How do Botox injections work?
Botox injections are the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure on the market. The procedure gained notoriety because of its initial use by celebrities and its ability to smooth out wrinkles and provide a more youthful look.
But, how do they work exactly?
Firstly, Botox is a‘therapeutic agent’(substance that brings about a physical or chemical reaction) derived from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. The substance is lab-controlled and purified and is used for both cosmetic purposes and to alleviate symptoms like overactive muscle activity.
Botox is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles of the face or other areas of the body and blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles, thus, freezing the underlying muscles. The wrinkles around the area soften and relax as the injected muscle is unable to contract. Complete results take around three to seven days to manifest, but to maintain the results, the individual needs regular follow-up injections. Every day facial expressions can cause wrinkles and visual signs of aging, and Botox can both reduce this and prevent this.
Although the procedure is straightforward and not commonly said to cause discomfort, several types of anesthesia are typically available to make the experience more comfortable by numbing the area. Some of these include topical anesthesia and ice and vibration anesthesia. During the procedure, the doctor will inject small amounts of Botox into the area with a micro-needle. Normally, one to three injections are used per muscle.
Fast Facts about Botox
- Quick 10-minute treatment
- Provides fast, predictable, and subtle results
- Over 15 years of clinical studies done with Botox
- Approved for use in 96 countries
- Little discomfort or pain
- Short and simple recovery
- Minimal and rare side effects
Areas where Botox are commonly injected
Crow’s Feet – These wrinkles on the face concern the fan-like wrinkles near the outer corners of the eyes. Because of its small area coverage, the treatment usually takes a short amount of time. Results tend to last at least four months.
Chin – This can include relieving the effects of a hyperactive mentalis muscle which can result in a ‘golf ball’ texture on the front of the chin, reducing a deep indentation between the chin and lower lip to alleviate puckering around the mouth, and most widely, “laugh lines”.
Brow Lift (Glabellar frown lines)–A Botox brow lift aims to treat frown lines by pulling up the relaxed muscle between the eyebrows. Apart from reducing the wrinkles, it elevates the height of the eyebrows and opens up the eyes. This is different from a cosmetic surgery brow lift which involves removing skin and making incisions.
Forehead Lines–Horizontal forehead lines are due to activity in the frontalis muscle – a muscle that spans across the majority of the forehead. Here, the injections are administered in an M-shape.
Marionette Lines/Mouth Corners – These lines extend from the corners of the mouth down to the jaw, causing drooping near the mouth. This injection is considered challenging because of the complicated interplay of muscles in the area.
Neck Bands – Known as one of the first signs of aging, this occurs due to sagging of the platysma muscles. Botox allows these muscles to relax and gives a neck lift.
Bunny Lines – Another area named after an animal, Bunny lines are the wrinkles on the sides of the nose below the nose bridge. These wrinkles are said to occur quite naturally with old age or with those who crinkle their nose regularly when expressing themselves. Because they are such an integral
sign of aging, a small dose of Botox is administered in, order to not make the face seem unnatural.
For wrinkles and lines that are noticeable even when the face is completely relaxed, so-called, static lines or wrinkles (as opposed to dynamic lines or wrinkles), our EverYoung physicians would recommend filling out the lines with dermal fillers injections. There are no downtime and you will see immediate results. We typically use brands such as Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, Revanesse, Stylage, Skinboosters and other Health Canada approved quality Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers.
How long will Botox last?
Botox generally lasts approximately three to four months. First-time users may experience that effects fade away more quickly, whereas users that have had Botox administered for longer periods of time report that the anti-wrinkle effects increase over time, and individuals can even attain the same results with lower dosages over time. This is because of increased elastin and collagen levels.
Post-treatment, a small amount of redness and swelling will be visible that will disperse in a matter of minutes. Later on, minor bruising is possible and a slight headache, but the treatment typically needs time to settle in. Between 24-48 hours, you will see results. After about seven days, the results will be pronounced and the area will be smoothed, refreshed, and have a ‘tight’ sensation. This ‘tightness’ will subside between 1-2 weeks. After 3 months, it is recommended to book an appointment so that the doctor or nurse can assess the progress and recommend a follow-up treatment session to sustain the results.
Botox is widely reputable and highly researched around the world. Medical doctors deem it safe and precise with instantly visible effects. There are very minor risks associated with the procedure – common ones include pain, flu-like symptoms, headaches, or a dropping lid/eyebrow area. Additionally, adverse effects are likely to be found with therapeutic use and not cosmetic use. With therapeutic use of Botox, the underlying condition affects the abundance of side effects, as well as the higher dosage to treat the condition. Ensure your injections are prepared according to FDA standards and are injected by an experienced doctor. The overall risk is minimal with Botox, and even less so with cosmetic applications.
How much does Botox cost?
The cost of Botox treatments can depend on whether the procedure is priced based on the Botox units used or the treatment area. Commonly, Botox per unit is used to determine price. Other factors which could determine price include age, strength of facial muscles, depth of wrinkles, area administered,and whether a nurse, dermatologist, or cosmetic surgeon is administering the injection. The average price for a unit ranges from $10 – $15 per unit, some clinics charge per area instead of by unit used.
The following list provides an idea of units required for certain areas:
Forehead Lines – 6– 15 units
Crow’s Feet – 10 –30 units
Chin Dimples – 4 – 10 units
Brow Lift – 6-15 units
Fine Lip Lines – 4 – 5 units
Frown Lines – 10 – 30 units
**Male patients may require up to 30% more Botox units