If you’re considering Botox, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States, and for a good reason. But how much do you know about Botox treatment? How does Botox work? What are the benefits? What are the risks? And how long does Botox last?
What is Botox Treatment?
Botox is a neurotoxin, meaning it’s derived from the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum. Botox paralyzes or blocks nerve signals to the muscles when injected into the skin, which prevents them from contracting and results in a temporary smoothing of the lines and wrinkles on the skin.
Botox is an FDA-approved cosmetic treatment most commonly used to treat crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, and frown lines, which can be caused by aging and the overuse or over-exaggeration of facial muscles. However, doctors can also use it to treat other conditions such as severe sweating, chronic migraines, overactive bladder, and even cervical dystonia.
The Botox Injection Procedure
Botox treatments are non-invasive, office-based nonsurgical treatments that require minimal preparation. Because this procedure is less invasive than others, your provider could be a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse. You should let your provider know about any medical history, health issues, or allergies before the procedure begins so they can prepare accordingly and ensure you’re safe for treatment!
You may be asked to discontinue taking any blood thinners like aspirin to reduce bruising to prepare for your treatment. Your provider may also request that you remove your makeup and cleanse the treatment area.
The entire procedure will likely only take no longer than 10 minutes with no incisions and a lack of general anesthesia. If you are concerned about any pain or discomfort, we can use ice or a topical numbing agent. After treatment, you should notice effects around three to seven days.
What Areas of The Body Can Be Treated?
Botox Cosmetic can be used to treat a variety of areas of the body but is most commonly used to treat facial wrinkles and lines on the face. Some other areas that Botox can be used to treat include:
- The neck
- The chest
- The armpits (to reduce sweating)
- The eyes (to correct crossed eyes)
- The forehead
- The temples
How Long Does Botox Last?
There is no real wait time to be expected after Botox injections, and the effects of Botox usually last anywhere from three to four months; although, results can vary depending on the following factors:
- Location of the injection
- Amount of Botox used
- Age and skin elasticity – elasticity will decrease with age, so the effects may wear off more quickly in some patients
- Depth of wrinkles – The effects may wear off more quickly when treating deeper lines and wrinkles
- Muscle(s) involved and how much the patient uses the muscles
Types of Botox Injections
- Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A): This is the most common form of botulinum toxin and includes Botox Cosmetic. It’s used to temporarily reduce wrinkles and lines on the face.
- Botulinum toxin type B (BTX-B): BTX-B is used to treat chronic migraines and can be administered as an intravenous infusion or through needle injection.
- Botulinum toxin type C (BTX-C): This is the least common form of botulinum toxin and is used to treat severe sweating, cervical dystonia, and other medical conditions.
AbobotulinumtoxinA: This is used to treat glabellar lines — frown lines between the eyebrows. Dysport is larger than Botox containing 900 kDa of botulinum toxin type A per 100 units. The difference in size can cause Dysport to work faster than Botox but it tends to not last as long.
IncobotulinumtoxinA: This is also used to treat glabellar lines — frown lines between the eyebrows. Xeomin contains 150 kDa of botulinum toxin type A per 100 units and is similar in size to Botox. It may last slightly longer than Botox because it contains no additives and thus does not require refrigeration. Some suggest that patients are less likely to become resistant to these injections because of their purer ingredients and require fewer botox treatments.
RimabotulinumtoxinB: This is used to treat cervical dystonia, severe sweating, and other medical conditions. Myobloc contains 900 kDa of botulinum toxin type B per 100 units. Myobloc may also help those who have become immune to Botox and Dysport.
Tips to Make Botox Results Last Longer
If you want to do your part in making sure your Botox lasts as long as possible, try following these tips:
- Avoid rubbing, massaging, or applying pressure to the treated areas, as this can cause the Botox to spread to unintended areas.
- Avoid strenuous exercise and activities that can cause excessive sweating.
- Avoid exposing treated areas to extreme heat or cold.
- Limit how much you frown or make other extreme facial expressions, for example, by avoiding overly stressful situations.
Additional Botox injections can also be used to maintain results as needed.
Risks of Botox
As with any procedure, there are some risks associated with Botox. These include:
- Bruising and slight swelling around the injection site(s)
- Drooping eyelids or eyebrows
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Allergic reaction
If you experience any of these side effects, follow up with your doctor immediately.
The Cost of Botox
The price of cosmetic Botox varies somewhat depending on where the office administering the treatment is located and how many units are needed to gain the desired results. On average, Botox costs between $200 and $400 per treatment. If the Botox is considered cosmetic, expect your health insurance not to cover it.
Botox is a safe and effective cosmetic procedure that can provide a number of benefits. It’s important to do your research and consult with a qualified doctor before undergoing Botox treatment.
So, Considering Botox?
Botox can provide a number of benefits, both physical and emotional. While it is a common procedure, if you’re considering Botox, make sure to do your research first and consult with a qualified doctor.
When choosing a provider, always confirm that they’re licensed to administer Botox. Remember to let your provider know about any allergies or medical conditions, and call them right away if you experience any side effects following your treatment. What are you waiting for? Schedule your Botox appointment today!