Most of us develop some of these changes as we reach our mid-30’s and beyond. Sun worshippers and smokers experience them sooner and deeper, but mother nature has a way of reminding us all of the passage of time. Fortunately, we can fight back with Botox. We can use Botox to selectively relax the muscles causing these problems and restore your face to a more youthful and relaxed appearance.
What is Botox?
BOTOX is short for Botulinum toxin, which is produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. It has been used since 1920, but was marketed commercially in 1997. Botox interferes with transmission of the nerve impulse to muscles, which stops the muscle from working for a period of time. To be used effectively, it must be placed at a correct dosage into the correct muscle. Facial wrinkling occurs when the facial muscles contract.
Botox was initially used by ophthalmologists to treat a condition called “blepharospasm,” an involuntary squeezing of the lids. Additionally, it was used for eye muscle disorders. From these medical treatments, the relaxation of facial lines and wrinkles was observed, which spurred further investigation into the cosmetic benefits of the Botox technique.
While many different medical providers can administer Botox treatments, ophthalmologists, such as Dr. Mark Maria of Fava Maria Eye Associates, are particularly well-qualified to perform these injections due to their longstanding familiarity with the medication and its use in close proximity to the eyes.
How It Works
A very thin needle is used to inject small amounts of botulinum toxin into specific muscles. Since there are at least 43 named muscles in the face, it is vital that the person who performs your botulinum toxin injections understands and pinpoints the correct spots to optimize your treatment. By carefully choosing specific muscles, Dr. Maria weakens only the wrinkle-producing muscles, preserving your natural facial expressions.
Dr. Maria has been using Botox medically since the 1990’s and has used it for cosmetic work since its FDA approval in 2002. Botox was approved initially for “glabellar” frown lines that appear between the brows. The treatment works quite effectively in this area, but Dr. Maria finds that it also works exceedingly well for crows feet, forehead lines and even to reduce those “bunny lines” on the sides of the nose.
What to Expect
Botox injection has been a very safe procedure in the right hands, but there are a number of reported side effects and rare complications. The good news is that since the effects of Botox wear off over time, these problems reverse themselves. The most common side effect is bruising at the injection site, which is related to the actual physical injection rather than the medication. Lid droop has been reported as well, but is very rare in cosmetic use. Botox should not be used in patients with a history of autoimmune muscle problems such as Myasthenia Gravis and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Are the Injections Painful?
Most people tolerate the injections very well because they are delivered through very fine gauge needles. However, local anesthetic cream may be applied to the areas 30 to 40 minutes prior to treatment for patients who are more sensitive. You may resume normal activities immediately. One note of caution: Do not rub or massage the treated areas for 24 hours after the wrinkle treatment because it can cause the botulinum toxin to migrate to another area of your face. If this happens, you could have temporary facial weakness or drooping.
When Will I See Results?
Results start to appear in three to five days, but may take up to a week. Finer wrinkles will disappear right away and more established ones take more time. With regular usage, you see less wrinkles, frown less often, and produce even less wrinkles! If the wrinkles are very deep, ancillary treatment with filler materials about two weeks post-injection may be necessary to achieve the best result.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
The effects last about six months, but may vary by a month or so in either direction. We find that the effects seem to last longer in patients who have had a series of injections administered just when the effects begin to wear off.
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
The cost for Botox treatments varies with how much of the drug is used, how many injections, into what areas is it given, the underlying cost of the drug and supplies, and who is giving the injection. The fixed cost to most providers is the same, although high-volume injectors can get slightly better drug pricing. We charge by the area since we have found that the volume of drug given and the time required is fairly consistent in a given area.
Who Performs the Treatments?
All our injections are given by Dr. Maria, a Board Certified Surgeon. Injections of botulinum toxin may sound like a simple procedure, since the injections are minimal, but it’s actually both an art and science that only an experienced healthcare professional should do. Although nurses, PA’s, dentists and non-surgical doctors all do Botox injections, you should choose a provider with expertise in this area to get the best results. Botulinum toxin can be combined with other cosmetic skin procedures such as laser resurfacing, dermal fillers or microdermabrasion to further enhance your appearance. This combination of therapies can even help to prevent the formation of new lines and wrinkles. Let us help reveal the new you.
Visit the Gallery to view after treatment results.