Even if you’re unfamiliar with popular medspa treatments like Kybella and PRP, you’ve probably heard of Botox.
After over 30 years in medical use, Botulinum Toxin Type A injections remain the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedure in the United States. Many people flock to Botox each year as a way to prevent or reduce the appearance of aging. However, Botox does more than just reduce wrinkles.
At first glance, you might be frightened by the idea of injecting a toxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles in the face. Nevertheless, Botox produces excellent results with minimal downtime and side effects — as long as it’s injected by an experienced professional.
Here’s everything you need to know before getting Botox injections.
What Is Botox?
Botox is an injectable cosmetic treatment that reduces the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles.
There are several different commercial versions of the toxin, including Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. You may hear people use the term Botox to refer to all of these products, although the trademarked Botox® Cosmetic is produced by Allergan Inc.
Botox is made from the Botulinum A toxin, which is produced naturally by bacteria that live in soil, lakes, forests, and other areas. The drug is toxic in large quantities. However, very small doses of Botulinum A can have a wide range of cosmetic and muscular benefits with little to no side effects.
The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD) has declared that Botox is safe and has few side effects when used in a therapeutic context.
The Benefits of Botox
Botox® Cosmetic is best known for its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can smooth frown lines, treat crow’s feet, get rid of “bunny lines” on the side of the noise, and treat chin dimpling.
Years of laughing with your friends and frowning at your computer screen leaves noticeable lines throughout your face. Fortunately, those lines can be softened or removed with a quick injection session.
Botox can also be quite effective at masseter reductions. The main cause of a square jawline or chubby cheeks is often enlarged masseter muscles. Injecting Botox reduces muscle exertion in the region, which allows the masseters to shrink and the jawline to slim.
More recently, Botox has been found to help with hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. Many people who have hyperhidrosis find the condition to be extremely embarrassing and socially isolating. Perspiration in specific areas can be stopped or decreased with Botox.
Here are just a few popular areas for Botox injections:
- On the forehead to reduce the appearance of frown lines and other forehead wrinkles
- Around the eyes for a brow lift
- Beside the eyes to smooth crow’s feet
- Above the upper lip to keep gums from showing when smiling
- On either side of the nose to treat “bunny lines”
- In the chin to reduce the appearance of chin dimpling
- In the masseters to slim the jawline or help with bruxism
- In the neck to provide lift and relax the platysmal bands
- In the armpits to treat hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating
How Does Botox Work?
Botox disrupts the nerve signaling processes that stimulate muscle contraction. It temporarily reduces muscle movement in the treated area, which allows you to avoid moving your face in ways that create wrinkles and encourages overdeveloped muscles to shrink.
When you make facial expressions or sweat, your nerves release a chemical messenger called acetylcholine which attaches to the muscle’s cells and causes them to contract. Botox reduces the muscle’s reception of acetylcholine, which in turn prevents extreme muscle contraction and reduces sweating.
In essence, Botox injections reduce muscle movement and perspiration signals in small areas.
Botox procedures are usually very fast. At Beauty Boost, we start each treatment with a detailed consultation with a medical provider. The whole process typically lasts around 30 minutes, which is why it’s known as the “lunchtime procedure.”
The injection itself will feel like a small prick. The needle is tiny and the injection is shallow, so you shouldn’t feel too much. Afterward, the injection site may be a bit red and puffy for about 30 minutes, with mild bruising that fades within a few days.
Common Myths About Botox
Myth #1: Using more units will freeze your face.
At Beauty Boost, a lot of our patients come in and ask for “sprinkle” or “baby dose” of neurotoxin. They say they only want a little bit because they don’t want to look “frozen.”
However, a smaller dose will not make your face appear less frozen. In most cases, it simply means you will get the same results for a shorter period of time. For example, 6 units in the forehead will give the same appearance as 12 units, but a 6-unit dosage will wear off after just 6 weeks rather than the full 3-4 months.
Neurotoxins like Botox completely block the acetylcholine receptors on your muscles so that your muscles cannot move. You can’t partially block the muscle. It’s either on or off.
Your provider will determine the appropriate dose based on the strength of your muscle and the amount of time you want to keep your results. If you are concerned about ending up with a “frozen” appearance, be sure to work with a qualified medical provider with extensive knowledge of facial anatomy.
Myth #2: You can help your budget by doing smaller doses more often.
Your neurotoxin should be dosed appropriately to achieve 3-4 months of results. Smaller doses of neurotoxin done more often is more likely to lead to your body producing antibodies that cause resistance to the product.
If you are concerned about budgeting, we recommend putting the money you would have used for smaller doses in a separate savings account every 6-8 weeks so that it’s ready and waiting for a full dose after 3-4 months.
Myth #3: Groupon deals are great for neurotoxins.
Good Botox is never cheap, and cheap Botox is never good! On average, you should expect to pay $10-12 per unit and even more if it is injected by a doctor.
You should never see toxins advertised in the $7-8 range unless there is special pricing for an event. If you find a place that is regularly offering Botox for that cheap, it is most likely NOT Botox, but rather a cheaper, lower-quality product.
How Much Time Does It Take to See Results from Botox?
Botox typically begins to block acetylcholine signals as soon as 24-48 hours after injection. You will begin to notice visible results within 5-10 days.
When done properly, Botox causes only a subtle change. Most people won’t notice you’ve had anything done. Even close friends will often just think you’ve been getting better rest or using a better skincare regimen.
Your treatment results will last up to four months, after which you may wish to schedule another treatment to maintain your results. Over time, your facial muscles will gradually develop new acetylcholine receptor sites which allow the muscles to contract again.
What are the Risks?
Botox has been FDA-approved for several cosmetic uses since 2002. Nevertheless, there are risks that come with procedure, especially if you do not get injections from an experienced medical provider.
If the provider uses too much Botulinum A toxin or injects it in the wrong area, you may get different results than you wanted. Poorly injected Botox can result in a “frozen” facial expression or asymmetry.
Look for a Botox provider who has an advanced medical degree, such as DNP or MD. The provider should intimately understand facial anatomy and be an expert in aesthetic medicine. It’s also a good idea to look for before and after photos to see if you are comfortable with the provider’s typical results.
As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to work with a qualified medical professional with extensive knowledge of facial anatomy.
Botox in Orange County
At Beauty Boost Med Spa, Botox treatments are carried out by some of the most qualified and experienced injectors in Orange County.
Each treatment begins with an initial consultation with an experienced medical provider who will examine your face and ask detailed questions about your desired outcomes. Contact us today to book an appointment or request a complimentary consultation.