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.
What is Botox?
Botox® is an injectable product made of purified botunlinum toxin. It is a popular injectable that temporarily reduces or eliminates facial fine lines and wrinkles.
Injections of Botox®block the nerve signals to the muscle in which it was injected. Without a signal, the muscle is not able to contract. The end result is diminished unwanted facial wrinkles.
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What Is The Difference Between Botox & Dermal Fillers?
While all of these are injectables, Botox® is called a neuromodulator. 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® stops 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® doesn'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?
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 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 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.
How Much Botox 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 improve. There can also be difference in how aggressive one patient’s muscles are versus another. We suggest The Look of 3. Only Botox® Cosmetic can offer The Look of 3 because only Botox® Cosmetic is FDA approved to temporarily improve the look of 3 areas - moderate to severe frown lines, crow's feet lines, and forehead lines.
- Glabella (Frown Lines) 20 units of Botox®.
- Frontalis muscle (Forehead lines) 24 units of Botox®.
- Crow’s feet 20 units of Botox®.
What is the recovery from Botox?
There is almost no recovery. Patients often have some mild redness and slight swelling at the injection sites, but that’s about it.
You will not want to do any strenuous exercise for the first 12-24 hours, and keep your head upright for 4-5 hours. The reason for this is the Botox® can migrate to an unwanted muscle. This can cause issues such as a drooping eyelid.
How Long Will Botox Erase My Wrinkles?
Botox® both stop muscle contractions and erase the wrinkles that form above them for about four months. At four to five months the body absorbs the inert botulinum toxin and the muscle begins to contract again. Another Botox session will keep those wrinkles at bay.