrinkles: they are the domain of dermal fillers, which simply return volume when injected and push the skin back upward.
Side Effects of Botox
Botox has been injected millions of times across the world and has proven to be a very safe and effective cosmetic procedure. Plus, Botox continues to be used for ever-wider other applications, such as treating excessive underarm perspiration. The main side effects after injections are:
It’s important after your Botox session that you do not rub the injection sites for the first 24 hours. This can make the Botox migrate to an adjacent muscle creating unwanted issues such as a drooping eyelid.