We all want to age as gracefully as possible, but years of frowning, squinting, and smiling will eventually leave permanent marks on our faces. If you are unhappy with frown lines, forehead furrows, or crow’s feet, and want an effective solution without resorting to surgery, you may be an excellent candidate for BOTOX® injections.
What Is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is a neuromodulator based on a highly purified version of botulinum toxin. Though it may sound risky to get a toxin injected into your body, the injections carry minimal danger when a skilled injector performs the procedure. That’s partly because the BOTOX® never enters your bloodstream, and also because the dosage we use for cosmetic treatments is a tiny fraction of the amount it would take to be toxic.
The FDA first granted BOTOX® approval for cosmetic use in 2002, after a series of clinical trials proved its safety and efficacy at temporarily improving the appearance of moderate to deep frown lines between the eyebrows.
In 2013, the FDA granted BOTOX® further approval for treating crow’s feet, and in 2017, the momentum continued, with BOTOX® gaining approval for its third cosmetic indication, forehead furrows. As of today, BOTOX® is still the only treatment of its kind to earn FDA approval for all three types of wrinkles.
In addition to its anti-aging properties, BOTOX® also has the proven ability to help address many health concerns, including migraine headaches, excessive sweating, urinary incontinence, and involuntary muscle contractions.
How Does BOTOX® Work?
When injected into the facial muscles that cause moderate to severe wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes, BOTOX® blocks the chemical signals that trigger those muscles to contract. Causing facial muscles to relax softens existing wrinkles, while simultaneously preventing new ones from being able to form. Though this muscle paralysis is temporary, it lasts at least three months for most people.
Side Effects of BOTOX®
When an experienced medical professional performs BOTOX® injections, the procedure carries little risk. However, it’s important to note that you must only get BOTOX® under the expert care of a board-certified cosmetic surgeon, who will place the injections precisely to help minimize potential side effects such as:
- Pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site
- Headache or flu-like symptoms
- Droopy eyelid or asymmetrical eyebrows
- Eye dryness or excessive tearing
If you are pregnant or nursing or are allergic to the protein in cow’s milk, you should not get BOTOX® injections. If you take blood thinners, you may need to stop taking them several days before your injection to reduce your risk of bleeding or bruising.
BOTOX® Recovery and Results
BOTOX® injections are a quick, virtually painless 15- to 20-minute procedure that takes place in the comfort of either our Columbia or Baltimore office. Your cosmetic surgeon will use a small, fine needle to inject tiny amounts of botulinum toxin into your forehead, brow, and eye area. The number of injections you will need depends on the extent of the concerns you are getting treated.
BOTOX® requires no downtime for recovery, which means you will be free to resume your normal daily activities immediately after getting your injections. If you experience any swelling or bruising, you can apply ice packs to the affected area. However, to prevent the toxin from spreading, do not rub or massage the treatment sites for 24 hours.
BOTOX® has subtle effects and gradual results; you will usually notice an improved appearance one to three days after treatment. To maintain your refreshed appearance, you’ll need regular follow-up injections to prevent wrinkles from reappearing. However, once you establish a routine of getting BOTOX® injections several times a year, your lines and wrinkles will often begin to look less pronounced over time because BOTOX® “re-trains” the muscles to remain in a relaxed state.
You have probably seen at least one movie or TV show where a character’s face has become “frozen” after they receive BOTOX® treatments. However, this is merely a stereotype created for comedic effect. If you choose a provider with the proper training and knowledge of facial anatomy, you will achieve the ideal outcome – a naturally youthful, open, and approachable expression.
Is BOTOX® Cosmetic Right for You?
If you are considering the benefits of getting BOTOX® injections to improve the appearance of your moderate to deep forehead and eye area wrinkles, The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery is here to help. We routinely provide our patients with natural-looking anti-aging results at our two locations in the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. Our four board-certified cosmetic surgeons specialize in providing BOTOX® treatments to busy women and men who want to turn back the clock without resorting to more invasive surgical procedures. Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation and learn more about what results you can expect to achieve with BOTOX®.