Botox 101

Botox is all the buzz – and for good reason! It’s a quick, painless way to reduce and prevent fine lines and wrinkles, and it requires no surgery or downtime. Considering Botox injections? Here’s a primer on the most popular aesthetic-medicine procedure for men and women.  

What is Botox?

Botox is made from naturally occurring purified proteins found in lakes, forests and soil. It is injected into the face – most often the forehead and outer eye areas – to block the chemical signals that cause muscles to contract. Less facial movement means fine lines disappear and new wrinkles have trouble forming.

Usually, Botox takes a few days to work and lasts for at least three to four months. For best results, additional injections are recommended before the previous treatment wears off. Many patients start getting the injections during their 30’s or 40’s, but some start earlier or later, as needed. The amount used depends on the location and severity of the problem areas.

Botox was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002 and has since been approved for medical uses, including treating crossed eyes, overactive bladder and neck spasms.

Common Treatment Areas

  • Between the eyebrows (often called the “11” lines).
  • On the forehead.
  • On the outer corners of your eyes (often called crow’s feet).

Risks and Side Effects

Botox is a relatively safe treatment that produces excellent results. Most patients experience no side effects, but minor side effects can include mild swelling and very minor bleeding in the injection site that lasts only a few minutes. Rare side effects include short-lived and minor numbness, headache, general malaise, nausea and muscle weakness.

Choosing an experienced board-certified dermatologist is key in avoiding asymmetrical results, muscle drooping and a frozen expression, which is caused by too many injections. Pensacola Dermatology can give you natural-looking, youthful results through perfectly placed Botox treatments.

Before treatment

Dr. Amy Watson has been administering Botox for years. During a consultation appointment, you can discuss your problem areas, as well as any issues or concerns. Dr. Watson will advise you on the process and the preparation, including avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, vitamin A and fish oil products for about a week prior to your appointment. Also, patients are advised to avoid alcohol for a few days before Botox.

During treatment

You may be asked to make expressions, such as frowns, that cause wrinkles to determine the best injection areas. Next, your doctor will gently clean the injection site and then use very tiny needles to inject the Botox. You will feel a small prick, but the procedure is very quick, and most patients report little to no pain. Any discomfort should abate within a few minutes.

After treatment

One of the biggest benefits of Botox is the lack of downtime. You can resume your routine, including working out and applying makeup, right away. There are few restrictions, but doctors do recommend that you avoid lying flat for four hours and avoid sun exposure for the rest of the day.

If you are interested in Botox treatments, schedule a consultation at Pensacola Dermatology so we can discuss your questions and concerns and determine if Botox is the right anti-aging treatment for you.