Anti-Wrinkle Injections

Botox (Botulinum Toxin)

Botox injections improve appearance by relaxing muscles that cause wrinkles.These injections also treat various medical conditions. 

To maintain results, treatments should be repeated every three to six months.

What is Botox?

Botox is one of the most widely known brands of botulinum toxin injections. Botulinum toxins are neurotoxins that affect nerves and cause muscle weakening. You might get a botulinum toxin injection for cosmetic and medical reasons. Your oculoplastic specialist injects small amounts of Botox into specific muscles to smooth wrinkles and treat a wide range of other health conditions.

Botox blocks nerve signals to muscles. As a result, injected muscles can’t contract (tense up). These effects are always temporary, but can last for several months. The muscle injected depends on the primary area of concern. Several areas can be treated in one session.

Botox cosmetic injections are used to address signs of aging. This treatment can smooth fine lines and wrinkles in several areas of your face, including your:

  • Eyebrows
  • Forehead
  • Nose
  • Eyes (crow’s feet)
  • Lips
  • Chin
  • Jawline
  • Neck

Botox has been used for decades in the medical industry. These injections may be recommended for the treatment of:

  • Crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Excessive muscle contractions (dystonia)
  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
  • Eyelid twitching
  • Blepharospasm
  • Migraines

A bacterium called Clostridium botulinum makes the neurotoxins used in Botox. Doctors use a specific type of the bacteria (type A) for medical injections.

Botulinum toxins occur naturally in soil and contaminated foods. If you consume large amounts of botulinum toxins or the bacteria get into a wound, you can develop botulism. This serious nervous system disorder affects breathing. For optimal safety and efficacy, Botox is produced in a lab. Technicians dilute and sterilize the botulinum toxins so they won’t cause botulism.

Botox is generally safe when administered by a specialist doctor. Ask your medical team if Botox injections are right for you.

Make sure your healthcare provider has a current list of the medications and supplements you take. Certain medications increase the risk of bruising at the injection site. These include anticoagulants or blood thinners (Warfarin) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Alcohol also makes you more prone to redness and bruising. Don’t drink for 24 hours before a procedure.

Your healthcare provider uses a fine needle to inject small amounts of Botox into the treatment area. Depending on the issue, you may receive several injections in different spots. Here’s what else you need to know about Botox therapy:

  • Botox is an outpatient procedure. You’ll be able to go home the same day.
  • Discomfort is usually mild. The injections may sting, but the procedure is over quickly.

Unless your doctor says otherwise, you can return to work and most activities immediately after treatment. To reduce redness, swelling or bruising:

  • Do not rub or put pressure on the treatment area for 12 hours.
  • Stay upright (don’t lie down) for three to four hours.
  • Avoid physical exertion for 24 hours.

On average, the effects of Botox last about three to four months. Retreatment is recommended at this time. Eventually, however, your muscles may train themselves to contract less. As a result, treatments can be spaced out over longer periods of time. Your oculoplastic specialist can let you know how often you should get Botox based on your unique needs.

Side effects from botulinum toxin injections vary depending on the area receiving treatment. Most issues are mild and improve in a day or two. Possible Botox side effects include:

  • Pain, swelling, redness or bruising at the treatment site.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Headache.
  • Neck pain.
  • Temporary drooping eyelids (ptosis).
  • Eye irritation or redness.

Botox injections are relatively safe. Still, you shouldn’t get this treatment if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have:

  • Neuromuscular disease.
  • Drooping eyelids (ptosis).
  • Weak facial muscles.

After Botox treatment, most people notice the desired effects around the third or fourth day. Full results will be visible within 10 to 14 days.

Within three to six months after Botox therapy, toxins wear off and muscles regain movement. As a result, wrinkles return and issues like migraines and sweating may resume. To maintain results, you may choose to receive more Botox injections. Your doctor can let you know how often to undergo Botox treatment.

Botox is a common procedure that’s rarely accompanied by serious side effects. However, you should call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Vision problems, including blurred vision or drooping eyelids.
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea).
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Numbness or paralysis in an untreated area.

The needles used for Botox injections are extremely small. As a result, most people experience little to no discomfort during treatment. Some individuals describe a slight pinching or stinging sensation. If you’re worried about pain, your healthcare provider can apply a topical numbing gel.

Botox injections aren’t likely to harm your baby. Still, most healthcare providers recommend waiting until after you’ve given birth to undergo treatment.

Experts aren’t sure whether or not Botox ends up in breast milk. To ensure the safety of your baby, most healthcare providers advise against getting Botox injections while breastfeeding.

There are different brand names for botulinum toxin injections. Not all products treat the same problems. Your doctor can discuss the best option for your unique situation. In addition to Botox, options include:

  • Dysport
  • Xeomin
  • Jeauveau

Dysport and Botox are both injections made from botulinum toxins. The main difference is the potency of trace proteins found in these medications. As a result, Dysport may offer faster outcomes, but Botox may last longer. If you’re trying to decide which treatment option is right for you, talk to your healthcare provider.

A note from Athens EyeCare Clinic

If you choose Botox injections, you’ll need to undergo treatment every three to six months to maintain optimal results. There isn’t a known risk of receiving multiple Botox treatments. Many people find that Botox significantly improves their overall quality of life. Talk to your oculoplastic specialist to determine if this therapy is right for you.

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