Botox is used to help people achieve a more well-rested, youthful look by minimizing lines and wrinkles.
What Is Botox?
Botox is the first and oldest product available on the cosmetic market for the treatment of wrinkles since 2002. It is derived from botulinum toxin called onabotulinumtoxin A.
How does Botox work?
Botox is a type of neurotoxin that attaches to the receptor of a muscle’s nerve and blocks the release of neurotransmitters that signal the muscles to contract. When you apply Botox to the facial muscles that cause your face to wrinkle, it allows the skin to flatten out and appear younger. Botox slows down the process of forming facial creases around the muscles in the face before they become permanent.
Why Choose an Eye Doctor for Botox?
An ophthalmologist is an ideal doctor to administer Botox because we are facial anatomy experts. We are highly trained and skilled in treating the eyes and all of the surrounding structures, including the muscles where Botox is injected. Interestingly, Botox was initially used to treat strabismus (crossed eyes) in children. It was then expanded to use for a variety of other medical conditions such as migraines, blepharospasm (spasm of the muscles around the eyes) and hemifacial spasm (spasm of an entire half the face). In 2002, the FDA approved Botox to minimize frown lines between the brows.
Where On the Face?
Botox can be used in several areas of the face, though the most common areas of treatment are in the upper face:
- The “11”s are the vertical 11 lines that appear between your eyebrows
- Forehead furrows are the horizontal lines that form when you raise your eyebrows
- Crows feet or smile lines are the lines that appear on the side of the eye when we smile
The eyebrows – a small amount is used below the eyebrows to raise them and give a more awake look.
Other areas that can be treated include bunny lines (wrinkles on your nose), smoker’s lines (vertical lines on the upper lip), the neck in order to reduce neck lines, the corners of the mouth to reduce the appearance of a frown and the chin to reduce chin wrinkles/dimpling.
Who can get Botox?
Adults 18 years and older are candidates for treatment. There is no right age to start treatment, but Botox is being recognized as a preventative treatment. If you start seeing faint lines on your face, then you can consider this treatment to avoid those lines from getting deeper and more prominent.
Who cannot get Botox?
Pregnant women are advised against this treatment. Patients with evidence of active infection or inflammation at the site of a potential treatment area, should not be injected until infection or inflammation completely resolves. People who have pre-existing neuromuscular disorders such as Myasthenia graves, Lambert-Eaton Syndrome and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) should not be injected. People that have pre-existing swallowing or breathing problem should be advised against treatment as well.
What to Expect from Botox
The effects of Botox begin to be seen in about 2-3 days, and are at maximum effect at about 2-3 weeks. Results vary, but many people experience benefits for 3-4 months. This varies by individual patient. There is no downtime, and you may resume all activities immediately after (though it is advisable to avoid strenuous exercise). The most common adverse effects are mild swelling, redness, bruising and tenderness where the product is injected.
What are the side effects of Botox?
The most common side effects include pain, swelling and redness near the injection sites. These potential side effects are mild and temporary. Less often, Botox may cause eyelid drooping, vision problems, headache, tiredness and allergic reactions.