What Can I Expect?
Many of the wrinkles we see on our face are due to the dynamic facial expressions we perform everyday, often without conscious awareness. Botulinum Toxin A is a purified protein that works by weakening or relaxing the muscles of facial expression which insert into the surface of the facial skin. Once the resting tone of these muscles is weakened, the pulling action of these muscles relaxes and the skin flattens out. Fine lines and wrinkles begin to soften and in many cases eliminated.
The toxin takes two (2) to ten (10) days to take effect and lasts between 3-4 months in most individuals, but can last longer. The toxin is most effective for wrinkles in the upper third portion of the face such as the forehead lines, crow’s feet, and the frown lines between the eyebrows. It is not as helpful for the wrinkles in the middle or lower portion of the face, because while relaxing these muscles will eliminate the wrinkles, it can distort your smile and facial expressions.
You will feel a small amount of discomfort when the needle pierces the skin and when the toxin is injected. This will last for only a few seconds. There are no serious side effects associated with the use of the toxin since we use relatively small doses. Botulinum Toxin A has been shown to be safe and effective even when higher doses are used on patients with other medical disorders with good results for over 20 years.
Some studies have shown that side effects can be caused if the toxin migrates from the injection sites. For this reason, we ask that you do not rub or massage the area of the injections for at least 2-3 hours after the injections. These possible side effects include a small droop of the eyebrow, upper eyelid, or lower eyelid. Fortunately, if this occurs, it is temporary but may last for a few weeks. Also, for this reason, we suggest you plan your future Botulinum Toxin A appointments 2 weeks before a special event.
Botulinum Toxin A is used to enhance your appearance and does not take the place of other facial procedures such as face-lift, blepharoplasty, or laser resurfacing if this is what you need. Botulinum Toxin A is often used in conjunction with these procedures as well as dermal filling agents like Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, etc.
When the toxin wears off, you will notice a gradual return of the wrinkles. Often, when the wrinkles return they are not as deep as they were before. Some studies show that with regular repeated injections you may maintain your fresh relaxed wrinkle free appearance for longer periods of time.