I have a lot of patients (both men and women) coming in to the office for Botox with some great questions about what it does or does not do. The Internet CAN be a good resource for information but not everything you read is accurate. Let me see if I can clear up some of the common misconceptions:
In 2013 Botox was the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure according to a survey by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery with over 3.8 million users. The botulism toxin has several forms produced by different manufacturers including: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Monobloc. There are subtle differences between these products, sort of like the difference between Coke and Pepsi. The toxin is injected into muscles to temporarily weaken the muscles action and as a result the lines formed by the muscles action are softened. The medicine takes 3-5 days to take full effect and usually lasts around 3-4 months.
Typically treated areas are the frown lines between your eyebrows (glabellar lines), crows feet, and forehead. Other sites would be determined by my analysis of my patient’s facial dynamics and their stated goals.
There are lots of comedians who would depict a botox patient with a frozen face and drooling. Fortunately not everything we see on TV is real! Why do they call that reality TV anyway?
My patients usually want the following:
1) frown lines blunted to lessen an angry or worried expression that these lines can project to others
2) Forehead lines minimized
3) Crow’s feet softened
Less commonly I have a patient who mistakenly believe that the botox can melt all of your wrinkles away. Causes for wrinkles are a complex mixture of issues including photo(sun) damage, loss of collagen and cellular changes with normal aging. My goal is to help patients understand that the toxin will only work to improve dynamic or lines created by motion. Another aspect of the initial consultation is to discuss how I want to help adjust the “balance” of the facial muscle tone by selectively weakening some muscles to help shape the brows with our treatment. For example, some patients request that we get rid of all of their forehead wrinkles. That can be done, but the result in most patients will be the drooping of their brows adding more upper eyelid skin, which for many people can aggravate a problem they have already with excessive upper eyelid skin.
Botox is a safe and effective non-surgical tool, when administered correctly by a Plastic Surgeon, can give a pleasing, more relaxed look. Like any medication or procedure it can have complications although I rarely see any.
I hope this has dispelled some of the misconceptions about Botox and answered commonly asked questions. For a consultation about Botox please call my office (903) 535-7722