For many people, wrinkles are one of the first signs of aging. In a society that places such a high value on a youthful appearance, it’s no wonder that a safe, effective and relatively affordable way to eliminate or reduce the appearance of wrinkles would be very popular.
Injections of BOTOX, the brand name for Botulinum Toxin A, has been proven to be the most effective, non-surgical technique for eliminating “dynamic” facial wrinkles which occur naturally as our faces express feelings such as happiness, sadness, surprise or anger. The resultant frown lines, horizontal lines of the forehead and crow’s feet are due to the contractions of the muscles of the face which pull the skin inward creating creases in the skin. The more expressive you are, the deeper these lines are likely to become over time.
How does BOTOX treat wrinkles?
Botulinum Toxin A was originally used to treat neurological disorders and was first approved by the FDA in the late 1980’s to treat eye muscle disorders like uncontrollable blinking and “cross eyes” (esotropia). In their research, doctors discovered that BOTOX softened the frown lines between the eyebrows. Dr. William J. Binder and his colleagues went on to conduct the first double-blind and clinical studies on the use of BOTOX for treating facial wrinkles which provided the basis for establishing dosage guidelines and injection techniques.
When BOTOX is injected into facial muscles, it blocks nerve impulses which results in the temporary weakening of the muscles that cause wrinkles. The treated areas have a much more youthful and rested appearance. Many patients have actually remarked about how much more relaxed they feel after their BOTOX treatments. BOTOX can also be used in specific ways for “eyebrow re-shaping” by selectively elevating either the medial (inner) or lateral (outer) portion of the eyebrow.
Is BOTOX safe?
BOTOX is a purified biological protein that is produced under rigorous laboratory conditions. When injected, BOTOX weakens and affects only the muscles that are treated. The safety profile of BOTOX is virtually unparalleled in modern medicine, whereby no major or permanent side effects are reported for cosmetic use in over 30 years and after millions of injections. BOTOX, however, should not be used in patients with certain rare neuromuscular disorders. Pain, redness or bruising localized to the injection site are minimized by using proper injection technique. Dr. Binder notes that injection technique, placement and dosage are critical for the best results and to avoid side effects. For example, he says if the solution is too dilute or not enough is used, patients will have a shortened duration of action. Similarly, if the toxin is not carefully injected, surrounding muscles could be affected that may result in droopy eyelids.
How is BOTOX administered and how long does it last?
Dr. Binder emphasizes that technique is the key to success. He uses extremely fine needles to inject the solution into the target areas. The number of injections needed vary depending of the degree of wrinkling. Most treatments take only minutes to perform during a routine office visit and you can quickly return to work or normal activity typically with minimal discomfort.
The effects of BOTOX begin to work in approximately 24 to 72 hours and the effects usually last from 3 to 6 months. The effectiveness and duration of treatment is also associated with the dilution or amount of BOTOX units that the patient receives. The treating physician has the option to use a high or low dilution in your treatment. You should make sure that the amount charged for each treatment contains the necessary amount of BOTOX. Dr. Binder has stated that in his 20 years of experience, in over thousands or treatments, he has seldom seen a patient where BOTOX has not proven to be the miracle drug of our time.