Ever wonder why people in Hollywood stopped aging 15 years ago? Don’t listen to the interviews where Madonna claims that it is clean living and papaya juice cleanses. The science of aesthetic medicine has made many major breakthroughs in the last 15 years that allows all of us to put off facial ageing. The Holy Trinity of facial esthetics is Injectables (Botox and fillers), Lasers (more on that later) and Medical Grade Skin Care. Today, we are going to talk some about Botox – what it is, and what you can expect from the treatments.
Botox is a medicine that stops your nerves from communicating with your muscles. When it is injected into a muscle it cuts that muscle off from the nerves that normally keep the muscle tense, allowing it to relax. Wrinkles in the skin on top of that muscle decrease as a result. While many people love the idea of erasing years of wrinkles in one 15 minute treatment – they are put off by the fact that Botox can only be given via injection. So let’s talk about those injections!
Do Botox Injections Hurt?
Botox injections are done with a very fine needle, (most practitioners use a needle about three times as thick as a human hair). The injection itself is often compared to a small “pinch” or bug bite. However, if you are very sensitive to pain, you can use a local anesthetic agent. Lidocaine creams work very well and can make the injections totally painless.
Where are Botox Injections Placed?
Botox is a very fine powder that is dissolved into sterile saline before being injected. Each injection affects an area of about 1cm around the site of the injection. Therefore, where the injections are placed depends on what muscles you are trying to relax. The wrinkles that respond best to Botox injections are the dynamic wrinkles of the upper face: lines that form on your forehead when you raise your eyebrows, lines that appear between your eyebrows when you frown, and the lines that form around your eyes when you smile. Botox can also be used to smooth fine lines in the upper lip, and in the “bunny” lines on the nose. Botox is usually injected just under the skin where the wrinkles are the most prominent.
Will I have bruising after my Botox injections?
Most people do not bruise, but anytime that you put a needle in the skin there is a risk of a small amount of bruising. How extensive the bruising is depends on where the injections are placed and your skin type. The skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate, and will bruise more than the skin of the forehead. People with fair skin will have more bruising than those whose skin is a darker tone. Individuals who bruise easily can also expect more bruising, of course. Generally speaking, if you do bruise, the bruising will show up 1-2 days after the injections, and take 2-3 days to go away. It is generally minimal, about the size of a pinkie fingertip, and can be easily covered with makeup.
Are Botox injections plastic surgery?
No. Generally speaking, surgery is work done underneath the skin through an incision. Thus Botox, which does not require as incision, is not considered a form of plastic surgery Instead, Botox injections are considered a non-invasive procedure and there is no recovery period or “downtime” required after your treatment.
Is there anything to avoid before or after a Botox treatment?
There are a few things you can do to ensure optimal results from your Botox treatment. Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or fish oils within a few days of your injections can increase your chances of bruising as well as drinking red wine the night before so it’s best to avoid all of these, if possible. After your treatment, we recommend refraining from any activity that raises your blood pressure for the rest of the day. This ensures that increased blood flow to the injection sites doesn’t move some of the Botox away from the target areas. Luckily, if this were to happen, it has absolutely no effect on other muscles of the body but you might not get the full benefit of the Botox at the sites injected.
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