- Vertical frown lines, or “eleven” between your eyebrows.
- “Crow’s feet” around your eyes.
- Large wrinkles or furrows in your forehead.
- As a preventative measure to keep wrinkles from forming.
Botox® is an FDA-approved medication made from botulinum toxin which works to relax the muscles in the face that causes skin creases and wrinkles. Facial lines and wrinkles are caused by many factors, including sun exposure, loss of elasticity and excessive muscle activity. Hyperfunctional facial lines, those caused by skin pleating when the underlying muscles contract, are bothersome because they may be misinterpreted as anger, fatigue or aging. Botox injections are useful in minimizing or eliminating those hyperfunctional lines, particularly those located between the eyes, on the forehead and the crow’s feet.
Botox® is delivered as an injection and should only be administered by trained physicians. Common areas for Botox® injections include horizontal forehead furrows, vertical lines between the eyebrows, and “crow’s feet” around the eyes. Botox® is temporary, but when administered correctly, can give excellent results that can last for up to six months. The procedure is considered a safe, effective way of treating aging skin and can give dramatic results by itself or in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation procedures.
Contrary to popular belief, Botox does not “freeze” your face, or prevent you from being able to express emotion. When administered correctly, it works on very specific muscle groups to prevent them from making creases in the skin when they contract. As a result, your smile, frown, squint, or grimace will still be intact, except that it will be less wrinkled and more youthful. Another important concept to understand is that Botox is actually most effective when used before these wrinkles become permanent creases or “static” (present even when you are not expressing emotion). Therefore, treatments should not only be considered therapeutic, but also preventative, especially in younger patients.
Botox® is applied by your physician using a small syringe with a fine needle. Prior to your treatment a map is made of your face to define the muscles that cause the wrinkles to be treated. The area is then anesthetized with ice or an anesthetic cream. Typically a small amount (1-2 cc’s) of Botox® is injected into the area of the wrinkle. Botox® works by blocking the impulses from the nerve to the facial muscles, thereby relaxing them. The result is the underlying facial muscles relax and the skin begins to smooth out. The effects are not immediate, and results will not be fully appreciated for 3 to 5 days. The effects of a Botox® treatment will last approximately three to six months after which the patient may choose to repeat the procedure.
Patients generally return to their normal activities immediately after the procedure. There may be a tiny amount of bleeding from the injection site or redness which usually subsides quickly. Bruising is rare, but if it occurs will subside in a few days. Patients should avoid engaging in heavy physical exercise, applying cosmetics, or laying down flat for a minimum of 4 hours after the injections. It is also advisable to avoid rubbing or massaging the injected area for at least 24 hours. The full effects will not be apparent for 3 to 5 days. Dr. Truong and Dr. Lee like to see their patients for a two week follow up to observe results or administer touch-ups if necessary