What is Botox?
Botox is made mainly from the botulinum toxin type A. These are the same bacteria that can cause botulism, but these bacteria also are present throughout the natural world in soils and elsewhere. It may seem intimidating to have such bacteria injected into your skin, but it’s not. Back in the 1950s scientists discovered an interesting fact — when the botulinum toxin was injected in minute amounts into a muscle it temporarily stopped the muscle from contracting. Botox was a direct result of that research.
FDA first approved Botox for treating involuntary eyelid spasms. Since then, Botox has been approved for various other uses, everything from treating temporomandibular joint disorder to excessive underarm sweating to migraine headaches. But when Botox was approved for cosmetic use treating lines and wrinkles on the upper third of the face in 2002 it became one of the world’s most famous brands. Every year since 2002 Botox injections have been the most popular cosmetic procedure, surgical and nonsurgical, around the world.
How Does Botox Work?
When Botox is injected into a muscle, it blocks the acetylcholine, the nerve messenger, from delivering the message to the muscle. The muscle never receives the signal to contract, so it remains at rest.
On the upper third of the face, the expressive area, we constantly engage the muscles around our eyes, between the brows, and on the forehead when we make expressions such frowning or showing surprise. Over time we form hundreds of thousands of these contractions, plus our skin thins. This allows wrinkles and lines to form on the surface skin above the muscle. These are glabellar lines (the 11s) between our brows, forehead lines, and crow’s feet at the outside of our eyes. These are known as “dynamic wrinkles.” When Botox is injected into the muscle forming any of these wrinkles it keeps the muscle from contracting, so the wrinkle on the surface skin is erased.
What Areas Can Botox Treat?
Botox’s original FDA approval was for the treatment of forehead lines and glabellar lines between the eyebrows. In 2011, Botox received FDA approval for injection of crow’s feet. Dr. Kolstad has also found success using a combination of Botox and dermal fillers to treat lines around the mouth, colloquially known as lipstick lines or smoker’s lines. This is an “off-label” use, but has proven popular with many of our La Jolla patients.
Lines between the eyebrows, also known as the “11’s”. Even the deepest creases can be significantly improved with only one treatment. This area frequently requires 14-18 units of Botox. *Individual Results May Vary.
Lines across the forehead can be softened while still preserving function. It is important to have some motion in the brow to prevent the “frozen” appearance common in Southern California. Many of our patients also experience a Botox Browlift, opening the eyes and making them look less tired. The forehead creases can be softened using 7-10 units of Botox. *Individual Results May Vary.
3) Crow’s Feet
Lines around the eyes, frequently referred to as “crow’s feet”. These respond favorably to Botox. Only a highly trained and experienced providers should administer Botox around the eyes. The crow’s feet frequently require 20-25 units of Botox for full treatment. *Individual Results May Vary.
4) Lipstick Lines / Smoker’s Lines.
Fine creases around the mouth, also known as “smoker’s lines” lines. These respond favorably to a combination of Botox and Juvederm. A very small amount of Botox, typically under 10 units can be applied to the upper lip to soften the creases. *Individual Results May Vary.
Does Botox Injections Hurt?
Dr. Kolstad injects Botox with a very fine needle, and it is not injected to great depth. Most people equate the feeling of these injections to that of a pinprick, and they don’t feel the need to have any topical numbing cream.
How Long does a Botox Injections take?
Botox was the original “lunchtime procedure” because it takes just 10-15 minutes for these injections. Afterward the person can go right back to work or other normal activities.,
When Can I Expect To See My Wrinkles Go Away After Botox Injections?
Botox isn’t like dermal fillers that simply fill in the wrinkle instantly. Botox has to get to work blocking the nerve messages. This takes usually about ten days to fully take hold. From there, Botox will keep the muscle relaxed and the wrinkles will be gone for about three months. Depending on your metabolism, your body will eventually absorb the now-inert Botox and the muscles will begin to contract again, and the wrinkles will return. Another Botox session with Dr. Kolstad will maintain your results.
What Are The Side Effects with Botox?
Botox has been injected millions of times around the globe and it has proven to be an effective and very popular treatment. The main side effects are slight redness, swelling, and possible itching at the injection sites. This resolves in a few hours. Occasionally, patients may develop a slight headache for a few hours after their Botox session, but this also passes in a few hours.
The main risk with Botox is having it injected by an inexperienced or untrained person. If Botox is injected into the wrong muscle it can lead to problems such as a drooping eyelid. That’s why you should only have Botox injected by an experienced plastic surgery such as Dr. Kolstad. Dr. Kolstad is double board-certified and has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy and extensive experience with Botox.
Can I Combine Botox With Other Procedures?
Many of our patients combine Botox injections with dermal fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane. This is easy to do because, for the most part, these injectables work on different areas of the face and on different types of wrinkles. Dermal fillers work on wrinkles caused by sun damage, declining collagen production, and personal habits such as smoking. These are known as “static wrinkles.” These wrinkles usually occur on the mid to lower face, particular from the nose down through the mouth area.
Dr. Kolstad can inject Botox to erase your crow’s feet and your 11s, and then he may inject Juvederm Voluma to return the volume to your cheeks and Restylane Refyne to address moderate smile lines. This can be done in a single session.
Preparing for a Botox Session
No. These are quick appointments, taking just 10-15 minutes. The only thing you need to think about at all is to not rub your injection sites for 24 hours after Dr. Kolstad injects Botox. This can make the Botox migrate to an unwanted muscle.
Schedule A Consultation
To learn more about our Botox injections or to schedule a consultation, contact us
today at (858) 859-2563.
Our practice serves San Diego, California, and the surrounding areas.