Neuromodulators are injectables that work to relax muscles that form wrinkles on the surface skin above them. Relaxing these muscles erases the wrinkles for a period of time. Botox® has become one of the world’s most famous brand names for its success in erasing wrinkles.
At Olack Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, we offer both Botox® and another neuromodulator, Dysport®, for our patients from Show Lo and the surrounding areas.
What Is Botox?
Botox® (and Dysport®) is basically made from the botulinum toxin type A, the same bacteria that cause botulism. That sounds like the last thing you’d want to inject into a facial muscle, but it’s anything but scary. Back in the 1950s scientists found that when the botulinum toxin was injected in minute amounts into a muscle it stopped the muscle from contracting for a period of time. This was the beginning of Botox®.
Originally, Botox® was only used to treat involuntary eyelid spasms, a condition known as blepharospasm. In fact, the first FDA approval for Botox was in 1992 for this use.
But Botox® became the stuff of legend in 2002 when the FDA approved the neuromodulator for aesthetic use treating wrinkles on the upper third of the face. The rest is history — since that debut Botox® has been the world’s most popular cosmetic procedure every year.
Olack Plastic Surgery Patient Testimonial
"The staff and Dr where all professional and friendly. My experience was wonderful, efficient and fast. Dr Olack does a great job." - Cassie H.
What Is The Difference Between Botox & Dysport?
Botox® and Dysport® are very similar, but they have some subtle differences. Both work the same way on dynamic wrinkles. Some people think Dysport® lasts one month longer than Botox, but that hasn’t been clinically proven. The two products are diluted differently, so it takes more Dysport® to achieve that same results as Botox®, but the price is cheaper, so it equals out in the end.
Dysport® is made of smaller molecules compared to Botox®. This allows Dysport® to start working a day or so faster than Botox®. It also allows Dysport® to be spread to a larger area. But the smaller molecules also make Dysport® more difficult to work with when treating smaller areas.
What Is The Difference Between Botox & Dermal Fillers?
While all of these are injectables, Botox® and Dysport® are called neuromodulators. They work by relaxing muscles that create wrinkles on the surface skin when they contract. This happens when we make certain expressions. When injected, Botox® and Dysport® stop the contractions, so the wrinkles don’t form. Dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm® and Restylane®, have no effect on dynamic wrinkles.
Dermal fillers, of which the two most popular are Juvéderm® and Restylane®, work in an entirely different manner. When injected, they simply “fill” in lost volume. The most popular fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body that is responsible for hydrating and plumping the skin. When a filler like Restylane® is injected, the hyaluronic acid binds with nearby water molecules, instantly adding volume and pushing the wrinkled skin upward, erasing the wrinkle. Botox® and Dysport® don’t work on static wrinkles.
What Problems Can Botox Fix?
These products only work on dynamic wrinkles. These form on the upper third of the face. Botox® and Dysport® can erase the following:
- Crow’s feet at the outsides of the eyes
- 11s between the eyebrows
- Forehead lines
Am I A Good Candidate For Botox Or Dysport?
Whether these injectables are right for you depends on where the wrinkles you seek to remove are located. If you want to erase crow’s feet, the 11s, and lines on your forehead, Botox® and Dysport® will get the job done.
But if the wrinkles you want to remove are on the lower part of the face — smile lines, marionette lines, parentheses lines, and even barcode lines on the lips — Botox won’t have any effect. These are the other type of wrinkle called static wrinkles. They are the domain of dermal fillers such as Juvéderm® and Restylane® (both of which Dr. Olack offers, as well).
How Does Botox Work?
Botox® works by blocking the nerve messages sent from the muscles to the brain. Once a muscle is injected with Botox®, it blocks the acetylcholine and the brain never receives the message to contract the muscle, so it remains at rest. You can see how effective that would be for involuntary muscle spasms.
So, how does Botox® erase wrinkles? Some wrinkles, known as dynamic wrinkles, form after repeated muscle contractions under the skin. These wrinkles occur on the upper third of the face, the expressive area, when we make expressions such as frowning, showing surprise, and others. If you form a scowl as you’re reading this, you can feel the muscles around your eyes, around your eyebrows, and on your forehead engage. Over time and thousands and thousand of contractions, a wrinkle begins to form on the surface skin when you contract those muscles.
When Botox® (or Dysport®) is injected into the muscle, it keeps the muscle from contracting. Without the contraction, the wrinkle on the surface skin never forms.
What Can I Expect During A Botox/Dysport Treatment Session?
These are the ultimate “lunchtime procedures,” as they take just 10-15 minutes. Dr. Olack handles all of these injections because it’s critical to inject the Botox/Dysport into the correct muscle. This demands extensive knowledge of facial anatomy.
Dr. Olack uses a thin, short needle for these injections, and the botulinum toxin isn’t injected to great depth. For that reason, patients don’t require topical numbing prior to their injections. Most patients say the injections feeling like a small pinprick.
As soon as your injections are complete, you can get back to your normal life. There is no recovery.
How Much Botox/Dysport Will I Need?
These products are priced by the unit. It’s impossible to know how much you will need until we know the wrinkles you want to erase. There can also be difference in how aggressive one patient’s muscles are versus another. Here’s a rough guideline to some average amounts necessary. These numbers pertain to Botox®. Dysport® is more diluted, so more will be required:
- Glabellar lines (the 11s) usually take from 20-35 units of Botox®.
- Frontalis muscles that create forehead lines usually need from 6-20 units of Botox®.
- Crow’s feet need from 6-15 units of Botox®.
What Is The Recovery From Botox?
There is no recovery. Patients often have some mild redness and slight swelling at the injection sites, but that’s about it. You can go right back to your normal activities upon leaving our Show Lo offices.
One thing is important after your injection session. You must not rub the injection sites for the first 24 hours after your session. If you rub these areas, it can make the Botox® or Dysport® migrate to an unwanted muscle. This can cause issues such as a drooping eyelid.
How Long Will Botox And Dysport Erase My Wrinkles?
Botox® and Dysport® both stop muscle contractions and erase the wrinkles that form above them for about four months. There is some thought that Dysport® may actually work for one month longer than Botox®, but that hasn’t been proven clinically. At four to five months the body absorbs the inert botulinum toxin and the muscle begins to contract again. Another Botox/Dysport session will keep those wrinkles at bay.