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The Truth About Botox

Posted in Botox, Cosmetic Procedures, Skincare

The truth about BOTOX

In this tough economy when budgets are tight, Botox and soft tissue fillers can be the most cost effective way of achieving your aesthetic goals.

What is BOTOX?

Simply stated, Botox is a medication that paralyzes the muscles causing facial wrinkles (chemodenervation). It was first used in 1980 to correct hyperactive eye muscles (strabismus) and first used for cosmetic purposes in 1989. Botox was FDA approved for forehead administration April 15, 2002, and now used not only to soften facial wrinkles but also to correct facial asymmetries and the aging neck. Currently there are 8 subtypes (A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F, and G) with A and B the most potent. Botox cosmetic (subtype A) produced by Allergan is widely available in the US and injected over 3 million times in 2008, Dysport (subtype A) will soon be available in the US and manufactured by Inamed and named Reloxin. Hopefully, with competition, the cost of the products will be reduced, but only time will tell! Myobloc (subtype B) is not as potent and not available in the US.

How does it work?

Botox is a toxin purified from Clostridium botulinum. In very small dosages, it blocks acetycholine release (muscle stimulator) from within the muscle cells preventing contraction and thus paralyzing the muscle (s) that cause the facial wrinkle. Botox works by diffusion into the targeted muscles and is not systemically absorbed. It is important to note, that Botox will soften the muscles that cause active (dynamic) wrinkles and will not treat permanent (static) wrinkles. Soft tissue fillers such as the hyaluronic acids (Restylane, Juvaderm, Greville silk) or calcium hydroxyapetite (Radiesse) are most effective for the deep static wrinkles.

What results can I expect?

Botox in Houston is administered in an office setting after placement of a topical anesthetic gel which reduces injection discomfort. The most common areas treated are superficial wrinkles of the forehead and around the eyes and mouth. Injections take less than 5 minutes, are essentially painless, and results are typically seen at 3-5 days. One can expect the results to last 3 to 6 months, although wide variability exists due to dilution techniques and individual muscle activity. Certainly with the addition of soft tissue fillers, facial and neck wrinkles can be reduced and with more advanced injection techniques, lifting of sagging soft tissue can be obtained.

What are the potential complications?

Complications are extremely rare. However, side effects such as injection site pain, bruising, and edema resolve within 24 hours. Paralysis of unintended adjacent muscles can occur and obviate an experienced physician injector with thorough understanding of the facial anatomy. To decrease the possibility of complications and side effects and thus unhappy clients, I always examine the patient, discuss the product and options available, mark my intended injection sites, and personally perform the procedure. Please call my office for consultation and to discuss your facial aesthetic goals (713)-797-0085.