Written by Dr. Halaas
Give Dr. Halaas ten minutes and she will put those unsightly fine lines and wrinkles in their place with the ultimate wrinkle treatment – BOTOX. Botox works by relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkles, leaving skin smoother, tighter and more youthful. As the number one cosmetic facial wrinkle treatment in the United States, this tiny protein seems to have an endless list of conditions that it treats.
Botox Cosmetic, most commonly known as Botox, is the brand name for onabotulinumtoxinA. Of the eight serotypes of purified botulinum toxin, Botox was the first of this new class of medications. Despite urban myth, it is impossible to get botulism (the disease caused by the bacteria) from Botox as it is NOT the bacteria itself. Dysport, Puretox and Xeomen are other examples of Type A serotypes.
Botox has been approved for cosmetic use in the US since 2002. Botox works by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscle, which temporarily relaxes that muscle. By relaxing the muscles that create expressions, you are left with smoother skin that is less wrinkled. Botox can take up to two weeks to completely take effect but typically starts working within the first few days. While it varies from patient to patient, Botox is clinically indicated to last for up to four months. Amazingly, if you decide to discontinue using Botox, the muscles return to their pretreatment state, it is as if no treatment was ever rendered. You are literally freezing time when using Botox.
Patients love Botox! After their first treatment, they are able to see the softening effect of the product. The vast majority come back on a regular basis to maintain the beautiful results. Botox should not result in a frozen or static look. To the contrary, Botox should offer a soft, natural look by smoothing out wrinkles. This botox treatments are ideal for younger patients, both male and female, whose skin is just starting to age, as well as older patients who notice fine lines and want to prevent potential wrinkles before they start.
The Glabella, or “11’s”, are the double lines that form between the eyebrows. This area is the most commonly treated area with Botox. Men typically require more units than women in this area and every patient’s dosage varies depending upon the different strength and sizes of these muscles. The “crow’s feet”, the fine lines next to the eyes and the horizontal lines on the forehead are the two other most commonly treated areas with Botox. Botox can also be used to elevate the brows as well as slightly turn up the corners of the mouth. It can also reduce the appearance of vertical lip lines, minimize the “bunny lines” of the nose, slightly taper the jaw line, relax the bands along the neckline, and stop excessive sweating of the hands, feet, and underarms known as Hyperhydrosis.
Botox prevents the release of Acetylcholine, which is the mechanism that also triggers sweat glands to produce sweat. Therefore Hyperhydrosis can be successfully treated by using Botox. While surgery was the favored treatment option in the past, a few simple injections can now resolve the issue for several months. Clinically, the results in this area can last 5-7 months before retreatment is needed.
Tension and Migraine headaches can be temporarily alleviated by administering Botox to the appropriate muscles. Patients that suffer from teeth grinding and TMJ can also have some relief when Botox is administered to the Masseter muscles. Dr. Halaas can discuss all of your concerns to help you decide where the use of Botox will be beneficial to you.
After your consultation, numbing cream can be applied to the area, if left on for 10-15 minutes; you will most likely not even feel the injections! Using a very fine needle, Botox is injected by Dr. Halaas directly into the desired muscle. Mild pressure may be felt at the injection site which stops immediately after the injection is completed. There is no long term discomfort felt. The entire procedure takes less than ten minutes. Very rare side effects are mild headaches (treated with Tylenol), minor swelling, and pinpoint bruising. Any chance of bruising can be minimized by discontinuing products such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil/Aleve), fish oil, vitamin E and red wine for one week prior to your botox treatment NYC.