Considering Botox® Injections?

November 2021

Know What to Expect From Your Botox® Treatment 

For cosmetic issues such as fine lines or wrinkles, and medical conditions like muscle spasms or migraines, Botox® injections are a widely-used treatment. If you’re thinking about getting Botox® to treat a cosmetic or medical condition, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about what Botox® is, how it’s used, and what to expect from your Botox® treatment.

What is Botox®?

Let’s start with the basics. Botox® is a well-known and trusted brand name for a toxin that is made from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. There are other brands such as Dysport and Xeomin, but Botox® gained popularity as the first injectable botulinum toxin. 

Put more simply, Botox® is a neurotoxin that blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles, causing muscles to relax and soften. Preventing the nerves from activating certain muscles can have a profound impact on reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, or relieving more serious or chronic medical conditions. 

Millions of individuals have chosen Botox® injections as an effective way to treat cosmetic and medical conditions and it has a robust safety record over the decades it has been used. 

How is Botox® Used?

Botox® injections can be a helpful and effective solution for a variety of conditions, both cosmetic and medical. 

Cosmetic treatments using Botox® can include:

  • Lips: A couple of units of Botox® can create a subtle “flip” of the top lip by relaxing the muscle in the upper lip. Additionally, a few units of Botox® can prevent the top lip from rising too high and showing the gums when smiling. 
  • Mouth: Botox® injections can relax the muscles around the mouth and lips, reducing the frequency of lip “pursing” that causes vertical lines around the mouth.
  • Marionette Lines: The depressor angularis oris (DAO) muscle can cause the corners of the mouth to turn down, forming what is often called “marionette lines” or a sad face look. Botox® injections can prevent the mouth from turning down and will not impact your gorgeous smile!
  • Eyes: Botox® injections are a popular treatment to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, the fine lines around the eyes. 
  • Eyebrows: A few units of Botox® injected between the eyebrows and at the tail-end of the brows can create a subtle “brow lift” and open up the eyes without causing a surprised look. 
  • Chin: The texture of the chin can change over time and resemble the uneven texture similar to an orange peel. This texturizing is caused by the mentalis muscle that sits on the ball of the chin. This muscle also creates the horizontal line above the chin, which can deepen over time. Injecting a few units of Botox® can cause the ball of the chin to come down, preventing the uneven skin texture and deeper horizontal line. 
  • Nose: The nasalis, commonly referred to as “bunny lines”, are the small lines on the side of the upper part of the bridge of the nose. Individuals who scrunch their noses while smiling or laughing will likely see the formation and deepening of these lines over time. A few units of Botox® injected on each side can reduce their appearance.
  • Neck: Everyone has superficial muscles in the neck called platysmal bands. The more these muscles are used, the stronger they get, which can cause unwanted skin laxity in the neck and under the chin, making the bands more prominent. Botox® injections can reduce the appearance of the platysmal bands and keep them from contributing to increased skin laxity.

Medical conditions that can be treated with Botox® include:

  • Chronic Migraines: Botox® can be effective at blocking the neurotransmitters that carry pain signals to the brain, minimizing the frequency or severity of chronic migraine headaches. 
  • Underarm Sweating (Hyperhidrosis): Botox® injections can block the nerve signals that cause sweating, and can prevent sweat glands from over-producing sweat. 
  • Muscle Spasms: Cervical Dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movement in the neck muscles. Botox® injections can relax the muscles and reduce spasms over time.  
  • Uncontrollable Blinking of the Eyes: Uncontrolled blinking, called Blepharospasm, can be treated using Botox®. Botox® blocks the nerve signals that tell the muscles of the eyes to contract, reducing the frequency or severity of muscle spasms around the eye.
  • Lazy Eye: Individuals with lazy eye have an imbalance in the muscles responsible for positioning the eye. Botox® can help stimulate the muscles and correct this issue.
  • TMJ: Temporomandibular joint disorder, as well as highly common teeth clenching and grinding, can be treated by injecting the masseter muscle with Botox®. 

What to Expect From Your Treatment: Botox® Before and After

Botox® has been used for many years and has an excellent safety record; however, every person is different and it’s important to understand what to expect from your Botox® treatment. 

A Botox® procedure only takes a few minutes, is non-invasive in most cases, and has few if any major side effects for most people. 

Before your Botox® treatment, it is advised that you avoid alcohol for a week leading up to the procedure, and refrain from taking anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen up to two weeks prior to the procedure, as it can increase risk of bruising following treatment. 

Before receiving a Botox® treatment, you will have an in-depth conversation with your provider about what to expect, and you should use this time to ask any questions you have and ensure you are comfortable and feel knowledgeable going into the treatment. 

Following most types of Botox® injections, patients experience mild if any side effects. Possible, temporary side effects can include:

  • Pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site
  • Headache or flu-like symptoms
  • Numbness
  • Crooked smile or drooling
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Eye dryness or excessive tearing
  • Weakness in nearby muscles

Side effects vary depending on the location of your Botox® treatment and the specific condition you are treating. In most cases, patients are able to go back to their lives as normal following the treatment but may be advised to avoid exercise and remain upright for 4 hours. 

Patients also should avoid rubbing the injection site to prevent spreading the Botox® to other areas. 

The effects from your Botox® treatment should last between 3 to 4 months before activity returns to the muscles. Over time, if you continue to treat the affected area with Botox® injections, your cosmetic or medical condition should improve. 

How to Get the Best Results From Your Botox® Injection

Seeking care from a trained and certified medical aesthetics provider ensures you will have a safe, effective, and positive experience with Botox®. At Optima Dermatology, we work closely with each patient to discuss your needs, present your options, and provide a clear picture of what you can expect from your treatment. 

Our team of aesthetic providers is highly skilled, with advanced training and experience for a range of procedures and treatments. Our team also values exceptional patient care above all else, so you’ll know you’re in good hands. 

Come in for a free consultation to learn what will work best for you. Schedule a free consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists at one of our locations in Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Ohio.