First used in the 1970s to treat involuntary eyelid spasms, Botox became a household name after it was approved by the FDA to treat facial wrinkles in 2002. Since then, Botox injections (and to a far lesser degree competing brands Dysport and Xeomin) have been the most popular cosmetic procedure year in and year out worldwide.
Dr. Khatri and the team at Skin & Laser Surgery Center of New England use Botox/Dysport to eliminate wrinkles on the forehead, around the eyes, and between the brows.
What is Botox?
Botox is basically made of the botulinum toxin type A, along with some other proteins. Botulinum toxin type A consists of the same bacteria that cause botulism. That sounds scary, but in the 1950s scientists discovered that injecting a minuscule amount of the toxin into a muscle would temporarily relax the muscle, keeping it from contracting. This had benefits in treating conditions that involve involuntary muscle contractions, such as the following:
- Eyelid spasms
- TMJ disorder
- Overactive bladder
- Neck spasms.
This treatment has even evolved to treat excessive sweating and migraine headaches.
It was not until Botox was approved to treat facial wrinkles that it became a worldwide phenomenon. It effectively erases or dramatically reduces the appearance of wrinkles on what is considered to be the expressive area of the face, the area from the eyes upward.
Botox Injection Before & After Photos
How does Botox work?
There are two types of wrinkles on human skin: dynamic wrinkles and static wrinkles.
Static wrinkles are like a wrinkled shirt; the wrinkles are on display all the time. These wrinkles are caused by sun damage and other factors that play a part in natural aging. Botox has no effect on static wrinkles — dermal fillers are used to address them.
Botox works on dynamic wrinkles. These are wrinkles formed by muscle contractions under the skin that create wrinkles on the surface skin above. This happens when we perform certain expressions such as frowning, squinting, or showing surprise. When you make one of these expressions, you can feel the muscles around your eyes and on your forehead activate. Repeated contractions of these muscles create wrinkles on the skin above. When injected into one of these muscles, Botox works by blocking the nerve signal traveling from the muscle to the brain. So, while the brain may initiate a frown, the signal doesn’t get through to the injected muscle, so it doesn’t contract and the wrinkle above doesn’t form.
Am I a good candidate for botox?
As described above, Botox only works on dynamic wrinkles. These wrinkles are primarily primarily found on the following areas:
- Crow’s feet around the eyes
- 11s between the eyebrows
If your wrinkles can be seen at all times, such as smile lines or neck banding, Botox is not effective in those cases.
the Botox treatment
Botox sessions are colloquially known as “lunchtime procedures” because the patient can have injections over their lunch break and return to work immediately afterwards. A Botox session with Dr. Khatri only takes 15-20 minutes, and the needle used is so tiny that most patients don’t even need topical numbing cream.
How soon will i see results?
Don’t expect immediate erasure of your crow’s feet. Botox takes from three to seven days to fully stop the injected muscles from contracting. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, show immediate results as they are “filling” a wrinkle from beneath rather than halting a muscle contraction.
How long does Botox last?
Eventually, your body absorbs the now-inert Botox, usually in from three to four months. At this point, the muscles can begin to contract again and the wrinkles will return. Another injection session with Dr. Khatri will maintain your results. There is some evidence that after a few Botox sessions, treated muscles tend to relax and not contract as sharply.
risks and side effects of Botox
Botox and the other neuromodulators have been used on millions of patients across the globe with very, very few side effects. Patients may have some redness and bruising at the injection sites, but this passes within just a few hours. Headaches can occur for a few days, but this is very rare.
Although not technically a side effect, it’s important for the patient to not rub the areas of their injections for 12 hours after their session. This keeps the Botox from migrating to an unwanted area, which can cause unwanted effects such as drooping eyelids.
The experience of your injector is also very important. Dr. Khatri has extensive experience with facial anatomy and the injection of Botox. Other less experienced or skilled injectors can inject Botox into incorrect muscles and cause drooping eyelids and other problems.