BOTOX® Cosmetic is made from a purified form of botulinum toxin that, when injected, temporarily inhibits nerve signals from reaching the facial muscles. This paralysis causes the muscles to loosen, permitting the skin in the treated area to relax and become smooth. Results from BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments can take about five days to become noticeable and generally last for about four to six months.
Are you a Good Candidate for BOTOX® Cosmetic?
BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used to treat adults of all ages. Though the results have been excellent in all age groups, they are most dramatic in those with minimal signs of aging.
It is recommended for patients who:
- Have neck or facial wrinkles
- Are in good physical condition
- Are motivated to improve their appearance
- Have realistic expectations
What are the Side Effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic?
There are very few side effects associated with BOTOX® Cosmetic injections. Small bruises or red marks at the injections sites may appear but usually fade within a few days. Mild headaches and nausea, though rare, have been reported by patients who receive forehead injections. Some injections can cause mild muscle aches. It is also possible for an adjoining muscle to experience weakness, although this is usually temporary and should subside in one to three weeks. Swelling, though uncommon, may occur in the area around the injection. If the swelling lasts more than a few hours, simple massage should help reduce it.
Caution: Do not massage the area in the hours immediately following your injection, since this could cause the toxin to spread to adjacent muscles!
After the treatment, you should refrain from bending over or from vigorous activities for several hours to prevent the toxin from moving to an unwanted area. In rare cases, BOTOX® Cosmetic injections around the eye area can cause the eyelid to droop, though this will wear off in two or three weeks. It is even more rare, but possible, for injections in the neck muscles to cause difficulty swallowing. Be sure to discuss all the possible side effects with Dr. Westawski before beginning treatment.
The BOTOX® Cosmetic Procedure
For any BOTOX® Cosmetic procedure, Dr. Westawski will apply ice to the area(s) a few minutes before treatment. This is for two reasons: it causes the vessels in the skin to constrict which helps reduce bruising, and it helps decrease the small amount of pain associated with multiple injections. Ice can be beneficial for the same reasons after the BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment. He also applies a topical anesthetic to the parts of the face being treated; this numbs the area(s), resulting in virtually no pain.
Dr. Westawski will have you contract the muscle in the area being treated so that he can better target the injection into the muscle. If you’re receiving injections for wrinkles between the eyes, you will be asked to frown. On average, you’ll receive three injections per muscle, depending on the area being treated; more or less injections may be needed. The whole process takes about half an hour, depending on the number of areas being treated. As soon as the series of injections is completed, you can go back to your regular activities. As stated above, the doctor will probably ask you to refrain from bending or laying down for approximately four hours after the injections until the toxin has had time to attach to the nerve-muscle connection. You will be asked not to rub the area in order to prevent the toxin from spreading to adjacent muscles.
Recovery from the BOTOX® Cosmetic Procedure
Dr. Westawski will ask you to hold an ice pack to the treated area for a few minutes after the treatment. This helps minimize bruising and discomfort resulting from the injections. It will also help keep the BOTOX® Cosmetic within in the injected areas. BOTOX® Cosmetic usually takes two to four days or even a week to have its full effect. You will be asked to return after two weeks so that Dr. Westawski can evaluate the results of the treatment, although you probably will not need to see him until it is time for your next injections. If you feel the BOTOX® Cosmetic has not worked sufficiently, if you notice unevenness of eyebrows or other areas, or if your eyebrow is drooping, phone our office and request a follow up appointment.
How Long Does BOTOX® Cosmetic Last?
Depending on the area being treated, one series of injections generally lasts three to six months, though in some cases the improved appearance can last up to a year. As the toxin wears off, your wrinkles will gradually return, but they won’t be any worse than before the treatment. With repeated injections, the effects generally tend to last longer. There is some evidence that after prolonged treatment the affected muscles may become permanently weakened, so fewer treatments will be needed.