You’ve probably heard Botox mentioned more than once in conversation or on TV. It’s one of the most popular and effective anti-aging tools out there. Knowing what it is and knowing what it does are two different things. If you’d like to learn more about this revolutionary anti-aging treatment, we at Peachtree Dermatology in Atlanta, GA will answer that question and a whole lot more below.
What Is It?
This is the name of a drug that’s made from Botulinum Toxin type A. It’s administered in small doses as a safe and effective way to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, treat certain medical conditions, and create a more pleasing aesthetic in line with the patient’s cosmetic goals.
What Does Botox Actually Do?
The cosmetic version of Botox is part of a class of drugs called neurotoxins. It works differently from injectable fillers you may have heard about, such as Juvederm® and Sculptra. Fillers work by adding volume to your skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Botox works differently by temporarily relaxing the muscles that cause the formation of fine lines and wrinkles through frequent movement.
This FDA-approved treatment blocks signals sent between the nerves and the muscles, prohibiting the muscles from contracting, and thereby relaxing the muscles in the targeted area and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
The treatment has been FDA-approved for use in multiple places. Some of the most common areas of the face where treatment is requested include the nasolabial folds (the lines that stem from your nose to the corners of your mouth), wrinkles on the neck, the vertical creases between the eyebrows that occur when you furrow your brow, forehead lines, and crow’s feet.
The treatment’s usefulness doesn’t end in the realm of aesthetics. It can also be used to treat certain medical conditions, including hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), and conditions that cause muscle spasms, such as MS, cerebral palsy, and cervical dystonia.
If you’re sick and tired of the effects of aging bringing you down every time you look in the mirror, you may be an excellent candidate for treatment. To begin, give us a call and schedule a preliminary consultation with one of our aesthetic specialists to discuss your goals. During your consultation, your provider may suggest additional or alternative treatments to better meet your goals.
Be sure to have information regarding your complete medical history for your initial consultation. You’ll want to be able to inform your provider about any past surgeries, medical conditions, or skin conditions you may have experienced in the past. Prior issues seldom preclude a patient from treatment, though it’s still important to be thorough.
Evaluating Your Skin
During your consultation, one of our aesthetic professionals will examine your skin to determine its texture, elasticity, and the degree of wrinkling that exists to ensure that botulinum is the right treatment to address all or most of your issues. You’ll also have a small amount of the drug administered to you below the skin on your forearm to ensure no allergic reactions occur.
The treatment may have been around for a while now, but that doesn’t mean patients don’t have questions about it. Read on to find out some of the most frequently asked questions we get about this superior anti-aging treatment.
How Much Research Has Actually Been Done?
Short answer: a lot. If you’re worried about unexpected side effects or other complications due to a lack of information about the treatment – don’t be. The treatment is supported by over 16 years of published, peer-reviewed studies on its effects. It’s the most widely researched and studied treatment in its class, its safety and efficacy have been described in over 528 peer-reviewed articles in scientific and medical journals, and it is approved for use in 98 countries around the world.
Can It Be Substituted for Something Else?
This is a biological product that can’t be substituted or interchanged for something else. Even the FDA has stated that the product is “non-interchangeable,” and its safety and effectiveness can’t be copied or claimed by anything else on the market.
Can It Lead to an Over-Treated Look?
Botox is frequently used as the butt of jokes on TV and movies, with actors looking puffy, red, or experiencing some other adverse effect. The reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. When administered by a trained professional, you can expect your treatment will produce subtle results in line with your cosmetic goals, not the swelling, redness, or infections you’ve seen in the media.
That being said, it is important that you have your treatment provided by a trained professional. Like any other medication or treatment, it needs to be administered by someone specially trained to know what they’re doing. If you choose not to go with us, always make sure your provider possesses the proper training and credentials.
Is It Only for Women?
While it’s true that most of the patients who look for treatment are women, you may be surprised to learn that a growing number of men are turning to the treatment for the same reasons women do. Over a million men have received treatment in the last three years alone.
When asked why they’re looking into treatment, most men explain that they want to look their best and are bothered by the signs of aging they see when they look at themselves in the mirror. Most men prefer to treat their crow’s feet or forehead lines, though many choose to treat their frown lines.
How Old Do You Need to Be?
While many people looking into anti-aging products are over 40, your age really has nothing to do with when you can or cannot undergo treatment. What matters most is the severity of the lines you’re wanting to treat. Fine lines and wrinkles can start to appear as early as your late 20s if your genetics, environment, or lifestyle promote the early appearance of aging.
If you haven’t noticed the appearance of lines and wrinkles, but want to stave off their appearance for as long as possible, you can get injections earlier in life to help keep those lines from forming in the first place.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
Treatment is very quick, with the injection process taking only about 10 minutes to complete. Your initial appointment may take longer than that as you discuss your cosmetic goals and have a facial analysis performed by your provider to determine the best treatment areas to elicit the results you want.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
You’ll probably begin to notice results within one to two days after treatment. The results of your treatment can last up to four months for patients with moderate-to-severe frown lines. Results will vary from patient to patient, and your provider will help you schedule and plan your next treatment session based on your results and goals.
Is There Any Downtime?
There really isn’t any downtime or recovery period associated with treatment. Once your session is over, you can leave our office and return to completing whatever you have to do that day. Whether you want to treat moderate-to-severe frown lines, crow’s feet, or forehead lines, it is the only treatment approved for treating all of these areas.
How Many Injections Are Necessary?
No two patients are exactly alike, and your treatment will be customized to meet your specific goals and needs. Your provider will determine the treatment for the area(s) you’re looking to address, such as moderate-to-severe frown lines, crow’s feet, and forehead lines.
Injections will be performed in three areas of the muscle located on the side of your eye. These injections will be repeated on the other eye after the first is complete.
For frown lines, 5 injections are generally administered into the muscles between your eyebrows and forehead.
Five injections will be administered into a muscle on your forehead to relax it and help eliminate forehead lines.
Can You Extend the Effects of Treatment?
The effectiveness and longevity of treatment vary from person-to-person, and some patients have experienced an extension of its effects by adhering to the following.
The toxin used in treatment is zing-dependent, and zinc supplements, such as Zytase, has been reported to increase the effects of treatment if taken for several days leading up to your session.
Avoid Exercise for a Few Days
Exercising immediately following your treatment, or over the next couple of days, can increase your metabolism and flush the Botox from your body before it’s had a chance to reach its maximum effect. You should try and wait at least 24 hours after treatment to begin exercising.
Schedule Regular Treatments
In some cases, first-time treatments will have the shortest durations. By scheduling regular treatments with your provider, the results you experience should start lasting longer.
Ask your provider if you have any concerns about how long your treatment will last, and what steps you can take to maximize your results.
Are There Any Complimentary Treatments?
Some patients are looking for a simple answer to the formation of unwanted lines and wrinkles, while other patients look to treatment as only a part of their overall cosmetic goals. For patients looking to experience more dramatic, age-defying results, additional fillers can be administered at the same time (or during separate sessions) to provide more comprehensive results. Some commonly-paired treatments include Juvederm® and Kybella.
Juvederm® is a dermal filler frequently administered to give extra volume to a patient’s lips. Pairing treatment with Juvederm® is one of the most common questions mentioned with treatment.
Aside from plumping your lips, Juvederm® is an excellent choice for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles in your cheeks, as well as smile lines (nasolabial folds). If you’re looking to treat both your frown lines in your forehead as well as your smile lines around your mouth, Juvederm® may be the treatment for you.
Kybella® is another commonly-paired treatment. It seeks to address excess submental fat (double chin) by administering a therapeutic level of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring molecule the body produces to aid in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When administered beneath the chin, it can destroy fat cells located there, resulting in a significant reduction in the fullness of your double chin. Once treated with Kybella® the fat cells are gone for good.
Achieve Your Cosmetic Goals with Botox
Botox is a well-studied and well-known anti-aging treatment designed to reduce or eliminate the appearance of moderate-to-severe facial lines. It works by paralyzing the underlying muscle, keeping it from contracting and producing lines and wrinkles. Treatment is fast, and the results will begin to show after about 48 hours and will continue to provide results for the next several months.
If you’re sick of seeing the signs of aging every time you look at yourself and you want to do something about it, call Peachtree Dermatology in Atlanta, GA today at 404-495-3788.