What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botox and Dysport are both purified forms of botulunim toxin type A. Botulinum toxin blocks nerve signals to muscles, which prohibites the muscles from contracting, thereby paralyzing them. This is a temporary paralysis that wears off after several months. When injected into the face, botulinum toxin can temporarily reduce the appearance of frown lines, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles. Botulinum toxin can also be used to diminish thick jaw muscles, correct a gummy smile, and soften neck bands.
Who is a candidate for Botulinum Toxin?
- You may want to consider using botulinum toxin if you would like to:
- Soften frown lines between your eyebrows
- Soften forehead wrinkles and the fine lines around your eyes (crow’s feet)
- Soften and diminish hyperactive neck bands
- Soften a square jaw line
- Diminish a gummy smile
How is Botulinum Toxin Performed?
Some patients require or prefer to have a numbing cream placed on their skin 30 minutes prior to injection. Most patients, however, can tolerate botulinum injection without the use of numbing medications. The procedure uses very fine needles to inject small amounts of botulinum toxin into the specific muscles that cause wrinkles. The muscles that have not been injected retain their normal movement and expression. The number of injections required ranges between 3-8 injections per area.
Dermal fillers can be combined with injection of botulinum toxin to enhance the outcome of both procedures. Together, they can diminish wrinkles and provide improvement in contour and volume.
All procedures have risks associated with them. The most common risk of botulinum injection is bruising at the site of injection. Other risks include facial asymmetry and need for revisional injections. When performed correctly, the risks of botulinum injection are very small and the procedure is well tolerated. It is important to talk with Dr. Rovelo about the risks of your procedure and how the risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.
Injection of botulinum toxin occurs in the office and takes about 15-20 minutes to perform. Patients may return to their regular activities immediately. Patients are asked to keep their head elevated and avoid activities such as yoga or massages for 3-4 hours after injection. Effects will be seen within 3-7 days and typically last for 3-4 months.